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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

5 Worst Summer Weather Cities

5 Worst Summer Weather Cities

The idea of perfect weather is as crazy as the idea of a perfect world or a perfect anything. One person’s ideal weather is another’s worst day. The funny thing about weather is that some people enjoy what most of us consider the worst weather–snowstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes–we’ve had people ask us where to move to for the best place to see tornadoes, believe it or not. To help us answer the question of perfect weather, we polled our Facebook fans.

The consensus seemed to be for clear blue skies, low humidity, temperatures around 75°F, and a light wind. Yet others said snow and lots of it. So instead of picking perfect weather we’re picking far-from-perfect or “worst” weather. In the 2002 Farmers’ Almanac, we decided to offer our picks for the 10 best and ten worst weather cities. The response was amazing. Many agreed, some disagreed, and others suggested cities we should have included on the list.

To compile this list, we looked at temperatures, sky conditions, precipitation, humidity, and wind. This year we’re doing it again, but with a twist–we are looking at which cities have the worst winter weather and which have the worst summer weather.

The following list took a number of meteorological factors into consideration, as well as the population size of the cities. We set a limit of a population of at least 50,000 people. Interestingly, from our original “10 Worst” list of 2002, two cities, Syracuse and New Orleans, made it onto our Worst Weather lists this year. Here are our listings for the ten cities, five each with the worst winter and worst summer weather in the United States.

1. MIAMI, FLORIDA
Let’s make one thing clear: During the winter months, Miami ranks high in terms of great weather, with abundant sunshine and warm, pleasant temperatures. There’s probably no better place to spend a winter vacation than “The Magic City.” But between May and October, the overall climate is anything but pleasant, and the thing that becomes abundant is precipitation. Miami’s climate is subtropical marine, so think hot, humid, and showery. It ranks second (behind Key West) as the nation’s hottest, averaging 75.6°F annually. Taking into account temperature and humidity, it ranks sixth among the 10 most uncomfortable cities. Among the top ten cities most prone to the effects of a tropical storm or hurricane, Miami ranks ninth. Finally, it ranks tenth on the list of the ten wettest cities, averaging 59.55 inches; but nearly 44 of those inches typically fall between May and October, chiefly in thunderstorms. In short: keep your umbrella close by.

2. NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA New Orleans has a subtropical temperate climate and generally sees little variation on any given day. In other words, hot days tend to begin very warm and sultry and end that way. Temperatures rarely reach much higher than 90°F, but because of high humidity, it can get exceedingly uncomfortable. As we noted in 2002 when New Orleans made our Top Ten Worst list: Spend a summer here and you will very quickly learn why it’s not easy to live in the Big Easy without air conditioning! Tropical storms are a definite concern to residents and visitors to New Orleans. While not at the top of the list of danger zones for hurricanes, New Orleans is high on that list, and even tropical depressions can cause dangerous flooding. Regular storms can also produce extremely heavy rainfalls, so street flooding is a continual issue in the New Orleans area. Most of the city is located below sea level, protected from the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain by an extensive levee system and by canals and pumps. But as was seen with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, even these protections are not always enough; the levees were breached, leaving parts of the city underwater for many days.

3. DALLAS, TEXAS
This city’s climate is often identified as humid subtropical, even though it is located in a region that tends to receive warm, dry winds during the summer from the north and west, with temperatures well over 100°F and heat indices soaring as high as 117°F. Dallas ranks fourth among the most uncomfortable U.S. cities. When only temperature itself is accounted for, the north central Texas region, where Dallas is located, is one of the hottest in the United States during the summer months, usually trailing only the Mojave Desert of Arizona, southern Nevada, and southeastern California. In Dallas, severe thunderstorms can spawn tornadoes (number 3 among major metropolitan areas for tornadic activity) as well as large hail (number 5 among cities most prone).

4. MOBILE, ALABAMA During July and August, temperatures will hit 90°F on two out of three days. Such temperatures, combined with average afternoon relative humidity levels between 60 to 70 percent, make for a very oppressive, uncomfortable environment. Mobile also recently topped a list of the soggiest cities in the contiguous 48 states, with more than 5 feet of rain annually (according to a 2007 study by the San Francisco-based WeatherBill, Inc.), with the heaviest rainfalls occurring during mid- and late summer. It should thus come as no surprise that Mobile ranks high among the top thunderstorm cities; there may be a thunderstorm every other day during July and August. Thankfully, those summer storms are usually not too violent and seldom produce hail.

5. CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS Located in south Texas, Corpus Christi Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico. Corpus Christi ranks ninth on the list of the nation’s ten hottest cities, averaging 72.1°F. But in contrast to other places along the Gulf Coast, Corpus Christi receives only about 30 inches of rain each year–most of it during the spring and early fall. In fact, summers usually feature lots of sunshine and big puffy clouds passing over. And the threat of severe tropical storms only averages about one storm every ten years. So why does Corpus Christi make our list? Unfortunately, the prevailing summer winds often come from the southeast, right off the Gulf of Mexico. Combined with late afternoon temperatures that usually peak around 94°F, and you have a climate where you can break into a sweat just going outside to check your mailbox; it is, in fact, one of the most uncomfortable summer cities. –

Check out what cities made our worst winter cities.

Do you have a worse weather city that should be added to list? Tell us about

38 comments

1 Robert Wayne { 07.26.14 at 12:33 am }

Looks like the whole gulf coast ought to be on this list. I live in Lake Charles, LA which is about halfway between Houston and Baton Rouge and all summer long it’s nothing but miserable heat and humidity with hardly a breeze to be felt. Just hot, damp and still air.

2 Michelle { 07.02.14 at 12:34 am }

I grew up in New Orleans (#2) and now live in Dallas (#3). I just can’t escape the heat or uncomfortable climates.

3 John { 06.29.14 at 11:49 am }

It is June 29, 2014, 10:40am. I am sitting by my pool in Sugar Land, Texas (metro Houston). It is very pleasant, 80 degrees and 50% humidity. Houston IS hot in the summer, but it absolutely does fall well into the 70s, 90% of all summer nights. Frankly, the worst around here is often early morning when it is extremely humid. Once the sun comes out much of the humidity evaporates, making it “tolerable” most days and “decent” (sometimes pleasant) outside at night. Personally, I like it fairly cool, and by 8-9 pm most nights are fairly pleasant. Sugar Land is also helped by all out war on the Mosquitos. Every night trucks pump “who knows what” down the road grates and into the air. Always good to head inside for 15 minutes when you hear them coming.

However, the lifestyle in Houston trumps everything else, including the lack of physical beauty, although foliage wise Houston is quite green and attractive, blended in with some magnificent architecture and good infrastructure. One can find any lifestyle, from very urban to almost country suburban. People can complain about Houston’s traffic. However, we have the world’s most lane miles of highway than any city in the world, LA included. Traffic at rush hour can be horrible, but there are a lot of different options. Houstonians measure driving in time, not distance, so prefer to drive 30 miles in 40 mins than 15 miles in an hour.

Over the course of a year, in rate the overall weather good.

4 bpb buelterman { 12.18.13 at 3:21 pm }

Detroit should be on year round list. It is LOUSY. PERIOD.

5 Jason { 11.25.13 at 2:27 pm }

Many of these cities have sea breezes that grant relief from the heat. The worst summers go to areas in the southwest like Phoenix, and Las Vegas that see 112 degree heat every day in the summer. I don’t care if its dry heat- thats still hot. And to the poster Garrison, frankly your wrong – Houston does have a sea breeze that gets into even the Woodlands. The Greater Houston Area had indigenous peoples known as the Karawankas, look it up. Galveston isn’t all that bad as people say it is, and the petrochemical plants are away from the city center, and zoned to a far off location. Houston does NOT have 92 degree lows in the summer- in the 70s is more like it. And Galveston, and other coastal communities in the Houston area can be reached in around 30 minutes.

6 Christopher { 07.21.13 at 4:04 pm }

Miami shouldn’t be on the list are you crazy
Precipitation doesn’t happen everyday in the summer. It does happen happen a lot though but so what it is quick. Miami actually has one of the best weather in the us. It has sunlit and warm weather.miami has great weather in the summer except for people who don’t like the heat but I love the heat

Miami has great sunny weather even n the summer. Precipitation is quick and than the sun comes out again

7 Sweaty Wettie in Mobile { 07.13.13 at 5:45 pm }

Mobile is steamy year round. Even when it is 60 degrees outside, it’s uncomfortable. We seldom have low humidity. I would love to move back to Middle Tennessee, where they have humidity sometimes, but not year round. I’ve been here almost 10 years, and I hate it more every day.

8 Marilyn Culverson { 07.13.13 at 1:47 pm }

I love it. I have lived all over the South as a travelling nurse. Originally from Toronto, Canada , and Alberta, Canada I have a fair idea of what summer is like around the continent. I have lived in Boston, Indianapolis, Memphis, New Orleans, Corpus Christi, The Rio Grande Valley and now in Austin, Texas. The northern climates may have temperate summers but the certainly can have some long bitter winters. Give me the South any day. New Orleans despite high humidity has warm rain most afternoons, The Rio Grande valley always seemed to be sunny, warm and windy! Great pool weather! I am now currently in Austin area and find the long hot summers…..HOT!!…little rain or breezes to move it around it to move the air.. Thank goodness for cooler nights and AC! Each area has its advantages. At least the South rarely sees snow and never bitter cold. It is all a matter of perspective!

9 garrison { 12.12.12 at 7:14 pm }

LOl are you guys CRAZY! Have you not been to Houston in the summer. 100 f 100 humidity and the temp drops only 5% or so at night (that’s 92 for a low sometimes). Also zero breeze, not uncommon for the wind to be 0 with all those factors. Also, the allergy capital of the world. Allergist literally come to Houston to do the bulk of their research. Add the petrochemical pollution that makes the air thick so when you open your door it takes your breath away. I have traveled everywhere (100 cities a year) and been in the Jungles of Sumatra in Indonesia and Africa and Houston is worse. Houston is the only major city in the US that had no indigenous people. That’s right! That means the Indians wouldn’t live their! You can dig all you want, no pottery no arrow heads. High school Football teams practice at 6am because of the deaths every year of young athletes. Houston is a great city with the countries best economy. Great food and great people. By far the best city to fly from ( no more that 3.50 min from an US City) and the cost living is low and the pay is high. Lots of wealthy people and surprising small gettos. Good schools and well run by the city. But….. its extraordinarily uncomfortable to be outside from June to October. Much much worse than Miami (with a consistent breeze) Dallas with a dryer climate. New Orleans with a breeze and less auto traffic, Mobile and Corpus are again subject to ocean breezes. Houston is 50 minutes in no traffic from the coast . A coast with oddly very little wind in the summer (never seen anything like it, but don’t get me started on Galveston)!

10 Steve { 11.28.12 at 11:43 am }

Have any of the people who put this list together ever been to Phoenix in the summer? I would bet they have not. I have lived in many southern cities (east and west) and woud have to say that a summer in Phoenix was the most miserable experience. Oh wait, I almost forgot, “But it’s a dry heat”.

11 terrie lynne { 07.11.12 at 6:40 pm }

What about Laredo, Texas?? It has to be one of the hottest summer cities in the US.

12 Citizen Montag { 06.25.12 at 5:18 pm }

This discussion makes me feel so much better about needing my sweatshirt today, I have gotten on a plane in Seattle in 66deg and drizzling and gotten off in Georgia 96deg and drizzling. I came back……

13 Terry { 06.25.12 at 5:05 pm }

It’s a little odd to see a discussion involving people competing as to who lives in the worst weather cities. The South is a bit muggy in the summer, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. North Carolina is perfect! Hot, muggy, a few hurricanes, occasional tornadoes. What’s not to love? I’ll take this beautiful state and all its weather imperfections.

14 LJ { 06.25.12 at 5:03 pm }

St. Louis, MO, should be on this list. 100 degree temperature and 1,000% humidity and horrendous thunderstorms

15 MOgirl83 { 04.25.12 at 11:49 am }

@Joseafus Brown & Kayleigh, are you guys nuts?? =) Come to the midwest, the south, or lower east coast and experience the humidity before you complain about Phoenix. I’ve lived in both Phoenix and St. Louis and I can tell you that 100 and humid is SO much worse than 120 and dry. I’d take Phoenix in the summer over St. Louis in the summer any day!

16 Quinndalynn { 11.05.11 at 3:18 pm }

Im a bit mad about San Antonio not being on the list. I’ve lived there all my life, and every year it’s extreme humidity & triple digit heat from late May to late August. Actually, all of South Texas is like that. But at least Corpus Christi gets some breezes…it’s like a stagnant pool of air ’round here in summertime.

17 Canning Granny { 06.22.11 at 2:36 pm }

Columbia, South Carolina… HOT, HUMID, HOT!!!!

18 Nancy { 06.22.11 at 2:19 pm }

I moved from Fairbanks, Alaska to Nashville, Tennessee. I’d love to find a happy medium somewhere! I have no desire to “survive” Alaskan winters any longer, but this sticky,southern heat is miserable. I’ve got my eye on Kansas. : )

19 Betty { 06.22.11 at 2:14 pm }

Funny how all of the cities are in the Deep South! I live in Florida, and I treat a Florida summer like a northerner treats winter: I only go out if I absolutely have to! It was 90 by 10AM today. For those northerners who wish they had a nice long, hot summer, remember this: you can put more clothes on when it gets cold, we can only take so many off when it gets hot!

20 victor { 05.14.11 at 10:40 am }

new orleans new orleans new orleans

21 Cody { 04.20.11 at 12:18 pm }

Hilarious discussion. I’ve never heard of people being concerned that the summer is “too hot and long” ….. Check out the weather and average temps for Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Extremely brief, very very mild summers, and a long 8+ month winter of frigid cold, and excess snow. I’d trade “too hot” for this any day. No one here has a pool ….. because it would never be hot enough to use it, not a single day of the year.

22 Justin { 03.26.11 at 6:16 pm }

WHAT ABOUT HOUSTON??? It’s the most miserable weather I’ve ever seen… and I’ve been to Iraq!

23 Benson { 09.22.10 at 2:26 pm }

NASHVILLE!!!! It has been in the upper 90s almost continuously since the middle of May and it is still 95 degrees right now with no end in sight! However, people who live here will never admit how long and hot the summers are. Get me out of here!

24 Jerry Lee Lowrie { 09.11.10 at 3:05 pm }

All the people who thought western citys should have scored higher on this list are sadly mistaken. I was born and rased just outside Las Vegas. I went to Califonia and Arazona many, many times. I now live not far from Corpus Christi and have visited all along the gulf coast. OH MY!! Nothing compares to the wet-hot soupe of the gulf states. Oh and Kelly, yer wlecome to join me on a peir for a tall cool one any time. Of corse, nothing but bait stealers and sharks this time of year… :-\

25 Vanessa Silva { 09.09.10 at 8:14 pm }

I love living on the Central Coast of California..coastal climate yields almost perfect weather every year..a little rainy in January but the most perfect summers..not too cold, not too hot, and definately not humid!!

26 sublux_fixer { 09.09.10 at 12:14 pm }

I’m finding it hard to believe that Atlanta isn’t on this list. Given that Miami (#1) states that it’s 75.6 annually. There’s a reason Atlanta is called Hotlanta. We have 9 months of hot, peel your skin off, no breeze, can’t breathe weather and 3 months of no humidity. Why this city is not #1 or even on the list is puzzling. The people doing this must have never come here in the summer.

27 BeamMeUp { 09.08.10 at 6:34 pm }

Las Vegas isn’t on the list? Have you ever been there in August when it’s 110 in the shade. The Strip is miserable, with all the concrete and asphalt. I’ll admit Vegas is great in January when highs are in the 60s and lows in the 40s.

28 Stephanie { 09.08.10 at 4:37 pm }

Houston! It’s horrible in the summer!

29 Tiffany Crews { 09.08.10 at 3:35 pm }

Any city in the Rio Grande Valley! I hate to even walk outside most days it’s so sticky! And the bugs!! Skeeters, tics, flees, etc…. 6 years and I’m moving North!!!

30 Joseafus Brown { 09.08.10 at 3:30 pm }

Monsoon Season, filthy air, and unending 90+ degree night time ‘lows’ contribute to my vote for Mesa, Arizona as the#1 choice for the worst Hot city in America

31 Kay Wren { 09.08.10 at 2:46 pm }

I spent Aug. 28 & 29 in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, beautiful. Hot with a strong breeze off the Atlantic. Wish I could have stayed longer!

32 rose { 09.08.10 at 1:44 pm }

after spending 7 weeks in Bullhead City , Az,,, I cannot understand with their temperatures why they are not on the list,,, Needles, Ca,, is just as hot also whew,, guess ” it’s a dry heat” has something to do with it,,, the grand canyon not too far away was refreshing with the cool evenings,, go figure same state…

33 agree with Kayleigh { 09.08.10 at 12:01 pm }

Phoenix should have been #1!!!!!!

34 danny { 09.08.10 at 11:48 am }

I love Okla. most of the year but if you like it here in July and Aug, you’re nuts. 100+ TEMP nearly every day, a nice day is 98. Temp.s at night never drop out of the 80′s . Humidity as high as New Orleans but it doesn’t rain and drop the temp.

35 martinmm { 09.08.10 at 9:54 am }

Fontana,Ca. deset like condition with what is called santa anas’ wind. Where the cajon pass(15fwy)lets these Devil winds through any time in the year or not. When it is blowing sometimes you can travel 3 blocks in either direction and there is none then thinking all is well you go home to the same constant and you don’t go anywhere cause you think its blowing everywhere.

36 lexy { 08.31.10 at 11:43 pm }

I totally agree with Miami being #1 it is miserable there in the summer..!!!!!!!

37 Kelly Morgan { 08.31.10 at 8:58 pm }

Poo on Corpus Christi being on your list. I grew up there, and didn’t know what a miserable summer was until I lived in Austin, Tx. While those winds coming off the water provide a welcome respite, and actually keep things a bit cooler, Austin is a stagnant, still sticky-fest. The temperature is pretty consistently 5 to 10 degrees hotter in Austin too. Trust me. I’ve spent many years sadly comparing the daily forecasts and wishing I was sitting on a pier with my pole in the breeze instead of sweltering in Austin’s 100° sauna.

38 Kayleigh { 08.30.10 at 5:20 pm }

Phoenix wasn’t on this list?! Every summer here is a constant 110+ degrees. Not to mention the random duststorms that shut down roads and freeways. Had a storm last week with 60+ mph winds that blew down trees up the wahzu.

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