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The Places in the US With the Most Pleasant Weather, Mapped

Illustration for article titled The Places in the US With the Most Pleasant Weather, Mapped

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.

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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.

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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]

Illustration for article titled The Places in the US With the Most Pleasant Weather, Mapped
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DISCUSSION

Apparently Boston has more pleasant days than Denver. Anyone who's lived or been in both cities will tell you that Denver >> Boston in terms of weather because a) Boston winters fucking sucks with all its gross slush and stupid amounts of wind and b) the summer is hot and disgustingly humid. Denver is nice and sunny and dry on the other hand. It's easy to escape Denver's summer heat and the winters are pretty mild IMO.

Using predominantly temperature to define pleasantness is definitely not the best way to do so.