Developing a proper climate severity index

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Developing a proper climate severity index

Postby Glacier » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:47 am

Every year Money Sense magazine lists the best cities to live in in Canada, and climate is one of the factors they consider. Their Ontario-centric view of the world means that Ottawa and Toronto end up with the best climates in Canada (especially in terms of precipitation).

I'd like to develop my own system that better reflects reality. Here are some initial thoughts:
1) SCREW minimum temperatures. I couldn't give a flying you-know-what what the temperature is doing when I'm sleeping. I only care about afternoon temperatures.
2) Daily maximums should be set at 20 to 25C as ideal. Any deviation above and below that should count as negative. The higher the difference from idea, the higher the number.
3) Precipitation should count, but only if the maximum temperature is below 20C, but above 2C (ie. only when it's rain).
4) Snow should count as a positive.
5) Wind should count too, but also only when the maximum temperature is below 20C.

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Re: Developing a proper climate severity index

Postby Abby_wx » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:22 pm

The most important would be:

1. Temperature: Agree with your assessment.

2. Hours of sunshine: More is better. Compare two days: one overcast with drizzle, the other completely sunny. The first has homeless people shivering in the dark and wet; the second they can bask in the sun & dryness regardless of temperature. Sunshine can make even a sub-freezing day feel much less severe.

3. Precipitation: Agree, but I would just go with total "hours of precipitation" (rain and snow combined). Snow vs. rain is more of a subjective judgement. The 20C threshold is fine, since that would rule out most rain that falls during the summer when it's needed.

4. Wind: Like you said, it only matters when the temperature is cold.
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Re: Developing a proper climate severity index

Postby Glacier » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:08 pm

I've been tweaking my formula. Now, there are many factors to consider, sunshine, wind, etc, but it's really hard get information on every variable, so I'm simplifying it as basically: Temperature + Precipitation - Snow Depth.

I've scaled it so that temperature accounts for 60%, precipitation 30%, and snow depth (average daily snow depth) accounts for 20%.

Snow depth is a good thing, rain and hot and cold temperatures a bad thing. The higher the number, the more severe.

Therefore, in 2017, the best climates in BC were:

1 Callaghan Valley
2 Saturna Island
3 Blackcomb Sliding Centre
4 Victoria (Gonzales Hill)
5 Victoria (UVic)
6 Entrance Island
7 Esquimalt
8 Ballenas Island
9 Victoria (airport)
10 White Rock
11 Qualicum Beach
12 North Cowichan
13 Sechelt
14 HoweSound - Pam Rocks
15 Burns Bog
16 Comox
17 Osoyoos
18 Salmon Arm
19 Vancouver (airport)
20 Kamloops

Worst Places in BC:

1 Cathedral Point
2 Bella Bella
3 Dease Lake
4 Port Mellon
5 Prince Rupert
6 MacKenzie
7 Estevan
8 Rose Spit
9 Sartine Island
10 Terrace
11 Smithers
12 Grey Islet
13 Fort Nelson
14 Fort St John
15 Kindakun Rocks
16 Squamish
17 Port Alberni
18 Solander
19 Cape St. James
20 Fanny Island

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