University of Alaska climate scientist Brian Brettschneider and his team of researchers wanted to find out which American cities (with populations of at least 125,000) rack up the most “nice days” per year. And while California cities top the list, Atlanta’s not too far behind.
But what exactly is a “nice day?”
“The criteria we used make the assumption that people prefer days with moderately warm temperatures, at least partial sunshine, a light breeze, low humidity and no precipitation,” Brettschneider wrote for the Washington Post. “In other words, we’re highlighting comfortable days that don’t require a jacket, when you don’t feel like you’re stepping into a sauna, and when you won’t get poured on or blown away. If you disagree, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.”
Based on the strict criteria listed below, researchers systematically evaluated 1998-2018 data from 373 weather stations around the country for 365 days of the year and calculated the number of nice days for each city.
Specific nice-day criteria:
- Temperature: 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit
- Maximum dew point temperature: Less than or equal to 65 degrees
- Peak daily wind: Less than 25 miles per hour
- Average daily cloud cover: Less than or equal to 65 percent
- No measurable precipitation
With a whopping 210 nice days per year, Long Beach, California, came out on top. Then, Los Angeles with 182.
Other California cities in the top 10 include San Jose, Oakland, Fresno and Stockton.
According to Brettschneider’s analysis, Atlanta tied with San Francisco with about 73 nice days per year. The cities are in good company with other high-scorers: Seattle (78); Portland, Oregon (74) and Charlotte, North Carolina (74).
Unfortunately, folks in Anchorage, Alaska, get the least good weather days of all big American cities — only 20.
In the Southeast, “many days in October and November (greater than 50 percent) meet the target criteria, and so do quite a few in the spring,” according to the report, but September had the highest number of nice days across the board.
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