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The Truth About Seattle Sunshine

There is a cartoon that has been making the rounds in online Seattle circles lately.

The cartoon is here, and I include this scaled-down version simply for discussion purposes:

The 4 Seasons of Seattle Weather

Now, I like the cartoon. It’s funny. I laughed. It’s up there with my other favorite Seattle weather saying:

“April showers bring May showers.”

Creative exaggeration is a staple of humor, and it is to be appreciated.

While my right brain had a good laugh at the illustration, my left brain kicked into gear.

“Sure, it’s cloudy here a lot, but just how exaggerated IS this cartoon?”, I wondered.

Well, after an afternoon of research, I have the answer.

First, the cartoon does deserve some props. It does make a valid comparative point.

I have learned that Seattle is, indeed, the least sunny major city in the continental United States. We have more clouds and more days of rain than any other city in the lower 48 (not counting smaller places like Forks and Aberdeen).

But, what exactly does “least amount” mean?

“Least” by double the average? Triple?

These are very important considerations as getting 5% less sunshine and 90% less sunshine makes a world of difference. The cartoon says that Seattle gets two seconds of sunshine each year, and I know that it was meant to be silly, but just HOW silly you probably underestimated.

The fact of the matter is that Seattle gets significantly more than two seconds of sunlight per year. We actually get 2,174 (two thousand one hundred seventy four) hours. Put into “12 hour daytime” terms, this is 175 days of clear, unobstructed sunshine. Each and every year.

So, how does this compare to the rest of the USA?

New York City gets 2,600 hours of sunshine per year, which is 17% more than Seattle receives;
Portland gets 2,347 hours, which is 8% more than Seattle;
Chicago gets 2,511 hours, 14% more;
Buffalo gets 2,204 hours, 1% more;
Boston gets 2,638 hours, 18% more;
Miami gets 3,154 hours, 31% more;
Los Angeles gets 3,265 hours, 35% more;

So, while Seattle is certainly cloudy IN RELATION to most other U.S. cities, it’s not overwhelmingly so. It’s only about 1/5th more gloomy than our largest city, New York.

But, what about the rest of the world?

This is where things get interesting, and the myth of Seattle’s unique doom and gloom really begins to get shattered.

Check this out:

London gets only 1,461 hours of sunshine each year. This is a full 33% LESS than Seattle;
Paris gets 1,630 hours, 26% less.
Berlin receives 1,625 hours, 26% less.
Amsterdam 1,601 hours, 27% less.

That’s only Europe, though, how about the other side of the world?

Here again, Seattle does “well”.

Tokyo gets only 1,847 hours of sunlight each year, which is a full 15% less than Seattle, and Seoul, Korea gets 2,114, which is about on par with us.

So, what does all of this mean?

It means that, while Seattle is dim by United States standards, it is actually quite bright by international standards.  The USA as a whole is a very bright nation, and even though Seattle is the “dimmest of the brightest”, it’s still much brighter than most of the rest of the industrialized world.

“But, if that’s true, why do Seattle people complain about the weather more than all of those other cities?”

The answer is fairly simple.

Most Seattleites moved here from somewhere else in the country, and as we’ve already established, Seattle is the dimmest place in a fairly bright nation.  This being the case, it is dim in relation to where most transplants moved from.  In addition, Seattle is an overwhelmingly white, affluent city.  Such a demographic is not known for it’s graceful tolerance of discomfort.

For crying out loud, we’re the city that banned the term “brown paper bag” because we found it offensive.  Can you imagine how offended we get when it drizzles on our ultimate frisbee tournament?  It’s like the Holocaust, only worse.

No, we’re not a people accustomed to hardship of any kind.  If you’ve ever read “The Princess and the Pea”, then you’ve read a story about a typical Seattle transplant.

There is another question that I often hear … “Why do people who don’t like the clouds move to Seattle? ”

After much consideration, literally years worth, this is one that I have yet to find the answer to.  I mean, call me crazy, but if clouds made me depressed, I’d move … you know, anywhere else.

Such is the nature of the affluent white person, though.  They come anyway.  Perhaps they think they’re so special that the weather will change once they get here.   Maybe they just like to complain, and the Seattle weather gives them 7 months out of the year to do that, without requiring them to endure any real hardship.

These are just theories, though.  I really don’t know.

What I do know, is that the people who genuinely whine and moan about the gloom in Seattle would never make it in Europe or Japan. If they think it’s bad here, they would be completely overwhelmed in those other locales.

Update: Last, but not least, allow me to share my own Seattle weather cartoon which, while still exaggerated, is actually far more accurate:

Seattle Weather - Real 4 Seasons

For more Seattle Weather mythbusting:

http://www.seattlerex.com/dear-seattle-meteorologists/

http://www.seattlerex.com/yellow-meteorology/

35 comments to The Truth About Seattle Sunshine

  • v

    We lived on Capitol Hill for about a year (after having lived too many places to name). When leaving, we remarked that we felt lucky to have lived there during a year of such mild weather, allowing us to continually explore the city and surrounding areas, and to spend much of our time there on ferry decks and foot (we walked to and from work, downtown, almost every day). Jaws dropped. We were informed that we’d been there during one of the coldest, rainiest, and snowiest years in decades. It was our turn to be shocked. Seattle’s denizens are definitely not as “worldly” as one might assume.

    I very much enjoy your writing. Came for the 10 Worst Things About Living in Vegas. Great piece. I almost bought a house.

  • Seattle Weather Freeze

    This is simply a brilliant post!

  • Valparaiso

    Go talk to a doctor about Seattle’s weather and its not-so-cool effects on people’s health, honey. It DOES affect people’s lives beyond their “hipsterness”.

    Oh, and I agree with you when you say “All of you hipsters out there who think you are worldy and international better stop complaining about the Seattle gloominess, and fast. It’s blowing your cover. You’re announcing to the world that you could never survive in far hipper and more urban environs. Your average American-ness is showing — a fate worse than death among the fixie-riding, MacBook-toting crowd.”

  • Donatien Martinez-Labegerie

    Bilbao (a Basque town in the “sunny Spain”) gets 1584 sunshine hours per year. I thought that Seattle was like Bilbao, but I see that it is much better.

  • Nederlander

    This is a great article, especially for us expats living around Amsterdam that realize how crappy the Dutch weather can be. Just curious – what was the source used for these stats? Thanks!

  • Bill

    Regarding the question in another comment, “what was the source used”, it looks like the data at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA – the federal weather folks): http://ols.nndc.noaa.gov/plolstore/plsql/olstore.prodspecific?prodnum=C00095-PUB-A0001

    Regarding the article, it was amusing (cartoon), factual and interesting (weather data and comparative observatons) … and then began the wild stereotyping. Is there data for that, too, or is that just your rant based on anecdotal experience with a few people? Instead of dissing people, you might want to check your facts on the relationship between sunshine and mood. It’s been studied, and it’s real.

    • Seattle Rex Seattle Rex

      Regarding the article, it was amusing (cartoon), factual and interesting (weather data and comparative observatons) … and then began the wild stereotyping. Is there data for that, too, or is that just your rant based on anecdotal experience with a few people? Instead of dissing people, you might want to check your facts on the relationship between sunshine and mood. It’s been studied, and it’s real.

      Oh it’s real is it?

      You’re going to go out on a limb, and stake your stellar reputation on that claim are you?

      I mean, you certainly sound confident. Then again, anonymous commenters always sound confident.

      See, there’s a reason why I rarely reply to comments on my own blog, and the reason is because debating anonymous people on the web is as futile as trying to successfully masturbate to a picture of Rosie O’Donnel.

      Bill, I’ve been doing this for 8 years, and people know me. Maybe not a lot of people, but certainly enough to have established some kind of reader-base, and enough to be held accountable should I post something completely inaccurate, which I will then have to try and correct over the ridicule. I have a domain, people know me, and many people know where to find me, both online and in meatspace.

      You?

      Well, you’re “Bill”.

      Yeah, “Bill”. One of the millions of “Bill”s worldwide.

      You see, Bill, you can post whatever you want. It doesn’t matter. Right, wrong, or otherwise, you’ll never be held accountable by anyone. You’ll never risk weird looks at work, and you’ll never risk phone calls from friends or colleagues calling you out on your errors. After all, you’re anonymous Bill.

      So, with that in mind, and because I’m having such a great Father’s Day, let’s examine your brilliant comment here.

      You admonish me to “check my facts”, then you go on to tell me that a study exists which directly rebuts my own findings.

      Did you post the study, though?

      No. No you did not.

      Why?

      Because you’re “Bill”, and as we all know, “Bill” don’t need no steeeeeeeenking studies. Bill doesn’t really need much of anything. The chances of anyone ever seeing “Bill” again are low at best, so Bill can make whatever claims he wants, risk-free.

      Pretty cool, huh?

      Face it, it’s good to be Bill.

      Anyway, Bill, today, for whatever reason, you’ve chosen to squat in front of my particular digital doorstep and pinch out the care package that you left above. I guess I drew the short straw this weekend, eh?

      I don’t mean to sound annoyed, though. Upon re-reading your little pearl of wisdom, I can’t help but feel that you tried. I mean, you at least made a cursory effort to sound like you knew what the fuck you were talking about.

      Alas, this is the Internet. The only place in the known solar system where absolutely NOBODY knows what the fuck they are talking about, and they aren’t afraid to show it.

      See, Bill, here’s the thing. There really aren’t many studies showing a dramatic correlation between weather and mood. I’ve looked, oh how I’ve looked. In fact, quite the opposite has been observed on many an occasion.

      Did you know that the most crime-riddled, third-world shitholes on our particular rock happen to be concentrated in warmer, sunnier areas, while those countries with the highest levels of self-reported happiness tend to be the cloudiest and coldest. Countries like Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Canada, etc.

      Weird, huh?

      Did you know that sun and heat has been repeatedly shown to provoke anger, agitation, and violence?

      It’s true, Bill. Ask your local policeman. It’s one of the reasons why crime rates go up in the summer.

      Did you also know that one of the largest studies on weather and mood showed that, despite the “common knowledge” to the contrary, weather had a very weak effect on a person’s outlook.

      Want a link, Bill? Well, here you go:

      http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/11/weather-has-little-effect-on-mood.php

      Read it. It’s interesting.

      Do you feel misled by the masses, Bill?

      Well, you should, because the fact of the matter is, they just made shit up, shoveled it down your throat, and like all of the other Bills in the world … you believed it.

      Don’t worry about it too much, though. At least in this case, you haven’t really lost any credibility.

      How could you have?

      Nobody knows who you are.

      And really, isn’t that the whole point of being Bill?

      Now, get out there and enjoy the sunshine. I hear it’s going to be a beautiful day.

  • hexalm

    Interesting post, particularly regarding the numbers for different cities. Of course, that is only a single variable. (Other things to consider: how those hours of sunlight are distributed, what’s happening when the sun isn’t shining, intensity of sunlight, temperature, time spent outside, etc).

    Not that I think the weather is that often *terribly* complaint-worthy here, but the short days in winter and sort of limbo gloominess for long stretches give some legitimate cause to complain if you ask me (although in most regions, people will complain about the weather for one reason or another).

    People get disappointed when the summers we’ve occasionally had don’t show up every year to dispel the sense that the weather has been somehow unfair ;)

    There are plenty of things going on that aren’t strictly weather dependent though, for example vitamin D deficiency in high latitudes is well established, and that is a seasonal rather than a weather dependence.

  • hexalm

    BTW, another study following up the one you posted for Bill:
    http://www.spring.org.uk/2012/01/does-the-weather-affect-your-mood.php

    Not to mention that a study that depends on people’s evaluations of their mood can only be as accurate as their gauging of mood. It’s all relative–in winter I mostly think I’m ok, day to day, but come spring/summer (I at least believe) I start feeling in much better spirits and wonder how I made it through the winter.

  • hipsters suck dick

    I lived in Paris before I moved to Seattle and have to say that it definitely got more sunlight than here. When they count hours of sunlight they must count the number of days its overcast compared to fairly clear. Where in Paris the sun will peek through the clouds even on a “cloudy” day Seattle seems to always have a thick custard like layer of stratus clouds. As for peoples attitudes neither city is especially friendly (there are exceptions)and while everyone comes pre equipped with the notion that Parisians are not too friendly, the Seattle freeze, in my opinion, is far worse. In Paris they have the excuse that you do not speak their language, but they speak yours. In Seattle, well they just like to think their music is better than yours.

    • Seattle Rex Seattle Rex

      I lived in Paris before I moved to Seattle and have to say that it definitely got more sunlight than here.

      I seriously doubt they lied about the numbers.

      It’s been sunny for the past 4 months here. Non-stop since June. That’s 120 days. We’ve had .03 inches of rain in the past 2 months.

      Since Californians took over the place, they’ve been comparing it to home. That’s why they think it’s so rainy here.

      I doubt there is a conspiracy to make the place look more sunny, though.

    • Chuckreis

      Who the fuck are these unfriendly people in Seattle. Everywhere I go everyone is happy.

      I went to a place to get a sandwich yesterday and the woman taking the order seemed a bit tired and annoyed. By the time she made the food and returned she smiled and made some comment about wrapping it wrong, laughed and gave a thank you.

      Everyone I meet here is nice, everyone. It’s like fucking Disney World up in this bitch. I am not an overly friendly and small talk person but even I have found I chat a bit more with people here. I made small talk with King County License Plate guy yesterday, the last place I lived I don’t think the license plate people even formed complete words through their scowls.

  • David

    I don’t think that they “lied” about the numbers, but I would like to see the methodology employed. Most importantly, I’d like to know if the “sunlight” hours just refer to hours in which it is clear (including night)? Perhaps hours in which there isn’t complete cloud cover? Unless we know for sure that the exact same metric was used to measure sunlight between Seattle and, say, Paris, a comparison of the two is useless.

  • Deric

    Yikes Seattle Rex, your response to “Bill” was over-the-top defensive. You obviously have a very personal interest in believing Seattle weather isn’t bad, stating that anyone who disagrees simply isn’t sophisticated or “Hip” enough to understand.

    I don’t know if I’m a “Hipster”, but I am international, having lived and traveled all over the world (Barcelona was my favorite). I’ve never lived in Seattle, but have spent a great deal of time there, traveling and staying with friends. While the summer beauty is unparalleled, the rest of the year is on balance miserable by comparison to where I live now (San Francisco area..another pretty “Hip” locale).

    If you like the sun, living in the “least sunny major city in the continental United States” doesn’t make much sense. And to support your position that Seattle weather isn’t that bad by comparing it to places that are worse is like saying the boil on my butt isn’t that bad because some people have two.

    Seattle has plenty of great attributes, but in my humble MacBook toting opinion, weather isn’t one of them. See you on the golf course in January…maybe not.

    • If you like the sun, living in the “least sunny major city in the continental United States” doesn’t make much sense.

      This ^^^^^

      This is what I’ve been saying for years.

      The rest of your paragraph is, and I’m being generous … weird.

      Where on earth did I claim that Seattle weather “wasn’t that bad”? I never said any such thing. I made no “bad” or “good” judgement, I showed how we stood up to the rest of the world, and I showed how our rain was often exaggerated.

      And to support your position that Seattle weather isn’t that bad by comparing it to places that are worse is like saying the boil on my butt isn’t that bad because some people have two.

      I’ve been blogging for a long time, and this line is arguably the most hysterical of any replied I’ve ever had.

      This is generally why I’ve grown hostile to anonymity. What started out as a way to ensure freedom, has quickly become a way to promote sheer and utter ridiculousness.

      Sir, is it your opinion that I am sandbagging the weather here because your presence in Seattle is sorely missed?

      Do you really think that I want you to move here? Do you really think I want your friends to move here? In your heart of hearts, is that the intent which you ascribed to this article?

      If so, I would like to assure you that this is the very, very, VERY last thing that I want. I’d sooner circumcise myself with a plastic spork than induce a fresh influx of cloud-haters to the PNW.

      If you think the weather here is “bad”, then by all means, stay away from Seattle. Far, far away. I promise you that I will shed not one tear. Not one, single, solitary tear.

      “Oh noes, Deric left, now there’s one less car on the road and one less person to bouy the comically-overpriced real estate! Whatever will we do?”

      If you can, please take the weather-haters who are already here … with you.

      If even half of you rain-haters all left Seattle, this town might just become livable again.

      There’s nothing worse than listening to “I hate the weather here” all day, then sitting in 2 hours of traffic, wondering why this gloomy place is so popular with Californians and other sun-worshippers. Why have home prices gone through the roof if it’s such a god-awful place to live? Go, be gone, return the town to the non-desert-dwellers. We’ll be alright. If your asses cashed the checks that your mouths wrote, then we’d all win.

      Instead, well, instead, you’re all just content to whine about the clouds. Day in and day out.

      Bottom line:

      You’re right, the weather here sucks. Terribly. Avoid this place at all costs, and tell others to do the same. You really said a mouthful when you said: If you like the sun, living in the “least sunny major city in the continental United States” doesn’t make much sense.

      Now that you’ve told me … please … go tell the rest of the world.

      P.S. You’ve yet to see “over-the-top”. If you believe nothing else I’ve told you, believe that.

  • Julie

    Not sure where you got your numbers – but from KOMO news here in Seattle: http://www.komonews.com/news/archive/4103321.html

    And from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle

    the acutal average days of sun is somewhere between 58-70, no where close to 175.

    • the acutal average days of sun is somewhere between 58-70, no where close to 175.

      Oh Julie, you may want to read the post again, because you’ve taken it out of context.

      Did you know, that if we get .01″ of rain between the hours of 1am and 2am, but the rest of the day is clear and sunny … officially, it goes in the stat book as a “rainy day”.

      It’s true, Julie. The weather industry is a nutty, nutty thing.

      Seattle gets about 2,100 hours of sunshine each year … divided by 12 (days and nights each average about 12 hours/day) equals ….

      Come on, you got this …

      See, the sun doesn’t shine at night, which is why it’s called “night”, so … if you can accept a 12 hour block of sunshine as a “sunny day” (which is what the post said)… what does that get you?

      That’s right, 175 “days” of sunshine. 175 days of 8am to 8pm blistering sun. Woo-hoo, grab the bikini and a bottle of suntan lotion, Julie, cause it’s time to hit the beach.

      I mean, unless the .01″ of mist while you were sleeping just killed the whole day for you. It sure did for the folks at KOMO.

      You see, Julie, KOMO’s numbers are a little misleading. Actually, weather numbers tend to be misleading all around. Did you know that during the peak of the rainy season here, it only rains 19% of the time during any given 1 hour timeframe? It’s true. This means that it’s NOT raining 81% of the time, even in the depths of winter. You don’t even want to know how often it doesn’t rain the rest of the year (think 90%+). So much for “it rains all the time”, eh Julie?

      Statistics. They are a bitch. You can use them to prove pretty much whatever you want to prove.

      Now, all of the above being said, Seattle still sucks, and if you are looking for a place to live, that place should be California. Or Arizona. Or someplace down south where it’s really, really sunny.

      Trust me on this one.

      • bobgreysr

        My comment praising you for spearing that girls weak minded math skills wasn’t published. So are some others. What’s up?

        • Chuckreis

          Bob, can you direct me to your blog? I’m curious to see your thoughts on life.

          • bobgreysr

            No blog. No need to when Rex already says everything that is in my head only he says it a million times better then I ever could. I’m satisfied enough just to support the argument every once in a while.

            • Chuckreis

              So you constantly comment on a blog, all of the comments with a anti-woman angle, but you lack the skill to express those opinions via your own blog where people can contact you directly?

              • bobgreysr

                I confess I probably don’t have the computer skills or desire to write my own blog son but you want direct contact? This isn’t direct enough for you? Also I don’t have anti-women angle views. I like them just fine when doing a nice horizontal 180 or even a 90 degree angle can be pretty fun. Anything less than 45 degrees hurts my back anymore. But serious, I’m not anti-women I’m just against women who expect more and more rights when they already surpass mens rights in every regard nowadays. Or when stupid women make stupid comments or do stupid things and then expect special treatment or protection from any deserved backlash. But besides all that, why are you so concerned about me commenting on Rex’s comments with a supposed anti-women angle and yet seem to have no issue with the original comments being made?

                • Chuckreis

                  I know where to find Rex when I disagree with him. He put’s out his thoughts on a blog and answers to them personally via the commenting system, forums, email, etc..

                  You though seem to like to take the parasite route. You want to be the little fucker behind the big fucker saying “Yeah Yeah, What he said!” You know, the guy that just runs and hides when the shit goes down.

                  You make comments that could put a negative light on a blog and then run away. You claim to not have the skills needed to make a blog when all you need to do is sign up at Blogger, WordPress, Livejournal, Wix, or even Facebook.

                  If you don’t want to take ten minutes to set one up I don’t think you have any right to come here and bitch because the owner of the site does not want to publish your comments.

                  • Pipeguy

                    chuck u mad bro? why are you attacking bob? he’s just putting some comments…that’s a part of being in a blog, no? reading a post, then expressing opinions and hopefully have an exchange of ideas…these may not be of your liking, but so what? do you blast anyone you have a disagreement with?

                    And Rex has always shown brilliant and beyond civilised skills to counter any post he deems incorrect when confronted with his original argument…

                    my point is, just let it slide bro and chill…this is a blog but also a forum for interaction between the bloger and his readers..

                    • Chuckreis

                      Some whiney little bitch that makes inflammatory troll comments questions a blog owner about his comments not making it to prime time, all I did is call him on it.

                      Same person does not have a blog or the courage to hit up the forums.

                      Plus I am kind of a dick.

  • bobgreysr

    Okay, so I’ll sign up for a blog then. Both the title and the first and only post will be “Chuckreis is a Whiny Motherfucker and Self Proclaimed Tyranimaniacal Supreme Rule Setter of the Internet” and then you can bitch at me to your hearts content. Like you are now. Only now on TWO sites. But at least with all the magical powers and Internet unlocking potential that the title of BLOGGER instills at least then and only then will I apparently have all the necessary credentials to finally comment on other peoples blogs under your full and all powerful legally binding authority.
    And what have i done that says I hit and run after a comment? I’m still here needlessly explaining myself to you aren’t I? If I haven’t followed up after someone’s comment its only because this crap commenting system doesn’t notify me when someone writes me back. Do you consider all those other positive comment leavers hit and run posting parasites? Where the fuck do you come up with these things? Its like women logic or something.
    And let’s leave it up to “the big fucker” what this “little fucker” can and can not post shall we? Not much feedback with his commenting system and thought it was broken.
    Turns out he doesn’t like being called out on some things that portray him in a light he doesn’t want to be seen in.
    I got it and won’t do it again.
    He doesn’t like what I have to say then he won’t publish it. He’s alright with what I have to say then he will.
    Now go back to policing everyone BUT Rex like youve been doing and leave the job of policing me to him like he’s been doing.

  • Paul

    2,174 of sunshine – yes. But.. the unique Seattle weather pattern is that 2160 of this fall onto 3 summer months because summers in NW are very dry. So you have 14 hours of sun left for the rest of the year, 9 months that is.
    That’s pretty sick, and no London or Amsterdam can match that.

  • Dan Leaving Seattle soon

    SAD is a real thing and Seattle has more than its fair share. Not to mention all the moody Seattle musicians who have killed themselves off. Seattle has also been named one of the top cities for depression multiple times. All that hasn’t happened by accident.

    • Finland has been ranked as the most self-reportedly content country on the globe for the past several years. It has a low suicide rate as well. The rest of Scandinavia follows pretty closely behind.

      The capital of Finland receives 1,700 hours of sunlight annually, and their winters receive nearly none.

      We receive 2,100 hours of sunlight annually.

      Dim countries have an almost universally higher standard of living than do those nearer the equator. Ditto for education and cognition.

      SAD is real, and some people have it. Then again, someone somewhere has some specific thing.

      Given global statistics on sunlight and it’s effect on humans, and considering that Seattle is brighter than most of Europe and a large swath of Asia, absent the level of complaining that we have, suffice to say that the majority of cases are collectivist whine by pampered folks with few problems.

      In fact, the largest study ever taken to quantify the effect of climate on mood found weak correlation in women, and little-to-none in men.

      Oh, and the number of moody Seattle musicians who have killed themselves off is not very large.

      Frankly, the fact that anyone could be married to Courtney Love for more than 2 months and not blow their head off is a testament to the overwhelming optimist of the climate.

      Thanks for leaving, though. You are doing the right thing for both yourself, and us.

      I wish you happiness wherever you end up.

      P.S. Do you have room in your vehicle for any more of the folks here who get sad when it’s clowdee? Cause they picked the wrong place too since the weather’s been like this here for about 16,000 years and everyone knows this before moving here.

  • jdaoz

    the problem is you are looking at hours of sunlight in a macro level, where as your own numbers show that the winter there barely gets any sunlight, bookended by littled in fall and spring as well, that’s the problem, there isn’t a break. Other cities with similar levels of sunshine don’t have the same weather pattern.

    • Every city in the northern hemisphere gets less sunlight in the Winter. Europe gets very little sunshine in the Winter.

      Seattle hours of sunlight by season -

      Spring: 640
      Summer: 862
      Fall: 436
      Winter: 235

      This is fairly consistent with cities above the 45th parallel, which comprises most of Europe.

      London gets 145 hours of sunlight in the Winter. (compared to 600+ in Summer)

      Paris gets 182 hours of sunlight in the Winter. (600+ Summer)

      Berlin gets 135 hours in Winter. (600+ Summer)

      Sunshine-wise, we don’t just have a similar weather pattern to the rest of these cities, it’s almost a carbon-copy.

      You’re looking for a justification that just isn’t there. Not statistically anyway.

  • Dude, Seattle Rex awesome article!! 5 STARS!! I am so glad you put some perspective on all this non-sense about Seattle sunshine and rain. I am from sunny parts of Mediterranean Europe, lived in Sarasota Florida and Toronto Canada and I agree that Seattle weather is nothing to complain about. Why do people whine so much about weather here is beyond me. How about brutally cold winters in Toronto (from October to almost May) with sunny days that can’t be enjoyed due to wind chill, ice and snow. Florida has very sunny weather and crappy wages, lack of opportunities, cockroaches size of walnuts, unbearable heat and humidity etc.. Seattle has great climate, fantastic job market, great cultural scene, lot’s of great parks and trails nearby and if you want all that heat and sun drive few hours to eastern Washington and sunbathe all you want. I have 3 citizenship’s and can live in any European Union Country, Canada or USA and I think Seattle is just great for me. Thank you for a great article!!

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