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Alaska
100
Minnesota
80
North Dakota
75
Maine
74
Wisconsin
65
South Dakota
64
Montana
61
New Hampshire
60
Vermont
60
Iowa
58
Wyoming
56
New York
50
Nebraska
48
Colorado
44
Pennsylvania
44
Michigan
42
Rhode Island
38
Connecticut
36
Illinois
36
Indiana
36
New Jersey
36
Delaware
32
Kansas
32
Massachusetts
32
Ohio
32
West Virginia
32
Idaho
31
Maryland
30
Utah
30
Washington
24
Nevada
23
Oklahoma
20
New Mexico
18
Oregon
18
Virginia
18
Kentucky
15
Arkansas
14
Tennessee
12
Arizona
10
North Carolina
10
Texas
10
Mississippi
8
Alabama
6
California
5
Georgia
5
District of Columbia
4
Louisiana
4
South Carolina
4

Frost Lines by State 2024

Frost Lines by State 2024

The frost line, also referred to as the frost depth, is the depth at which the groundwater in soil is expected to freeze. Frost lines depend on an area's climatic conditions, including the heat transfer properties of materials in the ground (such as soil) and nearby heat sources.

Frost lines vary by latitude and are deeper closer to the poles. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the maximum frost depth ranges between zero to eight feet in the contiguous United States.

Generally, the coldest U.S. states have the deepest frost lines. Alaska's is the deepest at 100 inches, followed by Minnesota with 80 and North Dakota with 75. On the other hand, the hottest U.S. states have more shallow frost lines. Florida and Hawaii are zero inches, Louisiana and South Carolina's are four inches, followed by California and Georgia with five.

Frost lines can be important for building construction and are taken into consideration when laying a foundation. When water transitions from liquid to solid, it expands 9% in volume. Frost heaving, which is the upward swelling of soil during freezing conditions, can move the foundations of buildings, severely damaging them. For this reason, building codes will consider frost lines and build the foundations below the line. Additionally, water and sewer pipes need to be placed below the frost lines as well.

Frost Lines by State 2024

Notes:
- Each state's frost depth is displayed as an average. For example, frost depths in Illinois range from approximately 20" in the south to more than 50" along the northern border, which results in an average of 36" for the state as a whole.

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Frost Lines by State 2024

Sources