Sunniest cities in America; Austin ranks better than most

Weather Blog
Downtown Austin skyline April 30, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Kristen Currie)

Downtown Austin skyline April 30, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Kristen Currie)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a beautiful weekend full of sunshine, it may not come as a surprise that Austin ranks fairly well for the amount of sunshine we see on an annual basis.

According to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) Austin’s Camp Mabry and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport ranked 74th and 75th respectively out of 174 American cities studied for average percentage of annual possible sunshine. The higher the ranking, the more sun received compared to what’s possible.

Both Austin sites received 60% of possible sunshine through the year.

The TOP 10 cities for highest percentage of average annual possible sunshine were as follows:

  1. Yuma, Arizona – 90%
  2. Redding, California – 88%
  3. Las Vegas, Nevada – 85%
  4. Phoenix, Arizona – 85%
  5. Tucson, Arizona – 85%
  6. El Paso, Texas – 84 %
  7. Fresno, California – 79%
  8. Reno, Nevada – 79%
  9. Flagstaff, Arizona – 78%
  10. Sacramento, California – 78%

Here’s how other cities within Texas ranked:

14. Midland-Odessa, Texas – 74%
16. Amarillo, Texas – 73%
20. Lubbock, Texas – 72%
25. Abilene, Texas – 70%
61. Galveston, Texas – 62%
66. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas – 61%
74. Austin (Camp Mabry), Texas – 60%
75. Austin (Austin Bergstrom International Airport), Texas – 60%

77. Brownsville, Texas – 60%
79. Corpus Christi, Texas – 60%
86. San Antonio, Texas – 60%
95. Houston, Texas – 59%
106. Port Arthur, Texas – 58%

Bottom of the list?
174. Juneau, Alaska – 30%

If you want to read the FULL LIST: Click here

In Depth

According to the National Weather Service we typically get sunshine 50% of the time in winter and almost 75% of the time in the summer.

One major source for our cloudiness throughout the year is low stratus developing at night and into the morning. This occurs when south or southeast winds transport Gulf moisture in our direction.

Depending on how thick the cloud cover is, stronger sunshine usually mixes out the clouds to reveal more sun for the afternoon. Sometimes the stratus is too thick or the sun isn’t strong enough (winter) and the clouds last all day.

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