What is unique about Stanley, Idaho’s low temps?

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Dear Tom,

In summer, it seems that Stanley, Idaho has the nation’s low and Death Valley the high on a number of occasions. Death Valley is understandable, but what is unique about Stanley regarding low temperatures?

Frank Petrek

Dear Frank,

Stanley’s propensity for very low summer temperatures prompts frequent questions. Located 130 miles northeast of Boise, Stanley is nestled in a mountain valley with elevation more than 6,200 feet. It lies below the nearly 12,000-foot snowcapped peaks of the Sawtooth and White Cloud mountains and the cold, dense air surrounding those peaks descends into the valley at night. The temperature is taken at an automated weather station about two miles east of town. While most of Stanley’s national low temperatures occur during the summer, winters there are also very cold. The site’s record low is minus 54 recorded on Dec. 23, 1983.