Saturday, March 14, 2009

seattle weather is wonderful

No, no sarcasm there. I honestly like the weather out here.  The only thing is that no one seems to believe me. Subjectively I feel that it’s better since I feel like I see a lot more sun out here than I would back home.  Even on cloudy days here (like today) it’s fairly bright and the clouds are often patchy enough that the sun would poke through at one point or another.  The hills and the water help to highlight this effect by making it easier to see breaks in the clouds miles away (as in 50 miles away).  The sun may not be shining on me, but it’s nice to know that it’s shining somewhere nearby.  Temperature-wise, I’m OK with the cooler climate, especially since I like to do active activities outdoors.  No sweating if I bike up Capitol Hill!  And it’s cold enough that there’s snow in the mountains so I can ski, plus the occasional snow in the city for the sake of variety.

Objectively, I’ve looked at the climate data and it has told me that Cleveland and Seattle have the same number of sunny/cloudy days.  I looked at this data back in 2007 and I can’t seem to find it again.  What I could find was a different set of reports:


You can find data for your area here.  Note that the Cleveland data is from the airport, which is on the west side which gets less clouds, rain, and snow.  The Seattle data is from Seatac airport which gets more rain and clouds because the city of Seattle itself is more in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains.  In other words, it’s biased against my argument that Seattle’s weather is better than Cleveland’s.

Seattle – 150 days/year
Cleveland – 157 days/year (+7 days)

Heavy precipitation (>0.5”)
Seattle – 21 days/year
Cleveland – 23 days/year (+2 days)

Needlessly hot days (High >90F)
Seattle – 3 days/year
Cleveland – 9 days/year (+6 days)

Comfy days (High >50F, <90F)
Seattle – 278 days/year
Cleveland – 231 days/year (-47 days…  a month and a half less!)

Freeze days (Low <32F…  not that I really care)
Seattle – 30 days/year
Cleveland – 120 days/year (+90 days… or 3 months)

Days with snow on the ground (not that I personally mind snow)
Seattle – 4 days/year
Cleveland – 53 days/year

On a side note, Seattle gets an average of 5.7 days of snow a year.  That hardly justifies investing in a large fleet of vehicles to manage snowfall.  For weird winters like this, just deal with it.  I’d rather spend that money on a new 520 bridge.

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