On a current Friday, Ross Mantle tried to find the ideal angle to photograph a landslide site in Millvale. He adjusted the setups on his camera choose a photographer from an old movie: his head under a sheet together he all set his shot. Overhead, the skies was fully gray.

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“So the one point that’s nice around this sort of irradiate is as soon as you acquire your exposure down, once you type of have your setup, you can work a small bit much more quickly,” Mantle said.

The skies the Pittsburgh are often covered in a vast overcast the clouds. Those gray work made great Question! listener stick Tan ask, “Is the true Pittsburgh gets simply as countless cloudy and also rainy days as Seattle?”

Pittsburgh watch its same share of clouds, however it’s not fairly as many as Seattle. According to the national Weather Service, Pittsburgh has an typical of 203 cloudy days a year; Seattle it s okay closer to 226. However that still makes western Pennsylvania cloudier than the eastern side of the state.


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Storm clouds roll over the south Side in Pittsburgh.
Many the Pittsburgh’s clouds kind about 130 miles north of the city near Lake Erie. Moisture from the lake filling the air and also flows south. Together the air cools, it additionally moves increase from about the key of 400 feet at the lake to above 1,300 feet in Pittsburgh.

“We here in Pittsburgh are in a situation that’s sort of ideal for having actually those clouds form,” according to Matthew Kramar, meteorologist in ~ the Pittsburgh office the the national Weather Service. The combination of the lakes and also upward-moving air way the Pittsburgh region sees several clouds, every the time.



Air it is warmer 보다 its atmosphere is unstable. In order come stabilize, it move upward. As it rises, it cools and produces stratocumulus clouds - the long, gray clouds that frequently fill the sky.

“Where there’s instability end a wider area, you end up v a good deal that cloud cover,” Kramar said. “Which is generally what us see here in the winter is almost a broken-to-overcast stratocumulus.”

The overcast days have the right to have an influence on mental health, too. Kathryn Roecklein, an combine professor that psychology at the college of Pittsburgh, researches Seasonal Affective Disorder, likewise known as SAD.

“The just difference in between SAD and the an ext typical depression us talk about is that we know SAD is walk to begin in the fall or winter, and spontaneously remit in the summer,” Roecklein said. She hasn’t done the study on the day-to-day causes of SAD, however Roecklein believes continuous cloudiness can cause some that the very same emotional effects.

“I do think the a wire of cloudy days is linked with lower mood, lower energy, things prefer craving an ext carbohydrates - no wanting to be together social, no wanting to practice or it is in as active as much - some of the typical symptoms the SAD.”

Even anticipating the oncoming symptom of SAD can cause those short to show up earlier, Roecklein said.

Roecklein states exercise, conference up with friends and also increased exposure to organic light can aid boost moods as soon as the skies is gray.


This is component of our an excellent Question! series where we investigate what you've constantly wondered around Pittsburgh, its people and also its culture.

The cloud cover additionally impacts temperature. Daytime heat usually escapes through the setting overnight. Clouds prevent that waiting from escaping, keeping the weather warmer, claimed Kramar.

Photographers advantage from the cloud coverage, too. Clouds in the sky have the right to offer different kinds of lighting to work-related with. The photographer Mantle looked at the muddy hillside in former of him.

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“One point that’s nice around this light is that you obtain an evenness to everything,” photographer Mantle said. “Everything sort of carries the exact same weight. Friend don’t have to think for this reason much about shadows, and also what the is exposing or extending up.”

Mantle took one more look at the hill, climate ducked his head under his sheet and snapped a picture.