U.S Weather Myths Busted!

August 7, 2014 // Article by: Christina Speciale

Ever wonder if some of the common weather descriptions regarding several U.S cities and states are true? Well, we selected some of the most well-known weather myths for places in the US and discovered some surprising facts.

Is Florida truly "The Sunshine State"?

Despite the nickname, cities in Florida actually do not rank among the top sunniest places in the U.S. If you’re looking to soak up the sun, head to Arizona. Four of the top 10 cities are in "The Grand Canyon State" where 70 – 90% of the year is cloudless. Places in California, Texas and Nevada also observe more sunny days than Florida. However, St. Petersburg, FL does hold the Guinness Book World Record for the most consecutive sunny days at 768, which occurred between February 9, 1967 and March 17, 1969.

Is it constantly cloudy and wet in Seattle?

When Seattle comes to mind, most think of endless overcast and drizzle. But you may be surprised to learn it is not the cloudiest place in the country. The southeast coast of Alaska near Juneau is far cloudier where 70% of the year is overcast while Seattle’s skies are cloudy just 57% of the time. It should be noted that Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is the cloudiest place among the lower 48 with Seattle ranking as the 10th cloudiest city.

Also, if you travel to Seattle, chances are you don’t need an umbrella. Hawaii is actually the wettest state and even cities like New Orleans and New York City all receive more rainfall annually. But since Seattle does have a high frequency of days with drizzle/light rain (and thus cloudcover) between October and May, there is some validity to this saying. 

Does Chicago deserve the name "The Windy City"?

If you're looking for the windiest city in the country, head to Blue Hill, Massachusetts...not Chicago. But why the nickname if it's not that windy? Although there is some contention on how Chicago got this title, most agree it was coined from a publicity attempt in the late 1800’s to attract summer vacationers to the shores of Lake Michigan. Newspapers commented that the strong winds off the Lake provided an escape from the summer heat. 

Will you always see fog in San Francisco?

Even though most photos of San Francisco include the famous thick fog engulfing the Golden Gate Bridge, fog actually does not occur all year round. In fact, it mainly occurs during the summer months when a large temperature gradient exists between the cool waters of the California coast and the hot land of the Central Valley. These temperature differences act to push the fog inland towards San Francisco. In the fall and winter, the land does not heat up enough to create the gradient so the fog stays offshore. Now if you ever hear the common saying, "June Gloom" in regards to the city's weather, you know why!