LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It has been a cloudy and gloomy start to the year, as we have seen weeks with clouds and rain. But, has this year been cloudier than normal?
On average, the sun is shining and present 213 days out of the year in Southwest Louisiana. This is according to “Current Results Weather and Science Facts”. We are nearly a quarter of the way through this year, which means we should be near 54 sunny days so far based on our 213-day average. Another interesting stat is Lake Charles and surrounding parishes see an average of 98 days of just sunshine and no clouds, which means we would be looking at roughly 24 days so far this year.
A partly cloudy (partly sunny) day is when you have cloud cover that is roughly 40%-70%.
Looking at the data from the National Weather Service for Lake Charles, this is what we have seen this year. We received 9 sunny days and 9 partly cloudy days for January. We received 10 clear days and 11 partly cloudy days for February. In March, we only saw 3 clear days and 12 partly cloudy. Overall, this year we have seen just 22 days with sunny skies, which is well below normal for this time of year. We have seen 54 days with sunny and partly cloudy conditions.
We have seen an active weather pattern this year, allowing for clouds and occasional rain from several storm systems. The reason we have seen more clouds than sun this year is because we will see a week with cloudy conditions and periodic rainfall, then we see a break. We usually see a week of the gloomy conditions, then the following week we see a few days of abundant sunshine. This week we have seen our warmest temperatures so far this year, mainly due to abundant sunshine.
With the abnormally high amount of cloudy days, has are average temperature been lower this year?
If we look at January, we averaged a temperature of roughly 57 degrees Fahrenheit, which was 6 degrees above average. February was very similar, as we saw an average temperature of roughly 58 degrees, which was only 2 degrees above normal. March has been the outlier, as we have seen an average temperature of 69 degrees so far, which is almost 10 degrees above normal for the month of March. Despite all the cloudy and gloomy weather, it has been a warm year with temperatures above average for each month. Just remember, even though some weeks seem down and gloomy, we seem to always have brighter weather ahead.