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Old 07-27-2013, 03:32 PM
13 posts, read 43,234 times
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This is uber-trivial, but I came across something among the city-data graphs that I simply don't get.

Here we have data for Seattle. It's representative of a large number of areas in Puget Sound, in fact, with many never really breaking 50%.

And here's Astoria. It clearly has more sunshine by the Sunshine graph, by quite a lot, but the Cloudy Days graph seems to say Astoria is cloudier. I really don't see how Astoria has more sun anytime of year, but particularly the summer, when most everywhere in the PNW is nearly constantly sunny, but areas near the coast, like Astoria, are often overcast until afternoon.

Weatherbase seems to disagree with these graphs:

Average Number of Clear Days:
Astoria: 50
Seattle: 71

Average Number of Cloudy/Partly Cloudy Days:
Astoria: 239/76
Seattle: 201/93
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:46 PM
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
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As I understand it, it works like this:

sunny = less than 10% average cloud cover the entire day
partly cloudy = 10-90% average cloud cover. Which covers a lot of territory.
cloudy = 90% or greater average cloud cover all day

Also, looking at these graphs, you often don't know where the data is actually from. Often the reporting station is the largest regional airport and anything within a hundred miles (or more) gets the same graph. It's never been clear to me where CD gets the data from.

other weather sites I look at seem to indicate the same as your data - that Seattle might be slightly sunnier. But I don't really believe that Seattle has 160+ days of sun/part sun

Last edited by PNW-type-gal; 07-27-2013 at 06:54 PM..
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:34 PM
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Yes, I did wonder in the case of very small towns, like Astoria, if occasionally some of the data might instead reflect the closest area keeping such records. It doesn't even look like the Sunshine and Cloudy Days graphs for Astoria are actually for the same area.

I suppose it's also possible that there might be different interpretations of what constitutes a cloudy day (can anyone really tell the difference between 80-90%?) from site to site, which could lead to discrepancies as seen above.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:42 AM
Location: North Idaho
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I don't recall anyone ever calling Astoria "sunny".

Occasionally "charming", but never "sunny".
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:52 PM
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Don't take the CD graphs too literally. Often times there is just one graph that is used for a broad geographical area, even though the local data might vary considerably. Here, for example, is the sunshine graph for Coos Bay on the southern coast:

Now here's the same graph for Astoria on the northern coast:

What about the central coast? Here's the sunshine map for Florence:

Here's the sunshine map for Keizer, in the Willamette Valley:

Obviously, these are not maps based on local data sets. They all seem to reflect a Willamette Valley sunshine contour. The coast has nowhere near that much sunshine.

Seattle isn't on the coast and gets some cloud blocking from the Olympic Mtns. so it's a sunnier climate than Astoria. It has a genuine summer, which is something you wouldn't find in Astoria.

Last edited by Steve97415; 07-30-2013 at 01:05 PM..
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:38 PM
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
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I haven't spent a lot of time in Astoria or lived there at all, so I can't really speak for it, but on the Oregon coast, sunny doesn't translate to warm. The coast stays around mid 60's most of the year. It is nearly always 30 degrees cooler in the summer than the valley.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:03 PM
Location: Pluto's Home Town
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I think the only positive aspect might be that the immediate coast is more likely to get some partly sunny days in midwinter, when Seattle and other semi-interior locations are a bit colder and getting radiation fog. Otherwise, it is cloudy, wet, and mild year round. Not to say it is not a nice town. I like Astoria. But sunny it ain't.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:47 AM
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A good friend of mine lives up there and we talk on the phone, weekly. She keeps me informed on the weather and it's rarely sunny during the winter. Summers are cool and not typical to what others might equate with summer temperatures.

Whenever I want to see actual conditions in Astoria, I check this webcam.


And this camera is over the maritime museum

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Old 08-02-2013, 12:13 PM
Location: Just outside of Portland
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My sister in law lived in Warrenton, Astoria, and across the river, Ilwaco, and now Long Beach.
I have spent much time that area, visiting throughout the year, crabbing during the summer, and fishing Bouy 10 for Silvers in the fall.

I can honestly say that I have experienced some of the worst weather I have ever seen, but also some of the most gorgeous days I have ever seen, in Astoria.

But for the most part, I have found it to be very cool, cloudy, wet, and windy with moderate temperatures most of the non summer months...

If you are looking for "sunshine", Astoria ain't the place to be during the non summer months.
Lewis and Clark wintered over in the Warrenton area (Fort Clatsop) and had to endure endless days of rain and wet winter weather before heading back east. They hated it.
In fact, on the Washington side of the Astoria Megler bridge is a place called "Dismal Nitch", named by L & C.

Maybe the famed dry clear summers of Oregon have an impact on the data.
Perhaps Seattle gets more clouds and wetness during the summer than Astoria gets during the summer.
That could skew the data.

Last edited by pdxMIKEpdx; 08-02-2013 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:07 PM
13 posts, read 43,234 times
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Thanks for the further comments.

While 91" of rain, which is what Astoria received during last year's precipitation bonanza (Portland even broke 50") might be a tad much for me--they'd normally get about 25" less--it's on my short list of places to move to next month, as I have to move anyway. I did visit several years ago, on a clear November day.

I notice at this page (which is where the webcams HereOnMars mentioned reside--too bad they use Java) that there's a "Last 48-hours of METAR observations" link, which amusingly at this moment, shows nothing clearer than Mostly Cloudy for the entire time, including overcast, light rain, and fog/mist. Sounds like my kind of summer weather!

Astoria, Oregon, USA - Weather and Webcams

Incidentally, Brevins is a "Solid Gold Fudge" company in Astoria. Naturally, they also host quite a handy little weather site. I particularly like the real-time weather page.
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