What city in the world gets the least amount sunshine?
The question of what is the gloomiest place in the world is a fascinating one, but one which, unlike questions of hottest or coldest or wettest or driest, is stifled for want of a better word by lack of data in areas generally reported to have very little sunshine.
Prince Rupert, on the British Columbia coast, averages around 1,230 hours of sunshine per year. The whole North Pacific is renowned for its cold, rainy and gloomy weather with constant fog, but there is an awful paucity of sunshine data. Moving anticlockwise from Prince Rupert to Yuzhno-Kurilsk in the Kuril Islands of Russia at 44˚N. the only places I for which i can dig out data in the North Pacific are:
- Juneau - 1,540 hours per year
- Nikoslkoye in the Commander Islands - 992 hours per year
- Simushir, an uninhabited island in the middle Kurils - 1,075 hours per year
- Yuzhno-Kurilsk itself - 1,662 hours per year owing to shelter from fog
The subantarctic islands and southern Chile are well-known for (similar) inclement weather, but the only sunshine data I can obtain is for Macquarie Island at 856 hours per year.
For the infamously gloomy North Atlantic, data are rather better, and the lowest sunshine hours for an inhabited place I have are for Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, which averages 884 hours of sunshine per year. Bergen, on the west coast of Norway, averages 1,190 hours per year or a little lower than Prince Rupert.
In addition to the gloomy subpolar oceanic climates, the Sichuan Basin of south central China, though much drier and hotter, receives almost constant fog from northeasterly winds. Chéngdū, with a population about 300 times larger than Tórshavn, receives only 1,073 hours per year and is mostly shrouded in both natural and man-made fog. Chóngqìng has even slightly less for one of the largest cities in the world by municipal population.
However the real gloomiest place on earth is Jan Mayen, the norwegian island with 823 hours of sunshine per year.