John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
A map tool reveals unexpected weather connections between far-flung cities.
If you’re planning to relocate but want to live somewhere with a near-exact temperature profile, where should you go?
That depends: Folks in San Francisco might choose San Luis Obispo 200 miles south, or Portugal’s Cabo Carvoeiro 5,600 miles east, as these locales have 99 percent similar monthly temperatures. Chicagoans could go to Ottawa or Dalian, China, whereas New Yorkers will feel at home in Dover, Maryland; Milford, Delaware; or Makhachkala, Russia.
That’s according to an engrossing map tool from Codeminders that compares places with equivalent climates. The service digs through more than a century of weather records from 4,000-plus domestic and international stations to uncover rather unexpected sister cities. “You will be surprised to discover that there are cities thousands miles apart,” writes Codeminders, “yet with almost identical average monthly temperatures.”
The tool neglects stuff like precipitation and propensity for house-leveling tornadoes, so you have to it with a grain of salt. Still, it’s fascinating to learn of all the places with temperature profiles akin to Washington, D.C., such as Qazvin, Iran:
Or the places that share Seattle's conditions, like Nantes, France, and the suburbs of Sydney, Australia:
The tool has been around for a while, though it’s just now getting Reddit love. Be sure to click the “Shift months” button if you want to see results in the Southern Hemisphere.