Having a “nice” weather day

Chances are you are if you live in Long Beach, CA.  Unsurprisingly, odds are much lower in Anchorage, AK.  Based on a reasonable, but ultimately somewhat arbitrary definition of nice days, the Post has a cool article on which cities have the most and least:

Using automated weather stations with relatively complete data between 1998 and 2018, we systematically evaluated every daily and hourly observation for 373 stations around the country for all 365 days of the year and computed the number of days per year that met all of the following specific criteria:

  • High temperature between 65 and 85 degrees
  • Maximum dew point temperature less than or equal to 65 degrees
  • Peak daily wind (including gusts) less than 25 mph
  • Average daily cloud cover less than or equal to 65 percent
  • No measurable precipitation


I’m no expert on Honolulu’s climate, but pretty sure I’d take it over most any other place but Southern California.  And I’m 99.9% sure I’d prefer it to Lubbock.  Maybe it’s too humid?  Presumably the 0 measurable precipitation is a problem for places that have brief rain on lots of days, too.  Dew point under 65 is definitely a good thing, but I wonder how much better, Raleigh, for example, would do if you let that get up to 66 or 67 (okay, probably not all that much).  Raleigh does make the top of the “middle of the pack” not worth an actual chart:

Here are additional city annual nice-day counts — ranking close to the middle of the pack:

  • Albuquerque: 50
  • Denver: 52
  • Miami: 53
  • Detroit: 54
  • Memphis: 54
  • Houston: 54
  • Louisville: 56
  • Indianapolis: 56
  • San Antonio: 57
  • Columbus: 57
  • New Orleans: 58
  • Nashville: 59
  • El Paso: 66
  • Raleigh: 66

Anyway, a fun exercise to think about all this.  My 2000-2002 home of Lubbock is definitely losing some days to the overly-windy problem.  And Raleigh may only have 9 more “nice days” per year than Columbus, but I would argue that, overall, the weather here is dramatically better.  I suppose we also need a count of “pretty good” days :-).  I think we’d do really well there.  A count of “bad days” would be fun, too.  No sun at all definitely hits that mark for me.

Anyway, fun stuff.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

6 Responses to Having a “nice” weather day

  1. Tom Birkland says:

    Hey, I grew up in Anchorage, and we had more than 20 nice days a year. Maybe as many as 25! Seriously, it’s the 65 degree threshold that kills Anchorage–a warm summer day in Anchorage is in the high 60s to low 70s. And as I write this, it’s 61 and cloudy in Anchorage (see, not a good day) but it’s sunny and 91 in Raleigh, and “feels like” 102. Oh, and the sun sets in Anchorage today at 10:18 pm. Ahh, to be in Anchorage right now. Sure, we paid the price in the winter, with about 5.5 hours of daylight in December. The summers in Anchorage were short, but glorious.

  2. Jason says:

    Weather/forecast reporting is by far the biggest source of bias in the media! Give me cloudy and 50 over sunny and 80 any day. I yell at the radio when the NPR weather guy says something like “another beautiful day with a high of 90.” No! It’s not beautiful! It’s stultifying!

    • Steve Greene says:

      I’ll take the 80; 90 not so much. As for 90 and sunny vs 50 and cloudy, depends very much on what I’m doing that day. I’ll probably take the former.

      • Nicole K. says:

        The humidity in Raleigh is what kills me. 90 and low humidity is bearable. 90 and feeling like the air is so thick I can feel it is not. That’s especially true since the high doses of stimulants I take on a daily basis make me extremely uncomfortable with higher temperatures. I try and keep my apartment at 66-69 degrees at all times. That’s more or less my perfect temperature range.

      • Steve Greene says:

        69 degrees inside and I’m wearing a thermal undershirt and a sweatshirt :-).

  3. R. Jenrette says:

    When we arrived in England many years ago thanks to the USAF we were greeted with the headline “Many in crowds faint in 70 degree heat at soccer games”. We, having lived in Miami, were putting on our long johns.
    It’s all individual perspective.

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