There are certain areas of the United States that are exceptional to live in for weather observing. The primary weather events a weather observer or meteorologist would like to see are severe thunderstorms, winter storms, hurricanes, unique weather events and weather extremes. In making this top 5 list the goal is to pick locations that have the best combination and best frequency of as many of these weather events as possible. Enjoy.

#5: Upstate New York

Limitations: Severe storms and hurricanes have a relatively low influence.

Strengths: This region of the country is a magnet for low pressure systems. Many low pressure systems that develop in the U.S. eventually find their way into the Northeast U.S.. Strong mid-latitude cyclones influence the weather through a large portion of the year. The winter storms can be incredible. This location is far enough inland that Nor'easters and strong mid-latitude cyclones will often bring significant snow events. The position of Lake Ontario can bring incredible lake-effect snow events. The scenery in this area is beautiful. There are finger lakes and mountains that influence the weather also.

#4: Florida

Limitations: Often storms are not severe due to the lack of wind shear. Little to no winter weather.

Strengths: Florida is a peninsula that jets out directly into hurricane alley. At least one land falling tropical storm or hurricane per year is a good bet. The sea breeze has a huge coast line to act upon. This can produce the convergence of sea breeze fronts. Afternoon thunderstorms are the most common in this state. Florida is also the lightning capital of the U.S..

#3 Northern Plains (Dakotas, Nebraska and vicinity)

Limitations: Temperatures can stay very cold and dewpoints very low for long periods of time. Gulf moisture can have a difficult time reaching this area.

Strengths: In the late spring and summer, severe thunderstorms and thunderstorm complexes occur. The topography is pretty flat for the most part and visibility is very good. Cold fronts have an extreme potency when they move through this region. Temperatures can get very cold in the winter. A wind from the west can bring warmer temperatures due to downsloping wind. This region is the home of the Chinook wind. This region has an extreme temperature variation from summer to winter. In summer temperatures can get over 100 F and in winter they can get below -20 F. What a temperature contrast! This region can be hit by intense heat waves in summer and wickedly cold weather in winter. This region has snow storms and high wind events. Since the climate is on the dry side, heavy rain events can produce significant flash flood events.

#2: Texas Panhandle / Western Oklahoma

Limitations: No hurricanes although remnants can influence the area. Prolonged dry spells can make things boring for awhile.

Strengths: Welcome to the home of the dry line. The variation of dewpoint can be incredible. One can wake in the morning with a dew point of 65 F and go to bed with a dew point of 10 F. The dry line can also act as a convergence boundary for severe local storms to develop upon. The severe weather can be intense. Large hail, tornadoes and severe straight-line wind events have a high frequency. This region is part of tornado chase country. It is flat with good visibility. This location also has incredible changes in temperature. With warm air to the south, when a cold front moves through this region the temperature gradient along the front can be incredible. One could be enjoying a sunny afternoon with temperatures in the 80's and wake the next morning to winds out of the north at 25 miles per hour and a temperature of 20 F. The passage of a cold front can be a truly amazing event. Significant snow events also occur over this region. Although this location is relatively far to the south, the high elevation allows for several good snow and winter precipitation events each year. Flash flood events, dust storms and vivid lightning also are a part of the weather.

#1: Eastern Colorado / Western Kansas

Limitations: Weather can stay dry for prolonged periods of time. Land locked location is far from tropical system influence.

Strengths: Don't let the Chamber of Commerce departments in this region mislead you. Although weather most of the time is mild and dry, the weather can be very wicked and can change abruptly. This region tops the list at #1 on Haby's picks. This area sits in the heart of the U.S. in the middle of the battleground between polar cold fronts coming in from the north and warm tropical influxes coming from the south. This location is often in the prime position of the mid-latitude cyclone and the associated air masses to produce huge severe weather and tornado outbreaks. The high elevation and severe storm combination will produce large hail events. The mountains to the west and the land sloping in elevation toward the west promotes upslope flow snow events to the north of a low pressure region. The wrap around moisture and lift of that moisture by the sloping land will produce several significant upslope flow snow events per year. Temperature are usually cold enough in the winter for big snow events to occur when mid-latitude cyclones move over or develop over this region. The high elevation also helps keep temperatures cold enough for snow in winter. The convergence of the Rocky Mountains with the high plains produces some of the most fascinating weather in the country. The mountains can dam polar air that moves in from the north. In these situations it can actually be much warmer at the higher elevations. Incredibly scenic fog events can occur also. Driving up to the higher elevations a beautiful view of the low lying fog can be seen. The mountains can also help promote high wind events, flash flood events and can act as a convergence zone for afternoon thunderstorm convection in the summer. The changes in weather in this part of the country are legendary. The weather can change so rapidly that it is often hard to keep dressed for the weather. Dry weather can suddenly turn wet and stormy. Warm weather can suddenly turn very cold. It is not uncommon to have a severe thunderstorm warning and a winter storm warning in the same day! With all this amazing and crazy weather I plan to live in this area someday.