Cloudiest Cities in America

Heavy Cloud

The west coast cities of Portland and Seattle top the list of cloudiest large cities in the United States.

Overall, ten major American cities have solid overcast for more than 180 days a year. Besides the Pacific Northwest, cities with frequent cloudy weather are mainly near the Great Lakes.

The major cities included in the weather rankings represent the 56 metropolitan areas in the United States with over one million people in 2020. Cloud cover information is not available from the National Climatic Data Center for San Jose and Riverside California, so they were left out of the cloudiest city ratings.

Cloudiest major US cities, where over half the days a year cloud covers more than three-quarters of the sky
City Days of Heavy Cloud % of Days
Seattle, Washington 226 62
Portland, Oregon 222 61
Buffalo, New York 208 57
Grand Rapids, Michigan 205 56
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 203 56
Cleveland, Ohio 202 55
Rochester, New York 200 55
Columbus, Ohio 190 52
Cincinnati, Ohio 186 51
Detroit, Michigan 185 51

Most Cloudy Days

Days of partial cloud are more common in Buffalo than in Seattle or Portland. Partial cloud is defined as cloud covering from over one-quarter to as much as three-quarters of the sky.

When days with partial cloud are added to the days of heavy cloud, to include every day that cloud covers more than one-quarter of the sky, then Buffalo's average of 311 days a year edges out Seattle's 308 days. Portland drops down to the country's sixth cloudiest major city.

Large US cities that average at least 275 days a year, when cloud covers over one-quarter of the sky
City Cloudy Days a Year % of Days
Buffalo, New York 311 85
Seattle, Washington 308 84
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 306 84
Rochester, New York 304 83
Grand Rapids, Michigan 301 82
Cleveland, Ohio 299 82
Portland, Oregon 296 81
Columbus, Ohio 293 80
Detroit, Michigan 290 79
Miami, Florida 290 79
Cincinnati, Ohio 284 78
Hartford, Connecticut 283 78
Chicago, Illinois 281 77
Indianapolis, Indiana 278 76
Orlando, Florida 277 76
Honolulu, Hawaii 275 75
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 275 75
Houston, Texas 275 75

Partial Cloud

Fifteen of America's major cities average over 110 days a year of partially cloudy weather. These are days when cloud covers between one-quarter and three-quarters of the sky.

None of these partially cloudy cities have enough days of heavy overcast, when cloud covers more than three-quarters of the sky, to rank among the cloudiest cities in the United States.

Major US cities that average over 110 partially cloudy days a year
City Partially Cloudy Days % of Days
Honolulu, Hawaii 181 50
Miami, Florida 175 48
Orlando, Florida 147 40
Tampa, Florida 143 39
Denver, Colorado 130 36
Jacksonville, Florida 127 35
New York, New York 127 35
San Antonio, Texas 119 33
New Orleans, Louisiana 118 32
San Diego, California 117 32
Los Angeles, California 116 32
Houston, Texas 114 31
Austin, Texas 114 31
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 112 31
Birmingham, Alabama 111 30

NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Comparative Climatic Data Publication.

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