20 best places to live in the US for the weather

Avoid the extremes in these metro areas.

How you take to the weather where you live can be a major factor in how much you enjoy living there. U.S. News went on the hunt for the metro areas — out of the 100 largest in the U.S. — with the most moderate temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

We used data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information, factoring in the average number of cloudy days and the average number of days above 90 or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Those with the fewest cloudy days and the most balanced temperatures made our list. Read on for Best Places to Live in the U.S. for the Weather.

Augusta, Georgia, USA downtown skyline on the Savannah River.
20. Augusta, Georgia

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 72
Metro Population: 580,178
Median Home Price: $138,259
Median Annual Salary: $42,230
Days Below Freezing: 53
Days Above 90 Degrees: 78
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 218

This northern Georgia metro area rounds out the top 20 with an average of just 53 days below freezing and 78 days hitting 90 degrees or more. Augusta is a fairly popular destination for retirees looking to avoid the high cost of living common in many warm-weather spots farther south.

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA uptown cityscape.
19. Charlotte, North Carolina

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 14
Metro Population: 2,338,792
Median Home Price: $189,508
Median Annual Salary: $48,370
Days Below Freezing: 64
Days Above 90 Degrees: 45
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 214

The Queen City comes in at No. 19 with fewer hot days than Augusta — just 45 annually, on average — and 64 days dropping below freezing.

Columbia is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of South Carolina.
18. Columbia, South Carolina

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 56
Metro Population: 792,530
Median Home Price: $140,483
Median Annual Salary: $42,200
Days Below Freezing: 55
Days Above 90 Degrees: 77
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 218

Between Charlotte and Augusta on a map you’ll find Columbia, our next great place to live for the weather. With a similar number of cold and hot days to Augusta, Columbia sees a little more rainfall in summer and fall. But the city has slightly drier winters and springs compared to Augusta, making the two fairly comparable in terms of weather.

A view of the skyline of Little Rock, Arkansas at sunset.
17. Little Rock, Arkansas

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 38
Metro Population: 722,684
Median Home Price: $152,267
Median Annual Salary: $42,530
Days Below Freezing: 55
Days Above 90 Degrees: 75
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 219

Moving west but remaining in the south, Arkansas’ capital city typically has 55 days with lows below 32 degrees and 75 days above 90 degrees throughout the year. With 219 days of clear or partly cloudy skies, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the weather in Little Rock.

View of Memphis Downtown from the rooftop of Madison Hotel in Memphis downtown.
16. Memphis, Tennessee

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 93
Metro Population: 1,340,336
Median Home Price: $153,641
Median Annual Salary: $41,880
Days Below Freezing: 53
Days Above 90 Degrees: 68
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 214

Located along the Mississippi River in southwestern Tennessee, Memphis offers residents an average of 53 days that hit a low temperature below freezing and 68 days that peak above 90 degrees.

Downtown Greenville, South Carolina
15. Greenville, South Carolina

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 29
Metro Population: 852,631
Median Home Price: $155,478
Median Annual Salary: $41,010
Days Below Freezing: 61
Days Above 90 Degrees: 40
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 221

Located in the northwestern portion of South Carolina, Greenville enjoys milder weather partly due to its proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Of the 221 days residents can spot some sun throughout the year, a little over half are clear days, with an average of 100 partly cloudy days.

Birmingham, Alabama, USA downtown skyline.
14. Birmingham, Alabama

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 90
Metro Population: 1,138,476
Median Home Price: N/A
Median Annual Salary: $45,590
Days Below Freezing: 51
Days Above 90 Degrees: 61
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 210

Birmingham comes in at No. 14 with a decent number of both hot and cold days, though residents experience, on average, 10 more days above 90 degrees throughout the year than they endure nights below 32 degrees. With 155 completely cloudy days out of the year, Birmingham residents typically see just 99 fully clear days annually.

Spain Square, Cadiz, Spain (Plaza de Espa??a)
12. Modesto, California

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 99
Metro Population: 791,252
Median Home Price: $236,235
Median Annual Salary: $44,047
Days Below Freezing: 22
Days Above 90 Degrees: 82
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 261

Tied at No. 12 with its neighbor Stockton, California, Modesto enjoys a good deal of days above 90 degrees, with 82 hot days a year, on average. But cold nights are far less frequent. The Modesto area typically hits freezing temperatures or below 22 days throughout the year.

Sunrise in Stockton California
12. Stockton

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 98
Metro Population: 708,554
Median Home Price: $288,421
Median Annual Salary: $45,330
Days Below Freezing: 22
Days Above 90 Degrees: 82
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 261

Similar in population size to Modesto, neighboring Stockton takes the other half of the No. 12 spot for the Best Place to Live for the Weather. With an average of only 104 cloudy days per year, residents are lucky enough to enjoy some sun more than 70 percent of the year.

The sign on California's State Capitol Mall welcoming visitors.
11. Sacramento, California

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 66
Metro Population: 2,221,525
Median Home Price: $323,833
Median Annual Salary: $53,340
Days Below Freezing: 18
Days Above 90 Degrees: 73
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 265

A bit milder on both the cold and hot ends of the spectrum, Sacramento is about 75 miles north of Stockton and Modesto. The Northern California metro area — and state’s capital city — averages 265 clear or partly cloudy days per year.

San Juan, Puerto Rico Caribbean coast along Paseo de la Princesa.
10. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 100
Metro Population: 2,263,582
Median Home Price: N/A
Median Annual Salary: $29,050
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 65
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 276

Puerto Rico’s capital city rounds out the top 10 with 65 days hitting above 90 degrees, but no days dipping below freezing temperatures. San Juan’s location in the Caribbean means it has an elevated risk of storms during hurricane season. But those storms certainly aren’t the whole story, as the San Juan area averages 276 clear or partly cloudy days annually.

Atlanta, Georgia, USA downtown cityscape and highways.
9. Atlanta

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 50
Metro Population: 5,535,837
Median Home Price: $194,856
Median Annual Salary: $49,430
Days Below Freezing: 44
Days Above 90 Degrees: 43
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 217

Atlanta gets some cool nights and its fair share of hot days, but those almost completely cancel each other out across an entire year. With an average of 149 cloudy days per year, Georgia’s capital has more gloomy days than others on the list, but the sun is certainly present most days.

tulsa oklahoma city skyline
8. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 59
Metro Population: 962,676
Median Home Price: $148,788
Median Annual Salary: $43,730
Days Below Freezing: 76
Days Above 90 Degrees: 73
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 235

The first of two Oklahoma metro areas on the list, Tulsa comes in at No. 8 with a difference of just three days between the average nights dipping below freezing and average days peaking at 90 degrees or above.

The United Statues Capitol Building, Washington DC, USA.
7. Washington, D.C.

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 4
Metro Population: 5,949,403
Median Home Price: $371,772
Median Annual Salary: $65,910
Days Below Freezing: 68
Days Above 90 Degrees: 35
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 202

Getting both the cold of winter and the blistering heat of summer, the District of Columbia has just enough balance that residents can find something to complain about in all seasons. The nation’s capital is also the northernmost metro area to make the list, though it doesn’t experience quite as many below-freezing lows as the place that takes the No. 6 spot.

Sunrise overlooking downtown Oklahoma City. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Ron_Lane)
6. Oklahoma City

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 36
Metro Population: 1,318,408
Median Home Price: $149,646
Median Annual Salary: $44,280
Days Below Freezing: 76
Days Above 90 Degrees: 71
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 235

While Oklahoma City experiences plenty of of cold nights and hot days, a near-even balance between the two makes either extreme seem more tolerable from a full-year view. Of those 235 days where residents see at least some sun, 139 of those, on average, are completely clear.

Downtown Cityscape Los Angeles, California, USA
5. Los Angeles

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 88
Metro Population: 18,388,091
Median Home Price: $487,716
Median Annual Salary: $51,766
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 21
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 263

Not the only SoCal metro area on the list, Los Angeles averages just 103 cloudy days per year. With no nights of freezing temperatures and 21 days over 90 degrees, the City of Angels makes for a great place to enjoy warm weather without extremes.

According to a WalletHub study, Hawaii is the happiest state. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/rebelml)
4. Honolulu

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 46
Metro Population: 984,178
Median Home Price: $511,600
Median Annual Salary: $49,320
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 24
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 271

That tropical vacation wasn’t too good to be true — Hawaii’s weather really is that nice all the time. Honolulu’s island location is the perfect spot if you want to avoid freezing lows at night and experience few days above 90 degrees.

An aerial and panoramic view of the historic Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose, CA.
2. San Jose, California

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 3
Metro Population: 1,925,706
Median Home Price: $829,792
Median Annual Salary: $78,620
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 2
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 260

Tied for second place due to its close proximity to a Bay Area neighbor, San Jose averages only two days above 90 degrees per year and doesn’t experience freezing temperatures at all. It’s no wonder the city is the capital of Silicon Valley — tech startups can’t resist the ideal weather.

Classic view of historic traditional Cable Cars riding on famous California Street in beautiful early morning light at sunrise in summer, San Francisco, California, USA
2. San Francisco

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 16
Metro Population: 4,528,894
Median Home Price: $700,875
Median Annual Salary: $66,900
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 2
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 260

Known for its rolling fog, it may come as a surprise that San Francisco comes in at No. 2 on the list. But that fog often burns off by the afternoon — and 260 days out of the year, on average, are clear or partly cloudy.

San Diego, California, USA downtown skyline.
1. San Diego

Best Places 2017 Ranking: 22
Metro Population: 3,223,096
Median Home Price: $484,625
Median Annual Salary: $54,210
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 3
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 263

With no freezing days and just an average of three days over 90 degrees, San Diego tops our list of the Best Place to Live for the Weather. And with just 102 cloudy days per year on average, you’ll be spending plenty of time on the beach enjoying the blue skies and sunshine.

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Augusta, Georgia, USA downtown skyline on the Savannah River.
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA uptown cityscape.
Columbia is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of South Carolina.
A view of the skyline of Little Rock, Arkansas at sunset.
View of Memphis Downtown from the rooftop of Madison Hotel in Memphis downtown.
Downtown Greenville, South Carolina
Birmingham, Alabama, USA downtown skyline.
Spain Square, Cadiz, Spain (Plaza de Espa??a)
Sunrise in Stockton California
The sign on California's State Capitol Mall welcoming visitors.
San Juan, Puerto Rico Caribbean coast along Paseo de la Princesa.
Atlanta, Georgia, USA downtown cityscape and highways.
tulsa oklahoma city skyline
The United Statues Capitol Building, Washington DC, USA.
Sunrise overlooking downtown Oklahoma City. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Ron_Lane)
Downtown Cityscape Los Angeles, California, USA
According to a WalletHub study, Hawaii is the happiest state. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/rebelml)
An aerial and panoramic view of the historic Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose, CA.
Classic view of historic traditional Cable Cars riding on famous California Street in beautiful early morning light at sunrise in summer, San Francisco, California, USA
San Diego, California, USA downtown skyline.

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The 20 Best Places to Live in the U.S. for the Weather originally appeared on usnews.com

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