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The 10 Worst Weather Cities

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.

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  • Eric says:

    I am surprised at the Sault Ste Marie submission. Marquette? Yes. They get more snow off Lake Superior. The Soo is just cloudy and cold. 6 out of 10 days are cloudy. I don’t mind clouds if it’s warm. In fact, my best days working in my gardens is on cloudy warm days. The problem with Mi. is its just too damn far north. The summers are short and can be hot and dry or cooler and damp but always short. You can have short, cool falls and get screwed out of fall color. November is ridiculous, gray for days and days on end. I cannot stand this state and the day I leave it forever will be one of the best days of my life. I have no idea how much snow I’ve shoveled in my life but I have no doubt it’s in the tons. And don’t even get me started on the summer tourists and the never ending festivals.

  • SortingHat says:

    What would be an interesting on here is a list of cities that are good and bad at handling heatwaves/snow events.

    Portland and Seattle sucks at both heat and cold and always have according to newspaper archives. Portland’s heat record is a staggering 107F actually which was a multi day 100+ event.

    *Blue Skies* in Oregon usually means a grey/white tint to it not really that blue at all though when the NW wind is stronger it can get close to what you’d call blue.

  • Jigglejaw says:

    Since wet and cloudy weather is assumed to be the worst, which I disagree with, and Hilo, HI is listed, then it’s a big oversight to not list places in Alaska such as Cold Bay and Juneau, with 304 and 280 days of clouds respectively.
    Also, Whittier, Alaska with 198 inches of annual precipitation, Ketchikan with 155, and so on. Coastal Alaska beats any place in the lower 48 for clouds and rain.

  • jimbo says:

    I live in Northern CA which is known for its preponderance of sunny days but many of them are now marred by ugly chemtrail spraying and other weather modification ops of the past two decades.

  • Have you ever researched Chemtrails?? says:

    Try St.Cloud Mn Horrible weather.I moved to McKinneyTx.It was gorgeous until the Govt decided to keep spraying..No im not nuts.70s one day.30s n snow next.Now look up.Its called Cloud Seeding..Been doing in since 60s.Started in SD when farmers needed rain.Noone will talk about it because they use it as population control.Look for groups on FB..Rich n Powerful…By the way Florida was HORRIBLE.Clouds.Rain.Cold.Not normal and getting worse.Az is nice…..But look at the x in the sky then don’t breathe!D

  • Hohmann says:

    I think Miami, Florida has the best weather conditions. I’ve been 4 times
    there,plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures

  • Slick736384 says:

    I disagree with what you’re calling the worst weather. Overcast is nice.

    The worst weather is in Lubbock Texas. It is one of the windiest places on the planet. The heat can reach 110 in the summer, and it still gets freezing cold in the winter. And it’s also got notoriously volatile weather from day to day.

    When it’s 110 outside and the wind is whipping dirt into your face at 40 mph all day, it feels like hell.

  • Rick says:

    Boston is the worst for weather. OMG. I was so happy to get oug of there. Atlanta is the worst for air quality. Lots of sun, but traffic hell. For me, Brasstown NC is the best! Sunny days, mild winters, and mountain vistas at every turn.

  • Jo Ann says:

    “Happiness is not where you are but who you are”…I’m about to learn that in a BIG way. My family just left Florida for Utah. I’m 66…grew up in the Paradise of Sarasota…lived in north/central Fl since ’69. I’ve been to Egypt in 110 degrees…loved the experience. I caught a snowflake on my tongue in the Swiss Alps. I’ve traveled the USA and the world. The USA wins and Sarasota was the most lovely place of all, for me. I have 2 choices…go or stay. I’m wrapping my head around making this experience “an extended vacation.” I’m thinking Utah is a good combination of Egypt and the Alps. I’ll keep my suitcase ready. 🙂 As long as we’re in North America we’re good! Happy Travels!

  • John says:

    I moved to Portland, OR after having lived in southern California and northern California for 5+ years. I also lived a long time in various parts of the East Coast. Even though the weather is “mild” here compared to the dead of winter in the Northeast, it feels colder to me because it’s damp/wet all the time. I’d take a sunny but cold day in New York over the “mild” drizzly, damp, gray days I experience here. And I was incredibly spoiled during my time in California, having lived close to the coast most of my time there. Even when it’s sunny here in Portland, the sky has a weird gray tint… it’s not clear blue like it is everywhere else I’ve lived. The total amount of precipitation is also not that much here, but it’s spread across so many more days instead of being concentrated that the rain isn’t refreshing so much as it is oppressive. On the other hand, a nice shower in the summer in the Northeast cools things down and is a welcome reprieve from the heat. What bothers me more than the rain is actually how many cloud covered days there are… it’s in the 200-240 days a year range. The summer weather is pretty good, with some days being absolutely perfect (70s, no humidity, no clouds), but Portland does heat up to around 90+ for a week or two a year, which ruins the maybe 2 months of great weather. A nice day is so rare for most of the year that people won’t shut up about it. I miss nice spring and summer weather and snowy winters (or just constant great weather like in southern California along the coast). The damp 8-9 months up here is difficult unless you grew up here or have lived here for a long time (and liked it enough to stay).

    I moved to Asheville, NC last year and most of the time it has been wet and grey. So many people told me that the grey comes and goes and that they have plenty of sun. I should have done further research. Yes, it is not as cold as some places and not as hot in the summer as others, but this place is awful. Most of the winter was cold, wet, and grey. Now it is spring and it is grey, wet and humid, which is making me feel kind of sick with body pain and headaches. Can’t wait to move back out west to my nice dry climate (either Colorado or Nevada), where, although it can get cold, it is generally more comfortable and much sunnier. I think I felt colder this winter in Asheville than I ever did in Colorado due to the dampness that cuts to your bones in winter. I don’t know how people here can stand this weather that they like to brag about so much. It’s so dreary and depressing, especially if you have SAD. I know only a few others who don’t have SAD who are moving because they miss the sunlight they used to get elsewhere.

  • Cat says:

    I moved to Asheville, NC last year and most of the time it has been wet and grey. So many people told me that the grey comes and goes and that they have plenty of sun. I should have done further research. Yes, it is not as cold as some places and not as hot in the summer as others, but this place is awful. Most of the winter was cold, wet, and grey. Now it is spring and it is grey, wet and humid, which is making me feel kind of sick with body pain and headaches. Can’t wait to move back out west to my nice dry climate (either Colorado or Nevada), where, although it can get cold, it is generally more comfortable and much sunnier. I think I felt colder this winter in Asheville than I ever did in Colorado due to the dampness that cuts to your bones in winter. I don’t know how people here can stand this weather that they like to brag about so much. It’s so dreary and depressing, especially if you have SAD. I know only a few others who don’t have SAD who are moving because they miss the sunlight they used to get elsewhere.

  • Joe L'schmoe says:

    My first year in Lehigh Valley,PA. Warm/humid,sunny during the summer.In winter,very cold,
    moderate snow,with icy conditions.It is very scenic though,especially during autumn with the mountains and valley’s.

  • Michel says:

    I have lived in Chicago for 28 years. The other 28 have been spent in Eugene, Oregon. I gotta say Eugene beats Chicago and just about every other place I’ve visited by a long shot. Life here simply goes by at a slower pace. Sometimes a little too slow, but I would take that any day over the traffic-cesspool-angrydriver-madness called Chicago. Not to mention the weather. ..Biting cold in the winter and hot sticky summers. What is enjoyable about that? Come on!! Okay maybe it rains a lot ( I love the rain) but that is waaaay better than the cold. For about four months or so, rain switches completely off from mid June to mid October anyway.
    The climate is what makes the NW unique too. Moss and lichen cover the trees and just about everything. Ferns everywhere. The grass is greener here…literally. In the winter, despite the clouds life is less grey than most of the rest of the country. While the eastern half of the US is a barren wasteland, everything here stays green year round. In my opinion, the weather here is the best part about living in Eugene

  • Charlie H says:

    The majority of the Central plaines part of Texas has lousy weather year round. This includes Decatur through North Texas, Dallas- Ft Worth on down the I-35 corridor to Austin. The winters are a bone chilling wet cold (and they’re long) for a Southern state, and the summers are hot and humid. There is no spring or fall in large parts of Texas, only two bad extremes with a few fair days. And did I mention the wind? It blows hard from the North or South. If it blows from the north it chills you to the bone. If it blows from the south you get thunderstorm type weather. The weather, like everything about Texas has no appeal in my view.

  • Jennifer says:

    Not sure how rain is synonymous with with bad weather. I grew up in Oregon and LOVED the rain and cool weather. To me, sun is bad weather. Lol. Too much sweat and uncomfortableness. Give me overcast and rainy any day of the year over hot and sunny.

  • Adam says:

    Yea right. It never rains in Florida anymore. Every single day is ugly with no clouds, wind or rain. Awful.

  • Robert Wilson says:

    I pity all you sucka’s …Even though I was conceived in our families home town of Austin, I was born in Santa Barbara, Ca. A street person here lives in better weather, than all of you.
    I AM glad also about the fact that few “think” they can afford to live here… I have been all over the U.S., and many parts of the world…and I can confidently say “I live in Santa Barbara, Ca., 2 Kilometers south of Paradise !!!…closer than any other place on the planet for year round 70 degree average temp., and about perfect moisture in the air for human comfort. I was 1 lucky S.O.B. to have been born here. Peace Hombres, and Hombrettes !

  • James Treanger says:

    I actually think SouthEast Michigan is pretty decent; 4 clear seasons, moderate summers (not as hot because of the Lakes), Snow avg about 36 inches. It gets cold, but not Minnesota cold. Some of the best wilderness and lakes in the world.

  • Zeke says:

    Chicago weather for me, isn’t what I’d call the ideal weather. It’s either way too humid/hot, ala Miami, with heavy thunderstorms and plenty of flooding problems. Winters also can be tough in the windy city with heavy snow fall and freezing cold. We’re searching for someplace with a cooler summer climate and mild winters. Even considering relocating abroad.

  • F.D.Maloney says:

    Extensive traveler and Pittsburgh should be on this well researched list. I have experience entire summers with zero sun,Lesden gray skies every day and the sun will show for 30 minutes before it disappears..
    Worse than Dublin,Ireland.

  • TxSage says:

    Why is the labeled the worst weather? That is merely an opinion. Just call it the most overcast cities or something like that. I LOVE cool grey solidly overcast skies. I feel 1000% better. I am searching for a place that is like this year round with 0 days of sun. White clouds or even a white hazy overcast is not the same so when people say “cloudiest” you don’t really know what they mean. To me bright sunny days & extreme temperatures are pure hell.

  • Danko says:

    Sounds like the people of Washington and Oregon are a little defensive. I guess it must be all that bad weather that makes you this way.

  • Zeke says:

    I’m surprised Chicago, IL, didn’t make the list.

  • Guamgecko says:

    Oh, boy. This makes it hard to decide on where to go! I spent most of my life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which at the time, I thought, was the armpit of the states. While it can get cold and windy, the sun is almost always shining. So I moved to Salem, Oregon. The complete opposite. I haven’t seen the sun in days. Rain, rain, and more rain. The dry desert in New Mexico, or the lush green of Oregon. It’s all subjective, I guess, to what you make of it. I went from one extreme to the other, and I would like a happy medium between the two.

  • jean says:

    How anyone can say”anything” bad about San Diego Ca.? The Weather is perfect. It is called America’s finest city for a reason. Alot of reasons
    , But keep saying negative things about it
    And stay away. It is paradise for us.

  • s2kreno says:

    People in the Northwest are smart — keep complaining about the weather and keep people away! I grew up in Hilo and it rained every afternoon at about 2. But it was over quickly. You stop caring about being wet because it isn’t cold. My family is now almost entirely in Oregon and I’m trying to decide between Bend and Kona (notice both are drier towns in wet states).

  • Barry says:

    I can’t believe Miami, Florida didn’t make the list. Long gone are the beautiful sunny skies that used to dominate the state. Florida has been plagued with mostly rainy weather, tornadoes and hurricanes.

  • dude i know says:

    This list is wrong. There is no comparison between weather on the west coast and the rest of the US. The Pacific Northwest has dry summer and wet winters. But this is only West of the Cascades, ther rest is desert and very dry.

    Hilo Hawaii? A tropical rainstorm is that dumps an inch of rain in 30 minutes can not be compared to the upped peninsula of michigan or the cloudier cities on the east coast.

  • tjbd says:

    Finally…it’s April 19th and this November 1st, 2013…my partner Joey and I are finally our of Oregon and in Southern California forever….it must have took an extra year to make this happen…but its happening! gonna be 75-80 end of the week….not bad for April but WE MUST HAVE SUN EVERY DAY! PERIOD! God blessed us with a decent income for California too–hope people see the light about this Oregon…..if you are lazy and wanna rot away–its a great place—no sun and rain yucko! loveugodbless tj kabbalah matthewshepard madonnalicious

  • T. Jones says:

    Lived in Portland OR for a little over a year, the gloomy dark skies really took a toll on the family. We moved as soon as we got the opportunity, fortunate to be able to do so. While there are many things to do there, the weather can be overwhelmingly oppressive/depressive. While I would go back to visit- it would not be in the Portland area, possibly Bend where the sun does shine.

  • Kyle says:

    This is not an intelligent list. I was born and raised in Seattle and now live in Portland. While our winter climate is undeniably wet the temperatures here very, very rarely drop below freezing. Winter days where the high temperature is below 40 degrees are uncommon. Similarly snow is extremely rare here because the winter temperatures are always so mild (generally between 40 and 50).

    Let’s not forget that summers in the Northwest are extremely dry. In fact, NW summers are drastically drier than the summers of most cities in the Midwest, the South or the East Coast – look it up. This is why cities like Atlanta, Orlando, Charlotte, etc.., actually receive more average rainfall than Seattle every year. Summer days in Portland/Seattle are almost always completely cloudless from start to finish with ZERO humidity whatsoever.

    Is the Portland/Seattle climate for everybody? No. But I have traveled extensively and I can assure you that Seattle/Portland have very pleasant, mild climates compared to the extreme crap that some people have to deal with.

  • Sam says:

    Without taking Alaska into account, I’d say this is pretty much invalid. Places in the arctic regularly see blizzards with wind chills of -80°F. Interior temps in the winter can be -60°F. The gulf coast can get 30 feet of snow in a season, the southeast is much like Washington and Oregon except it flirts with colder weather a lot more. Then take in the arctic hurricanes that plague the aleutian chain and kodiak island. And the wind that forms through the terrain gaps when a massive arctic high pressure system collides with a deep low. There’s a reason most of this state isn’t inhabited. In anchorage today, the state’s largest city, it is forecasted to gust over 100mph. At least summers can be nice, as long as you like foggy cool rain with nearly unlimited daylight

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