MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s moody weather often draws the national spotlight — from brutal cold and blizzards to flooding and searing heat.
For some, that’s a badge of honor. For others, it’s something to complain about.
A paper published on Aug. 6 in Scientific Reports — part of the journal Nature – shows why some may have a legitimate reason to whine.
The authors examined how many “heating degree days” and “cooling degree days” occur in each of the 50 largest cities.
A degree day is used to measure how uncomfortable temperatures are, on a given day.
It assumes that a “comfortable” day is a day that has an average temperature of 65 degrees. For example, such a day might have a high of 75 degrees and a low of 55 degrees. Each degree above or below 65, each day, gets tallied up over a year, and that gives an estimate of how wildly temperatures can swing.
Minneapolis had the largest number of degree days per year, leading the article’s authors to name it the least comfortable major city in lower 48 U.S. states.
In fact, all of the top five least comfortable cities were located in the Midwest.
The five most comfortable cities – led, as you may have guessed, by San Diego – were all in California.
And while climate change will continue to warm Minnesota in the future, projections show that we’ll remain the least comfortable city even at the end of this century.
If you’d like to see the full list of cities, ranked by comfort, or read the entire paper, visit nature.com.