Most maps these days tell us how bad the weather is or how climate change is ruining our neighbourhood. So this one, which shows how many pleasant days per year areas of the US get, is a refreshing change.

Of course, defining what counts as a "pleasant" day isn't easy, but Kelly Norton, who made this map, had a good go:

"Pleasant" here means the mean temperature was between (55° F and 75° F), the minimum temperature was above 45° F, the maximum temperature was below 85° F and there was no significant precipitation or snow depth.

Which sounds very... pleasant to me. Armed with that definition, Norton mined NOAA data for the last 23 years to create the above map. The map's simple: the thicker the circle, the more pleasant days in that spot. He explains what he found:


The results, I think, are not that surprising and pretty much affirm the answer given off the cuff by many of my west coast friends when asked about the best places, "Southern California?" For the areas with the least pleasant days, I admit I would have guessed North Dakota. However, it's much of Montana that gets an average of a couple of weeks of pleasantness each year.

If you're the competitive sort, you can see exactly how your location performs by checking out the interactive map on her site. For the rest of us, the top and bottom five locations are listed below. [Kelly Norton via Flowing Data]