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Old 05-03-2010, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
653 posts, read 1,496,781 times
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I have lived in both.

Portland has more tolerable weather in the Summer, and Austin has better weather in the Winter.
But the chances of weather that is very very uncomfortable is higher in Austin.
Portland has significantly better mass transit.
(I can't say much about traffic, I use mass transit)
Cost of buying a house is much cheaper in Austin, but I don't think renting is much cheaper at all.
Energy costs are higher in Austin.
If you do not spend most of your income (meaning you save) taxes are better in Austin.
(I do not miss paying Oregon income tax).

They both have similar T-Shirts for sale "Keep Portland Weird" vs "Keep Austin Weird".
I wonder how many other cities have the same t-shirt with their own city name.

I think that it is easier to find a house in Portland that does not have the type of restrictions where a committee tells you what color you can paint it, or how to landscape.
But since mass transit in Portland is so much better, the neighborhoods I can reasonably live in, without having to take multiple buses to get to work, is so much more limited in Austin.

Austin is more employer friendly (tax advantages and such to attract employers).

I don't think one needs earth quake insurance here, however general home owners insurance is more expensive than the combination of general insurance and earth quake insurance in Portland.

It is more humid in Austin (way more humid). This is more uncomfortable.
My guess is that cooling in the summer will cost at least a few hundred more each month, than I would pay in Portland. (I have not yet spent a Summer here, only a Fall, Winter and now Spring).

One can not escape easily to the coast to get away from the heat.
In Portland one has easy access to the Coast and the Mountains.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:39 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,195 posts, read 3,633,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eileenkeeney View Post
It is more humid in Austin (way more humid). This is more uncomfortable.
It's funny to me to hear people from the West talk about Austin being humid, because people from the Eastern half of the country (and much of the Midwest) consider Austin dry and dusty. I guess it depends on what you're used to. To me, Austin has some humid weather here and there, but the humidity is typically pretty low, as are the dew points (especially in the summer when it can be almost desert-like here).

Also, the West is not without humidity... I experienced some very muggy days on my two visits to the West Coast (San Diego in August and Cannon Beach, OR area in September) where it was quite sweatier than what we usually get in Austin. Around here, in the summer, I come in from mowing and there is a layer of salt crystals all over me from the sweat just evaporating as soon as it comes out of my pores!

You say you haven't spent a summer here yet, so you'll see what I mean. Most of Austin's humid weather occurs during the spring.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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Last weekend we had a high around 90 with humidity around 13%. It was perfectly pleasant. But the average for summer if more like mid-90s with humidity in the 50-60% area which feels really unpleasant (to many people). Southern CA has the best weather in the US and among the best in the world if you like temperate weather.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCityATX View Post
Last weekend we had a high around 90 with humidity around 13%. It was perfectly pleasant. But the average for summer if more like mid-90s with humidity in the 50-60% area which feels really unpleasant (to many people). Southern CA has the best weather in the US and among the best in the world if you like temperate weather.
In my 10-years of living here, the humidity is only that high in the mornings during the summer (when it's cooler). Later in the day it consistently runs about +/-20%, which is also when it's really hot outside. If you look at the "average" (such as what is shown on this website), you don't always get the real picture because it's averaging the entire day (though CD at least breaks it up into morning average and evening average). In the summer, the afternoon/evening averages are what really matter because that's when it's actually hot outside. Still, I do not think their averages are completely accurate because I rarely see anything above 30% in the afternoons at my house (Southwest Austin) during July-August.

While we're on the subject, the humidity isn't even the deciding factor as far as the actual comfort of the air... the factor for that is the dew point, which is what really matters. For example, the humidity in San Diego is usually high year-round... 60% or so. However, the cool water of the pacific locks the dew point in very low: 40-50 degrees. Therefore, the comfort level of the air in San Diego is great because the dew point is so low that you don't feel the moisture.

In Austin, the dew point generally sits in the 50s and low 60s during the summer, which isn't too bad. 60s is pushing it as far as comfort goes, and in the mid-high 60s it can start to feel muggy, but generally ours don't get that high. Now places like Houston the dew point sits around 70+ in the summer and it is absolutely miserable. That's why 95 in Houston is 10-times worse than 105 in Austin.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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I don't know where you are getting your data from but the average humidity during the day in summer is around 50-60% and 80-90% in the morning.

Moderator cut: link removed
Austin, TX Climate

So an average August Austin summer day high is: 95f, 46% humidty, dew point of 69 and you get that dew point (on the average) for June, July, and August.

Summers here are hot! Not the worst, but still hot.

Last edited by Yac; 06-30-2010 at 08:05 AM..
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Hell's Kitchen, NYC
2,271 posts, read 4,415,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCityATX View Post
I don't know where you are getting your data from but the average humidity during the day in summer is around 50-60% and 80-90% in the morning.

Moderator cut: link removed
Austin, TX Climate

So an average August Austin summer day high is: 95f, 46% humidty, dew point of 69 and you get that dew point (on the average) for June, July, and August.

Summers here are hot! Not the worst, but still hot.
A lot of Austinites I've met don't like to relinquish the fact that Austin is humid, especially compared to the West's temperate Mediterranean climate. Yes, the Gulf Coast is worse, but it's on the Gulf Coast. Then again, people's tolerance for weather is different, based on lots of things like what they're used to, physiology, etc., but the facts are the facts. Boston's humid in the summer too, but most people like to pick on the winter weather here.

Last edited by Yac; 06-30-2010 at 08:06 AM..
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,195 posts, read 3,633,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCityATX View Post
I don't know where you are getting your data from but the average humidity during the day in summer is around 50-60% and 80-90% in the morning.

Moderator cut: link removed
Austin, TX Climate

So an average August Austin summer day high is: 95f, 46% humidty, dew point of 69 and you get that dew point (on the average) for June, July, and August.

Summers here are hot! Not the worst, but still hot.
I'm getting my data from observation of the weather data on my home weather station, as well as checking weather.com and accuweather multiple times a day (I'm a bit of a weather nerd), as well as personal experiences in different places.

From what I've seen over my summers in Austin, our humidity runs about half of what you've listed the majority of the time, and the dewpoints are usually in the high 50s-low 60s. We DO have humid days here, no doubt, but they are way more common in the spring than in the summer. Also, something to note is that Austin sits at the convergence of multiple climate patterns and geological areas, so it's possible that different areas experience different weather. For instance, it is both hotter and more humid downtown near the concrete and water than it is out in Southwest Austin where I am (no water, shallow soil that doesn't hold much moisture).

One more thing: You will NEVER get an argument from me that summers are miserably hot in Austin, because they definitely are. I absolutely hate the summers here and would love to live somewhere with milder weather. I'm just arguing that Austin is not the tropical rainforest that people from the Western states make it sound like it is. In my visits to California and Oregon, I was expecting no humidity at all based on the way they talk about Austin, but they have muggy weather out there, too. It's just not as noticeable because it's not a million degrees in the summer:

Moderator cut: link removed

Moderator cut: link removed

Last edited by Yac; 06-30-2010 at 08:06 AM..
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:42 PM
 
172 posts, read 432,008 times
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Ok, but I included two links that had hard data about Austin and neither of them support your observations. Austin has a similar humidity to San Diego, but San Diego is way cooler with summer highs in the low 80s.

Austin isn't a rainforest, but it is somewhat humid. I've been to the Amazon and 97f and 90% humidity makes Austin seem temperate.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,195 posts, read 3,633,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCityATX View Post
Austin has a similar humidity to San Diego, but San Diego is way cooler with summer highs in the low 80s.
But people from San Diego complain that Austin is too humid, and that's what I'm arguing in the first place To me, San Diego wasn't any less humid than Austin, just cooler, as if there was an A/C unit blowing on the city all day.

I think an old saying applies here, but in reverse: "It's not the humidity, it's the heat."
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:02 PM
 
Location: The Lone Star State
8,031 posts, read 7,363,515 times
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Also, Portland is very green all the time.
In Austin we are prone to dry spells where things can dry up and turn brown. We'll have burn bans and the lake level will fall drastically.
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