Face it: When that alarm clock rings, most of us just moan and throw a pillow over our head. You hear the raindrops thrashing on your dorm window and the snooze button suddenly looks even more attractive. Who even wants to put a foot on that cold floor when it’s going to take an extra ten minutes to layer clothes for the walk to class in subzero temps?
Cut down on the hassle and go to school where the weather rules. Now we realize that each person’s definition of “pleasant” varies (like when your dad insists a thermostat set on 63 degrees in February is perfectly comfortable). And there will be students from schools in Buffalo that say two feet of snow builds character and encourages studiousness because you’re stuck anyway.
Our definition of best weather is maximum sunshine and warmth. We’ve taken a hard look at the percentage of sunshine, low amounts of precipitation, an average January temperature of 40 degrees or higher and low humidity. If your school didn’t make the cut and you’d like to plead its case, feel free to comment below.
|1&2||University of California Los Angeles & University of Southern California||Los Angeles/CA|
|3||University of Hawaii at Mānoa||Honolulu/HI|
|4||Arizona State University||Tempe/AZ|
|5||University of Arizona||Tucson/AZ|
|6||San Diego State University||San Diego/CA|
|7||University of Nevada-Las Vegas||Las Vegas/NV|
|9||Florida Atlantic University||Boca Raton/FL|
|10||University of Texas at El Paso||El Paso/TX|
10. University of Texas at El Paso
Did you know El Paso ranks sixth on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) list of the sunniest U.S. cities? It beat out every location in Florida. And with a lower daily humidity than other major Texas cities and less than 10 inches of rain annually, getting to class should be no sweat.
9. Florida Atlantic University
Ah, who can resist an average high in January of 76 degrees? Boca Raton rests half way between Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, so beach options abound when you need a break from studying. If you’re signed up for summer school though, be sure to pack an umbrella in your backpack. Like much of Florida, Boca Raton gets some quick afternoon downpours.
8. Pepperdine University
Enjoy a majestic view of the Pacific Ocean from this campus in Malibu, California. With a yearly average temperature of 65 degrees and only 35 days with rain (in years when El Niño doesn’t make a dramatic appearance), it’s easy to see why both students and golfers love this city.
7. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Only Yuma, Arizona, and Redding, California, receive a greater percentage of sunshine than Sin City. And while Vegas gets less than five inches of rain per year, the trees and shrubs on campus don’t seem to mind. The grounds have earned the nickname “The Emerald in the Desert.”
6. San Diego State University
With a yearly average temp of 64 degrees and less than 11 inches of rain, you might find it difficult to leave San Diego when your four years as an Aztec end. Luckily, SDSU offers more than 80 graduate programs!
5. University of Arizona
No wonder the school added sand volleyball courts to its athletic facilities in 2013—everyone wants to get outside in a city known for being sunny 85 percent of the time. Think of all the students in Chicago cleaning snow off their cars while you watch the Sonoran Desert sunset from your balcony in Tucson.
4. Arizona State University
Whoever thought up the nickname “Sun Devils” was right on track—211 sunny days per year and an annual temperature of 73 degrees. ASU ranked a little higher than rival UofA because of only 36 days with rain each year in Tempe compared to 56 in Tucson.
3. University of Hawaii at Mānoa
Who can resist the beautiful Mānoa Valley, just outside downtown Honolulu? Students here enjoy 73-degree averages in January while much of the continental U.S. braves negative wind-chills. No wonder a third of the student body comes from outside of Hawaii!
1-2. University of California Los Angeles and University of Southern California (tie)
Two outstanding universities, one ideal city for weather. The City of Angels remains heavenly throughout the year with an average daily temperature of 57.1 degrees in January and 69.3 in July (not to mention precip occurring on a meager 35 days annually). We’ll let you two longtime rivals battle it out amongst yourselves as to who should get the top spot.