So, two things.
And up here in the northern midwest of the United States, we're at the same latitude as Moscow. It gets cold.
If you're in the northern midwest of the US, you're not at the same latitude as Moscow. Moscow is 55 deg north, the continental 48 stop at the 49th parallel. So, unless you're talking about Ketchikan, which is decidedly not "midwest", then you need to adjust your memories a bit.
Second, as you should well be aware, latitude alone does not define how cold a place gets. In fact, southern Alaska and the Cascades region in general is generally more temperate than New England. Jet stream, currents, regional topography, all that stuff makes a difference. Going to guess based on your commentary that you're in the Montana/ND area, so comparing Helena with Moscow puts them on about par, with a full nine degrees difference in latitude.