Discover the Sunniest Place on Planet Earth – (4,015 Hours A Year Of Sunshine!)

Written by Taiwo Victor
Updated: June 5, 2023
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While something is enticing about living somewhere with distinct seasons and a vast range of weather, let’s face it: nothing beats a lengthy run of sunny days. And, similar to how some people are luckier than others, certain cities have many more sunny days each year than anywhere else. But in case you have pondered migrating to a location known for its abundance of sunshine, which one is the world’s sunniest place? Hint: the sun shines for 4,015 hours every year!

The sunniest regions on the planet are the American Southwest and northeastern Africa, with Yuma, Arizona, in the United States, taking the title of sunniest place on Earth. You might wonder why Arizona has more sunshine than tropical Africa, which is further south. The drawback to these tropical locations is that they also have a lot of rain, which is why they’re called “rainforests.” The sun is blocked by the cloud cover, and even though they are hot, they do not have direct sunlight for a significant number of days. 

Other desert places may have serious contenders, but Yuma, Arizona takes home the crown. Below, we will explore why Yuma, Arizona, has become the world’s sunniest place, what the weather here is like, and other interesting facts.

What is the Sunniest Place on Planet Earth?

The sunniest place on Earth is Yuma, Arizona.

©Cheri Alguire/

According to the World Meteorological Organization, Yuma (Arizona) is the sunniest place on Earth. It receives 11 hours of sunlight in the winter and 13 hours in the summer. To simplify, Yuma gets 4,015 hours of daylight each year!

The southwest city is a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts, thanks to its abundance of sunlight. There are countless opportunities to benefit from Yuma’s sunshine capital, with river tubing on the Colorado, hot air ballooning over the tranquil farmlands of Yuma Valley, and ATVing in the Imperial Sand Dunes (it’s where they filmed Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, folks). The gateway city, which is only a short distance from the California and Mexico borders, is also an excellent starting point for your next road trip. At first, this appears to be incredible. However, the city’s 90,000 inhabitants must deal with the harsh climate of the Sonoran desert, of which it is a part.

Yuma is known for its weather extremes. It is the sunniest and least humid city in the United States, with the least precipitation and the most days per year with a daily maximum temperature of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher. On average, July is the hottest month, with 107 °F (42°C), but it reached 124 °F in July 1995 (51°C). Yuma is closely followed by another US city, Phoenix, which receives an average of 3,872 hours of sunlight each year. Aswan, Egypt, is the third sunniest place on Earth, with an average of 3,863 sunlight hours per year and 10.6 sunny hours each day.

Why is Yuma, Arizona, So Hot and Sunny?

A factor that makes Arizona so sunny is its proximity to the equator.

©Matt Gush/

Arizona people are subjected to extraordinarily high temperatures throughout the summer months due to the state’s mainly arid climate. In the summer, temperatures in Arizona typically range from 90 to 120 °F. The causes of such hot Arizona days vary, but one constant is the state’s geographical and topographical location.

Its proximity to the equator is another factor that makes it so sunny. It’s around 2,300 miles from the equator, which means it gets a lot of the sun’s energy, especially near the end of the year.

Does it Rain in Yuma, Arizona?

Yuma has an average rainfall of 0.4 inches in December.

©Tim Roberts Photography/

Annual rainfall in Yuma is around 3 inches per year, making rain exceedingly unlikely on any given day. The city experiences 31.6 rainfall days each year, accumulating 2.8″ (71 mm) of precipitation. Yuma’s wettest month is December, with an average rainfall of 0.4 inches, and the driest month is June, with an average rainfall of 0.0 inches.

Despite its abundance of sunshine, Yuma is not the hottest city. Yuma starts a wonderfully pleasant time of year as October approaches. The nights are cool, and Yumans can finally wear their cardigans and flannels, though out-of-town tourists may still be wearing shorts due to the lack of extreme cold. Because hard freezes are uncommon in Yuma, crops and citrus thrive. When the temperatures begin to climb again, and the aroma of orange blossoms fills the air, you’ll know spring has arrived.

What is Winter Like in Yuma, Arizona?

Yuma’s winters are mild and dry, and the skies are typically clear all year. Yuma receives gradually increasing cloud cover during the winter, with the proportion of time the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy increasing from 29% to 33%. The sunniest city also does not experience freezing temperatures, and practically every day during the winter reaches at least 60 °F (16°C). From November 21 to February 21, the excellent season lasts three months. Yuma’s coldest month is December, with an average low of 49°F (10°C)and a high of 69°F (21°C).

Yuma is Arizona’s warmest winter city, and winter visitors’ favorite activities are antique shows, arts and crafts bazaars, seminars, health fairs, home shows, banquets, concerts, a diverse selection of restaurants and shopping boutiques, and dances. Hiking the deserts, dune buggy, mountain biking, and boating on the calm waters of the Colorado River are just a few of the outdoor activities available.

Where Is Yuma Located on a Map?

Yuma is a city in Arizona. This southwest location is located in the bottom portion of the state, very close to the U.S.-Mexican border to both the south and the west. It also has the Colorado River right above it, as well as touching the California border to its northwest.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Tim Roberts Photography/

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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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