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10 Interesting Facts About U.S. Weather

October 18, 2022

1. Dallas once had 40 straight days of at least 100 °F
In 2011, Dallas recorded forty straight days with a high temperature of at least 100 °F, and 101 straight days of at least 90 °F.
2. In July, San Francisco is the coldest major city in the U.S.
"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco". That's just one of many fake quotes attributed to Mark Twain throughout the years. But this doesn't take away from the fact that San Francisco is downright chilly in July, with an average high temperature of just 67 °F. In July, San Francisco is colder than some places in Alaska and is by far the coldest among the 100 most populous metro areas in the U.S.
3. But it doesn't rain in San Francisco in July
Despite the low temperatures, San Francisco is incredibly dry in the month of July. In the last century, it has only rained about 2 inches in total for the entire month of July - that's just 0.02 inches per year on average.
4. Seattle gets less rain than New York City
Seattle gets a lot less rain than people think. In fact, of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States, Seattle gets less rain than most of them. However, what Seattle lacks in volume, it makes up for in frequency. Winters in Seattle are often dark and drizzly. In 1953, Seattle received rain for 33 consecutive days.
Typical media misrepresentation of Seattle weather
5. Death Valley gets cold
Death Valley holds the record for the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth - 130 °F. But it isn't warm year around. In the winter, temperatures can fall below freezing.
6. It has never reached 100° in Honolulu
Honolulu is warm and pleasant year around. But the ocean moderates the climate so effectively that Honolulu has the lowest record high temperature among the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The hottest temperature ever recorded is just 95 °F.
7. Houston once got 37" of rain in 5 days
During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Houston received over 37 inches of rainfall in just five days. That's about the same as Seattle gets in an average year.
Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
8. Greeley, Colorado witnessed a 95 °F temperature swing in a single day
On the High Plains of Colorado, the weather can shift wildly in just a few short hours. But perhaps the most remarkable swing ever recorded was in the town of Greeley on December 9, 1919. On that day, the high temperature reached 58 °F while the low fell to an amazing -37 °F.
9. Buffalo got nearly 7 feet of snow in just five days
Next time you complain about the weather, think about the poor citizens of Buffalo, New York who had a white Christmas for the ages when they received 81.5" of snow over a five day period between December 24–28, 2001.
Surprisingly, here is no law forcing people to live in Buffalo. The residents of Buffalo choose to live there voluntarily.
10. It rained 71 days in a row in Forks, Washington
If you're a vampire afraid of the sun, the city of Forks might make a great refuge. Among the city's weather extremes was a period in 2019–2020 where it rained (at least a little) on 71 consecutive days. In total, the city received 57" of rain during the streak.