It’s Hard to Have a ‘Sunny’ Disposition in South Dakota
Up until the early 1990s, South Dakota's official flag touted us as 'The Sunshine State', before giving way to the much more appropriate 'Mount Rushmore State'.
So was there any truth to South Dakota's one-time claim about having an abundance of sunshine?
It depends on where you look.
On average, the state gets about 213 sunny days a year (nearly 60 percent), which isn't horrible, but when you look at the intensity of sunshine we see on a daily basis our geography really gets in the way.
24/7 Wall St., using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ranked the lower 48 states based on their annual average daily dose of UV irradiance, or the output of light energy from the sun, as measured on earth.
For South Dakota that translates to the 35th weakest sunshine in America, which is more than 39 percent less than the state with the strongest sunlight (Arizona).
Not surprisingly, all of the states with the top ten weakest sunlight are Northern states, with Maine's sunlight intensity nearly half (47.9%) of Arizona's.
STATES WITH THE WEAKEST SUNLIGHT
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- New York
STATES WITH THE STRONGEST SUNLIGHT
- New Mexico