Cloudiest American Cities in Winter
Days of Heavy Cloud
The cloudiest cities in the United States Portland, Seattle, Buffalo and Cleveland are blanketed with heavy cloud during three out of four winter days. Overcast skies particularly dominate during winter in the Pacific Northwest and near the Great Lakes.
A total of 18 major US cities get 50 or more days of dense cloud during the months of December, January and February. These are grey winter days when more than three-quarters of the sky is covered in cloud.
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.
|City||Winter Days of Heavy Cloud||% of Days|
|Buffalo, New York||68||76|
|Grand Rapids, Michigan||67||74|
|Rochester, New York||64||71|
|Salt Lake City, Utah||53||59|
All Cloudy Days
When the count of cloudy days includes partial cloud as well as heavy overcast, the cloudiest cities in winter typically have some overcast on nine out of ten winter days.
|City||Cloudy Days in Winter||% of Days|
|Buffalo, New York||86||96|
|Rochester, New York||84||93|
|Grand Rapids, Michigan||82||91|
|Salt Lake City, Utah||72||80|
Partial Cloudy Weather
The major US cities that most often get partially cloudy days during winter are not among the country's cloudiest cities overall. These cities have relatively few winter days when cloud obscures over three-quarters of the sky.
Partially cloudy days are those when cloud covers between one-quarter and three-quarters of the sky.
California's coastal cities dominate the list of major American cities that most often have partially cloudy days in winter. The heavy cloud that blankets western Oregon and Washington during much of winter breaks up along the Californian coast. Scattered cloud also frequents Florida in winter.
|City||Partially Cloudy Days||% of Days|
|New York, New York||27||30|
|San Diego, California||23||26|
|San Francisco, California||23||26|
NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Comparative Climatic Data Publication.