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COLUMN: Pick your spot for the weather you like

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | 12:22 a.m. CDT; updated 10:54 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I pray the weather’s still miserable when this goes to print. Otherwise, this column’s going to surpass my Missourian mug shot, all of eighth grade and referring to myself in the third person for pole position in the “things that make Andrew look like a huge embarrassing failure” sweepstakes.

I want to complain about the weather. I spent far too much time putting together a basic database of annual temperature readings and precipitation at almost 5,000 different weather stations around the country and, if spring does its thing in the next couple days, it will have all been for nothing.

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I’ve based this whole column around “places to visit if you’re looking to get as far away from Columbia’s weather as possible,” and nobody’s going to read that column if it’s 68 degrees and sunny out.

That said, there are two things to hate about Columbia weather: temperature and precipitation. I left out Missouri, because it’s filled with places that just aren’t that different from Columbia and created a couple indexes to rate the rest of the country relative to our weather here.

For those who only despise the recent run of wet and soggy but love the actual temperature, I’d recommend somewhere relatively dry such as central Utah or southwestern Nebraska. You’d also do well avoiding the Baltimore and Cincinnati areas, where the temperature’s almost identical to Columbia’s, only with a little more rain.

Otherwise, if you’re just at the end of your rope and looking to find somewhere as different from here as possible, your best bets are the area around Anchorage, Alaska (where it’s far wetter and colder), or the deserts of southern California and Arizona (where it’s far drier and warmer).

Or, if you’re looking for a happy medium, I recommend a little town called Columbia, Missouri. It’s a bit on the damp side, but otherwise fits comfortably between the extremes.


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