Yesterday I shared with you our top 10 Best Weather Cities and today we have flipped the coin and look at what might be considered the worst weather locations in the USA. Since I live in Maine, cold temperatures, rain and snow is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, many people commented when we ran our list that it takes character to live in some o the harsher climates. But, we have to use the same criteria as we did yesterday which include sunshine, sky conditions, precipitation, humidity and wind to determine the “worst” cities for weather.
1. QUILLAYUTE, WASHINGTON–Ever heard of it? Neither had we. In fact, it’s not a city but a location where weather data is accumulated and because of the numbers, it ranks as the number one worst weather location. It is tied with Astoria, Oregon as the cloudiest U.S city (240 days) it is the most humid (83% relative humidity), and it is second in terms of rain (104.5 inches) and number of rainy days (210).
2. ASTORIA, OREGON–ties Quillayute for cloudiest in the nation (240 days), and comes in third in terms of wetness (69.6 inches per year/191 days).
3 & 4. MARQUETTE and SAULT ST. MARIE, MICHIGAN–We had a tie between these cities. They ranked number four and five (respectively) in terms of the coldest U.S. cities and numbers two and three as the snowiest cities. They both also ranked seventh and eighth among the rainiest cities. If you enjoy lots of rain, snow and cold weather, these are two places you must visit!
5 & 6. SYRACUSE and BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK–Similarly, two cities in New York State ran very close to each other in terms of cloud cover and precipitation. Syracuse ranks fourth among the rainiest cities in the U.S. (171 days); Binghamton came in tenth (162 days). Binghamton is among the top ten cloudiest cities (212 cloudy days annually) while Syracuse ranks fourth among the snowiest cities with 111.6 inches annually. Being adjacent to the St. Lawrence storm track and subject to color air masses approaching from the west and north, these cities must continually endure unsettled weather patterns.
7. ELKINS, WEST VIRGINIA–tied Syracuse for fourth rainiest city in the U.S. and also ranked just behind Binghamton in the number of cloudy days (211).
8. NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA–landed among the top ten in terms of wettest cities (59.74 inches annually) as well as among the most humid (75.5%). Living in New Orleans during the summer requires air conditioning!
9. EUGENE, OREGON–Ranked high in the cloud and humidity department. It experiences 209 cloud-filled days annually, and has an average relative humidity that ties New Orleans for eighth place overall.
On a positive note, the abundant moisture and moderate temperatures result in rapid growth of timber evergreens. This is a major industry here.
10. HILO, HAWAII–Hawaii is usually assumed to a paradise with sun-filled skies and perfect weather year-round. But this is not necessarily the case with Hilo. This humidity is number one among U.S. cities in terms of average annual precipitation with a whopping 128 inches. In fact, the wettest part of Hawaii (over 200 inches) is only about six miles up-slope from the city limits. Hilo also ranks number one in terms of the number of rainy days (277). So there is at least a 75 percent chance that on any given day in Hilo, some rain will fall.
Weather is just that, weather. We love it, we hate it. We talk about it every day. If you’re getting married you want sunshine, if you’re going to ski, it has to snow. Want a tan, hey, sunshine is a must. We all live in communities for a variety of reasons. The criteria we used to select our ten best and worst weather cities were strictly statistical.