Is Florida truly the Sunshine State?

We all know Florida as the Sunshine State, but is it really the sunniest place in the U.S.? A quick search online and you find that it truly is not the sunniest state in the country.

What You Need To Know

  • Florida was not always referred to as the Sunshine State
  • Cities in Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico see more sun
  • South Florida sees the most sunshine throughout the year

Florida has not always been the Sunshine State. It was New Mexico that first held the title. Florida state legislators did not adopt the state’s slogan until 1970.

Before that, New Mexico was called the Sunshine State. However, New Mexico never officially coined the Sunshine State slogan, so Florida eventually took it.

Places like New Mexico do experience more sunny days than Florida itself, and it is not just New Mexico that outshines Florida.

Data collected from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that Yuma and Phoenix, Arizona, experience the most sunshine. The dataset examines over 250 cities from around the country.

Nevada, Texas, California and Colorado closely follow these cities.

So, how do places like Orlando and Tampa stack up against the rest?

Well, Tampa came in at number 43, from this dataset, with a 67% annual average of mostly to partly sunny days.

Meanwhile, Orlando has a 65% annual average of sunny days. The City Beautiful fell just outside the top 5 sunniest cities for Florida, again from this dataset from NOAA.

Fort Myers outpaced Orlando and Tampa with a 73% annual average. This propelled Fort Myers to be in the top 20 sunniest cities in the U.S. and the brightest in Florida. 

Coming in behind Fort Myers was Key West at number 31% and a 71% annual average.

And if you’re wondering, we can find the least sunny places in Alaska. This may not be that surprising, though, considering their latitude.

Our team of meteorologists dives deep into the science of weather and breaks down timely weather data and information. To view more weather and climate stories, check out our weather blogs section.

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