Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hramblings: Ann Arbor weather is warmer but not necessarily better...

As Mark Twain said, "Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it."

Ed Vielmetti was writing about "Normal weather in Ann Arbor" today. As far as I'm concerned, normal weather in Ann Arbor is bad, i.e. some combination of damp, humid, overcast, blustery, frigid, slushy or broiling. Ann Arbor is listed as #25 in the list of top 100 places to live in the U.S., but its not for climate. We have fewer sunny days than most cities on the lists at 66 (compared to an average of 107).

Weather is bad enough that I have kept a personal tally of sunny days in one format or another for a few years. In short, the weather has been unseasonably warm this winter, but its still been grey, rainy and blustery. My current system scores a 1, 0, or -1 for sunny days, i-don't-knows and the usual dismal Michigan fare respectively. We've been running at a -1 or -2 cumulative score since the first of the year.

I don't think I'm scoring that hard. In general, a nice day is one that is:
  • Partly cloudy or better is almost automatically +1 unless its hot and sticky.
  • Partly sunny or scattered sunshine can still get a +1 in the winter if the wind and the dampness is under control.


  • If its overcast, it scores -1
  • If I'm out of town, don't get outside when its light or otherwise can't make an assessment, its a zero.
  • Its tough not to get a -1 score from me on rainy days in Michigan because they are less showers than downpours and the aftermath is generally sticky instead of refreshing
  • Falling snow doesn't automatically get a -1. Blizzards, sleet, hail do.
  • Clear night skies, full moons, rainbows, sundogs and other weather anomalies can get an upward adjustment.


At 2:26 AM, Blogger Edward Vielmetti said...

Nice scoring method, John.

I'm guessing that a few degrees warmer Ann Arbor winters for me results in more days on the minus side of the ledger. In particular, the 35 degree day with rain is -1, and the 29 degree day with snow could easily be +1. There have been way too many cold rains this year.


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