Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Worst Weather Cities ( you might be surprised )

Posted by on May. 24, 2013 at 3:20 PM
  • 13 Replies

12

Worst Weather Cities in the United States

Cities with the Least Annual Sunshine

There are 18 cities or city areas and one mountain peak that have average annual sunshine levels at or below 49% which makes these cities the worst weather cities in the United States. At best the sun only shines in these cities every other day. Unlike the best weather cities in the United States where only one city is located along the coast many of the worst weather cities are located along the coast or by large bodies of water. The cities are spread out over eleven different states and while some of the cities are easily guessed a few of these names might surprise you unless you live there or have traveled there.

1) Juneau, Alaska - 30%

Juneau is the capital city of Alaska and is located along the southern coast in the Gastineau Channel. Right above Juneau are mountains and weather systems get stuck there leading to the city having the lowest annual sunshine level in the United States. Sarah Palin looks like a sunshine girl and maybe the lack of sun in the capital city is why she left the Governor's office early. Some 30,000 people live in Juneau and the average yearly rainfall is 58.33 inches but can go as high as 90 inches depending on location.

2) Mt. Washington, New Hampshire - 33%

Mount Washington is the highest mountain in New Hampshire and the northeast and has only 33% sunshine levels due to the fact that three major storm tracks converge right over the mountain peak. The weather on top of this mountain is notoriously bad with the year round average temperature being just 27.2 degrees, winds average 35 miles per hour, thick fog is an almost daily occurrence and26 feet of snow falls here annually. Mt. Washington is one of the most deadly mountain peaks in the United States with over 135 deaths since 1849.

2) Quillayute or Forks, Washington - 33%

Quillayute is an airport located a couple of miles west of Forks, Washington where the sun only shines 33% of the time tying Mount Washington for 2nd place. This area of Washington is a few miles off the coastline in the northwest part of Washington between the Pacific Ocean and Olympic National Park. Not only does the sun not shine much here but the area receives an average of around 107 inches of annual rain. Not many people live in this area of Washington but it is the place where the Twilight saga or series takes place. All four books and movies Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn are set in Forks and author Stephanie Meyer chose well as vampires would probably consider an out of the way small town that receives little sunshine a great place to live. Girls love this series especially teens who ooh and aah their way through the movies every time Edward Cullen played byRobert Pattinson or Jacob Black played by Taylor Lautner appear onscreen. By the way if you want a laugh check out Lautner in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D.

4) Elkins, West Virginia - 40%

Elkins is a small 7,000 population city in north central West Virginia that averages just 40% sunshine. Yearly rainfall in Elkins totals 46.11 inches and it's spread out very evenly over the whole year from a low of 2.86 inches in October to a high of 4.84 in July. What that means is that it is cloudy and rainy here all year.

5) Hilo, Hawaii - 41%

Hilo is the largest city on the Big Island of Hawaii with a population of some 40,000. It is located along the eastern coast of Hawaii and not only does it receive only 41% sunshine on a yearly basis it is also the wettest city in the United States and one of the wettest cities in the world. Yearly rainfall here averages anywhere from 128 to 200 inches. Not what most people associate with Hawaii. Honolulu averages 71% sunshine.

5) Anchorage, Alaska - 41%

Anchorage lies along the Cook Inlet and receives just 41% of possible daily sunshine which ties it for 5th place with Hilo. Kind of fitting since both Alaska and Hawaii were the last two states added to the union and neither state borders any other state. Some 360,000 people live in the greater Anchorage area. Yearly rainfall totals 16.08 inches and yearly snowfall averages 69.5 inches.

7) Nome, Alaska - 42%

Nome is located along Alaska's central-western coast and receives just 42% of possible daily sunshine and without gold the city would likely not exist today. Gold was discovered here back in 1899 and reportedly it was so plentiful one could just pick nuggets of it up off the beach. When news of this got out prospectors from all over the world traveled to Nome hoping to strike it rich by mining the gold. The city swelled from nothing to 20,000 in just a few years. Nome's real claim to fame came in 1925 when sled dog teams lead by one of the world's most famous dogs Balto delivered diphtheria serum to the city through brutal winter weather. The Iditarod race traces the heroic journey of the sled dog teams and symbolizes so much of what living in the far North means. People help each other out here because there is no other way.

8) Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, Washington - 43%

This are receives roughly 43% sunshine and the three cities are included together because they all lie along the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest. The metro Seattle are has a population of 3.3 million. Seattle receives about 37 inches of yearly rainfall while Olympia gets over to 50 annual inches of rain.

9) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - 45%

The Steel City rings in at #9 on the lit with 45% sunshine. Pittsburgh is famous for the Steelers who have won more Super Bowls then any other NFL team but the Dallas Cowboys have more players who were Super Bowl MVP's. About 2.4 million people live in the Pittsburgh area which receives 37.85 inches or rain per year. So Pittsburgh has about the same sunshine levels and annual rainfall totals as Seattle but the difference being that when it rains in Pittsburgh it's usually an all day affair whereas Seattle has many days where it rains followed by sunshine followed by cloudiness and maybe more rain.

10) Syracuse, New York - 46%

Roughly 750,000 people live in the Syracuse area and they get an annual average of 40.05 inches of rain and 115.6 inches of snow. That snow total is the result of Syracuse getting both lake effect snow and nor'easters and is the highest total for any large city in the United States.

10) Grand Rapids, Michigan - 46%

Grand Rapids ties Syracuse for 10th place with just 46% sunshine. About 750,000 people live in the Grand Rapids area and they receive about 36 inches of rain and 72 inches of snow per year.

12) Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan - 47%

Located on the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula Sault Ste. Marie has a population of roughly 17,000. It receives about 35 inches of annual rain and 128 inches of yearly snowfall.

13) Buffalo, New York - 48%

You just knew Buffalo was going to make this list. Located in western New York by Lake Erie and about miles from Niagara Falls about 1.2 million people live in the Buffalo area. Rainfall totals about 40.5 inches per year and snowfall averages 91.1 inches. Buffalo is really bad in winter but in summer does receive about 65% of possible sunshine.

13) Portland. Oregon - 48%

Portland is located along the Willamette River in northern Oregon and ties Buffalo at 13th. About 2.1 million people live in and around this beautiful city and they receive 36.3 inches of annual rainfall.

13) Alpena, Michigan - 48%

Alpena is a small city located along Lake Michigan in northern Michigan. About 11,000 people live here year round but the population swells in summer as people come here to vacation. The yearly rainfall total in Alpena is 28.4 inches.

16) Cleveland, Ohio - 49%

Some 2.2 million people live in the Cleveland area and they receive 38.71 inches of yearly rain and 55.4 inches of snow.

16) Burlington, Vermont - 49%

Located in northern Vermont along the shores of Lake Champlain Burlington has a reputation as a lousy weather city. About 200,000 people live in the Burlington area and much of the area is fueled by the University of Vermont which is the largest employer in the region including affiliates. The area gets an average annual rainfall total of 33.6 inches and received its largest snowstorm on January 2-3, 2010 which dumped 33.1 inches of snow.

16) Binghamton, New York - 49%

Binghamton is the 3rd city from upstate New York to make the list. Not surprising since upstate New York weather is dominated by the Great Lakes which lie to the west. Any system moving over the Great Lakes picks up abundant moisture which forms clouds which block sunshine. About 240,000 people live in the Binghamton area and they see 37.1 inches of average yearly rainfall and 82.4 inches of snow.

How many of these worst weather least sunshine cities did you know? Some are fairly obvious like the Alaskan cities, Seattle, Portland, Burlington and of course Buffalo. If you knew Elkins, West Virginia you really know your weather. And if you got Hilo, Hawaii you've probably been there. As far as states go New York, Alaska and Michigan lead the pack with three worst weather cities each followed by Washington with two and then Vermont, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Ohio, West Virginia, Oregon and Pennsylvania with one city each. The common theme for almost all of these cities and places is large bodies of water whether it be ocean or lakes that provide the moisture which forms clouds and causes these cities to have the least amount of sunshine in the United States.

Sources: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/pctpos.txt

http://www.census.gov/

http://countrystudies.us/united-states/weather/

by on May. 24, 2013 at 3:20 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
lalasmama2007
by on May. 24, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Interesting.  I spent 2 days in Pittsburgh and they were both dark and rainy.

MichelleMc
by Group Admin on May. 24, 2013 at 6:44 PM


I was kind of surprised. We live about 50 miles ( give or take ) North. We have a rainy season but it surely doesn't rain like they say. Summer, is summer. We actually drought almost every year, or close. So??? But I just had to post it to get different opinions because Maybe I am missing it, or again, we are much farther north, so could be much different closer. We do get much different weather different times.

My husband had to be in Washington for 8 months. He HATED every single SECOND of it. He was sick constantly, even ended up in the base clinic twice. The rain was NON stop, miserable. I was there for almost a month visiting him, the only day it didn't rain, it snowed SO bad, it was the storm of the century. It iced over sooo bad, they were shutting down everything but the ferry. We had to stop & buy chains for my friends Ford Ranger to even get home! Now my friends lived there longer than my husband was there ( 2 different families ), and they hated it too. They said the rain was just a nightmare. So I just don't know, LOL. 

Quoting lalasmama2007:

Interesting.  I spent 2 days in Pittsburgh and they were both dark and rainy.



Michelle, Body Combat Addict
Proud Mom of Jonathan, My Future Soldier and Eagle & Vigil Scout
Proud Navy Submarine Vet WifeTo Jake

courtneyann29
by on May. 25, 2013 at 8:02 AM

I'm not surprised Pittsburgh is on the list.  We do have our share of beautiful sunny days..but when it rains, it rains endlessly.  And the dreary days with drizzle are so depressing..and they come in days at a time, too.  :(

TerriC
by Terri on May. 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

I am just over an hour from Pittsburgh.  I could use a little more sun, but it hasn't been too bad.

Vertical15
by Vanessa on May. 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Interesting.  Though I think PA has the best living conditions weather wise as its nothing as extreme and those to the north or south of us.

MichelleMc
by Group Admin on May. 25, 2013 at 11:02 AM


I think a lot of this comes from the fact that we get a lot of rain in the winter too. This year has been odd, but normally our summers are pretty warm & dry. Even when the rain comes, it is sunny and not dreary when it rains. June, July & August are usually this way. July into August, we are begging for rain, LOL. 

Quoting TerriC:

I am just over an hour from Pittsburgh.  I could use a little more sun, but it hasn't been too bad.



Michelle, Body Combat Addict
Proud Mom of Jonathan, My Future Soldier and Eagle & Vigil Scout
Proud Navy Submarine Vet WifeTo Jake

TerriC
by Terri on May. 25, 2013 at 11:42 AM

 I agree with that.  June seems to be very rainy here.  I guess the no sun thing bothers me a bit because in Scottsdale (AZ) we averaged 361 sunny days a year.  I kinda miss that!  :-)


Quoting MichelleMc:

 

I think a lot of this comes from the fact that we get a lot of rain in the winter too. This year has been odd, but normally our summers are pretty warm & dry. Even when the rain comes, it is sunny and not dreary when it rains. June, July & August are usually this way. July into August, we are begging for rain, LOL. 

Quoting TerriC:

I am just over an hour from Pittsburgh.  I could use a little more sun, but it hasn't been too bad.

 

 


 

lalasmama2007
by on May. 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM

When I think of Pittsburgh, I picture it being dark and gloomy, but that's only because that was my experiences there.  I'm sure it's not like that all of the time though.  lol.  I couldn't stand living somewhere where it's always dark and rainy.  It would drive me crazy!

Quoting MichelleMc:


I was kind of surprised. We live about 50 miles ( give or take ) North. We have a rainy season but it surely doesn't rain like they say. Summer, is summer. We actually drought almost every year, or close. So??? But I just had to post it to get different opinions because Maybe I am missing it, or again, we are much farther north, so could be much different closer. We do get much different weather different times.

My husband had to be in Washington for 8 months. He HATED every single SECOND of it. He was sick constantly, even ended up in the base clinic twice. The rain was NON stop, miserable. I was there for almost a month visiting him, the only day it didn't rain, it snowed SO bad, it was the storm of the century. It iced over sooo bad, they were shutting down everything but the ferry. We had to stop & buy chains for my friends Ford Ranger to even get home! Now my friends lived there longer than my husband was there ( 2 different families ), and they hated it too. They said the rain was just a nightmare. So I just don't know, LOL. 

Quoting lalasmama2007:

Interesting.  I spent 2 days in Pittsburgh and they were both dark and rainy.




MichelleMc
by Group Admin on May. 25, 2013 at 11:55 AM


Yeah true. We always used to joke growing up here we had the seasons of winter, construction & drought, LOL

Quoting lalasmama2007:

When I think of Pittsburgh, I picture it being dark and gloomy, but that's only because that was my experiences there.  I'm sure it's not like that all of the time though.  lol.  I couldn't stand living somewhere where it's always dark and rainy.  It would drive me crazy!

Quoting MichelleMc:


I was kind of surprised. We live about 50 miles ( give or take ) North. We have a rainy season but it surely doesn't rain like they say. Summer, is summer. We actually drought almost every year, or close. So??? But I just had to post it to get different opinions because Maybe I am missing it, or again, we are much farther north, so could be much different closer. We do get much different weather different times.

My husband had to be in Washington for 8 months. He HATED every single SECOND of it. He was sick constantly, even ended up in the base clinic twice. The rain was NON stop, miserable. I was there for almost a month visiting him, the only day it didn't rain, it snowed SO bad, it was the storm of the century. It iced over sooo bad, they were shutting down everything but the ferry. We had to stop & buy chains for my friends Ford Ranger to even get home! Now my friends lived there longer than my husband was there ( 2 different families ), and they hated it too. They said the rain was just a nightmare. So I just don't know, LOL. 

Quoting lalasmama2007:

Interesting.  I spent 2 days in Pittsburgh and they were both dark and rainy.






Michelle, Body Combat Addict
Proud Mom of Jonathan, My Future Soldier and Eagle & Vigil Scout
Proud Navy Submarine Vet WifeTo Jake

MichelleMc
by Group Admin on May. 25, 2013 at 11:57 AM


Well yeah, compared to that, LOL. I just thought it was bizarre to compare it to Seattle! That is extreme. I would love to live somewhere without a "winter" so to speak or at least not as much of one. This year really did me in, even did my husband in. But that didn't have high humidity & extreme hot either. I don't want 80's & 90's ( for sure not above ). I just want 70's for goodness sake & winter to DIE! LOL

Quoting TerriC:

 I agree with that.  June seems to be very rainy here.  I guess the no sun thing bothers me a bit because in Scottsdale (AZ) we averaged 361 sunny days a year.  I kinda miss that!  :-)


Quoting MichelleMc:


I think a lot of this comes from the fact that we get a lot of rain in the winter too. This year has been odd, but normally our summers are pretty warm & dry. Even when the rain comes, it is sunny and not dreary when it rains. June, July & August are usually this way. July into August, we are begging for rain, LOL. 

Quoting TerriC:

I am just over an hour from Pittsburgh.  I could use a little more sun, but it hasn't been too bad.







Michelle, Body Combat Addict
Proud Mom of Jonathan, My Future Soldier and Eagle & Vigil Scout
Proud Navy Submarine Vet WifeTo Jake

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)