Gloomy weather is literature’s favourite weather. While a sunny day is a universally happy day, a gloomy day could be a day of silent contemplation, a romantic evening or time to curl up with a cup of coffee and a book. Weather makes a city much like clothes make a man. While there are people for whom cloudy weather means a sunny mood, there are others that prefer actual sunny weather for their everyday state of mind.
When you make the decision to relocate to a new city, the weather of that place holds a lot of importance in whether you can make the most of it or not. So, if you are planning to move to a new place, here’s a list of the gloomiest cities of America for you to consider.
Top 7 Gloomiest Cities In The US
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Portland, Oregon
- Buffalo, New York
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Seattle, Washington State
- Spokane, Washington State
1. Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is often called Alaska’s cultural centre and is famous for its trails, glaciers and the wildlife. The city is also known for having the largest number of artists in the state. Anchorage has an area of 1944.05 square miles (5035.06 km2) and is the most populated city in Alaska with 288,000 residents as of 2019.
The climate of Anchorage is classified as subarctic, due to its short, mild summers. Temperatures in summer range from 55-780 F (12.8-25.60 C) and the days are very long. When it comes to winter, the temperatures range from 5-300 F (-15 to -10 C) with the average snowfall being 75.5 inches (192 cm) and the daylight hours are not very long. Anchorage has around 239 days of cloudy skies and the average annual precipitation is about 16.63 inches (42.2 cm). Staying in Anchorage, one should expect ash hazards due to the city’s proximity to a volcano, though it might not be very common.
The city’s economy is run by its transportation, military, municipal, state and federal government, headquarters of MNCs and the tourism sector. Its annual Iditarod dog sled race is popular at a national level and there are plenty of parks and trails for the citizens’ use. Despite Hollywood’s popular depiction of cloudy, overcast cities as being slow and boring with nothing to do, most of them actually carry on with bustling economies and a vibrant culture and Anchorage or any of the cities further down the list are no exception.
- Median Home Value: $349,256
- Median Rent: $975 (1 bedroom)
- Median Household Income: $84,928
2. Portland, Oregon
Portland is that city that makes one think of hippie and nature-loving culture with a population that carries a liberal mindset. The perception is true and is something that the rest of the world has started aspiring to in its own way but the city also has a lot more to offer. Portland covers an area of 144.98 square miles (375.50 km2) and has the largest population in Oregon and the 26th largest in the United States with 654,741 as of 2019.
Portland has a Mediterranean climate with summers being warm and dry and winters being cool and cloudy. Summer temperatures average around 800 F (270 C) and the season is quite short, from mid-June to early September. Winter temperatures in the coldest months average around 46.30 F (7.90 C) and the snowfall, which usually happens between December and March, is about 4.3 inches (10.9 cm). Portland experiences around 222 days of cloudy weather every year with a total rainfall of 36.87 inches (93.6 cm). The overall effect of the weather is pleasant and the residents are not known to have that complaint in the list, if there is one.
Portland is mainly a shipping port and handles 13 million tons of cargo annually with the largest commercial dry dock in the country. A major reason people of the city always love the weather is because it is the exact geography of Portland that has lent it its many economic advantages. The low cost of energy, the accessibility of resources, the transport facilities and interconnectedness with other cities and states have given the city a bustling economy. The steel industry in Portland is one of the strongest in the country and the technology sector has given the city the nickname of ‘Silicon Forest’ which is also a nod to the trees in the region. Breweries thrive in this region and if you have a hangover the next day, know that Portland loves its coffee industry more than Seattle. The weather of the city is never really an issue and the life of the city will very easily put you in a sunny mood.
- Median Home Value: $520,329
- Median Rent: $1,380 (1 bedroom)
- Median Household Income: $71,005
Also See: Moving to Portland Oregon
3. Buffalo, New York
The home of two US presidents and the neighbour of Niagara Falls, Buffalo is called the ‘City of Lights’, a name it owes to the hydropower from the said waterfalls. The city is spread across 52.48 square miles (135.92 km2) and has a population of 255,244 as of 2019.
Buffalo’s weather is ‘humid continental’ like other cities in the Great Lakes region. Summers are hot and dry whereas the winters are famous for being snowy. Buffalo still manages to get ample rainfall to ensure good vegetation in the region. Average summer temperature is between 73.4 to 78.80 F (23-260 C) and there’s a lot of humidity with a good amount of sunshine, more than enough to meet your Vitamin D requirements. The winter temperatures stand between 35.6 to 19.40 F (2 to -70 C), with very heavy snowfall. It rains almost 208 days annually, most of it being at night. Lake Erie has a substantial effect on the climate of Buffalo, be it in terms of cooling down the hot summer weather or insulating the city from climate change.
The economy of the city is taken care of by the industrial, manufacturing, technology and service sector, though it is the State of New York that is Buffalo’s biggest employer. Residents of the city enjoy theatre, orchestra and museums and they have the requisite institutions in place accordingly. Buffalo is also listed in the ‘Top 10 Food Cities in the World’. So, the right attitude for the city is, scout the kind of food you would like to eat in the weather there is that day, after coming back from your job or while at it. That’s actually the description of a perfect day.
- Median Home Value: $171,512
- Median Rent: $1,085 (1 bedroom)
- Median Household Income: $37,354
4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Steel City’ and ‘The City of Bridges’ are two titles that describe Pittsburgh to the layman. The infrastructure of the city is rather impressive with its numerous skyscrapers, the inclined railways, the State Park at the convergence of the rivers and the pre-revolutionary fortification. The city covers an area of 58.34 square miles (151.11 km2) and has a population of 300,286 as last estimated in 2019.
Pittsburgh’s climate is classified as ‘humid continental’ with the conditions of it being extremely pleasant. The summers are warm and humid and the average temperature is 72.60 F (22.60 C). Winters are cold and snowy with the average temperatures being 28.40 F (-2 to -180 C) and the annual snowfall being 41.4 inches (105 cm). The city experiences about 203 days of cloudy weather, sometimes fully cloudy and sometimes only in parts and the annual precipitation stands at 38.2 inches (97 cm).
Other than the steel and electronics industry, Pittsburgh has successfully ventured into the technology, robotics, healthcare, finance, education, biomedical technology, nuclear engineering and the service sector not to mention the major role tourism plays in the economy of the city. Education is a major economic player in the region while the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre is the single largest employer. A number of Fortune 500 as well as other companies call Pittsburgh home and an interesting point of note is that the non-profit arts and culture industry contributes more than $341 million annually in the economy. Pittsburgh is placed high in the list of most liveable cities in the US and it is a spot very well deserved by its culture, weather and economy.
- Median Home Value: $204,313
- Median Rent: $1,095 (1 bedroom)
- Median Household Income: $48,711
Read Also: Moving To Pennsylvania – Relocation Guide
5. Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, the birthplace of rock and roll and the hotspot of all the best food bought by Eastern European immigrants, is a manufacturing hub and the largest city on Lake Erie. The city is spread over an area of 82.48 square miles (213.62 km2) and has a population of 381,009 as of 2019.
Cleveland has a continental climate with the seasons being very distinct. Summers are hot and humid with the average temperatures ranging between 77 to 80.60 F (25-270 C). Winters are usually cold with the temperatures dropping to 30.2 to 230 F (-1 to -50 C) and the average snowfall being 54 inches (127 cm). The city stays under cloudy weather for about 202 days of the year and the annual precipitation stands at 39.1 inches (99 cm).
The city is an important business centre and houses the headquarters of many companies like Aleris, American Greetings, Eaton and others. The healthcare sector, specifically the Cleveland Clinic is the largest employer in the city. Residents of the city enjoy their time listening to the orchestra and going to the theatre and occasionally, indulging in the Polish Boy – a popular street food dish. Cleveland also takes pride in its museums and art centres, while simultaneously being a city that carries a strong interest in sports. It is a very well-rounded city, irrespective of whether or not you are smitten away by the city’s weather.
- Median Home Value: $84,157
- Median Rent: $1,205 (1 bedroom)
- Median Household Income: $30,907
6. Seattle, Washington State
Culture, cuisine and coffee sprinkled with environment-friendly residents. Top that off with good income residing in many households here and you can see why it’s the perfect recipe to make it to the ‘Top 10 Best Places to Live’ list as Seattle consistently does. The city has an area of 142.07 square miles (367.97 km2) and a population of 753,675 as estimated in 2019.
While most people place Seattle’s temperate climate in the Mediterranean category, others prefer to consider it as oceanic. Either way, the summers are dry, while the winters are mild and wet. The average temperature range of summer is 66.2 to 77.60 F (19-220 C) and that of winter is 35.6 to 37.40 F (2-30 C). Seattle is cloudy almost throughout the whole year with 201 overcast days and 93 partly cloudy days. It is the cloudiest place in the United States and has more days of rain than any other city in the country. The annual precipitation comes to 34.1 inches (86.6 cm).
Seattle’s economy mixes the older industries with the emerging new-age sectors like the Internet, design, service and clean technology. Five Fortune 500 companies have placed their headquarters in this city as well as numerous other companies, making it a business-dominated landscape. Once you start living in the city, the first thing that is most likely to happen is the exponential growth of your coffee consumption. Another thing would be your introduction to grunge music, a genre that considers Seattle its birthplace. It is easy to have fun in this city and the weather is an addition to its charm rather than a hindrance to its potential.
- Median Home Value: $824,666
- Median Rent: $1,550 (1 bedroom)
- Median Household Income: $92,263
Also See: Moving To Seattle
7. Spokane, Washington State
The city has the unique reputation of being the ‘Gateway to the American West’ and is quite beautiful with a plethora of outdoor activities. Spokane is spread across an area of 69.50 square miles (179.99 km2) and has a population of 222,081 as of 2019.
Climate in Spokane is dry/warm summer continental and this uncommon weather is due to the elevation of the city and the subsequent water precipitation. Summers are hot and arid and definitely the driest time of the year with the temperatures ranging from 73.4 to 82.40 F (23-280 C). Winters are usually cold with the temperature range being 33.8 to 39.20 F (1-40 C). Spokane has around 191 days of cloudy weather and the annual precipitation is 16.5 inches (94 cm).
The main employers in the city of Spokane are the State of Washington, the public schools, the hospitals, the 92nd Air Refuelling Wing and the county. Other than that, Spokane has plenty to do in terms of recreation for its citizens. Some of the activities include museums, arts, theatre and a lot of outdoor activities for the community. Spokane is a simple place to live in and it doesn’t take much to have a pleasant stay here.
- Median Home Value: $315,967
- Median Rent: $995 (1 bedroom)
- Median Household Income: $56,904
The weather of a place forms a person’s defining opinion of whether they like the city or not. Just like the cost of living and employment opportunities, it is an important factor to consider before making a decision on which city you want to live in. In all of the cities listed above, none of them lack for anything and honestly, the weather does not have to be a shortcoming, unless it is strictly against your temperament. Do weigh the pros and cons of the city against your needs and desires before deciding!