Why Is Binghamton So Cloudy? We Found The Answer
The comments are so old, I pretty much ignore them when asked. You know, "Why does it rain so much in Binghamton" and "Why is it so cloudy in Binghamton?" Those of us who have lived in the Southern Tier of New York just deal with it. Yes, there are plenty of days with sunshine, just not as many as most other communities around the country.
But there must be an answer as to why it's so cloudy in the Greater Binghamton area. I didn't know why, so I decided to try and find out. Maybe the Southern Tier of New York is cursed. Did someone do something wrong centuries ago, and a spell was put on our weather patterns? That would be a fun thing to tell out-of-towners.
According to an article written in 2016 and updated in 2019 on the New York Upstate website, the Greater Binghamton area and much of the Southern Tier and Central New York are one of the cloudiest areas in the United States because of the Great Lakes.
The New York Upstate article got the answer from Scott Steiger, who is a meteorology professor at SUNY Oswego. He mentions that Upstate New York is more cloudy during the colder months of the year as a result of cold winter air blowing across the lakes, which in turn picks up moisture, forming clouds. Steiger does mention that during the spring and summer months, the Great Lakes don't produce as many clouds as in the fall and winter months, so that's a good thing for our warmer times of the year, right?
New York Upstate lists Syracuse as the 8th cloudiest city in the United States and Binghamton comes in at #12, getting about 47 percent of sunshine per year. But that's not all. According to the website Current Results, Binghamton ranks at #9 in the United States for the number of days of the year with heavy clouds. That number comes in at 212.
And Current Results lists Binghamton as #12 in the United States with 314 days a year where we experience at least one-quarter of the sky covered by clouds. Not that's a bad thing. I prefer a warm summer day to be partly cloudy, or is it mostly sunny? I can never get that terminology right.
At any rate, enjoy your clouds, Binghamton. We have more than most. At least we're not Mt. Washington, New Hampshire which tops most of the cloudiest lists in the United States. Hurray.