Top 10 US States With the Best Weather All Year Round
Whether you're choosing your next vacation spot, looking for the best place to retire, or planning a move to a new state, you'll probably want to think about the weather.
To help you decide where to visit or live in the United States, here are the top ten states with the best year round weather in America.
US states were evaluated for temperature, rain and sun. The climate rankings don't take into account, though, the frequency of extreme events such as hurricanes.
To make the list, each state has places that meet these best weather criteria:
- Comfortable temperatures, with daily highs averaging between 63 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (17 to 30 degrees Celsius) for seven or more months of the year
- Dry weather, at most 60 inches (152 centimetres) of rain a year
- Mainly clear skies, with sunshine for at least 60 percent of the time on a yearly average
Guidance for developing the ratings comes from results of studies on what most people feel is the best weather. Of course, climate preferences are highly personal, so these criteria may not fit your idea of good weather. These especially are not the places for you if you like to ski every weekend in winter or thrive on 100 degree temperatures.
Each state on the list has examples of places with wonderful weather all year. The examples give you a starting point, but by no means cover all the places in the state that get great weather year round. Also bear in mind that not every spot in the states on the top 10 list has vacation-quality weather.
The temperatures mentioned here are monthly averages for daily maximums, given in degrees Fahrenheit. Inches of rain are the total average rainfalls for a year. The measures of sunshine are the percentage of time between sunrise and sunset that sunshine actually reaches the ground.
You can't beat the south and central California coast for pleasant temperatures year round. Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria all have average daily highs no lower than the mid-60s for any month of the year. Nor does it get really hot. Temperatures in summer generally stay below 85 degrees. Plus there's little rain, typically fewer than 20 inches a year. Skies are mostly clear, with Los Angeles reporting sunshine for 73 percent of the time.
Monthly average high temperatures for Honolulu on the island of Oahu and Kahului on Maui stay in the 80s all year. It rains less than 20 inches annually at both places. Plus, there's plenty of sun, with Honolulu getting 71 percent, and Kahului only slightly less.
Temperatures in Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Del Rio and Victoria, for example, stay perfectly warm in winter, although summers here get a little hotter than in southern California, reaching highs in the mid-90s. Galveston stays slightly cooler year round with average monthly highs ranging from 61 degrees in January to 90 in August. Del Rio has the driest climate, with just 19 inches of rain annually, while the rest typically receive 30 or 40 inches. Sun for these places averages around 60 percent.
Tucson gets hotter than other places on this list, with highs sometimes reaching over 100 degrees during summer. But the daily high temperatures from October to April generally remain in the ideal range of 65 to 85 degrees. Tucson excels at dry, sunny weather, getting only 12 inches of rain a year and staying sunny 85 percent of the time.
Warm winter temperatures, particularly at Daytona Beach, Gainesville, Key West, Orlando, Tampa and Vero Beach make Florida's weather most inviting, while summertime highs average in the low 90s. These places usually receive 45 to 50 inches of rain a year. Key West is one of the driest and sunniest areas, with an annual rainfall of 39 inches and 76 percent sun.
Depending on your preference for hot weather, Georgia could rank above Florida on the list of top 10 states for best weather. Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah stay a little cooler than Florida through most of the year, which makes these places more comfortable in May and September. Savannah gets the warmest in winter with highs averaging at least 60 degrees, while Athens and Atlanta drop to highs of just above 50 degrees. Macon is among the sunniest and driest cities in the state with 45 inches of rain and 66 percent sunshine. The other places average 60 percent sunshine and 45 to 50 inches of rain a year.
7. South Carolina
Charleston has pleasant temperatures year round with highs ranging from a 57 degrees in January to 89 in July. Annual rainfall totals a reasonable 46 inches and the sun shines a respectable 63 percent of the time.
Wilmington remains cooler than other places on the top 10 list, with January highs hovering around 40 degrees. But summers remain quite enjoyable, as temperatures typically top out in mid 80s. The city gets less rain than many places, averaging 43 inches a year.
9. North Carolina
Two places in this state with worthy weather include one that's relatively warm and wet, the other cool and dry. January highs for Asheville drop down to the mid-40s during January, but Cape Hatteras, on the Atlantic coast, manages to stay nearly ten degrees warmer. Summer highs for both places average in the low to mid 80s. It rains more in Cape Hatteras, with 58 inches, while Asheville gets 47 a year. Despite the differences, both spots get around 60 percent sun.
Daily high temperatures for Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and New Orleans average above 60 degrees throughout winter and reach the low 90s during summer. These places are among the wettest on the top 10 list, averaging at least 57 inches of rain a year. But the sun does shine, with Lake Charles being sunny 72 percent of the time.
Runner-Up States For Best Year-Round Weather
The US states named as runner-ups for best year-round weather get a little cooler, especially from November to March, than the states on the top ten list. Still, these states have communities with comfortable temperatures for most months of the year, that always average well above freezing. All the cities given as examples for the runner-up states generally get 40 to 50 inches of rain a year. Their climates certainly make these states good places to visit, retire and live.
- Indiana Indianapolis
- Kentucky Jackson, Lexington
- Ohio Columbus
- Pennsylvania Harrisburg
- Tennessee Bristol
- West Virginia Charleston, Huntington