Kelly Norton

They're all in California, according to this NOAA-informed map.

"Nice" weather is extremely subjective. Who's to say that basking under the Florida Keys's sun-washed skies is any less sublime than crunching through fresh snow in Bangor, Maine?

Well, software engineer Kelly Norton might politely disagree. Norton spent his January flying to and from New York, and was mightily bummed at the weather whenever he got off his plane. "Whichever way I went, bitter cold greeted me at the end of the jet way and often with a coating of slick ice," he writes on his website. "It’s hard not to dwell on anomalous and unpleasant weather. It got me wondering, though, where in the U.S. do you go if you want the most 'pleasant' days in a year?"

To answer that question, Norton designed a map of where in America you're most likely to experience days of "pleasant" weather. Being from Atlanta, the engineer defined pleasant using rather Southern parameters: The mean temperature must be between 75 and 55 degrees, and the day's minimum can't drop below 45 nor the max exceed 85. Using that criteria and a mother lode of meteorological data from NOAA, he was able to elicit what are allegedly the country's most fair-weather burgs. Not surprisingly, they are all in California:

1. Los Angeles (an average of 183 "pleasant" days per year)
2. San Diego (182)
3. Oxnard (166)
4. Simi Valley (156)
5. San Francisco (153)

As someone who's lived in San Francisco, I would take serious issue with calling the city's weather "pleasant." Due to ever-shifting fog and sun-obscuring clouds and ocean wind that can be like a litter-spewing jet engine to the face, you need to carry around an arsenal of layers to don or shed at any given moment. I expect people around the nation looking at Norton's analysis would take issue with some other designations, as well. Like his list of the five "least pleasant places":

1. McAllister, Montana (14 days)
2. Northeast of Reno, Nevada (15)
3. Clancy, Montana (15)
4. Douglas, Wyoming (15)
5. East of Cedarville, California (16)

In Norton's estimation, there is a vast zone of unpleasant weather hovering above the American West. He seems to be expecting residents of least-pleasant Montana to carp about his low tolerance for the cold: "I’m sure, though, they would shake their frost-bitten fingers at me and remind me that not everyone can take the overwhelming heat of 55° F." But I believe he's onto something, given McAllister's butt-chapping forecast from Wednesday:

You can get detailed readings for how "pleasantness" changes month to month by scrolling over the interactive map. People of the Northeast, take heart: While your variously plowed streets might be choked with snow right now, it's only 207 days until September!

Map images by Kelly Norton

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: A lone tourist in Barcelona, one of several global cities that have seen a massive crash in Airbnb bookings.
    Coronavirus

    Can Airbnb Survive Coronavirus?

    The short-term rental market is reeling from the coronavirus-driven tourism collapse. Can the industry’s dominant player stage a comeback after lockdowns lift?

  2. Illustration: two roommates share a couch with a Covid-19 virus.
    Coronavirus

    For Roommates Under Coronavirus Lockdown, There Are a Lot of New Rules

    Renters in apartments and houses share more than just germs with their roommates: Life under coronavirus lockdown means negotiating new social rules.

  3. Equity

    The Problem With a Coronavirus Rent Strike

    Because of coronavirus, millions of tenants won’t be able to write rent checks. But calls for a rent holiday often ignore the longer-term economic effects.

  4. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  5. A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.
    Equity

    The Geography of Coronavirus

    What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

×