These Are the 7 Cloudiest Cities in the U.S. Because You Can’t Have Snow Without Clouds

Brent Thomas | | WeatherWeather
Credit: Unsplash

For snow to form you need moisture, freezing temperatures, and clouds. Tiny ice crystals in the clouds stick together to become snowflakes.

To honor the clouds, below is a list of the seven cloudiest cities in the U.S. with a population of over 100,000. This data is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“Cloudy” defined

Cloudiness is split up into four categories:

  • Mostly clear: 1/8th of the sky is covered by clouds
  • Partly cloudy: 3/8-5/8ths of the sky is covered by clouds
  • Mostly cloudy: 6/8-7/8ths of the sky is covered by clouds
  • Cloudy: 7/8ths or more of the sky is covered by clouds

The list is based on the number of “cloudy” days the city experiences every year. 

#1 Anchorage, AK.

239 cloudy days per year

The biggest city in Alaska falls number one on this list. Atmospheric rivers and proximity to the Pacific Ocean bring many clouds. Alyeska Resort, which is less than an hour away, also receives abundant snowfall.

#2 Seattle, WA.

226 cloudy days per year

Seattle, WA. Credit: Pixabay

Seattle is the most recognizable city in the Pacific Northwest. The clouds often bring significant rainfall as well. This falls as snow in the mountains. Mt. Baker, to the northeast, holds the record for the most snow ever recorded.

#3 Portland, OR.

222 cloudy days per year

Also in the Pacific Northwest, Portland shares a similar climate to Seattle. It is known for its breweries as well as being somewhat quirky and hip. 90 minutes away is Mt. Hood with multiple ski resorts.

#4 Eugene, OR.

209 cloudy days per year

Eugene is the birthplace of Nike and is also known as Track Town USA. Clouds often hover over the beautiful rivers and foothills. Willamette Pass Resort is located a little over an hour away in the Cascade Range.

#5 Buffalo, NY.

208 cloudy days per year

Buffalo, NY. Credit:

Buffalo is known for its snowy winters, so it’s no surprise it lands on this list. New York has numerous ski areas.

#6 Salem, OR.

208 cloudy days per year

Another city from Oregon on the list. Salem is the state capital and is located in the heart of the Willamette Valley with the ocean to the west and mountains to the east. Also to the east is Hoodoo Ski Area.

#7 Grand Rapids, MI.

205 cloudy days per year

Similar to other cities near the great lakes, Grand Rapids receives a lot of snow (and clouds). Close-by ski areas include Bittersweet Ski Resort to the south and Crystal Mountain to the north.

Rising above the clouds. image: SnowBrains

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4 thoughts on “These Are the 7 Cloudiest Cities in the U.S. Because You Can’t Have Snow Without Clouds

  1. Good catch, QAnOnYmOuS! I don’t have an opinion on this particular oversight. I wonder how many miles I’ll get out of this name before some sad sack copies it.

    Wheezy F

  2. #5, Buffalo. In an article about Buffalo, which is in western New York, why do you mention upstate New York ski areas? There are ski areas in western New York!

  3. Great cover picture of city not even on the list? Another Copy & Paste from the great minds of sNOwbrains. WHEEZUS can you save US

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