Atmosphere And Weather

Sunniest Cities in North America

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"Sunniest Cities in North America"
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There are many reasons for you to be curious about the sunniest places in North America.  You may be a trivia buff who has become intrigued with the topic or wants to impress your friends with this knowledge.  Maybe you are looking to visit one of these sunny places.  Perhaps you want to visit for a change of scenery.  You could have seasonal affective disorder and become depressed when it is not sunny enough.

US cities

According to the National Climatic Data Center, as of 2004 the sunniest city in the United States is Yuma, Arizona.  Yuma has an annual average possible sunshine factor of 90 percent, collected over 42 years of data.  Redding, California is next with average possible sunshine in the 88th percentile over 10 years.  The third sunniest city in the US is a city averaging 85 percent average possible sunshine.  There are actually three cities which average 85 percent but this one has been observed for 101 years, so the data is most likely more accurate.  This city is Phoenix, Arizona.

All of this information may seem irrelevant to you because you most likely want to know what the current sunniest cities are.  Well, they are likely to remain the same.  Weather systems follow certain patterns with only slight variations over time.  This notion figures in with statistics and probability.  So, barring a major environmental event, this information will still be relevant in 2020, another 8 years from now.

Canadian cities

Canada's Climate Data and Information Archive has compiled a list of "weather winners" encompassing the highest averages of several different weather categories.   This information is available from the year 2001, though it was last updated in 2011.  This list can be filtered to include only cities within a certain category, which includes the most sunshine year round. 

The information is included with a disclaimer from the archive stating that the information is only available for larger cities with weather observatories.  It is in the smaller and less easily accessible areas of Canada where you will find the most extreme weather conditions, as with anywhere.  These cities are included for places that have a high average amount of sunshine year round, not extreme weather conditions that appear at specific time.

The first sunniest city is Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  This city has an average of 332.93 kilopascals, or kPa, year round.  Kilopascals are a measure of station pressure, or barometric pressure observed at a weather station.  By measuring the rise and fall of atmospheric pressure over time, the average changes in temperature can be recorded.  Warm air rises and cool air falls, so if a lot of air is rising, there are steady increases in the temperature.  When measuring very small, incremental changes such as these, even a small change indicates a change in temperature. This means that the sun's rays are reaching the earth, even when the weather appears cold.  The second sunniest city in Canada is Medicine Hat, Alberta, with an average station pressure of 329.88 kilopascals.  Note that this is a small difference, though significant enough to make it less sunny than Calgary.  The third sunniest city is Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada with an average station pressure of 324.85 kilopascals.

Mexican cities

According to, Mexico only receives between 5.6 and 8.5 hours of sunlight during the day at different months throughout the year, averaging 7.1 hours daily.  This makes Mexico significantly less sunny than both the United States and Canada.  The United States is the sunniest country in North America, containing some of the sunniest cities in the continent.

Various travel sites offer weather statistics on travel destinations. offers travel information on this city.  offers travel and vacation information for Cancun. offers weather, climate, and temperature information designed for travel.  The sunniest city in Mexico is Acapulco de Jaures, Guerrero.  This city averages about 360 sunny days a year, with an average daily sunshine amount of 7.8 hours.  The next sunniest city is Puerto Vallarta with an average of more than 280-310 days of sunshine yearly.  The third sunniest city is Cancun, Mexico with more than 240 days of sunshine a year.

More about this author: Toni Macdonald

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