Least Stormy Cities in United States

California is America's center of calm weather. Four of the state's large cities make the lists for least often having heavy rain or thunderstorms. Plus they completely avoid snowstorms and hurricanes.

Here you'll find rankings of cities in the USA with the calmest weather. These cities have the fewest severe rainstorms and thunderstorms.

As well, there are lists of cities that never see snowstorms or hurricanes. (You can also view rankings for America's stormiest cities.)

Among California's cities with placid climates, San Diego stands out as enjoying the least stormy weather of all. San Diego averages just five days a year with either thunderstorms or major rainstorms. It ranks second among large US cities for fewest thunderstorms and fourth for fewest rainstorms.

Besides San Diego, three other California cities also have exceptionally low numbers of storms: Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco. As well, Las Vegas, Nevada rates high among those that seldom have storms, and is the city least likely to see heavy rain.

The major cities included in these weather rankings represent the 51 metropolitan areas in the United States with the most people, all those with over one million residents in 2010, according to the US Census Bureau. The snow and rain data are averages based on weather measurements collected for the NOAA National Climatic Data Center from 1981 to 2010. The thunderstorm numbers use 1961 to 1990 averages.

Fewest Heavy Rainstorms

Las Vegas is the major American city that least often gets drenched by a heavy rainstorm. The city averages just one day in five years when an inch or more of rain lands.

These dozen cities have less than five days a year with major rainstorms.

Average number of days a year with 1 inch (25 millimetres) or more of rain
City Days
Las Vegas, Nevada 0.2
Salt Lake City, Utah 0.6
Denver, Colorado 1.7
Phoenix, Arizona 1.8
San Diego, California 2.0
Riverside, California 2.1
San Jose, California 2.4
Los Angeles, California 3.1
Sacramento, California 3.3
Rochester, New York 4.1
San Francisco, California 4.4
Seattle, Washington 4.7

Cities That Never Get Snowstorms

For ten cities, snowfall is a freak event. If snow ever does land, it is so skimpy as to barely cover the ground. These cities normally never see a day when snowfall amounts to one-tenth of an inch (0.25 centimetres) or more: Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Riverside, California; Sacramento, California; San Diego, California; San Francisco, California; San Jose, California and Tampa, Florida

Another nine American cities can expect to never endure a serious snowstorm that leaves five inches or more of snow in one day: Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; New Orleans, Louisiana and San Antonio, Texas.

Fewest Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms least often show up over San Francisco and San Diego, which average just three days a year of thunder and lightning displays.

These 11 American cities see electrical storms on no more than 20 days a year.

Average number of days annually with thunderstorms
City Days
San Francisco, California 2.9
San Diego, California 3.0
Sacramento, California 4.5
Los Angeles, California 4.6
Seattle, Washington 6.8
Portland, Oregon 7.0
Las Vegas, Nevada 13.4
Boston, Massachusetts 17.7
New York, New York 19.4
Providence, Rhode Island 19.7
Hartford, Connecticut 19.9

Cities That Never Have Hurricanes

Out of the 51 largest cities in the US, nearly half never had a hurricane, tropical storm or subtropical storm come within 50 miles (80 kilometres) from 1900 to 2011.

The 24 storm-free cities are Buffalo, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Riverside, California; Sacramento, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Diego, California; San Francisco, California; San Jose, California; Seattle, Washington and St. Louis, Missouri.

References

National Climatic Data Center. NOAA's 1981-2010 Climate Normals.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Historical Hurricane Tracks.

World Meteorological Organization. Standard Normals. Number Days with Thunder.

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