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TheBostonian

The Climate Factor

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How much does weather matter in urban places? Take snow for example. If you live a true downtown city lifestyle, don't drive a car and live near all the relevant amenities (including reliable public transit), you don't have to worry about the roads. And not only are urban streets and pedestrian ways generally the first to be cleared, the snow is often trucked away! Cold temperatures can be handled with appropriate clothing. I've been able to stay outside indefinitely in single-digit temperatures, although I look like an arctic explorer. But we generally stay inside in the winter anyway. Though the cost of heating my apartment is a problem.

It isn't much fun to shovel a large driveway. Nor to put on your arctic clothes only to walk to your car and then drive on dangerous roads.

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How much does weather matter in urban places? Take snow for example. If you live a true downtown city lifestyle, don't drive a car and live near all the relevant amenities (including reliable public transit), you don't have to worry about the roads. And not only are urban streets and pedestrian ways generally the first to be cleared, the snow is often trucked away! Cold temperatures can be handled with appropriate clothing. I've been able to stay outside indefinitely in single-digit temperatures, although I look like an arctic explorer. But we generally stay inside in the winter anyway. Though the cost of heating my apartment is a problem.

It isn't much fun to shovel a large driveway. Nor to put on your arctic clothes only to walk to your car and then drive on dangerous roads.

I agree, in many ways urban living is much better suited for winter than suburban or rural living. The main thing I think people hate about urban winter is that the snow gets all dirty and isn't pretty like it would be elsewhere. This is trivial though. Cities tend to be warmer too, than suburbs and rural areas cause of the heat island effect (this of course sucks in the summer though). I think overall there is just less maintenance when you live in the city. No driveway to shovel but instead maybe just a stoop and sidewalk, no lawn to mow, mulch to spread, etc.

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Jane Byrne, unseated the Daley political dynasty to become the first female mayor of Chicago. The issue that got her elected, snow removal.

There were several freak snow storms that year and the current mayor had been unable to remove the snow to the residents satisfaction.

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I think the original poster was saying that if you live in an urban setting, that snow is not as much of an issue than if you are a suburbanite. Although I live in a more suburban environment, and snow and cold weather are nothing. The only thing I don't like is I have to wash my car more often.

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How much does weather matter in urban places? Take snow for example. If you live a true downtown city lifestyle, don't drive a car and live near all the relevant amenities (including reliable public transit), you don't have to worry about the roads. And not only are urban streets and pedestrian ways generally the first to be cleared, the snow is often trucked away! Cold temperatures can be handled with appropriate clothing. I've been able to stay outside indefinitely in single-digit temperatures, although I look like an arctic explorer. But we generally stay inside in the winter anyway. Though the cost of heating my apartment is a problem.

It isn't much fun to shovel a large driveway. Nor to put on your arctic clothes only to walk to your car and then drive on dangerous roads.

I think your compromising lifestyle without even realizing it. The statement, " But we generally stay inside in the winter anyway". This shows how people change their lifestyle based on where they live. Why make this compromise??? Live somewhere warm and you can enjoy the outdoors all year, not couped up in the house. I lived in the Northeast for 15 years and always got cabin fever by February. Winter is the best time of year in the Southern climate, moderate temperatures.

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I think weather is a huge factor in where people live. Especially if you consider north/south...

And west. I am further north than I was back east, by a significant distance yet it rarely snows where I live. Salem, OR is the same latitude as the NY-PQ border and I am a good 160 miles or so north of that.

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I think your compromising lifestyle without even realizing it. The statement, " But we generally stay inside in the winter anyway". This shows how people change their lifestyle based on where they live. Why make this compromise??? Live somewhere warm and you can enjoy the outdoors all year, not couped up in the house. I lived in the Northeast for 15 years and always got cabin fever by February. Winter is the best time of year in the Southern climate, moderate temperatures.

Oh come on. There's a reason why Disney gives deeply discounts vacation packages to Orlando in the Summer (even though little Jimmy has 3 months off). I have relatives in the Southwest as well (Arizona) and you basically can't go outside during the day for at least 3 months out of the year.

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Climate is a factor of course and it affects the character of a city much more than we might think. Each metro area has learned to handle the challenges of climate in their own ways to minimize the impact on their citizens.

In Minneapolis winter, for example, a heated home garage is not uncommon. You could march right into your car, drive to work downtown, park in a heated ramp and walk the length of the city through the second-story skyway system without ever needing a winter coat in January. In the summer, when Minneapolis' temperatures can reach 100, you can still do the same thing if necessary (though I've seen most people simply opt for discarding clothing here and there :lol: ).

Humans are very adaptable to climate and it is a matter of intelligently "working the system" so that your own quality of life is maximized. Urban areas offer far more options in dealing with climate than rural areas.

What I'd like to hear is how people in cities that are stricken with oppressive heat and humidity deal with that extreme. It has been argued that the relatively recent invention of air conditioning in human culture has made many more areas of the world habitable, and even desirable.

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I think your compromising lifestyle without even realizing it. The statement, " But we generally stay inside in the winter anyway". This shows how people change their lifestyle based on where they live. Why make this compromise??? Live somewhere warm and you can enjoy the outdoors all year, not couped up in the house. I lived in the Northeast for 15 years and always got cabin fever by February. Winter is the best time of year in the Southern climate, moderate temperatures.

You just needed to get yourself a great girlfriend....

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Oh come on. There's a reason why Disney gives deeply discounts vacation packages to Orlando in the Summer (even though little Jimmy has 3 months off). I have relatives in the Southwest as well (Arizona) and you basically can't go outside during the day for at least 3 months out of the year.

I couldn't agree with you more. You wouldn't catch me at one of the theme parks from June to August. Summer in the South is HOT, no two ways about it. However, nine months out of the year are great, and the other three are only about 10 to 15 degrees above most peoples comfort level, at least in Florida. It's also fine in the summer months until around 10:00am and after about 7:00pm. In the Northeast the comfort range lasts for maybe five months, May through September, and the other months can be 30 to 40 degrees or more out of most peoples comfort range. During the other 7 months it's just plain cold all the time. JMO

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I was going to start a thread with a very similar question. I thought it would be appropriate to discuss it here.

How important is the climate factor to specific cities?

For example, if Montreal and Orlando exchanged climates, how different would these cities be?

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I was going to start a thread with a very similar question. I thought it would be appropriate to discuss it here.

How important is the climate factor to specific cities?

For example, if Montreal and Orlando exchanged climates, how different would these cities be?

Good question...

I think it would be a dramatic difference to almost every Southern city, many of which did not become large until the widespread use of A/C. I think cities on the water would be even a bigger draw if climate were neutral, or cities with a spectacular view like Vancouver.

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I think your compromising lifestyle without even realizing it. The statement, " But we generally stay inside in the winter anyway". This shows how people change their lifestyle based on where they live. Why make this compromise??? Live somewhere warm and you can enjoy the outdoors all year, not couped up in the house. I lived in the Northeast for 15 years and always got cabin fever by February. Winter is the best time of year in the Southern climate, moderate temperatures.

My views might not be very useful in this discussion because I am so biased. I love the winter weather too much to complain about it. If there is a fresh foot of snow on the ground and I have to walk through it before it is cleared I think Oh, this is annoying but it is so beautiful. I would probably tolerate Boston winters even if I were more affected by them. But everything I need, the supermarket, convenience store, coffee shops, hardware store, bookstores, bars, restaurants and subway is within a 7 minute walk from my door. Sure, bundling up in arctic clothing and walking slowly through snow and ice adds a few minutes. But my walking routes are high traffic pedestrian areas that are quickly cleared and it is never too bad, even in a blizzard.

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We all compromise in where we live.

In my opinion Southern California has the best climate --but you still compromise. It has become such a popular place to live that traffic, congestion and house prices are out of control which makes it not such a great place afterall.

I live in Minneapolis and think the winters are a bit too harsh but you do adapt. I have heated parking and live downtown where we have miles of buildings connected by skyway. I have a remote car starter to start my car before i go outside if it is parked outside. I still get outside quite frequently -- you would be surprised how sunny January, February and March actually are in Minneapolis. At least we are cold enough we generally don't get freezing rain like places a bit further to the South --and we don't have annoying wind like Chicago or places on the Ocean.

I have friends in Houston in Phoenix. Both say they have to do yard work at 6 am because it gets way too hot by 8am. You can't bike or run in the summer except at night or early morning.

The best would be to have two homes.

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In the Northeast the comfort range lasts for maybe five months, May through September, and the other months can be 30 to 40 degrees or more out of most peoples comfort range. During the other 7 months it's just plain cold all the time.

I don't know what part of the northeast you're talking about (northern Maine, northern Vermont maybe). Boston, New York, Hartford, Providence don't start getting real cold until November, and we start warming back up in March. Through September and October it's not unusual for temperatures to be in the 60s and 70s, and we have days through the winter when temps get into the 50s (and freak days most winters when we can get a stretch of weather up to 70 for a short time in Dec., Jan., or Feb.).

Some people have this wrong headed impression that we are totally iced in from Labor Day to Memorial Day, that could not be further from the truth. It only gets brutally cold for a few weeks each year (we're in an unusually early one of those snaps right now, and brutal is morning temps below 15, it's almost unheard of for us to go below zero even at night, and single digits are rare). It's often warmer in New York and Boston than it is in Atlanta during the winter. Our cold last longer than areas south of the Mason-Dixon line, and we have rare short periods of extreme cold that the south never gets, but we're hardly arctic up here.

The worst part of winter in the northeast is the early sunset. I really wish we'd go to year-round daylight saving time so we could have that extra hour in the afternoon.

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I don't know what part of the northeast you're talking about (northern Maine, northern Vermont maybe). Boston, New York, Hartford, Providence don't start getting real cold until November, and we start warming back up in March. Through September and October it's not unusual for temperatures to be in the 60s and 70s, and we have days through the winter when temps get into the 50s (and freak days most winters when we can get a stretch of weather up to 70 for a short time in Dec., Jan., or Feb.).

Some people have this wrong headed impression that we are totally iced in from Labor Day to Memorial Day, that could not be further from the truth. It only gets brutally cold for a few weeks each year (we're in an unusually early one of those snaps right now, and brutal is morning temps below 15, it's almost unheard of for us to go below zero even at night, and single digits are rare). It's often warmer in New York and Boston than it is in Atlanta during the winter. Our cold last longer than areas south of the Mason-Dixon line, and we have rare short periods of extreme cold that the south never gets, but we're hardly arctic up here.

The worst part of winter in the northeast is the early sunset. I really wish we'd go to year-round daylight saving time so we could have that extra hour in the afternoon.

I lived in Pennsylvania for over 15 years. Kids went trick or treating in snow suits and I was at a Pirates home opener one year in April when it snowed. You get use to the weather when you live there, but if you've lived somewhere else for years and can truely compare, there is a big difference. I've gotten use to the heat now. Anything below 60 feels cold. Everyone has their own comfort zone though.

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I find it hard to believe that kids trick-or-treated in snowsuits in Pennsylvania. Michigan is obviously further North, and I have kids, and it doesn't happen. But you're right, your "wimp factor" definitely increases the longer you live down South. :) J/K.

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I find it hard to believe that kids trick-or-treated in snowsuits in Pennsylvania. Michigan is obviously further North, and I have kids, and it doesn't happen. But you're right, your "wimp factor" definitely increases the longer you live down South.

The weather is very transitional in October and April in the North. 25% of the years it may be nice, 60's to even 70's, 25% of the time it's in the 30's to 40's, and the other 50% it's somewhere in between. I remember trick or treating and needing to go into ours or a friends house to warm up, and other years that were beautiful. Given the chioce I will take the heat everytime, but that's just me. To each his own. I also know people who think 30 degrees is nice and love the snow sports. That's why you have ski resorts and beach resorts. You just won't see me at a ski resort.

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I hate heat but I also hate bitter cold. That's why I like living in the coastal Northeast, the ocean helps to moderate summer heat and winter cold. If I had to choose cold vs. hot though, I'd definitely pick cold. There's always another layer of clothing you can put on to stay warm, but there's only so many you can take off if its oppresively hot out.

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N.E. rarely has bad october and april weather.. but when we get an april blizzard like we did.... like 7 years ago.. that changes everyones view who doesnt live here.

interesting how 2 years in a row the south is sweeped with HUGE ice storms.. knocking out hundreds of thousands of houses/businesses/etc.

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