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Old 06-11-2007, 12:11 PM
 
8 posts, read 25,855 times
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Default Windstorms, tornadoes, dangerously hot weather in El Paso?

I have been on so many websites of El Paso, I am seriously starting to get nightmares. I am trying so hard to research all that I can about this city and life in this city. So far I am learning that for the most part people in El Paso are very friendly and helpful. The threads posted in reply to the questions on this forum are proof of this. I do not speak spanish and I know that this will be hard for myself and my family but the idea of learning another language is wonderful for my children. Besides, the San Francisco area have a lot of spanish speaking residents. We are used to this. This aspect does not bother me.

I am leaning towards the communities in the West side of the city. I have learned that an area called Park Hills is a newer part of the city and is more upscale. This area has popular schools - Tippin/Horneado(hope I spelled this right)/Franklin. The areas around the Coronado Country Club are nice as well but offer older houses. The valley areas are nice as well but tend to be prone to flooding. I have been on the Prudential websites and have even spoken to some realtors in the area so I am getting the feel of the housing market and different prices.

I thing that is scaring me, though, is the business. It sounds like we will have a hard time finding a business - unless it is some sort of franchise. We currently have a retail/grocery store located in the San Francisco area. This, too, is struggling because of so many Walgreens and Safeways opening up on every other corner of the city. Franchises are big here as well but we noticed that a small family business in the food industry does well such as a cafe or a deli. Unfortunately for us, you need a lot of man power to run this type of business. Something we dont have and the minimum wage is now 8.75 making hiring employees a costly subject. California is also working on making health care for employees mandatory. This will drive all costs through the roof, no doubt.

I do have some questions that have been recently brought to my attention:

How hot does it get in EP? I understand that it is called the "sun city". From what I have learned it is one of the more desirable cities for weather. But I have been on a website that warns of the dangers of the weather in EP. It even suggests having an emergency supply of food and water on hand. In case of severe weather conditions. I thought that, we, californians only had emergency kit on hand because of so many earthquakes that occur.

Tornadoes? I thought that the easter part of Texas (Houston) was prone to this type of weather because it lies so close to the gulf. Does EP have tornadoes as well?

Wind storms? One person said that it gets so bad that it becomes hard to see. Is this true? What the heck is a windstorm anyway? In the spring?

One last question. I have also heard that the property tax in EP is very high. What is the current rate? In California, they determine the property tax according to the market value of the house at the time of sale. It tends to stay steading until you sell and another buyer is appraised. For my county it is currently 1.2%. Is the property tax in EP more than this?

Thank you in advance to all who have taken the time out to read this post.
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Old 06-11-2007, 01:34 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
763 posts, read 1,884,471 times
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Maybe I can answer some of your questions, these are only my opinions though.
Quote:
How hot does it get in EP?
It gets hot in El Paso especially during the summer months, but it isn't the brutal heat that cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson get to experience. Our warmest months are June: avg high 96F, July: 95F, and August: 93F, the rest of the months our highs average under 90F. Some years are hotter than others of course, for instance this year though we haven't reached 100F yet..while other years we have plenty of days during the summer where we are 100F and over. One good thing about the heat here is that like other desert cities we have a dry heat as they say, our humidity rate is usually really low year round so all you have to do is get under the shade and it doesn't feel so bad, whereas in other humid cities you can't really escape the heat no matter where you go. Plus having Air conditioning in you house, car, business helps tremendously so you don't even feel the heat if you are indoors.
As for having an emergency supply of food and water on hand..I don't know anyone who does that.. seriously, the only reason I see for you to do that is that if you are going to walk right into the raw desert somewhere far outside the city or maybe even hiking in the mountains surrounding the area..but definitely not if you are just traveling inside the city. Maybe if you are walking on the streets for whatever reason having a bottle of water would help..but you can say that about anywhere else in the country.
Quote:
Does EP have tornadoes as well?
We don't really get tornadoes at all, there is a small tiny chance that one could develop here but you can say that about almost anywhere else. We did get two small tornadoes not so long ago around the area north of El Paso in the middle of the desert but they didn't do anything to the city. People (myself included) were completely surprised about tornadoes in the vicinity of El Paso, as they had never heard of one ever hitting the El Paso region. El Paso has mountains around it so they don't really get the chance to build up here.
Quote:
Wind storms?
These do exist around here and they can get annoying but thats about it. I've heard a few people here and there talk about the dust rising up and creating it hard to see across the freeways and streets but I've never experienced one that bad...I had a lot harder time navigating through California during many foggy days and nights were it gets dangerously blinding. The sand blowing does bother though and it gets your cars dirty but thats what I mean in that they are more annoying than dangerous IMO. They also tend to mainly happen during the spring time, and hardly happen the rest of the year.
Quote:
Is the property tax in EP more than this?
I'm not sure how they calculate property taxes in El Paso to tell ya the truth, which is bad because being a home owner I should really study up, but having lived in L.A. for almost 10 years I can tell you that the taxes in California are ridiculous when compared to El Paso, one of the real main reasons I moved back to El Paso was because of the tax rates which drove quite a few people away including myself, also I wanted a bigger house and there was no way I would have gotten something bigger during my last year in California, the prices for homes over there are crazy!
Our sales rate is 8.25% in the city, also we have no state income tax in Texas so that helps offset the high property taxes.
I hope this helps. Good luck to you wherever you decide to settle down.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
3,058 posts, read 7,946,617 times
Reputation: 1607
Quote:
Originally Posted by bayarea View Post
How hot does it get in EP?
Hot, but not that bad as Chuco stated - it is somewhat overrated (El Paso heat) unless you cannot stomach weather ever over 90 degrees (El Paso averages 108 days of 90-degree or above weather).

If one goes to National and Local Weather Forecast, Radar, Map and Report
(The Weather Channel, a trusted leader in nationwide meteorology), goes to yearly averages for El Paso, you'll note that the summer averages are as follows:

Average Weather for El Paso, TX - Temperature and Precipitation

May: HIGH 87 / LOW 61
June: HIGH 95 / LOW 69
July: HIGH 94 / LOW 72
August: HIGH 92 / LOW 70
September: HIGH 87 / LOW 64
*You'll note that yes indeed, El Paso summers are warm. Surely, many days in the summer also do break higher than the average highs, and get into the low-100s. However, nights - as El Paso is a desert - typically always cool off quite a bit and typically are quite pleasant. El Paso's heat is much, much more bearable (and shorter) than places like Phoenix or Las Vegas...or even Tucson.

*(You'll also note that the ALL TIME recorded high in El Paso ever was 114 degrees, recorded in 1994. So officially, it has not ever even once reached 115 degrees in EP! Rarely does it break past 100-to-105 and often there will be days with highs only in the 80s or low-90s).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bayarea View Post
But I have been on a website that warns of the dangers of the weather in EP. It even suggests having an emergency supply of food and water on hand. In case of severe weather conditions. I thought that, we, californians only had emergency kit on hand because of so many earthquakes that occur.
There are very few areas - if any - in the entire U.S. with less chances of severe weather than the greater Albuquerque-El Paso region. One of the great things about living in this area, or if you were in EP, is that there are so few chances for severe weather.

Sure...it can happen (as evidenced by last year's flooding in EP that was a once-in-a-thousand type event)...just as it can happen in any / all cities in the U.S., however, it by far is very infrequent in EP compared to most cities / reigons of the U.S. No tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, oppressive humidities, blizzards, ice storms. Very few severe thunderstorms / hail storms, snow, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bayarea View Post
Tornadoes? I thought that the easter part of Texas (Houston) was prone to this type of weather because it lies so close to the gulf. Does EP have tornadoes as well?
Very, very few. They can happen pretty much anywhere in the U.S. and have, but El Paso has amongst the lowest perectages of chances - by far (it isn't close) compared to most regions in terms of tornadoes. It is just too dry and mountainous for tornadoes to really every occur here (and those that do...the couple of freak small ones that popped up earlier this year...are typically too small / weak to do any damage). I would fear tornadoes living in El Paso as little as living vitually anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bayarea View Post
Wind storms? One person said that it gets so bad that it becomes hard to see. Is this true? What the heck is a windstorm anyway? In the spring?
Windstorms in the desert southwest have to be among the more overrated weather things to complain about in the country. Seriously, those that complain heavily about the wind/sandstorms that happen in spring down here in the Albuquerque-El Paso region likely have not lived anywhere else in the U.S. or spent much time in other regions. They are a reality here in spring, but really, compared to the weather events that impact most of the rest of the nation - hurricanes, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms (with high winds and hail), blizzards, ice storms, sleet, earthquakes, opressive humidity, etc. - dust / sand storms the 2 or 3 times they are of any significance in a spring (other than just being windy) are so minimal.

As I reside in Albuquerque, it is true that this region experiences some sand storms - in the spring generally. I have never had a window in any of my cars broken, or paint from any of my cars removed, etc.; and we have had some strong winds - comparable, or stronger, than any El Paso has experienced of late.

Other regions encounter strong rain storms that produce tons of hail, can toss around debris or tree limbs, etc. - these can all be very hard on vehicles. They also experience blizzards or ice storms that can really attack a car fairly well; rust from driving in these regions due to heavy salting of roads is a very common car problem we are fortunate not to have in the Southwest. I would say that in a once or twice a year strong sandstorm in the southwest (eg: El Paso) where the wind is strong enough to break car windows, etc., most folks have the ability to park their vehicle in a garage or structure...but I know my house has a one-car garage only, and we use it largely for storage (eg: we never park in it), and I have never had damage from the infamous spring sandstorms (even when I have been in one when I was visiting El Paso) other than dusty windows and sand in my nose.

These storms are caused by the same spring weather / air / temperature shifts that cause thunderstorms (many severe) and / or tornadoes in much of the rest of the nation - Low and High pressure system changes of spring. And in most of those storms in the rest of the nation (virtually all of the nation gets spring storms) - the winds are very strong too! It is just that they are accompanied by lightning/thunder/hail/heavy rain/tornadoes/etc., and do NOT happen in deserts (with dusty sand everywhere) so people do not worry so much about the wind...there are worse things to worry about. However, here in the desert, it is usually too dry and mountainous to have those accompanying storm symptoms, so we just get the wind - with some blowing dust and sand that can occasionally impair visibility. Just don't drive in the worst few hours of the couple hours that this happens every year and you'll just have a dusty window.

Look at this:

Weather Today - Weather Forecasts, Radar, Maps for 1000s of US and World Cities

People don't believe it, but El Paso is actually near the bottom of the windiest averages in the nation for sizable cities, not near the top.

Believe me...weather will be absolutely one of your last concerns if / when living in El Paso (unless you like cloudy days or humidity or snow).
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:14 PM
 
47,586 posts, read 33,766,826 times
Reputation: 21518
Quote:
Originally Posted by bayarea View Post
I thing that is scaring me, though, is the business. It sounds like we will have a hard time finding a business - unless it is some sort of franchise. We currently have a retail/grocery store located in the San Francisco area. This, too, is struggling because of so many Walgreens and Safeways opening up on every other corner of the city. Franchises are big here as well but we noticed that a small family business in the food industry does well such as a cafe or a deli. Unfortunately for us, you need a lot of man power to run this type of business. Something we dont have and the minimum wage is now 8.75 making hiring employees a costly subject. California is also working on making health care for employees mandatory. This will drive all costs through the roof, no doubt.

I do have some questions that have been recently brought to my attention:

How hot does it get in EP? I understand that it is called the "sun city". From what I have learned it is one of the more desirable cities for weather. But I have been on a website that warns of the dangers of the weather in EP. It even suggests having an emergency supply of food and water on hand. In case of severe weather conditions. I thought that, we, californians only had emergency kit on hand because of so many earthquakes that occur.

Tornadoes? I thought that the easter part of Texas (Houston) was prone to this type of weather because it lies so close to the gulf. Does EP have tornadoes as well?

Wind storms? One person said that it gets so bad that it becomes hard to see. Is this true? What the heck is a windstorm anyway? In the spring?

One last question. I have also heard that the property tax in EP is very high. What is the current rate? In California, they determine the property tax according to the market value of the house at the time of sale. It tends to stay steading until you sell and another buyer is appraised. For my county it is currently 1.2%. Is the property tax in EP more than this?

Thank you in advance to all who have taken the time out to read this post.
Business could be a problem but some people do okay.

It doesn't get too hot in El Paso. I just returned from San Antonio where it gets very hot --- but it's very pleasant here. I almost never use air conditioners because ceiling fans work well enough.

I've been to Chicago in the summer when it's scorching hot and was glad to get back to El Paso.

Sometimes it's hot for a couple hours -- but it always cools off to even a bit chilly in the nights.

Tornadoes aren't much of a problem because of the mountain. Dust storms here are not really worse than a good hard wind in other places. We just have to have something to brag about.
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:20 PM
 
47,586 posts, read 33,766,826 times
Reputation: 21518
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnjoyEP View Post
*You'll note that yes indeed, El Paso summers are warm. Surely, many days in the summer also do break higher than the average highs, and get into the low-100s. However, nights - as El Paso is a desert - typically always cool off quite a bit and typically are quite pleasant. El Paso's heat is much, much more bearable (and shorter) than places like Phoenix or Las Vegas...or even Tucson.

*(You'll also note that the ALL TIME recorded high in El Paso ever was 114 degrees, recorded in 1994. So officially, it has not ever even once reached 115 degrees in EP! Rarely does it break past 100-to-105 and often there will be days with highs only in the 80s or low-90s).




Sure...it can happen (as evidenced by last year's flooding in EP that was a once-in-a-thousand type event)...just as it can happen in any / all cities in the U.S., however, it by far is very infrequent in EP compared to most cities / reigons of the U.S. No tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, oppressive humidities, blizzards, ice storms. Very few severe thunderstorms / hail storms, snow, etc.

Another thing -- 80 here feels like 70 in other places. 90 feels like 80 in other places because of the the low humidity. Even at 110, you're just not going to feel sweaty no matter what you do outdoors.

The flooding wasn't worse than what they have in other places --- but the problem with that was that many houses are being built in old arroyos, or downstream from those.

You can hike up to the top of the mountain and see exactly where you shouldn't buy a house. Most houses didn't suffer at all from the flooding.
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Northern VA
3,795 posts, read 5,276,404 times
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LOL, at 110, *I* get hot and sweaty. And if you have a swamp cooler instead of forced air, you're screwed.

It gets very windy - today was yucky and extremely hazy b/c of all the dust. My son has asthma and the wind storms send it into overdrive.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Mo City, TX
935 posts, read 1,563,734 times
Reputation: 784
I don't think severe weather should be your concern since it's a non-factor in EP. The business side of things now that's another story. It's going to be very difficult and might take alot of work since about 90% of these mom and pop businesses dont make it their first year.
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:03 AM
 
47,586 posts, read 33,766,826 times
Reputation: 21518
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrkelly View Post
LOL, at 110, *I* get hot and sweaty. And if you have a swamp cooler instead of forced air, you're screwed.

It gets very windy - today was yucky and extremely hazy b/c of all the dust. My son has asthma and the wind storms send it into overdrive.

I guess weather is another personal preference kind of thing. It rarely hits 110 and only for a couple hours when it does. I've never had forced air here and usually don't even bother with a swamp cooler -- a fan and open windows works well enough I think.

I've lived in places where pollen was much much worse and people suffered from hay fever -- but it depends on what one's allergies are toward.

I can't really think of a place that has better weather. Albuquerque gets too cold. Most places get too humid. Arizona, Houston, Dallas and most places get too hot. California has earthquakes and lacks seasons.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:18 PM
 
8 posts, read 51,501 times
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Each area has its own weather. Up north, you see a lot of snow, go south you get lots of rain and humidity.

El Paso gets a bit of it all...snow, hot and dry, hot and humid, and windy.

I like the changes.

Last edited by AustinTraveler; 09-17-2007 at 11:13 AM.. Reason: advertising
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:51 AM
 
1 posts, read 8,806 times
Reputation: 10
Default Windstorm in El Paso

Does anyone remember when did we last have a windstorm in El Paso?
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