U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 12-02-2013, 08:18 PM
3 posts, read 4,511 times
Reputation: 10


Originally Posted by bjimmy24 View Post
Invest in a monthly Charlie Card (MBTA pass) and use the subway for everything. Don't drive in that mess. It will get you everywhere you wanna go, unless you need to go considerably farther out into suburbs for some reason.

Buy a real coat. Buy one in Boston too. You'll know exactly how warm your coat should be once you walk in freezing off the street. Buy a hat and gloves. A lot of people complain about winter, and what are they wearing? A hoodie, no hat, no gloves, and jeans. Well, yeah, that'll be cold. If you dress well, chances are you won't be too bothered by the cold (unless it's really windy, not gonna lie, the wind chills can be rough- single digits).

Honestly, I like the cold and snow, but it's pretty rough here in the winter because of light. Sunset today, for example, is 4:12 pm. You get out of work and feel like you need to go to sleep immediately because it's pitch black. You get used to it, but coming from Florida, that's gonna be super weird for you. It was weird for me coming from Ohio!

Where are you gonna be living?

West Roxbury, to be specific.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 12-03-2013, 09:03 AM
34 posts, read 58,449 times
Reputation: 36
bostonguy1960 is right. People get hysterical about the winter weather. There probably will be no snow on the ground for most of the time you are here...it's entirely possible you won't see snow. We typically get a handful of big snow storms in the winter. How long the snow lasts on the ground really depends on the temperature...in the early winter, a warm snap can get rid of all the snow pretty quickly.

A bigger issue for me is the ice. If it snows, then you have a warm day, THEN it goes back below freezing, the snow can melt into a thin sheet of ice that covers the sidewalks. This is a bigger problem for me commuting then the snow itself. Haven't had to deal with that yet this year.

The light thing...the daylight hours are pretty short in the winter here. If you work in a cubicle and spend your free time in the mall or movies, you may not even notice. Every once in a while I want to do something outside, and it hits me how early it gets dark. *SOME* people are severely affected by this...it's called "Seasonal Affective Disorder" or SAD. While I can be as broody as the next guy, this issue has never affected me. Life provides so much better reasons to be depressed. Frankly, sunny days are more likely to bring me down, because there is so much build-up and hype I almost feel guilty if I'm not cheerful, and that gets me down more.

Is it difficult to get to some places via public transportation?
Yes. Boston has a great subway system, but it has odd little holes in it. It also shuts down around midnight. Chelsea, EastBoston, and Watertown are largely subway free. I find that my concept of what was near and what was far was very different when I didn't have a car. The streets in Boston are a maze, so if you get a car, get a GPS. I *think* West Roxbury is very bikable (Although that gets tricky when there is ice on the ground.)

Would it be best to buy all my winter gear up there, or do you think I could possibly find stuff warm enough down here? Some people seem to think I'm not going to be able to find anything warm enough here in Florida. So I wasn't sure about that.
It really doesn't matter. Every place has the same chain stores, and everyone has access to the same catalogs. LL Bean, Campmore.com and Land's End are great sources for winter clothe. It's really a question of whether you see a great deal during the after Christmas sale.

Things You Will Need:
1.) Warm Winter Coat (Either down filled, wool, or one of those coats that disassembles into several coats.)
2.) Gloves
3.) Hat
4.) Boots (In the city LL Bean hiking boots will usually do.)
5.) Wool Sweater

Things You MIGHT Need:
(These are things you won't need most days, but might greatly improve your experience on two or three severe ones)
1.) Wool Socks
2.) Thermal Long Underwear (polyester or silk)
3.) Corduroy Pants (people usually cover their torso with multiple layers, but don't think about insulating their legs. There are only a few days this is necessary...but on those days, it makes you much more comfortable.)
4.) Ice Grippers for your shoes
5.) Flannel Shirt
6.) Car GPS
7.) Bike

Don't get too carried away and dress for the arctic. I've seen folks from warmer climates who came to Boston do that, and end up too hot. There will be warm days, the weather is very variable here. There will also be days you spend inside. You will need a little warm weather clothing to.

Last edited by EdLincoln86; 12-03-2013 at 09:48 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-03-2013, 01:34 PM
3,580 posts, read 3,664,930 times
Reputation: 2585
Originally Posted by Verseau View Post
So, about the daylight thing. Here's the deal - since we're farther north than Florida, we have shorter days in the winter. We have longer days in the summer to balance things out, of course.

But Boston is also situated at the eastern edge of the Eastern time zone, which means that the sun both rises and sets earlier than other places in the eastern US at the same latitude. In other words: Boston is a great city for early risers!

To give you an idea of the difference in daylight hours, here's today's sunrise and sunset times for Boston versus Orlando:

December 2, 2013:

Sunrise: 6:55am
Sunset: 4:13pm

Sunrise: 7:01am
Sunset: 5:28pm

But hey, it could be a lot worse... like in London, which is farther north than Boston...

Sunrise: 7:45am
Sunset: 3:54pm
One of the negatives of living up north is the sunlight situation. Boston/Chicago/NYC/Philly/Pittsburgh/Detroit, etc. all have very similar amounts of daylight during the winter.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-03-2013, 02:13 PM
Location: Central Mass
1,657 posts, read 2,224,943 times
Reputation: 1508
Originally Posted by Verseau View Post
To boot, London is almost perpetually overcast during the winter, meaning that even when the sun is up, the sunlight isn't getting through. Places like northern Europe and the Pacific Northwest are places where you really have to worry about seasonal affective disorder. Believe it or not, Boston actually gets a decent number of sunny days in the winter, so as long as you get up early enough to take advantage of the daylight, the days don't seem that short. And if there's snow on the ground, the added reflected light off the white snow gives you an extra boost of energy. It's true!


There are a lot of places in the U.S. that get much colder than Boston in the winter, so be thankful for that! You'll learn quickly that the wind makes a huge difference in how cold it feels, which is why a scarf and hat are so important.
The midwest has both: perpetual overcast AND brutal cold weather.

When I was in High school, in Michigan, which is MUCH warmer than the upper plains states (Dakotas, MN, WI), we had school called off for a week because the lows were in the -20F range. The highs those days were all the way up in the negative teens... It doesn't get that low here, ESPECIALLY in Boston - the all time record low in MA is from Chester, where in 1981 it got down to -35F. For comparison, the all time record low for Michigan is -56F, Minnesota and South Dakota have hit -60F. The all time record low for the city of Boston is -18F. (Probably not the ALL time record, or even the all time European settler record, but since the late 1800s)

Between November and March, Boston gets between 142 and 214 monthly sunshine hours. It would take some major figuring to find out the percentage of available sunshine hrs. vs. overcast hours - that number is the average number of sunshine hours NOT the total time the sun is up a month.
Anyway, for comparison, over the same time period, Detroit has between 87 and 185 hours of sunshine a month. It's considerably more cloudy there!

But we do get about the same amount of snow and a lot more rain here than in Detroit (but other parts of the midwest get LOTS of snow). Here in Worcester, we did get 120" of snow last year...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-03-2013, 03:54 PM
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
2,049 posts, read 3,460,267 times
Reputation: 1618
...and New Year's Eve often has no snow on the ground, or just some leftover patches. However, we got about six inches a few years ago. First Night went on but the midnight fireworks were cancelled, mainly due to clouds and wind?

Not unusual for ice sculptures to be threatened a few days leading to NYE due to warmish temps -- but not every year. I do remember 2 am on NY day at 4 degrees, then 14 the next year. But 7 pm on NYE can be in the 40s with a possible stiff wind.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2013, 05:18 AM
Location: Georgia
11,699 posts, read 8,159,083 times
Reputation: 7958
Originally Posted by EdLincoln86 View Post
The light thing...
I think a few people have missed the point about SAD. While living it has casual impact among those born and bred here, we're talking about someone moving here from somewhere else. My spouse has been here for 25 years after living longer than that in Florida. However, after that much time living up here, the impact is as you suggest, pretty minimal and limited to few people. But for people just getting here from someplace else, the impact is much more prevalent and substantial.

Originally Posted by EdLincoln86 View Post
Yes. Boston has a great subway system, but it has odd little holes in it. It also shuts down around midnight.
1am, with a trial next year expanding weekend late-night service to 3pm on a limited basis.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-06-2013, 08:49 AM
34 posts, read 58,449 times
Reputation: 36
I think true SAD is a disorder, like diabetes or a peanut allergy. Some people have it, most people don't. This is not quite the same as being frustrated by the early sunset, which is often a product of whether you like outdoor activities. I'm not sure whether you grew up in the area is the main determining factor. I've met people who grew up in southern California and were never bothered by it, and people who've never lived anywhere but Massachusetts who constantly complain about lack of sunshine. I've noticed people who are bothered by it tend to assume everyone is...I was trying to point out that this is far from a universal problem.

As far as when the MBTA shuts down...I've learned the hard way that you can't always assume that "as long as it is before 1:00AM I can use the T to get home". Some time after midnight all the trains make their last run to wherever they spend the night. Whether you can get home using the T between midnight and 1:00AM depends on where on the route you are. There is talk about expanding service to later at night, but they've tried that before. When they tried "Night Owl" service a few years back, it didn't last long.

Red Line Subway Information, Schedules, Stops, and Maps
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-12-2013, 02:36 PM
9,291 posts, read 11,138,237 times
Reputation: 12464
Originally Posted by Sunflower86 View Post
So I've lived my whole life in Florida (I'm in my 20's) and I've never been up north during the winter. I think the coldest it's ever gotten here is like 43. Anyway, I'm going to Boston for Christmas and will be staying there until late January. And I was just wondering if anyone has any advice or tips for first time winters? Thanks!

Big difference between FL 43 and MA 43 is in FL the temp usually goes up 20+ degrees after hitting that low......MA is could stay 43 for 2 weeks!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top