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jca's avatar

Does the bad weather this winter make you secretly wish or seriously consider living in another part of the country?

Asked by jca (35976points) February 18th, 2014

We’ve had a bad winter in NY, with snow at least once a week and huge piles everywhere that have not melted. At least two people I know are seriously considering a move in the not-too-far-off future. One couple is considering spending winters in San Diego from now on.

For the elderly, many are stuck in, afraid of falling on ice which could mean spending months in a rehab. For the working folks, missed school, missed work, lost work days, the list goes on. When it starts melting, I can imagine floods and wet basement issue (hopefully not for me but you never know).

How about you? Do you wish or plan to move to another part of the country?

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76 Answers

hug_of_war's avatar

I usually love cold weather but this is exhausting. The streets in my neighborhood have been iced over for 2 weeks. It’s hard to make plans because the weather worsens out of nowhere. I’ve had really low attendance (teacher aide) because my medically frail students have been staying home. I want to get exercising but I can’t afford a gym so I’m feeling really cooped in.

I have thought when I graduate in a few years arizona sounds nice even though I know I’d miss snow.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I didn’t know you have such a cold winter…

I don’t want to live in another country simply because of the weather. Winter has its own charm to me. I can use my favorite blanket, socks and coats, and I have an excuse for waking up late in the morning!

zenvelo's avatar

The lack of rain has made me consider Portland or Seattle for retirement.

Stinley's avatar

I used to live in the southwest of Scotland and moved to England to get away from the bad weather. I just hate the rain that come in and hangs about for weeks on end – so depressing.

When I retire I plan to split my time between England and France. It might seem weird, but I will spend the winters in Britain as we are more geared up for bad weather and there’s more to do. In France it seems that people just huddle by the fire until spring!

JLeslie's avatar

I did it after college. I moved from Michigan/Maryland to Florida. As a married couple we have moved back to Florida twice. Always happy to go back to the warm all year long. It’s beautiful outside today, I think it will be in the 70’s during the afternoon.

One neighbor of mine when I lived in Delray Beach, FL told us his story for leaving NY. He was in his 20’s a couple of friends had been trying to get him to move to FL, which he had resisted. One winter night he was over at the apartment of a girl he was dating. Very late that night it began snowing. It was coming down hard, so he decided he should go back to his place before roads got really bad. He had only worn a lightweight jacket, no gloves, so when he went down to the street he was cold, and he didn’t have any sort of ice scraper with him for his car. He used his arm to wipe the snow off of his car, and then when he tried to put the key in it wasn’t working. Finally he realized he had cleaned off the wrong car! He moved to Florida within a few months. That was his last straw.

I think bad weather is worse for young adults than the elderly in some ways. If you have to commute in it, that is the worst. I agree there are more safety issues for older people, but the daily life of bad weather I think affects the young more.

Take heart, these really harsh winters don’t happen every year. My experience is they happen a couple years in a row and then don’t for several years. Climate change might be making them a little more severe, but I think (my unscientific opinion) that they will still be cyclical to some extent for a while.

If you do decide to move to the warm, like to the state of FL, you can go to Disney all the time and barely hit a line. Swim the majority of the year. Fly many places nonstop if you are near one of our many major airports. Take Amtrak to many cities across the state for very good prices. Everyone comes to visit you. No state income taxes.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I’ve been set on moving for a while now. The weather only reconfirms my position. I just keep telling myself “this is my last winter and the last time I’ll see snow for years, just hang on a little longer….”

CWOTUS's avatar

No. Let me modify that a bit: hell no.

The current winter seems like a “throwback winter”, like one of the winters of my youth. I liked those winters, and even though I’m the one clearing the driveway now (and a sidewalk, which we never had to deal with when I was younger), I still enjoy the snow.

I still enjoy the snow.

I still enjoy the snow. I’m hoping that if I say it often enough it will be true.

It ain’ no thang.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

No secret, I think my next place will be tropical.

Cruiser's avatar

We are having one of the wintery winters in recent memory and just got another 6” of snow yesterday. I can’t imagine anywhere in this country where weather in some form doesn’t create a challenge or two or at the very least inconvenience in some form. I love the snow and it is so beautiful right now. It is the warm weather and the melting of all this snow that will cause serious flooding for many people who I imagine would then consider moving.

JLeslie's avatar

Flooding is a problem all over the country. I don’t really think of it as climate related, although in a way it is. The best way to avoid flooding is to live on high ground.

Aethelwine's avatar

The thought of moving to Hawaii has crossed my mind thanks to this brutal winter and watching too many episodes of Hawaii LIfe on HGTV. I’m tired of not being able to get out of my driveway. It’s 500 ft. long and the wind keeps drifting it shut. We’ve been stuck for two days now.

I have a feeling I would eventually miss the change of seasons and I really do like the snow, just not snow every other day.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Cruiser I agree there are weather problems everywhere, but me personally, I’d rather be sweating to death than freezing. I mean when it’s REALLY hot it’s just uncomfortable, but when it’s cold like this it’s literally painful.

kritiper's avatar

No. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Here in southern Idaho it’s not too hot in the summer and not to cold in the winter, so it’s about the best place for me to be. Still much inclement weather to bitch about, where ever you are, even here.

Cruiser's avatar

@uberbatman I can almost agree with you about the cold this winter as there were so many sub zero days where I live. But it was really unique in that they were all on work days…so warming up the car and ditching the corporate dress code for jeans and flannels, the cold was nothing more than an inconvenience. The weekends have been nice and been out hiking in the snow with my dog every one. I for one hate the hot hot days of summer they get in Florida or anywhere in the south. No thanks.

geeky_mama's avatar

Both my hubby and I have work-from-home jobs that really only require us to be somewhat close to an airport. He is a native Minnesotan – and they just don’t seem to move. Something about living close to all the extended family (which, actually, I like a lot..his folks and my SIL are great.)

Anyways, because there was no way he’d move to my home state (for several reasons) when we met and fell in love I moved to be with him and have, over the years, somewhat adjusted to the fact that here it’s normal to have 2 to 3 weeks each January where the high temperature never reaches 0 F. Yes, this year has been slightly worse…but still within the realm of what’s normal around these parts.

This winter hubby got frostbite on his toes (while wearing his really good winter boots with the special low-temperature liners), twice. This..and the constant shoveling..have pushed him past the tipping point finally.. he wants to move. He’s thinking Arizona.

His folks have both just retired and are going to AZ to visit for three weeks..and if they fall in love the southwest and want to move, Hubby will definitely follow suit and we’ll be moving as soon as possible. Realistically, I think we’ll have to wait until at least our oldest child graduates (she’s a Junior in H.S.—and has been together with the same friends/kids since I think we’d stay put at least thru her Senior year next year.)

keobooks's avatar

If I didn’t have all my family here AND I didn’t believe that my daughter needs to be around her family, AND my husband felt the same way, I’d move in a heartbeat back to the SF bay area. It’s not really just the weather. I have lots of friends out there and I like the lifestyle.

I wouldn’t move just for the weather. I moved to Florida for the weather and I hated it. There were giant bugs, tons of hurricanes (I picked a bad year to move there) and the politics didn’t suit me.

janbb's avatar

If I can afford it, I will very likely spend a good part of the year in the SF Bay area or possibly Florida. Unfortunately, I just sold a condo in Florida but it was a necessity. I still love the Jersey Shore in the summer but winters are the pits. One good snowstorm is magical: 20 are tiresome!

cookieman's avatar

I’ve thought of moving to San Diego on and off. My brother-in-law lives in San Diego. We’ve visited often. But then I remember how nice everyone in San Diego is and think, “Nah, I’ll stay in Boston”.

Coloma's avatar

I too would like to move to the Pacific Northwest.
The CA. drought is wreaking havoc with my allergies and I hate the summer heat anymore as I get older. I’d like to move somewhere where the maximum summer temps. don’t exceed about 90 degrees, tops, and that’s pushing it. My county is the allergy capitol of CA. so much diverse plant life and trees, although I really think my issues are more environmentally related like wood smoke, brush pile burning and pollution in general. So maybe there is no escape.

cookieman's avatar

One good snowstorm is magical: 20 are tiresome!

@janbb: This should be a bumper sticker.

bolwerk's avatar

No. NY is bad enough in the summer. Most of the USA is even more disgustingly humid. Not to mention extreme winter weather has been a fairly national phenomenon.

Winter will be over in a few weeks.

muppetish's avatar

I’ve also been dead set on moving for a while, but I’m trying to get away from the sun and heat—not the winter. I’m looking to move North, but did apply to a couple of universities in the Midwest as well. I have always hated California’s summers. It gets boiling hot and summer seems to be getting longer rather than shorter.

Coloma's avatar

@muppetish Ugh..I hear you, I hate the summer heat, miserable and oppressive.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: You make a good point. It’s hard to figure whether it’s tougher for the elderly, who are literally stuck in and afraid of getting hurt if they go out, having to rely on friends or relatives to get them food, or young people who have to work, drive, the pressure and stress of “should i go to work or take another day off and have less vacation?” It brought to mind this recent Fluther question:

Something all of us working people have had to think of with the dilemma of “Do I call in or do I go to work (and maybe have a 3 hour ride?”

I was in NYC yesterday and some of the side streets are so narrow that we couldn’t figure how a large plow (the kind that cities have) would get through to plow the street. Some cars (not just in NYC but all cities around here) are snowed in and have probably been snowed in for at least a week. Unless you want to dig your car out in a snowstorm, as soon as the plow plows the snow onto it, you’re stuck waiting for it to melt, or have a big, tough job on your hands to chip away at the ice. Then when you dig it out and take the car out, when you return, someone else inevitably parks in your spot and you have to find another spot. Not a problem I have since I have a driveway at home, but I am thankful that I don’t live in a city where I park on the street. So these people have a car, pay for the car, but can’t take the car out. In some areas, like parts of the Bronx, people put a cone or a chair in the street where they’ve dug their car out, so they have a spot when they get home. You could say “you can’t save a spot on a public street” but who is going to take that spot and risk damage to their car when nobody’s looking? I wouldn’t.

I am thankful that I have a job where, when the weather is bad, I can choose to stay home but there would be limits to that, too.

I have not planned any vacations that require flights, because of the fear of the flights getting cancelled due to snow. I wouldn’t want to spend my vacation sleeping at the airport, wondering when the next flight out is, paying for a hotel and not being able to get to it, and having a ruined vacation.

gailcalled's avatar

I was thinking about impaling myself this morning on one of my enormous icicles clattering from the eaves as I watched the start of 6 more inches of snow fall.

But then, a male red-breasted nuthatch landed on the railing of my deck and cheered me up. At least I was inside.

GloPro's avatar

I would gladly take all of the snow the easy coast is getting!!! Where is my winter, dammit!?! The first year I lived out in the Sierras we got 26 feet in two weeks. My SUV was just another lump under the snow. It was glorious!

JLeslie's avatar

Florida hot nearish the coasts is not like “southern” hot. Florida almost never gets above 100, the south can have weeks of it. Actually, northern states can get some of that also. The biggest difference between FL in the summer and northern states is FL can be 95 during the day and 90 at night for three months straight, while up north it also can be 90, 100, even 105, but at night you get some break from the heat. Then we have a few months similer to a northen summer, where the temp drops, and then about 6 months of springlike weather is you live about Sarasota/Vero and south. As you go more north it gets more cold in the winter, with north FL and the panhandle getting quite brisk for a good three months, often having close to or actual freezing temps at night. South FL compared to the southern states inland is nothing in my opinion. Memphis was crazy hot. Way hotter than FL. Literally, during the summer living in Tampa is cooler during the day than Memphis most of the summer.

@uberbatman I agree. I much prefer to complain about the hot than the cold. The cold is paralyzing to me. I don’t mind the cold too much when it is inside, but in my house I want to be warm and cozy, and for 7 years in Memphis I was cold. I will never do that again. Next time I move north I will buy a supersmall place and the heat will be at 75. I was just in NYC and I didn’t complain, because my sister’s apartment was warm that we cracked the windows open sometimes. I LOVE being able to just walk outside. I had forgotten that convenience until I moved back to FL. I can just walk out, get my mail, talk to my neighbors, no coat (except when we have a cold dip) open my windows most of the year for fresh air. T-shirts cost way less than coats and boots. If I want snow I can take a vacation to the snow where I am guaranteed to see it and am not worried about getting to work.

@keobooks Someone who worked with my husband moved to FL the year we had 4 hurricanes in one summer. I would bet she moved out of the state. She was hating it. Her timing was unfortunate.

@jca You can buy vacation insurance I think. If you can stay working and change your vacation at the last minute, you can just call the airline if the weather gets bad. They would reschedule you if flights are being cancelled. The only advice I would say about planning a vacation during likely times of bad weather is only book non-stop flights. The worst is being stuck at a connection airport. When I flew up a couple weeks ago the flight after mine was already cancelled, because of the storm coming in I guess? I’m assuming some people from the later flight were scheduled onto mine. My flight was packed.

Paradox25's avatar

Actually I prefer cooler over warmer weather. I appreciate the seasons, and I don’t feel that a perpetual summer would be for me. The winter weather can definitely be a pain sometimes, as I had pointed out in my previous posts, but so can summer weather. Passing out at work from heat exhaustion because you have to work around equipment that generates a great deal of heat, or working on heating elements in 100 degrees f with high humidity is no picnic either. I also find it much easier to battle being cold vs battling the heat, especially at work.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled Icicles are deadly weapons too you know. haha

Juels's avatar

I would love to move. I absolutely hate the snow. I don’t even want a white Christmas. The sub-zero weather is getting old and it feels like the snow will never melt. 20 degrees is now considered a heat-wave.

keobooks's avatar

@JLeslie – Sounds similar to my experience. One year Charlie Frances and Jeanne hit. The next year, it was Wilma. I left after Wilma.

gailcalled's avatar

@Coloma: Someone did write a short story using the icicle as a murder weapon, but i cannot find it. I was, however, reminded of Roahl Dalh’s famous short story, Lamb to the Slaughter in which a frozen leg of lamb comes in handy.

janbb's avatar

@gailcalled That is one of my favorite stories. I think it was made into an Alfred Hitchcock program at one point.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled I LOVE that story, read it years ago in an Ellery Queen compilation I think. Served the murder “weapon” to the detectives. haha I also read one about a woman who knit her wealthy Uncle with asthma a sweater with dog hair in it and he keeled over. lol

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: I think when I was little, my mom had said it was a Dick Tracy thing Dick Tracy said an icicle was the perfect murder weapon. It’s very possible she was incorrect or I am not remembering correctly, too.

I like the change of seasons and I like snow but not like this. I don’t mind it when it’s for short periods, or I don’t have to go out in it. To take a trip to a snowy place, or to be in the cold in NY until around the holidays would be perfect. Snow and cold for the holidays, have a snow storm or two, sit by the fire place with a blanket and a magazine, or take a hike, perfect. However, this protracted, relentless winter is hard to tolerate.

JLeslie's avatar

@keobooks That’s the years. Wilma did $30k of damage to my house. It was actually the screen around my pool; the whole structure came down.

bolwerk's avatar

Whites are afraid of winter, so they go sit in the air conditioning in warmer climates. :(

glacial's avatar

Hell no. I’m a Canadian.

Aethelwine's avatar

@gailcalled Don’t go impaling yourself. I’m looking forward to pictures of your daffodils this spring.

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial Lots of Canadians down here in Florida in the winter.

jca's avatar

@glacial: This year, more than any other, gave me a new respect for and fascination with, people who live in Alaska and Canada. I know to a big extent, they are used to it, but just to get many feet of snow, and all that comes with that, I don’t know. I have been watching shows (Alaska Railroad is one) where they portray people who live off the grid, and these are not rich people with expensive solar paneling, they’re poor people who live in these crappy little cabins, cabins like a hunter might stay in for a week, but these people live in them. They take the railroad to go to town, and the trains stop for them the way people catch a bus. I don’t know how they can stand being in a climate where it’s snowy from mid-October till probably May.

JLeslie's avatar

The Canadian woman I zumba with, her husband used to skate the canal during the winter to get to work.

Some kids ski to school in our very snowy states.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I live in a part of the country which normally gets snow, this year, somehow the east coast got ours. We totalled less than 7” for the entire winter so far. We got crippling cold, and some very dangerous winds, but nearly no precip. We are expecting that to increase this week, but in liquid form.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers I think cold rain is the worst! I’ll assume you are still going to have chilly weather. Walking outside while it’s snowing you can just brush it off. Rain is miserable.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I have my window open right now. The temp is 58, but with the sun shining right in the room, it is 71. The rain we’ve gotten is mostly finished before the kids have to go out to the bus stop. It hasn’t dampened my head yet.

glacial's avatar

@jca I was being a bit facetious about the link between Canadians and snow. There is no question that we retain bragging rights for being a cold and snowy country – but as @JLeslie said, lots of us flee for warmer climates in the winter. There’s a huge range of climates within Canada, and a huge range of ways to cope with extreme weather. I grew up in rural Quebec, in a region where there were a few people living very much as you just described, while my family (like most) lived in a very comfortable home with good insulation and heating. Right now, I live in a triplex in a large city, but have spent winters here without heat simply to save money. It takes a tolerance for discomfort, but it can be done with sufficient motivation.

As to the snow, again it just requires a certain level of tolerance. You accept that you always need to watch your footing, and that you need to budget extra time for shoveling and transportation on some days. But it makes up for that by being beautiful, and creating all kinds of opportunities for winter sport.

But at the same time, of course, there are people living in BC (for example) who barely get any snow at all. It’s a big country.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@JLeslie Well put, I couldn’t agree more. The house I’m in now currently hangs around 63–65 degrees(heating cost etc) it’s horrible.

I also find I’m a much happier/more outgoing person when it’s warm. During the cold I’m a cracky asshole that just wants to stay indoors all the time :P

JLeslie's avatar

My sister was just texting me about the new neighbors; she just moved into a new place. As I read her texts it reminded me about what I love about living in a building. She also can just walk out her door and hang out with a neighbor or borrow some sugar. Doesn’t matter how horrible it is outside, if you have some friends or family in the building it can be really nice. I know there are negatives about living in a building too, but I love the conveniences, especially in snowy weather.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I’d rather deal with heat. And I have been doing plenty of that.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Though I loved growing up with the seasons, my decision to leave Omaha was abrupt. In the midst of a blizzard, I made an attempt to cross the icy street at 24th & California. Halfway through the intersection, the wind blew me back to the curb. The absurdity of the incident struck me on the spot. My only mistake was choosing the Greyhound, which had to battle the effects of the blizzard across Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. Three days of jackknifed trucks, upturned frozen cattle and overwhelmed caterpillar graders. Another lesson learned. I remember 2 days after arriving, standing in brilliant 74 degree sunshine in the lush grass of a beautiful public park puzzling as to why EVERYONE wasn’t moving here.

janbb's avatar

@stanleybmanly Where? Where? Don’t keep it a secret!

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Why didn’t you take the train @stanleybmanly? It goes right through Omaha to California, with stops at Denver, Salt Lake, Winnemucca, Reno along the way. The cost is similar and sometimes less.

hearkat's avatar

No. I enjoy winter. If I were to move, it would be somewhere with even better winters.

gailcalled's avatar

I just saw the sun when it set. It took a moment to recognize it.

wildpotato's avatar

Not in the least. I just moved north from NYC recently and am loving the more “real” winter, with tons of snow that piles up and doesn’t melt away or get nasty with a freezing rain the next day. It’s even a bit beyond what I experienced growing up in Colorado, because there the snow melts off between storms and here it stays and grows.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ See PM.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Not really. It only snows here in SC about once every three years (this year was it), and it’s usually only 1–5 inches total. I wouldn’t want to live in a place where it’s warm all year – when would I wear my skinny jeans with boots and sweaters? I like winter clothing too much to skip the season altogether.

The heat during SC summers is nearly enough to make me want to move to Antarctica at times, though.

Cupcake's avatar

This was a pretty average winter in upstate NY, from my perspective. It just didn’t really warm up between storms much… but we’ve been through worse.

I think about moving every winter. The teenager is graduating this year and I will be done with my Masters degree in a few weeks, so maybe in the next few years. Problem is that hubby doesn’t like heat…

Berserker's avatar

Not me, I love Winter. It gives me strength and energy.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I live in the northeast and as of now we have had 57 inches of snow so far. I’m not thrilled over this but I actually like the change of Seasons. It makes me appreciate Spring and Summer more when it arrives.

JLeslie's avatar

@BeenThereSaidThat I bet if you were here where I live today you would appreciate the 80 degrees knowing everyone up north has freezing whether. I had lunch al fresco today with a girlfriend under beautiful blue skies and palm trees nearby.

Aethelwine's avatar

Today has been awful. We received 2 inches of rain overnight and then more thunderstorms during the afternoon. All of that on top of a foot and a half of melting snow has flooded our roads, and now these roads will turn into ice skating rinks in the morning. We also have 41 mph gusts.

Hawaii is still looking’ kind of good to me.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond My girlfriend in MI said they have a lightening storm with huge snow coming down and then the rain like you mentioned.

Aethelwine's avatar

@JLeslie We had tornadoes just south of us and a blizzard north of us. We’re caught between the two right now. We may receive a little snow tonight. We have so many detours and roads covered in water. I don’t see how the kids can have school tomorrow. Especially if it gets down in the 20s tonight. The roads are going to be dangerous in the morning.

JLeslie's avatar

Definitely sounds like you will need ice skates tomorrow to get anywhere.

Aethelwine's avatar

I just read there was a report of an 89 mph gust near Nashville this evening. Are you missing Tennessee?

JLeslie's avatar

:) I have always appreciated the weather in FL. 89 is no joke though. The houses in TN aren’t built with hurricane standards. A gust of wind like that could seriously damage a house. Definitely bring down some tree limbs. I’m going to check Memphis weather. I didn’t realize it was so windy through that part of the country. I haven’t looked at the weather in a few days since ours has been fairly consistent.

jca's avatar

Here in southern NY it was about 40 today, which was great. We had a little rain so there are puddles everywhere, and it does freeze up at night. It’s supposed to continue with the nice weather, up to 50 this weekend, and then get cold again next week. Still, I feel like since it’s almost March, decent weather is just around the corner. I really hope we’re done with snow.

What’s really bad is the potholes. Potholes everywhere, lots of cars damaged and there’s going to be lots of delays when the road crews start doing their repairs and shutting down lanes.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I think you are not free and clear until mid April, but I am glad you had some warmer weather. When I was in NYC a couple of weeks ago the slush and ice on the roads and sidewalks near my sister were unbelievable. The city turns to slush right away with all the traffic. The one good thing though is it gets cleaned up reasonably fast, because the buildings have maintence men and the businesses clear their sidewalks. Still, some areas were bad the entire time I was there.

The pot holes are the worst. Especially once the snow and ice clears and people are driving at higher speeds.

jca's avatar

We’re definitely not out of the woods until mid-April, at least, but in general, March temperatures start going upwards and the chance of snow becomes less.

Cupcake's avatar

I saw almost my whole driveway this morning. I think that’s the second time this winter.

We always get a snowstorm in March, so I don’t get excited about spring until the Baha’i New Year, which corresponds to the first day of spring (March 21st).

JLeslie's avatar

For me Jan was the coldest and the Feb would still have winter weather and then March was a torture, because psychologically I felt like it’s almost over, I was really really tired of winter, and basically most of the month was still wintery.

NanoNano's avatar

When every winter arrives, I wonder how I ended up stuck in the frigid north. I dream of bikini clad hotties strolling on South Beach, and reclining on a lawn chair overlooking the ocean, sipping a mojito with my good buddy Sam and sometimes girlfriend Fiona.

Wait a minute…. That’s not me!

Berserker's avatar

@NanoNano But are you still stuck in the frigid north? I love the frigid north.

NanoNano's avatar

Alas, I am. central Wisconsin, where the men are men, and so are the women.

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