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Top 10 Cloudiest U.S. States

Top 10 Cloudiest U.S. States

Here at the Farmers’ Almanac, we love weather topics of all kinds, and will often explore the many varied climates of cities and states around North America — foggiest, hottest, rainiest, worst weather, best gardening, to name a few. The following states, listed in order from the most to the fewest days of full sunshine, are the ten cloudiest states in the U.S. Are you living in one of them?

10. Connecticut. With climactic influences from the Great Lakes, Connecticut sees more than its fair share of cloud cover. In places like Hartford, you’ll only get around 82 fully sunny days per year. Bridgeport fares a little better with 99 sunny days each year.

9. Montana. People call this state “Big Sky Country,” not “Clear Sky Country.” Because the Continental Divide runs through the western end of the state, Montana experiences diverse, unpredictable weather. In some spots, like Kalispell or Missoula, you can expect as little as 70 to 75 cloudless days a year.

8. Ohio. Because Ohio sees both arctic air masses out of Canada and tropical air masses from southern regions, this state’s climate is extremely diverse. The northern half of the state also experiences frequent lake effect snow over the winter. Just south of Lake Erie, you’ll see between 63 and 68 days of sunshine. Central and southern Ohio gets between 72 and 77 clear days per year.

7. Michigan. Many of the cloudiest states share a border with one of the Great Lakes, but Michigan is virtually surrounded by them. As cold winds rush over Lake Superior and Lake Huron during the winter, lots of condensation forms, bringing clouds and tons of lake effect snow. Because of this and other climate factors, no matter where you live in Michigan, you’re only likely to see between 65 and 75 clear days each year.

6. West Virginia. The Allegheny Mountains that stretch along the border between West Virginia and Virginia are responsible for much of the overcast weather in this state. Because the Alleghenies trap moisture flowing into the state from the north and west, most of the state experiences only 60 to 65 clear days per year. One city – Elkins – only gets 48 clear days a year.

5. Oregon. Oregon’s climate is a product of the Pacific Ocean and the state’s many mountain ranges. As ocean air drifts inland, the mountainous terrain forces those moist air masses to rise higher and higher, forming clouds and dumping rain and snow as they go. Because of this, cities like Astoria, Eugene and Portland see between 50 and 75 sunny days each year. Once you get past those mountain ranges, however, the eastern side of Oregon is actually extremely sunny. Eastern cities like Medford and Burns reporting 120 clear days each year.

4. New York. New York has several climate factors that put it high on the list of cloudy states. The Great Lakes contribute, adding a few snow days each year. This state is also on a collision course with cold air masses coming out of the north and west. In addition, New York lies alongside the St. Lawrence Valley storm track. Cities like Binghamton and Buffalo, only see about 52 to 54 days of sunshine each year.

3. Alaska. Many consider Alaska to be the cloudiest state in the nation, but actually, the majority of Alaska gets just as much sun as the Great Plains. The shore along the Gulf of Alaska, however, is an entirely different story. Juneau, for instance, averages just 44 days of sun per year. Farther up the Gulf, cities like Anchorage and Fairbanks get between 60 and 70 clear days per year.

2. Vermont. Lake Champlain, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Green Mountains are just a few of the factors that account for Vermont’s huge number of overcast days. Winds blow storms in from the northwest in the winter and the southwest in the summer. With a highly active climate, Vermont only sees 58 days of full sunshine each year.

1. Washington. Washington State features a climate that is similar to Oregon’s, but even more extreme. Between the effects of the Pacific Ocean, the Cascades and more, cities like Olympia receive 52 days of full sun per year. Seattle fares slightly better with 71 days of full sunshine. Like Oregon, the eastern half of the state sees far more sunshine. Places like Yakima get as much as 109 days of full sun each year.

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  • Bob says:

    I highly disagree with the Oregon comment. Oregon in the summer literally has around 4 months of cloudless skies.

  • Bob Thompson says:

    @Guy Smith — tell me about it! I am SICK AND TIRED of sunny weather, especially in the winter when it’s cold! And it seems to always happen on my days off from work. In summer I don’t mind so much because it’s hot, and summer haze takes some of the glare out of the sun. I didn’t find this article biased in any way, other than to say cities with more sun “fared better”, but I guess they’re speaking to an audience of mostly people who prefer sunshine. If I lived in Florida I might feel differently myself.

  • Guy smith says:

    This really pisses me off. Why is more sunny days deemed “BETTER”? I. Hate. Sunny. Weather. So keep your generic sheeple herd mentality opinions to yourself article, and stick with your job of stating the facts, nothing more. It really is infuriating to hear this stupid crap ALL THE TIME from every single person on the planet besides me who’s not a dumb conformist.

    • Susan Higgins says:

      We’re sorry this article angered you so much, Guy!

    • fuck off says:

      fuck off, bitch.

    • Diverse American says:

      Its hilarious to me that some ppl can hate sunny weather to the point they actually get this angry about this article. Here in Ohio ppl flock outdoors whenever the sun comes out and everyone comments how nice it is, so it’s very obvious that the majority of ppl DO like sunshine. Those who hate it are indeed a minority. It’s also a fact that lack of sun can lead to depression… see any connection..?

    • Wolfia says:

      AMEN – Depression AND Anger, Apparently .
      ~ M A N Y, FIND IT
      N E C E S S A R Y, To incorporate ‘Mood Stabilizing’, Medication(s), Due to SAD- A PHysically Based Condition .
      Lack Of SUN, Not Only Produces, A Lack Of ‘VItAMIN D’….It ALSO Affects How Much MELATONIN, YOUR BODY
      Can Assist You With – After Sundown, to Enhance GOOD SLEEP – A Human Health Demand!!!

    • Jay says:

      Everybody relax everyone has a different opinion and feel to the weather they like. Let’s not gang up on anyone.

      I agree with Guy to the point that not everyone likes sunny and hot days all the time. There are people that like medium cool temperatures and shaded areas. Hence the term got it made in the shade with some lemonade. That’s because there’s nothing more depressing than oppression.

  • James Phillips says:

    I like to tell people Ohio has the Ravenna air force base, and the alien and ships from Roswell new Mexico. Because Ohio is one of the cloudiest places in America, and satellites will have a hard time seeing stuff. Makes Ohio sound cooler than it is cause everyone’s depressed from the lack of sun.

  • jamy says:

    is it alaska?

  • jamy says:

    you guys kill your self i hate you but i like you guys just kidding is wait? it Nevada?

  • jamy says:

    wow thats cool

  • nora says:

    the most beautiful cloud formations are near forests, parks, mountains, oceans, and
    water features, rivers, lakes, streams, creeks, brooks
    Picturesque sunrises and spectacular sunsets are reflected in the clouds

  • Lee Honeycutt says:

    I currently live in Southern MS/LA, I am from this area and love it. However, the summers are horrible, hot and humid. If we have clouds, we still have heat and humidity, we don’t get a break. When we were without power during the week after hurricane Gustov, it was cloudy and everything molded. Everything- wood, concrete, metal, plastic, glass, dirt- everything! Just miserable. I spent 10 years in Alaska, (Anchorage area and Kenai Peninsula) and loved the low humidity in the summer the winters were not as bad as some would think but they are really long. I would love to live in a place with 4 seasons, not just 2 like Louisiana and Alaska!

    • Jay says:

      Exactly. You couldn’t have said it better Louisiana Summer sucks.

      I would have to agree with everything you just said.

  • Mark Lanz says:

    There are at least two different Washingtons, divided by the Cascade Mountain Range. Eastern Washington is a fantastic place to live.

  • Greenwoodsy says:

    I love my cloudy western Oregon! Cool, cloudy and gray is how I like it. There is nothing I hate more than a cloudless sky. If the sun wants to peep through a tiny bit through some cloud cover, that’s about as much sun as I care for. Unfortunately, most years we get a lot more than the mentioned 50 to 75 sunny or hot days. This summer has been torture from April to September. It is just now beginning to cool off. Not everyone loves summer and sunshine. I am tired of the assumption that sunny is better. All I want is coolness and clouds. And lots of forest for shade.

    • D says:

      Everyone is different . I live in Phoenix and I get upset when there is any cloud cover blocking the blue sunny desert sky

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