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What’s the difference between partly cloudy and partly sunny?

It’s kind of like is the glass half full or empty

Sun beating down on the First Coast but is it correct to call it partly sunny or partly cloudy.
Sun beating down on the First Coast but is it correct to call it partly sunny or partly cloudy.

Take a look at these two pictures.

This is partly sunny.

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. (wjxt)

This is partly cloudy.

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. (wjxt)

Clearly, both pictures are the same. Beyond not being able to call cloud cover at night partly sunny, both phrases mean exactly the same thing: a sky with between 3/8 and 5/8 coverage of clouds. Although partly sunny may sound a bit more optimistic.

Mostly cloudy is 5/8 to 7/8 coverage, while mostly sunny indicates 1/8 to 3/8 coverage during the day.

Mostly cloudy skies over a Jacksonville osprey nest
Mostly cloudy skies over a Jacksonville osprey nest (wjxt)

But overcast and obscured skies are not interchangeable.

The sky is obscured when you can not see the sky because your vantage point is in the middle of clouds, smoke or fog.

An overcast sky is when the entire sky is above you is covered by clouds or smoke but you are not in them.


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