Around the World at Noon

Let’s have a little fun by traveling around the world today and looking at the sky and the Sun and how solar electric power might have worked if you had SkyPower panels on your roof. To make it fair, we’ll pick noon, local time for comparison as we go from place to place. Also, just so you don’t get lost, we’ll start in Scottsdale, Arizona and head west around the globe until we get back here tomorrow at the same time. Are you ready, set … go!

Noon, Saturday in June in Scottsdale. It’s 103º which is a touch cool for this time of year. The humidity is 3% (really!) so it’s extremely comfortable in the shade. Standing in the Sun is tough this time of year because the clear skies and low thermal mass of the air means that the solar radiation is extremely intense. Stand in the shade, you’re okay. Stand in the Sun and you’re fried. What this means for solar electric panels is that we are in full blast mode. Great power and full Sun. Scottsdale in June is what solar panels are made for.

On to Honolulu, Hawaii. It’s noon here and the temperature is a delightful 83º with 58% humidity, winds from the ESE at a gentle 11mph and the Sun is shining brightly with only an occasional puffy cloud rolling by. It’s very close to ideal solar conditions except for the clouds here are pretty dense when they float between the Sun and our panels, the production drops substantially for a few minutes. The coolish temps are great for the panels and the super high electric rates make for quick paybacks on the solar investment.

Now we find ourselves in Fukushima, Japan, It’s high noon and the streets are quiet and empty. The skies are mostly cloudy at 66º with a gentle breeze from the west at 6mph blowing the radiation out to sea. Unfortunately, this is not a great spot for solar electric panels. It’s cloudy too much of the time and and it rains quite a bit. The emptiness of the place is not a problem, nor is the radiation from the damaged nuclear plants. This is not a great place for solar panels, but it may be the only choice to replace the lost power from the nuclear disaster.

Lhasa, China is not great for solar electric panels at noon today. It’s raining, overcast and cool. The gentle west winds are not a problem, but it has been raining for days and looks to continue until late this week. Maybe there are better spots for solar than the high Tibetan Plateau.

It’s the depth of winter in Cape Town, South Africa. Noon today brings us cloudy skies, gentle winds, 62% humidity, 59º and … rain. No solar power in Cape Town today. Tomorrow will be much better and so will the rest of the week. A few clouds are expected by mid-week, but the clear, cool skies should be great for solar … except that it’s winter down there and the days are super short. Oh, well. Maybe someplace closer to the equator would be better.

Ah, the soft sea breezes at Tenerife, Canary Islands Spain. It’s 79º with 43% humidity and no chance for rain. PERFECT! Take a look for the next week and nothing but Sun and gentle, cool winds. This is the place to set up solar farms … if we didn’t need thousand mile long extension cords. Long, sunny days with cool temps. Maybe SkyPower should set up an office here?

Let’s head up north where the Sun is now shining 24 hours a day. That should be great for solar power, wouldn’t you think? Here we are in Akinaitsat, Greenland. The vacation destination of Norse sailors for millennia (this is a word, look it up). Too bad it’s raining and mid-fifties here in the summer. The Sun is up all day and all night and the next chance to see it will be a week from Tuesday. Your solar panels here will be crazy clean here … and produce no power. Great idea … too bad.

Before we head home to Arizona, let’s make a quick stop in Toronto, Canada. These folks have spent a huge amount on solar incentives and are trying to copy the German success story (By the way, it’s 80º and storming in Berlin, Germany right now. So much for all those solar panels.) Here in Ontario, it’s a lovely 72° with a comfortable 53% humidity. The winds are out of the south at 8mph and the sky is mostly cloud free. Unfortunately, it’s not going to stay that way for long. Later this evening, storms from the US will be rolling in and tomorrow’s solar forecast looks bad … but for now, it’s nice.

Back in Scottsdale, it’s cooled down to 98º at noon today. There isn’t a cloud to be seen for a thousand miles and the next rain is set to fall in six weeks, maybe eight. It will be a doozy when it  happens and the panels better be screwed down tight for the monsoon blow, but for now it’s clear skies for SkyPower customers with a forecast of crazy great power.


If you have any questions, please call Jay Leopold at 480-290-2040 or email Jay at

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