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Old 07-11-2010, 11:43 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Sydney, Aus is probably thought of as hotter in summer than it really is. It's Jan high of 25.8C is only slightly warmer than say Paris or Seattle. The humidity slightly makes up for it, though.

Much of Europe is probably thought of as colder than it is. I mean it is rather cold, but nothing compared to real cold places like most of Canada or Russia. Scandanavia is thought of as very cold, but alot of it is very mild for the latitude. Bergen is about as cold as NYC in midwinter.

London is probably overrated in terms of wetness - well, in one sense. It does get a mere 1500 or so hours of sun a year, but it's actual total of about 550mm (22 inches) is paltry compared to other world cities like Tokyo, Sydney or New York to name a few. It's 160 or so raindays are actually comparable to cities like Toronto.

Rome is probably seen as drier than it is too. It gets about 750mm (30 inches) with no truly dry months (a dryish summer, but not Mediterranean).

LA is probably seen as hotter in summer than it is. It's a very dry city, probably even drier than people expect.

Any ones you can think of?
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:03 AM
 
Location: In transition
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I think many people think the PNW is rainy and cloudy year round but it's not true. As an example, Victoria, BC averages 14mm in its driest month (July) and Seattle only averages 15mm in its driest month (July). This is comparable to typically Mediterranean locations like Nice, France (16mm) and Rome, Italy (15mm). I think the main reason why parts of the PNW are generally not considered a Mediterranean climate has to do with the fact that it's too cold in general rather than the precipitation pattern.
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:18 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deneb78 View Post
I think many people think the PNW is rainy and cloudy year round but it's not true. As an example, Victoria, BC averages 14mm in its driest month (July) and Seattle only averages 15mm in its driest month (July). This is comparable to typically Mediterranean locations like Nice, France (16mm) and Rome, Italy (15mm). I think the main reason why parts of the PNW are generally not considered a Mediterranean climate has to do with the fact that it's too cold in general rather than the precipitation pattern.
Good point, deneb. Parts of New York State are gloomier than Seattle, and are pretty cloudy all year round too.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:15 AM
 
Location: Surrey, London commuter belt
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London gets 1630 hours of sun per year so the gloomy stereotype is partly true, however only about 45 days per year are completely overcast.

Summer temps average mid 70s and 80+ occurs on average once every 6 days. Rain occurs on 141 days per year (almost all NW European cities get more, as well as Sydney and Melbourne), but spells of 20-30 days without rain are common in spring and summer. Infact London's longest absolute drought, in the spring of 1891, lasted for 78 days. The average annual wind speed is about 7-8mph so it's not a particularly windy place, either.

Days with 4-5 hours of drizzle occur in the winter. Spring, summer and autumn precipitation is showery in nature.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:57 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Good point, deneb. Parts of New York State are gloomier than Seattle, and are pretty cloudy all year round too.
Just a side note…that’s not really true.

Winter, summer, spring, fall…nowhere on the USA mainland is quite as gloomy as the Pacific Northwest. As far as NY state, the far northern/western portions near the Great Lakes are very cloudy…but as one move down toward the Atlantic seaboard where it’s flat…the climate is relatively sunny…much more so than places like Seattle, London, Paris…etc. Places like Long Island, NY get about twice the number of hours of sunshine as places like Seattle, London, New Zealand...etc in winter.

Here is December…the most cloudy month annually in the USA. A large area of the PNW gets less than 60 hours of sun....while only isolated spots of extreme N/W NY get 80 hours. Most of NY state gets 100 hours of sunshine in December. As you can see the Pacific Northwest stands alone in least hours of sun:






.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Having lived in both London and Sydney, London's climate is not as dire as most people expect. What makes summer not too bad are the long daylight hours and the humidity in the city can make it feel pretty warm.

Sydney is over hyped though - probably stems from the images of beaches and bbqs that are propagated throughout. Obviously a much better climate than London, but fairly dreary in summer with only around 50% sunshine (and as Trimac pointed out, maximums only in the mid 20s).
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Subarctic maritime Melbourne
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San Jose, California. Not unlike Melbourne in terms of temps year round....but they have 300 sunny dyas per year with only 366mm rainfall......surprising considering the very small distance to foggy and cold San Francisco.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:03 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deneb78 View Post
I think many people think the PNW is rainy and cloudy year round but it's not true. As an example, Victoria, BC averages 14mm in its driest month (July) and Seattle only averages 15mm in its driest month (July). This is comparable to typically Mediterranean locations like Nice, France (16mm) and Rome, Italy (15mm). I think the main reason why parts of the PNW are generally not considered a Mediterranean climate has to do with the fact that it's too cold in general rather than the precipitation pattern.


The real difference between Subtropical climates and Temperate climates from what I have studied/read...has much more to do with the genetic differences (prevailing air masses, wind zones, etc)...than rainfall or even temps:

In Temperate Climates like Seattle or the Pacific northwest (or 60% of the USA mainland for that matter), the theme 8 months out of the year is the prevailing westerlies, the frequent cyclones/anticyclones, and the changeable weather that are part of the climate character of locations between 40 and 55 latitude. Early mariners where well aware of these stormy latitudes when they got to observe them over the world’s oceans: They referred to them as “the roaring forties” …or the “furious fifties”. In these locations at sea - gale follows gale with brief intervening lulls. The weather is changeable and anything but steady most of the year.

In Subtropical Climates…the genetic factors are totally the opposite. In subtropical latitudes like the Mediterranean coast...much of the year the prevailing westerlies are to the north of these latitudes. Irregular, nonperiodic weather changes (while present) are much weaker in subtropical latitudes. For half the year (depending on the geographic location)…subtropical latitudes have a daily constancy not found in temperate latitudes. The French Mediterranean is at the very northern edge of the dry summer (or Mediterranean) climate, but even in this location the 5 months of the year have a stability in the weather.

The USA mainland is a much better example. Most locations in the subtropical portions of the country (from 30 to 34 latitude), like San Diego, Houston, Savannah, etc, have stability to their weather in terms of temperatures, sunshine, and diurnal regularity for 70% of the year. This is particularly true at the time of ‘high sun” (late spring, summer, early fall). During the high sun period…because subtropical latitudes border the low latitudes, where sun control prevails, they possess many of the tropics weather characterticds – chiefly among them stability. Storms, fronts, jets, changes in air masses…etc are the exception in subtropical latitudes. One day is much like another. Once the late fall rolls around (November or so), and the westerlies have pushed far southward, is there some changeability to the weather in the subtropics.

In climates like the Pacific Northwest (or any temperate climate), storms, fronts, highs, lows…etc are the normally prevailing factors that create the climate. In subtropical climates (Mediterranean or Humid subtropical) weather changes are at minimum during 70 % of the year.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:14 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavehunter007 View Post
Just a side note…that’s not really true.

Winter, summer, spring, fall…nowhere on the USA mainland is quite as gloomy as the Pacific Northwest. As far as NY state, the far northern/western portions near the Great Lakes are very cloudy…but as one move down toward the Atlantic seaboard where it’s flat…the climate is relatively sunny…much more so than places like Seattle, London, Paris…etc. Places like Long Island, NY get about twice the number of hours of sunshine as places like Seattle, London, New Zealand...etc in winter.

Here is December…the most cloudy month annually in the USA. A large area of the PNW gets less than 60 hours of sun....while only isolated spots of extreme N/W NY get 80 hours. Most of NY state gets 100 hours of sunshine in December. As you can see the Pacific Northwest stands alone in least hours of sun:


.
In the summer, most of the PNW is sunnier than much of the east coast. By total sunshine hours, the PNW is sunnier than the east coast in July. But PNW is longer daylight due to its northern latitude. But even by sunshine percentage, the PNW is sunnier than most of New England. It looks like the White Mountains in New Hampshire is the cloudiest part of the country in July:

NCDC: CLIMAPS -
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:04 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
In the summer, most of the PNW is sunnier than much of the east coast. By total sunshine hours, the PNW is sunnier than the east coast in July. But PNW is longer daylight due to its northern latitude. But even by sunshine percentage, the PNW is sunnier than most of New England. It looks like the White Mountains in New Hampshire is the cloudiest part of the country in July:

NCDC: CLIMAPS -
The number of hours the sun can shine in a place like Seattle (49 N) compared to say NYC (41 N) or Denver (40 north) is not really that much longer (less than about 1 hour per day). Here is a map of average sunshine hours for the USA in June:




As you can see most of the area around Puget Sound (Seattle, Tacoma…ect) get less 240 hours of sunshine…about the same as tiny area in extreme northern New England ( mostly the high mountains of Vermont and northwestern Maine). With the exception of this area…most of New England averages more than 240 - 280 hours of sunshine. However, the area to the west of Puget Sound (the Washington coast) averages less than 220 hours of sunshine in June…still the lowest of any area…of any the lower 48 states. Once you can as far south as Connecticut...the East Coast still recives more hours of sunshine than anywhere in the PNW in June, even with less hour of sunlight. Only once you get to around southeastern Oregon south to CA does the drier theme of the interior West show (340 hours of sunshine).

Keep in mind those 220 hours of sunshine is alot....as everywhere in the USA is relatively sunny in the summer months. However, the door slams shut much faster in the Pacific Northwest in fall and in spring the PNW is last to get in on the sun in the USA. I'll look to see if I can find July or August to see if there is any difference. I fairly sure that starting in even September...the PNW is much cloudier than anywhere in the USA.

Last edited by wavehunter007; 07-12-2010 at 11:13 AM..
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