DULUTH — With more rain and clouds in the forecast this weekend, some may have started to wonder why they don’t live somewhere sunnier.
Compared to the cloudiest cities in the country, Duluth doesn’t have it so bad, though it and other Minnesota cities all have far more cloudy days than not.
According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, Duluth ranks the 44th cloudiest out of 245 cities in the continental U.S., falling behind the usual suspects in the Pacific Northwest, a few New England towns and several other cities along the Great Lakes.
“One of the reasons we get a lot of cloudy days in Duluth is simply because we’re next to Lake Superior,” said meteorologist Dan Miller with the National Weather Service in Duluth. Larger weather patterns make a difference as well, which is why Rochester and International Falls average a similar number of cloudy days a year.
Autumn gets especially gray as cool marine air fights off dwindling sunshine, trapping clouds along the lake.
Elevation can quickly change that perspective: Miller pointed to his office being 800 feet above the Aerial Lift Bridge, providing him clear skies during this week’s fog.
“Your perception can be skewed by where you are in Duluth,” he said. “There’s a dramatic difference between the Miller Hill Mall area and Canal Park.”
The sunniest cities are, no surprise, in the Southwest. Yuma, Arizona, averages just 52 cloudy days a year to Duluth’s 187.
Rain is expected starting Friday night and into Saturday with a smaller chance of storms Sunday and Monday, Miller said.