Cloudiest Cities in the US

Cloudy weather definitely makes the indoors seem more cozy. It gives all of us an excuse to take it easy, recline with a book or some music within the comfort of our homes. Just the thought of sipping on a warm drink with the rain pouring outside your window is a whole different way of winding down after a long day.

But not every city in the US gets to enjoy these simple pleasures of a rainy and cloudy day. There’s a bunch that do and if you consider yourself a Pluviophile (rain lover) then you’re going to want to keep this list of cloudiest cities in the US handy. This list would be equally useful for those of you who don’t wish to relocate to a region that gets a lot of cloud coverage.

Overview Of The Cloudiest Regions In The US

If you’re looking for regions where cloudy days far outnumber sunny days then here are your top options:

  • The Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington)
  • The Northeast portion of the US (New York and Pennsylvania)
  • The Midwest side (Indiana, Ohio and Michigan)
  • If you want a region that is partially cloudy, you can turn to the Southeast (Florida and Alabama)

We know that the two obvious regions (Alaska and Hawaii) should ideally also be part of this list but we’ve not included it only because cloudy days are more of a normal phenomenon in these parts of the US solely due to their geographical location. The cloud cover in both Alaska and Hawaii can be on the extreme side of the spectrum which is incomparable with other contiguous regions in the US.

For instance, there are cities in Hawaii that get way more rainfall in a week than what a city in Seattle would most likely just get to experience over the whole year. To give you an idea, the average rainfall per year in Hawaii is at 68 inches! But if you compare it with Seattle that lies in the contiguous US, the average is just 38 inches. Since the margin is so vast, we feel it wouldn’t make sense to include them with the rest in the list.

All in all, by now you’re sure to have a good glimpse of regions you should keep your eye on if you’re looking to relocate to a place that has less sunny days. Let’s now move on to the specific cities within these regions that have cloudy weather. Like we mentioned, this list of cloudiest cities could be something to embrace or avoid as it all comes down to your personal preference.

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Top 8 Cloudiest Cities in the U.S.

Rank City State Cloudy Days Per Year
1 Seattle Washington 226
2 Portland Oregon 222
3 Buffalo New York 208
4 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 203
5 Cleveland Ohio 202
6 IndianapolisIndiana 278
7 Detroit Michigan 185
8 Miami Florida 175

Do note that the above list is the result of nationwide research conducted by the NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

We’ve further broken down the list into specific regions so that you’re able to glance through major cities of the USA that experience cloudy weather. Since the Northwest and Northeast are usually the only regions getting enough attention for being cloudy, we decided to go beyond the obvious ones so that you have a better understanding of the cloudiest cities.

Cloudiest Cities In The US By Region

A) Northwest

1. Seattle, Washington

On an average the city of Seattle receives 308 cloudy days per year. This means that you can expect days to have partly sunny skies 62% of the time year round. Rains along with gloomy skies is typically the image associated with the city of Seattle. If you’ve watched the classic Sleepless in Seattle,you’d probably get a good enough description of what the weather is like in this Emerald City.

Average annual rainfall in Seattle – 38 inches

Average annual rainfall in US – 34.78 inches

Pros other than the weather – Seattle has a strong reputation for being a modern and futuristic city. If you wish to have a fast paced lifestyle in a city with buzz then Seattle could be a great place to settle down. Residents here have easy access above average public transportation systems and newly developed infrastructure. There’s also no shortage of established companies and educational institutions in the city. It can be expensive to live in Seattle but then again the high per capita income makes up for it.

Median price of homes for sale in Seattle: $804,478

Median rent per month in Seattle: $1,496

See also: Moving to Seattle

2. Portland, Oregon

If you’re going to be moving to Portland, you’ve got to be ready to keep your umbrella around cloudy days per year is at 296 days. This makes Portland stand just one notch below where Seattle is. The results for Portland point out that it could be cloudy 61% of the time year round.

If you ask us to be real with you, new residents are often hit by SAD (seasonal affective disorder) since the dark grey skies can get quite intense from October to May. That being said, there’s always ways to keep your spirit high by exploring the scenic mountains, lakes and the coastline that the state has to offer both old and new residents.

Average annual rainfall in Portland – 42 inches

Average annual rainfall in US – 34.78 inches

Pros other than the weather – The city has a great number of green spaces and is also extremely cautious about the environment. Because of this, you’d find that a large percentage of people choose to bicycle or take public transit. Well-maintained bicycle lanes and countless manicured parks make it a neat city to live in. Portland is also Oregon’s hub for job opportunities.

Median price of homes for sale in Portland : $496,903

Median rent per month in Portland: $1,187

Also read: Moving To Portland Oregon

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B) Northeast

3. Buffalo, New York

Persistent cloudiness and not being able to see the sun for days is the usual everyday scenario for residents living in the beautiful city of Buffalo in New York. With an average of just 155 sunny days per year, a vast majority of days can get quite dark. The city also lies in close proximity to the Great Lakes and this is one of the driving factors for the city being cloudy 57% of the time.

Average annual rainfall in Buffalo – 39 inches

Average annual rainfall in US – 34.78 inches

Pros other than the weather – The city of Buffalo is the second largest city in the state of New York. The atmosphere of the town is on the enthusiastic side since there’s plenty of events and festivals that take place here. It is home to a large number of architectural buildings and is rich in history. Overall it is extremely family friendly and one of the most affordable areas to live in New York.

Median price of homes for sale in Buffalo: $166,593

Median rent per month in Buffalo : $1,095

See also: Moving to Buffalo NY

4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Just like most of the cities on this list, bright sunny days are a rare sight for those residing in the city of Pittsburgh. This city is also not too far away from the city of Buffalo, but sits right opposite it. So both these cities share few similarities when it comes to cloudy days. For instance, Pittsburgh experiences roughly 203 annual cloudy days while Buffalo is at 208.

Average annual rainfall in Pittsburgh – 38 inches

Average annual rainfall in US – 34.78 inches

Pros other than the weather – One of the top reasons people choose to move to Pittsburgh is the affordability of the city. Residents enjoy having all the perks and amenities of bigger cities like Seattle but at a modest cost of living. Pittsburgh also has beautiful riverfront areas and numerous parks.

Median price of homes for sale in Pittsburgh: $196,978

Median rent per month in Pittsburgh: $922

C) Midwest

5. Cleveland, Ohio

The city of Cleveland experiences roughly 202 days of heavy cloud coverage in a year. It’s safe to say that the sun here likes to stay dormant and remain away from sight regularly. Besides Cleveland, the city of Columbus and Cincinnati in Ohio also face similar cloud conditions.

Average annual rainfall in Cleveland – 38 inches

Average annual rainfall in US – 34.78 inches

Pros other than the weather – Cleveland is a mid-sized city that has a lovely riverfront and is in close proximity to vibrant hubs like Cincinnati and Columbus. The cost of living here is fairly low for the amenities its residents enjoy. The city has huge concentrations of art centers that adds to the aesthetic of the place.

Median price of homes for sale in Cleveland: $79,629

Median rent per month in Cleveland: $700

See Also: Best Neighborhoods In Columbus OH For Families

6. Indianapolis, Indiana

The city of Indianapolis has roughly 278 cloudy days in a year. Meaning that the skies are cloudy 76% of the time. Bright blue skies are spotted less frequently and you’d most likely witness cloudless skies that just turn grey in Indianapolis. The city doesn’t experience heavy cloud cover but partial clouds, which is when clouds cover one or upto three quarters of the sky, are a frequent phenomenon here.

Average annual rainfall in Indianapolis – 42 inches

Average annual rainfall in US – 34.78 inches

Pros other than the weather – There are many pros to living in Indianapolis. The city is situated in the middle of the state of Indiana and is a base for a large number of companies. Housing and the overall cost of living here is extremely affordable. It is also among the top cities to live in the Midwest US region.

Median price of homes for sale in Indianapolis: $129,300

Median rent per month in Indianapolis: $865

See also: Moving to Indiana

7. Detroit, Michigan

The city of Detroit is practically surrounded by the most cloudy states in the nation. It lies in close proximity to cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne. All these cities have a strong reputation for having cloudy weather and Detroit joins hands with them. On an average, the city experiences 185 days of heavy cloud coverage.

Average annual rainfall in Detroit – 34 inches

Average annual rainfall in US – 34.78 inches

Pros other than the weather – The city of Detroit is pretty affordable and the cost of housing is amazing. But if you’re planning to move there you have got to be careful about the neighborhood you select. The city has a long record for violent crimes so it is best to pick wisely.

Median price of homes for sale in Detroit: $44,910

Median rent per month in Detroit: $798

See also: Moving to Detroit | Top Neighborhoods In Detroit For Singles And Young Professionals

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D) Southeast

8. Miami, Florida

The state of Florida is globally recognized to be the Sunshine State of the US but the region has its share of not so sunny days. Ironic, we know. The state is prone to regular thunderstorms and hurricanes. The Miami region in particular experiences roughly 175 partially cloudy days in general over the course of the year.

This is why Miami makes it to the list even though the Southeast cities don’t get much attention for being cloudy. Residents who live here will agree that it’s completely normal for the skies to swing from cloudy to bright and sunny all the time.

Average annual rainfall in Florida – 54 inches

Average annual rainfall in US – 34.78 inches

Pros other than the weather – You get a little of everything, you have sun, sand and the sea to enjoy. Miami is also touristy so there’s a fair number of big stores and restaurants to explore. The lifestyle here is laid-back and vibrant so if you’re looking for a place with ample things to do outdoors, you can always consider Miami.

Median price of homes for sale in Miami: $383,982

Median rent per month in Miami: $1,120

See also: Moving to Miami FL

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which cities have the most amount of cloudy days?

Seattle, Portland, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Cleveland are some of the cities that have the most number of heavy cloud days.

Which cities are the least cloudy?

Phoenix, El Paso, Las Vegas, Tucson and Fresno are the cities that are the least cloudy since they have a high average of sunny days.

Which states in the US are extremely cloudy?

Alaska is the cloudiest non contiguous state in the US. But Ohio, Oregon, Washington, New York and Pennsylvania are the most cloudy states in the contiguous US.


Conclusion

Certain parts of the US are much more cloudy than others. Which is why it is best to do your homework on the climatic conditions of the regions you are visiting or moving to, since this would help you make a better decision. Also, be it hot, cold or cloudy, when you’re a new resident you have got to give yourself some time to adjust to the new atmosphere (figuratively and literally).

Besides weather, there’s various other things that need your attention such as cost of living and various lifestyle changes that lie ahead with the move. We suggest giving sufficient weight to these aspects so that you’re well versed with what the city has to offer you besides the fact that the weather will be gloomy.

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Also read: The 8 Sunniest Cities In The US

Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.