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The 10 Best Weather Cities

We all enjoy reading lists of the best and the worst of almost everything. From time to time I’m asked what are the best cities for weather and what do we consider the worst. I’ve even been asked to select a location for someone who’s trying to relocate from a part of the country they dislike.

In the 2002 Farmers’ Almanacâ„¢, we addressed this very issue. Keeping in mind that any list is highly subjective, the factors we considered included temperatures, sky conditions, precipitation, humidity and wind. Working on the assumption that heat is a good thing and rain, sleet and snow is bad, let me present our list of the 10 Best Weather Cities in the USA.

1. YUMA, ARIZONA–number one on our list because average precipitation is 2.65 inches, 17 rainy days per year, and number one for sunshine with 90%. It is third among the least humid cities, with an average relative humidity of just 38%. The drawback—–summer temperatures average at least 100º F from June 4 to September 24, and 105ºF from June 22 to August 26. But, hey, it’s dry heat!

2. LAS VEGAS, NEVADA–comes in second to Yuma in terms of annual precipitation at 4.19 inches, least number of rainy days per year (26), and sunshine 85% of the time.

3. PHOENIX, ARIZONA–tied with Las Vegas for number two in terms of possible annual sunshine (85%). It also has the lowest relative humidity at 37% and rated fifth overall in terms of the least annual precipitation with 7.11 inches and eighth for the least number or rainy days (36).

4. EL PASO, TEXAS–boasts abundant sunshine, very low relative humidity, scanty rainfall and relatively mild winters.

5. RENO, NEVADA–abundant sunshine throughout the year. Here the daily range of temperatures often exceeds 45ºF. While afternoon temperatures may be above 90ºF, a light wrap is often needed after sunset. Rain occurs chiefly in the form of afternoon summer thunderstorms, but the humidity is very low during summer and moderately low during the winter.

6. ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO–has an arid climate with abundant sunshine, low humidity, scant precipitation, a and wide, yet tolerable, seasonal range of temperatures.

7. WINSLOW, ARIZONA–is the seventh least humid city (46%) and eighth driest with annual precipitation totaling only 7.64 inches.

8 & 9. BISHOP and BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA–both make it onto the list because they ranked respectively as the third and fourth driest cities overall. Bishop has 29 rainy days and Bakersfield has only 37 during the year.

10. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA–during the spring and summer typically sees low marine clouds at night and early morning but they burn off as the day warms. The storm track from the Pacific usually lies well to the north keeping most of the clouds and precipitation out of the region. With the exception of the Santa Ana winds blowing during September and October, temperatures are quite comfortable.

So there you have it. Based upon sunshine, heat, low humidity and the other criteria, this was our selection of the best weather cities in the United States as reported in the 2002 Farmers’ Almanac.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our list of the 10 Worst Weather Cities and plans for compiling a new list.

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  • George McGovern says:

    Not sure what sadochist thinks that anyplace who has triple digits all summer long, with maybe lows in the 90’s is a good place to live. Where is Death Valley on this list? It’s dry and plenty warm, in the summer.

    Summers in Bakersfield, for example, are HOT, super HOT, so hot that combined with the tasteful cow and factory worker air that it’s hard to breath. (worst air pollution in the country) The winters are dismal, cold without any chance of snow or anything fun besides the chance of death.

    San Diego, as horrible as is it sounds, is always sunny. Doesn’t get nearly as cold, never a frost by the coast, with it’s almost year round temp 70 (summers) – 60 (a cold winter day) With the warm Santa Annas maybe getting to 80, low 90’s in the east, for a few days out of the year. It’s a hard life for those who can afford it.

  • If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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