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Tucson, Phoenix are best cities for sunshine

It’s no surprise to us who live in the Sonoran Desert that, on average, we enjoy 286 sunny days a year in Tucson — while the U.S. average is 205. Old Pueblo residents can get ample doses of vitamin D while those in the Pacific Northwest are depleted. We know why our beloved snowbirds flock to the desert in months where northern temperatures hover around zero. But did you know that Phoenix and Tucson now rank number one and two respectively as America’s sunniest cities? Even Flagstaff is ranked at number nine. That’s the reason Move.org says so many people migrate to Arizona.

Surprisingly Kahului, Hawaii, ranks at number 25, and Hilo, Hawaii, at 146. These areas receive massive amounts of rainfall, which mostly falls between midnight and sunrise. The clouds evaporate during the day, but that doesn’t happen immediately, and you’ll still get stretches of long rainfalls that put it on the less sunny side of the spectrum as a whole. You can definitely catch the sun out there, but if your timing falls within a rainy spell, just hit the west side of the island, Kona, for some rays.

Can’t stand the cold, cloudy confusion that days of endless gray bring? You’ll want to avoid staying in these places, which are the least sunny cities in the United States: Quillayute, Washington, is the darkest place, with 32.2% sunshine, followed by Mount Washington, New Hampshire, and, not so surprisingly, Juneau, Alaska.

To find the sunniest cities, Move.org sourced the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2015 Comparative Climatic Data report. Each city was ranked based on the annual average percent of possible sunshine. NOAA defines the sunniest cities by the total time that sunshine reaches the observing station, which is expressed as the percentage of the maximum amount possible from sunrise to sunset in clear sky conditions.