Embarrass is an unincorporated community in Embarrass Township, Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States.The community is located on the Mesabi Iron Range. With an average annual temperature of 34.5 °F (1.4 °C), Embarrass is notable as the coldest place in Minnesota.
The community of Embarrass is located 22 miles northeast of the city of Virginia; and 27 miles southwest of Ely
. Embarrass is 12 miles south of Tower; and 86 miles north of Duluth
. Nearby places include Tower, Aurora, Hoyt Lakes
, and Babbitt.
The center of Embarrass is generally considered near the intersection of Saint Louis County Roads 21, 362 (Waisanen Road), and 615 (Salo Road); located in the southeast portion of Embarrass Township (population 607). The Embarrass River flows through the community. The Pike River is also nearby.
State Highway 135 (MN 135), Saint Louis County Highway 21 (CR 21), and County Road 26 (CR 26) are three of the main routes in the Embarrass area.
With an average annual temperature of 34.5 °F (1.4 °C), Embarrass is the coldest place in Minnesota. In January 2005, Embarrass had a near-record low temperature of −54 °F (−48 °C). The unofficial record low temperature is −64 °F (−53 °C), which was reached on February 1996. The thermometer that measured this temperature was verified for accuracy by Taylor Environmental Instruments, but as it was not recorded at a National Weather Service Cooperative Site, it will remain unofficial. The current record low temperature for Minnesota −60 °F (−51 °C) was recorded outside of the nearby town of Tower on February 2, 1996 by the NWS Cooperative Observer located there.
The name Embarrass was derived from the French word embarras, based on its meaning of "to hinder with obstacles or difficulties". It was given this name by the French fur traders who were some of the first Europeans to visit the area, and who found the narrow, shallow river very difficult to navigate, and named the river "Embarras".