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Old 07-12-2012, 05:58 PM
38 posts, read 102,083 times
Reputation: 41


I'm sharing this information because I've read several threads where a conversation includes questions about what constitutes a sunny day in the context of some Oregon cities claiming to have a certain number of sunny days per year.

I wanted to put some data behind what constitutes a clear day, party cloudy, and cloudy. I found this information both useful and succinct, and I'm sharing it here for others who may find it to be just enough for their interest, too!

First, a couple definitions from the NOAA Satellites and Information page:
I. Sunshine - Average Percentage of Possible
The total time that sunshine reaches the surface of the earth is expressed as the percentage of the maximum amount possible from sunrise to sunset with clear sky conditions.

J. Cloudiness - Mean Number of Days - Clear (CL), Partly Cloudy (PC), Cloudy (CD)
This table shows the mean number of days per category of cloudiness. The categories are determined for daylight hours only. Clear denotes zero to 3/10 average sky cover. Partly cloudy denotes 4/10 to 7/10 average sky cover. Cloudy denotes 8/10 to 10/10 average sky cover.
With those definitions in mind, the following -- from NOAA's data through 2011 page -- should prove helpful in deciphering some of Oregon's weather:

_______________ DATA________ANNUAL___
________________ YRS______CL__PC___CD

ASTORIA, OR _____ 40______50__76__239
BURNS,OR ________ 11_____120__94__151
EUGENE, OR ______ 53______75__82__209
MEDFORD, OR _____ 67_____117__79__169
PENDLETON, OR ___ 60_____101__91__173
PORTLAND, OR ____ 47______68__74__222
SALEM, OR _______ 58______77__80__208
SEXTON SUMMIT, OR 30_____126__68__172
The NOAA's data through 2011 page has CL/PC/CD breakdowns for every month of the year, too. If you want to know by-month, click on over and drink in the numbers!


Last edited by NomadicPhotographer; 07-12-2012 at 06:00 PM.. Reason: minor formatting.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:12 PM
Location: Salem, OR
14,716 posts, read 35,598,559 times
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That's a great link. It also gives credence to my impression that Salem is less cloudy than Portland. I lived in PDX for 9 years prior to Salem and my impression right away was that Salem wasn't as cloudy.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:49 PM
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,986 posts, read 12,401,188 times
Reputation: 5650
Yes, and this reinforces the fact that no area of Oregon is particularly sunny. Even arid Burns is cloudy on almost half the days each year. But of course, it is quite sunny in summer, as is Medford.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:17 AM
25 posts, read 34,830 times
Reputation: 33
There's a discrepancy in years recorded. This analysis is flawed.

Years data gathered:
Eugene 53
Portland 47
Salem 58

I've been searching for the raw data to make an accurate comparison.
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