Give me Vitamin D or give me death.

How might you feel if your every day, or damn near close, looked like this?

typical Seattle sky

Would it affect your mood? Health? Well-being? Energy levels?

Some people are comparatively tolerant of or unbothered by the Pacific Northwest climate; with rare exception, to my years of friendly polling, they were born and raised here. Also, not infrequently even the natives, once they hit a certain age, hunger for a warmth and dryness not offered here; some with the means become snowbirds.

To date last week, it’d been 41 days since Seattle environs had experienced a sunny day.

The last sunny day (defined as 30% or less cloud cover) was Feb. 25. Mr. Sol shined, true, but it was no bikini weather; the day’s high was 31 F (.5 C.) for an arctic blast.

Much data, including annual sunshine days, for any location are available at In researching relocation possibilities, I went there first, before sites rich with employment and economic statistics.

Seattle averages 58 sunny days a year, giving it the dubious honor as the country’s cloudiest major city.

Also as of last week, we’d had yet to hit 60 degrees (15.5 C) in April. Our highs remain in the 50’s, lows in the 30’s. Not terribly newsworthy yet stoking speculation that long haul of sunless cold dreariness and London-like summer.

Fifty-eight days of sunshine a year. Could you live with that? (Without meds, tanning booths, a big business here, or respite of travel.)

I can’t.

My window sill, shot on one of those rare days. Leaves 57 and counting.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Timo
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 15:29:35

    I really feel with you!
    I’ve heard several times about the depressing weather in Seattle, but I didn’t know it is that bad!
    And no, I could not ignore this either. Your decision to move is totally understandable…


    • allycatadventures
      Apr 18, 2011 @ 16:10:44

      @fotografzahl – Thank you for acknowledging and understanding. I knew within six months after relocating that I’d need to leave due to the climate. That was nearly five years ago. After I leave, I’ll never return, unless it’s passing through en route to Canada (a mere 2-3 hours away – five years here and I never made it!) Good riddance gray! is all I can say (with alliteration to boot!).


  2. longeyesamurai
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 01:55:32

    I only remember a few years back when we had one Fall MONTH of sun-deprived days and you could feel depression spreading.

    So 2 months, especially at this time of the year? I’d move to the North Pole for the Summer and enjoy a nightless sky…


    • allycatadventures
      Apr 19, 2011 @ 12:11:24

      @Capra – The North Pole does have its appeal! Everyone who escapes the states for months with whom I’ve spoken heads south into the sun and the warmth. Then when the blazing summer heat of, say, Arizona becomes unbearable, they return to WA for cool cloudy skies and temps in the 60’s. See, here it’s not only the absence of sun but warmth and heat; I’d bet sales of ointments and pills for arthritic and joint pains are through the roof!


  3. Sharky
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 03:27:36

    I think Seattle single-handedly keeps the antidepressant medication industry floating.


  4. Karyn @ kloppenmum
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 16:25:31

    That’s exactly why I left London in spring to come home to an autumn. There are more truly sunny days here in winter than there often are in England in summer. I completely get why you are moving.


  5. Lexiemom
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 20:17:58

    Look at it this way, at least your furniture will never fade from the sun, you probably will never get skin cancer, and you can save a fortune on sunscreen! (I’m a glass half full sorta gal!)
    And as a former resident of Phoenix, let me tell you, continual sunshine isn’t all that great either. Only 2 weeks of rain per year, and 362 1/2 days of 100+ degree high temps (ok, I might be exaggerating a little…but not much). It gets so hot there the black top on the paved roads actually melts. You’ll come to a stop light, and there are grooves in the road. Why? Because the heat of the sun melts the pavement, and when cars stop & start, they push the pavement into little waves of blacktop. No kidding. It’s that hot. Hated living there.
    Rejoice! You aren’t in Phoenix! 🙂


    • allycatadventures
      Apr 20, 2011 @ 12:02:53

      @lexiemom – Long time no see, welcome. 🙂 No, we may not get skin cancer but we may get multiple sclerosis. Washington state has one of the highest rates in the country and studies of MS connections to sunlight and Vitamin D are plentiful. As a former resident of southern Utah and southern New Mexico, both desert country, as well as sojourner who has spent time across Arizona, I know well of what you speak re: Phoenix. (It’s actually because of those scorching hot climates that I moved to the wet Pacific Northwest.) And I agree, Phoenix is miserable … the armpit of Arizona.


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