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Old 07-01-2014, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,438 posts, read 2,350,841 times
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This is a better assessment because it distinguishes sunny, partly cloudy, and cloudy (link below). By that standard, the average for Front Range cities is 115 sunny days, 130 partly cloudy days, and 120 cloudy days. Since Denver is one of the sunnier Front Range cities I think the 260-270 calculation above is probably valid for sunny AND partly cloudy days. But the "300 days of sunshine per year" crowd is painting a misleading picture of 300 days with bright blue skies interspersed with the odd puffy cumulus cloud.

Colorado sunshine is more myth than science
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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Denver doesn't even make the top 100 as far as sunshine goes. That said, Denver gets more then adequate sunshine. In the summertime some clouds in the after noon to help cool things down is a very good thing.

Top 101 cities with the highest average sunshine amount (population 50,000+)
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:25 PM
 
529 posts, read 1,247,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xeric View Post
This is a better assessment because it distinguishes sunny, partly cloudy, and cloudy (link below). By that standard, the average for Front Range cities is 115 sunny days, 130 partly cloudy days, and 120 cloudy days. Since Denver is one of the sunnier Front Range cities I think the 260-270 calculation above is probably valid for sunny AND partly cloudy days. But the "300 days of sunshine per year" crowd is painting a misleading picture of 300 days with bright blue skies interspersed with the odd puffy cumulus cloud.

Colorado sunshine is more myth than science
Well yes partly days are counted because the sun is still shining. A sunny day can still have clouds in the sky. Partly cloudy and overcast are two very different things. As long as the sun isn't obscured for any long period of time a day is still sunny if it's also partly cloudy.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:30 PM
 
529 posts, read 1,247,058 times
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Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
Denver doesn't even make the top 100 as far as sunshine goes. That said, Denver gets more then adequate sunshine. In the summertime some clouds in the after noon to help cool things down is a very good thing.

Top 101 cities with the highest average sunshine amount (population 50,000+)
No Denver doesn't make the top 100 list, but most of those cities in that list are suburbs of major cities like Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Diego. So therefore it still only represents the same regions as I mentioned in my first post. When looking at just major cities Denver is in the top 10.
Sunniest US Cities - Current Results

Denver is very sunny as you mentioned, and yes Phoenix is sunnier. 85% vs 70% though is not a big difference when measuring sunshine annually and this was my point. Just because the 300 days is inaccurate it's still not far off, and using the facts it's easy to see where that number came from.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
In the summertime some clouds in the after noon to help cool things down is a very good thing.
Afternoon thunderstorms cool things down, but they are a PITA if you want to get outdoors after work. And they happen pretty much EVERY SINGLE day all summer long.

I used to just go anyway (I don't care about getting wet) but the lightning risk is very real. Sudden death from above, a big killer in CO.

The cloud cover also makes for poor lighting conditions (flat light) for mountain biking and especially dirt biking. Admitidy not an issue for hikers and most other trail users.

Mornings are usually glorious, but cold/chilly in the mountains.
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMM64 View Post
Well yes partly days are counted because the sun is still shining. A sunny day can still have clouds in the sky. Partly cloudy and overcast are two very different things. As long as the sun isn't obscured for any long period of time a day is still sunny if it's also partly cloudy.
You could also count them as cloudy. It's all about how you want to spin it. Mostly my annoyance with the 300 days number is that every city in the semi-arid west claims that number (except in the desert SW, where it's "350 days"). Obviously this statistic can't be the same for every western city and if it were, it would unlikely to be a nice round 300.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by xeric View Post
You could also count them as cloudy. It's all about how you want to spin it.

Sure, but I choose not to be negative. As long as the sun is still shining it's sunny! Why would you count a partly cloudy day as cloudy if the sun is still shining? I mean isn't that what this is all about, the sun? If the sun is obscured for an hour of the day it's still sunny for 90% of the day and contributes to the hourly measurement of sunshine. The hours then contribute to the 270 day figure.

Even Phoenix has only 211 clear days, and no one in Phoenix would say that it's only sunny 211 days of the year! Just like no one in Colorado would say it's only sunny 115 days of the year. Even using these numbers though that still only makes Phoenix sunny 8 more days a month than Colorado. This total is noticeable sure, but over the course of a year it's not a big deal and it still makes Denver one of the sunniest cities in the U.S.!

Although the 115 clear days doesn't seem right to me, I'd say it's easily 220 days in Denver of clear weather. Phoenix in my opinion is clear easily 300 days of the year. But the original stats are the only ones I could find so I'm using them.

Also Denver is actually slightly less sunny than Colorado Springs and Pueblo, but slightly more than Fort Collins. So therefore it's right about in the middle when considering front range cities.

Last edited by JMM64; 07-01-2014 at 03:54 PM..
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,438 posts, read 2,350,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMM64 View Post
Sure, but I choose not to be negative. As long as the sun is still shining it's sunny! Why would you count a partly cloudy day as cloudy if the sun is still shining? I mean isn't that what this is all about, the sun? If the sun is obscured for an hour of the day it's still sunny for 90% of the day and contributes to the hourly measurement of sunshine. The hours then contribute to the 270 day figure.

Even Phoenix has only 211 clear days, and no one in Phoenix would say that it's only sunny 211 days of the year! Just like no one in Colorado would say it's only sunny 115 days of the year. Even using these numbers though that still only makes Phoenix sunny 8 more days a month than Colorado. This total is noticeable sure, but over the course of a year it's not a big deal and it still makes Denver one of the sunniest cities in the U.S.!

Although the 115 clear days doesn't seem right to me, I'd say it's easily 220 days in Denver of clear weather. Phoenix in my opinion is clear easily 300 days of the year. But the original stats are the only ones I could find so I'm using them.

Also Denver is actually slightly less sunny than Colorado Springs and Pueblo, but slightly more than Fort Collins. So therefore it's right about in the middle when considering front range cities.
I'm happy that you are "sunny" about this, but I go with the NWS definition: a clear day is one in which no more than 30% of the sky is cloudy. Statistics are meaningless if you don't have some common standard to adhere to.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:44 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 4,925,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xeric View Post
I'm happy that you are "sunny" about this, but I go with the NWS definition: a clear day is one in which no more than 30% of the sky is cloudy. Statistics are meaningless if you don't have some common standard to adhere to.
I agree with this assessment. Common standards must be adhered to. The 300 days of sunny weather are based on 2 hours/day, which imo, is a stupid definition that no rational person would have concluded was the requirement for "sunny". I dislike places that use that marketing, because I feel it is a lie. That said, I love the weather, and I'm loving the clouds we're having today. Cloudy days in the summer are wonderful.
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:16 PM
 
262 posts, read 289,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMM64 View Post
No Denver doesn't make the top 100 list, but most of those cities in that list are suburbs of major cities like Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Diego. So therefore it still only represents the same regions as I mentioned in my first post. When looking at just major cities Denver is in the top 10.
Sunniest US Cities - Current Results

Denver is very sunny as you mentioned, and yes Phoenix is sunnier. 85% vs 70% though is not a big difference when measuring sunshine annually and this was my point. Just because the 300 days is inaccurate it's still not far off, and using the facts it's easy to see where that number came from.
Dude, if you regularly look at the weather forecasts for Phoenix, AZ and Denver, CO, you'll rapidly notice that Phoenix is way sunnier than Denver. Denver may have a semi-arid climate, but it's not very sunny unlike what many people say. I don't really think Denver gets 70% of sunshine a year. PHZ is almost always interruptedly sunny like all the Desert Southwest while DNR gets frequent partly cloudy/cloudy days.

Even though we trust these averages, 85% vs 70% is a big difference. It's only a difference of 15% but it's very noticeable in the weather that an area experiences.
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