Once Upon A City Dreary

Photo: chron.com

April 7, 2015

If you live for the sunshine, you’ll likely want to stay away from Seattle and Buffalo. If you thrive in the gray and rainy, however, pack your bags.

Seattle, WA, and Buffalo, NY, have topped a list of dreary cities compiled by Brian Brettschneider, a meteorologist from Anchorage, AK, who blogs about his research.

The Dreary Index, as Brettschneider calls his findings, charts three variables to figure out which cities — out of the 73 in the US that have a population of more than 250,000 — have the highest annual rainfall, number of days with significant rainfall and average cloud coverage.

“This is right about the time where people in the Northeast are getting defensive. How can Buffalo be as dreary as Seattle or how can Pittsburgh be as dreary as Portland?” Brettschneider wrote on his blog.

Pittsburgh, PA, and Portland, OR, earned second place on the list.

The least dreary cities were all in the Southwest. These were Bakersfield and Henderson, CA, Las Vegas, and Mesa and Phoenix, AZ.

“…. Keep in mind that neither temperature, wind, nor solar energy were used in the calculation,” Brettschneider wrote. “In my mind, a dreary day is wet and gray — therefore, this analysis only used variables that reflect those characteristics.”

Dreary city residents might want to point out that longer days with more sunlight can increase the likelihood of a migraine and exacerbate allergies, according to the Weather Channel.

However, according to Dr. Grady Dixon, a biometereologist at Mississippi State University, cold and cloudy days are more likely to create bad moods, the Weather Channel reports. Seasonal affective disorder, or depression that occurs the same time every year, is also less prevalent during sunny days, according to the Mayo Clinic.



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