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Find the Most Pleasant Places to Live

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Feb 20, 2014 3:48:00 PM

When it comes to U.S. living what does pleasant even mean? For Atlanta software engineer and Google alum Kelly Norton (, the definition means somwhere where the minimum temperature is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the maximum is below 85 and the mean temperature is between 55 and 75 degrees. Sounds pretty nice considering most of the country is in the deep freeze or just now defrosting.

In fact, our deep freeze got Norton to wondering where the holy grail of comfort was. So he did the geeky thing and aggregated National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data for the last 23 years to figure out where the most and least pleasant places (or maybe just when to be in some places) are.

Norton created a really fun to play with interactive map at that allows viewers to compare where they live to some of the best places.

No place is perfect. But it surely comes as no surprise that Los Angeles tops the most pleasant places with 183 days while San Diego at 182 pleasant days is close behind. San Francisco has 153 pleasant days. The places with the least number of pleasant days -- only 14 or 15 -- included McAllister, Mont., northeast of Reno, Nev., and Douglas, Wyoming. The downside, of course, is that the most pleasant places are also experiencing drought.

Playing with Norton’s interactive chart reveals some surprises. Snowbird haven, Tucson, Ariz., has only 43 pleasant days largely grouped in March, April, October and November. Chicago has 63 pleasant days, almost all of which are in the summer -- let’s hear it for snowbirds, who are just maximizing their pleasant days. Washington, DC, has a 65 pleasant days; its best months are May, September and October.



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