Winter weather in Austin (Houston, McAllen: fit in, best cities, real estate market)
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Well it's certainly warmer than Chicago
Highs can go 100+
Lows can go into the 20's
Both of those are the extremes though. We do have 4 seasons but spring and fall are very short and summer is longer than winter.
We have 2 big wet seasons...spring and fall. It's not like Florida where it rains all year long but we do have our rainy periods..usually. This year we didn't get the normal fall rains but got drenched with the spring rains.
Nov is iffy..can be in the 90's or in the 40's (like we just had this past Thanksgiving weekend).
And throw in 1 Ice Storm that halts everything for 2-3 days during February.
Well I moved to Austin from Chicago at the end of 1999. I was a born and raised Chicagoian, living in the city in my late 20's and early 30's, and grew up in the northern suburbs. Here's my interpretation. Take if for what it's worth.
Compared to Chicago Traffic is a Breeze. You'll hear people complain, but I tell them to go check out the Dan Ryan interchange at 4:30pm on a workday. Then complain.
The Weather in the Winter is Fantastic! It's cool and usually sunny. It rarely gets below freezing (or even close to freezing) and when it does the city shuts down because Austinites don't know how to handle it. It's pretty funny to watch given Chicagoians are used to going to work in 30" of snow and sub-zero temps.
The People are "Texas-Friendly" (for the most part). I have a theory that says the warmer and sunnier a climate is the friendlier the people that live there. While I love Chicago and it's people it doesn't compare to the overall friendliness of the people in Texas. Say and laugh what you want about the "Texas-Rah-Raher's" who just "love Texas so much...bless their little hearts" but the reality is they really are THAT nice.
It's much More Scenic than Chicago. WIth all the rolling hills (west of Austin) you can't beat the vista views. You won't get anything like that in Chicago.
Great Texas BBQ. You have to eat at Rudy's (my favorite) although there are several other places too.
Great Place to Raise a Family. I personally think Austin, with its smaller size (compared to Chicago) is a great place to raise a family. Personally I like the fact that Texans don't tolerate criminals. If you screw up in Texas, depending on how bad it is, they'll fry your a-s-s. I like that. There's a certain level of accountability in that, even though I am against the death penalty. Overall, in my experience there are just nice people looking to raise nice families and enjoy the simplier things life has to offer.
Good Outdoor Lifestyle. If you like to do things outside (e.g. biking, hiking, jogging, golfing, etc.) Austin has a ton to offer.
Cheaper Real Estate. While I don't particularly appreciate this (considering I can't afford to move back to Chicago if I wanted to given how the Chicago market has appreciated) the Austin real estate market is pretty fairly valued. Yes, a con is the high property taxes, but compared to further West you can get a lot for your money.
No State Income Tax. Yep, you read this correct. Enjoy.
Summers are Too Hot. If you're looking for a "dry" place don't come to Austin. Although it doesn't have as much humidity as Houston it has just as much as Chicago with a lot hotter temps for a longer period of time
Nothing's Close. Yes, while traffic is a breeze it seems as though everything is at least 10 miles away, at a minimum. It's amazing! This state is so fricken big that the urban sprawl is incredible. AND there's no GOOD public transportation system. Remember, you'll be living in the state that has it's own natural resource - GAS and everyone loves to use it. I really miss the "L" train, the Metra, cabs and buses in Chicago. I didn't even need to own a car there as I could get anywhere I needed to via public transportation. I really wish Texans would get over their complaining about public transportation. Oh-well!
Real-Estate is Cheap. As stated above, real estate doesn't appreciate down here like it does in a bigger city. In Chicago there is more diversity among industries thereby sustaining an overall higher appreciation factor. Down here a lot rides on technology. When that's bad so is the housing market.
Property Taxes are Too High. Hey, what do you want? If you're not going to have an income tax and you want good schools, and infrastructure it has to be paid for somehow.
Secondary Market When Traveling. The Austin-Bergstrom airport is considered a secondary market. I am not quite sure why I have this as a con other than to say most people will say you have to connect whenever you fly somewhere. The truth is if you are flying to another secondary market they're right. That being said if I am flying to any major city (Chicago, LA, NY, San Fran, Seattle, Portland, Cinncinnati, Atlanta, Denver) I can get there direct.
No Change of Seasons. Yes, the trees do get a little yellow in the fall but nothing like they do in Chicago. The leaves there turn bright orange, and red and yellow. It is one of the biggest things I miss about living in a northern climate that has a change of seasons.
Well that's all I can think of for now. Hope it helped.
Last edited by Scott65; 11-29-2007 at 05:36 PM..
Reason: I proof read what I wrote and realized I need to learn how to write.
wow...thanks for the quick reply! can you also tell me what the hot job fields are? I'm in IT right now..but am thinking of getting out of the field and into something new like management. Also, are there any good universities I can look into? thanks again...!!
My daughter has asthma. She's not normally affected too badly by allergies in the spring, summer or fall. If she gets anything like an Upper Respiratory Infection, especially in the winter months, then she has a bad time of it for a day or two. Also, if it gets super gray and cold with dampness in the air, she can get wheezy and may need some nebulizer treatments. Her doctor told me when the weather is damp and gray w/cold weather, then just have her stay indoors. My mom has had asthma since she was very young as well, plus she lives in Houston, where it's more humid than in Austin. She really doesn't have terrible problems with it, unless maybe the ragweed count is exceptionally high.
Thank you! Also, I came across a site that has the top 10 places for asthmatics ( although it's from a survey in 2003)...do you agree? thx!
The Top 10 Best Cities for Asthma Sufferers
1. Orange County, CA
A climate free of extreme heat and cold, with few smokers and low pollen levels helps position Orange County at the top of the asthma comfort list. "California is a great place for asthma sufferers," revealed Sperling. "The mild climate and strict smoking legislation greatly minimize asthma triggers."
2. San Jose, CA
San Jose scores particularly well thanks to a mild climate, strict smoking legislation, and a low asthma mortality rate.
3. Monmouth-Ocean, NJ
Monmouth-Ocean has low pollen levels, low non-ozone pollution levels, andlow asthma prevalence.
4. San Diego, CA
San Diego's climate is one of the best in the country for asthma sufferers, and it scores well with low levels of cigarette smoking and pollen.
5. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area ranks highly thanks to low asthma prevalence and low levels of pollen and non-ozone pollution.
6. Syracuse, NY
Syracuse has particularly low asthma prevalence and low levels of pollen and non-ozone pollution.
7. Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, NJ
Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon has low asthma mortality and low levels of pollen and non-ozone pollution.
8. Honolulu, HI
Honolulu scores well with a mild climate and low levels of pollution and pollen.
9. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton has particularly low pollen levels, non-ozone pollution levels, and asthma prevalence.
10. Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
Los Angeles-Long Beach scores well thanks to low pollen levels and a good climate.
Last edited by bellafinzi; 12-01-2007 at 03:47 PM..
Well I moved to Austin from Chicago at the end of 1999. I was a born and raised Chicagoian, living in the city in my late 20's and early 30's, and grew up in the northern suburbs. Here's my interpretation. Take if for what it's worth.....
Scott, you nailed it!
Although I am native to Central Texas, I lived in Chicago (City & Suburbs) for 13 years, returning to Austin in 2000. I totally back your comparison with a couple of minor exceptions:
Humidity: Don't know why, but I always thought the humidity in Chicago was much worse than Austin. I don't know, maybe it was the fact that my blood had "thickened up" so that I could survive the sub-zero temps in the winter; or the fact that the more formal culture of the city had me living in wool business suits. But I distinctly remember being stunned that I was sweating bullets in 85 degree temperatures because the humidity was so high.
Summers too hot: Again, maybe it's a difference in perspective, but to me, summer is as hot as it is supposed to be. Yes, there are days when I would just as soon stay home in the A/C and watch TV in my underwear, but it just makes me appreciate the fact that I can go Christmas shopping with the top down on the convertable. (Okay, maybe not today....but sometimes I do.) I'm sure most everyone on this forum can think of places that are hotter than Austin.
By the way, despite spending most of my life in Texas, the worst heat wave I have ever experienced was in Chicago in the summer of 1995, when so many elderly people died that they had to bring in refrigerator trucks to hold all the bodies that couldn't fit in the Cook County Morgue.
As to the original question about Austin being a good destination for an asthma sufferer, I'm not sure it would be the best choice for all the reasons posted by other members.
I would definitely visit with a medical professional for some insights into your personal situation and, by all means, "try before you buy". For an issue as important as your health, I would plan a couple of visits several days in length and see how it effects your condition.
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