Why Grand Rapids is one of the cloudiest US cities

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, it may have started early this year.

 SAD is  typically triggered by lack of sunshine, which is a way of life in  Grand Rapids. The city ranks sixth in terms of cloudiest cities  nationwide.    


  Grand Rapids ranks sixth in terms of cloudiest major U.S. cities.     In fact, five of the top ten cloudiest cities are located near the Great Lakes. 



The  reason can be explained by science: cold air arrives and flows across  the often unfrozen waters of the Great Lakes and evaporates. The water  vapor then rises until it condenses into clouds and precipitation that  we call lake-effect.

When you look at a map of the United States, you can see how the Great Lakes influences sunshine. 



  The Great Lakes lakes influences the amount of sunshine we receive.      



This  November certainly has solidified West Michigan's cloudy reputation. We  haven't experienced a day with more than 50 percent sunshine since Oct.  24.

The sunniest day this month only included 23 percent  sunshine, so Wednesday will be quite welcome, as it will likely be the  sunniest day in three weeks. 



  It's been a cloudy November so far.      Remarkably, nine of the first 13 days of November were completely  overcast. This has added up to a meager 3.2 percent sunshine average  through Nov. 13.

Historically, November ranks as the third cloudiest month on the calendar with an average of 28 percent sunshine. 

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