When is it clear in New England?
November 7, 2012 8:34 AM   Subscribe

How can I find out which semester has the the largest number of clear nights? I'm teaching an observational astronomy class this term and am getting frustrated by the number of cloudy nights. Is this just life in New England, or would teaching it in the Spring be better?

Some more specifics: this is southern VT and our fall term goes from September through mid-December and our Spring term goes from late February through early June. Assume for now that I'm able to teach the course either term and that, except for the weather, there is no difference between teaching it in the Fall and the Spring. From being an Astronomer in the Northeast for a number of years, I have always heard that "fall weather is better than spring weather," but I don't have any evidence to back this up. I recognize that any single year may not follow the basic trend but, on average, am I better off teaching in the Fall or the Spring?
posted by Betelgeuse to Science & Nature (2 answers total)
WeatherSpark averages might tell you what you want to know.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 9:26 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dig around on the National Weather Service climate page for your area. Here is the one for Burlington. You could try contacting the State Climatologist (email given on the same page) as well.

Here is a page giving the number of sunny or partly sunny days. The nighttime cloudiness might not be exactly the same, but I'd think it would be close. Looks like spring is better than fall. (Summer is best.) I am going by sunny days and not hours since the other is skewed by the length of the day.

Here is some raw data on monthly cloudy days for various US cities. I believe the columns are CLear,Partly Cloudy, ClouDy.
posted by tracer at 2:02 PM on November 7, 2012

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