Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Seen Around: interesting new West Salem web site


(Salem: 54) kelly norton: The Pleasant Places to Live

Where in the U.S. will you find the most "pleasant" days in a year?

"pleasant" here means the mean temperature was between (55° F and 75° F), the minimum temperature was above 45° F, the maximum temperature was below 85° F and there was no significant precipitation or snow depth.

It has been a winter of dreadful weather so far. I spent January flying back and forth from New York expecting to find a different set of conditions at the end of each leg. Whichever way I went, bitter cold greeted me at the end of the jet way and often with a coating of slick ice. It's hard not to dwell on anomalous and unpleasant weather. It got me wondering, though, where in the U.S. do you go if you want the most "pleasant" days in a year?

I decided to take a stab at what constitutes a "pleasant" day and then aggregate NOAA data for the last 23 years to figure out the regions of the United States with the most (and least) pleasant days in a typical year. The results, I think, are not that surprising and pretty much affirm the answer given off the cuff by many of my west coast friends when asked about the best places, "Southern California?" For the areas with the least pleasant days, I admit I would have guessed North Dakota. However, it's much of Montana that gets an average of a couple of weeks of pleasantness each year. I'm sure, though, they would shake their frost-bitten fingers at me and remind me that not everyone can take the overwhelming heat of 55° F. True, there is a bit of subjectivity to the range I selected. It's just that a lot of subjects share that same preference.