America's Cloudiest Places in Winter

During December, January and February, heavy cloud concentrates in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. But especially cloudy places in winter can also be found all across the northern US, including in Montana, Michigan and New York.

Out of 260 major weather stations in America that track cloudy days, four—Olympia, Muskegon, Kalispell and Eugene—report heavy overcast on eight out of ten winter days. Heavy overcast is when cloud obscures over three-quarters of the sky.

The rankings consider long-term data from the 260 major weather stations in the US that track cloudy days.

When you add in days of partially cloudy weather, Buffalo, New York moves to the top of the list with 86 cloudy days during winter, or 96% of the season.

The list of cloudiest places doesn't change much, though. Most places that have 75% or more of winter days with heavy overcast, get cloud covering over one-quarter of the sky on at least 90% of winter days. The exceptions are Astoria, Spokane, Quillayute and Juneau.

Places in the US with more than three out of four days during winter when cloud covers over three-quarters of the sky.
Location Days in Winter
With Heavy Cloud
% of Days
Olympia, Washington 73 81
Muskegon, Michigan 73 81
Kalispell, Montana 72 80
Eugene, Oregon 72 80
Erie, Pennsylvania 71 79
Portland, Oregon 71 79
Missoula, Montana 70 78
Salem, Oregon 70 78
Seattle Airport, Washington 70 78
Astoria, Oregon 70 78
Cold Bay, Alaska 69 77
Lewiston, Idaho 69 77
Quillayute, Washington 69 77
Juneau, Alaska 69 77
Buffalo, New York 68 76
Cleveland, Ohio 68 76
Pendleton, Oregon 68 76
Medford, Oregon 68 76
Spokane, Washington 68 76
Annette, Alaska 68 76

Partial Cloudy Weather

Warm winter weather in many parts of Florida and Hawaii gets tempered with partially cloudy skies on at least one-third of winter days. These are days when cloud covers between one-quarter and three-quarters of the sky.

Places in United States with partial cloud on one in three days, normally, during winter.
Location Days in Winter With Partial Cloud % of Days
Lihue, Hawaii 39 43
Honolulu, Hawaii 39 43
Miami, Florida 38 42
Fort Myers, Florida 35 39
West Palm Beach, Florida 34 38
Hilo, Hawaii 32 36
Key West, Florida 32 36
Lander, Wyoming 30 33
Kahului, Hawaii 30 33
Alamosa, Colorado 30 33

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

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