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Old 11-02-2011, 12:24 AM
 
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I know this is somewhat of a subjective set questions, but here goes...

My wife want to spend a year somewhere that we will have both a colorful autumn and a snowy white winter. As we are from California, we only see snow in the mountains when we go skiing. I've seen annual snowfall totals online, but it doesn't really put it in perspective. We would love some input on the following:

What is a "manageable" amount of snow? Either annually, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly... whatever helps us understand better. We want snow, but not so much that it traps us inside completely for 3-4 straight months.

How much snowfall causes things to stop (schools, roads, etc.)?

Will we need more than snow tires for our front-wheel drive cars? How much should we spend on snow tires or do we even need them? How much snow can we realistically drive in safely?

What else (anything) do we need to consider in relationship to living in snowy areas?

Anybody have pictures/video to help our perspective?

THANKS A TON!
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:51 AM
 
Location: Chicagoland
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I think that it is a bit more complicated than just a raw number. If you were to have 6" of snow on Sunday, and then 1" every other day of the week and then repeat, or have 11" all on Sunday or have it equally spread out throughout a time period would make a difference on how you perceived the amount of snow and whether it would be manageable or not.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thePR View Post
I think that it is a bit more complicated than just a raw number. If you were to have 6" of snow on Sunday, and then 1" every other day of the week and then repeat, or have 11" all on Sunday or have it equally spread out throughout a time period would make a difference on how you perceived the amount of snow and whether it would be manageable or not.
It also depends on factors like whether its dry/powder snow ( ) or wet snow ( ); as well as how much time you're willing to devote scraping ice off your window, shovel snow off driveway and the sidewalk (which legally is suppose to be homeowner's responsibility), in some cases, the roof. If the place gets so much snow, would you be interested in spending $$$ in getting a snowblower. Also, what kind of heat will be warming up the house (wood, pellet, gas, oil) and what are the costs of those? What would you do if you have electricity black-out like what's happening in the NE?

Also... factor in how often the city gets snow. Seattle and its people cannot handle snow at all-- traffic havocs (please U'tube "Seattle snow crashes"), unprepared planning, bad drivers and the hills. But of course, Seattle doesn't generally get snow. Whereas places like Missoula, Minneapolis handles beautifully because they see it every winter. Schools/Gov. shut down if there's roughly an inch accumulation in Seattle-- whereas its not the norm for Minneapolis/Missoula to do that until there's some serious blizzard. Seriously consider cities that *can* handle snow. There's nothing more annoying than being in a city that can't.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:16 AM
 
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Mud, ice, slush are more "trapping" inside than snow. I would second the advice to go to where snow is expected and handled. Try Buffalo or Syracuse.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Jersey City
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Whether or not it's "manageable" depends a lot on how well equipped the local area is to handle it, and how much you're willing to put up with yourself.

I once lived in a city that received 7 inches of snow on average per year. If more than an inch or two fell at one time, schools closed, traffic snarled, etc. because there were few snow plows and salt spreaders in town. They just weren't equipped to handle much. Residents react to a couple inches of snow as if it's the apocalypse because it's a rare event. Here, an inch is "manageable"

Then look at a place like Burlington, VT. They average 76 inches of snow per year. It would take more than a foot of snow falling at once to disrupt the flow of traffic of close schools. They have lots of plows, salt trucks, and generally do a great job keeping roads and sidewalks clear. Residents react to a couple inches of snow as if it's any other day. Here, a foot is "manageable"
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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We were actually just talking about it. As others said, it obviously depends on where you're located.

On average, Chicago receives snows in the range of 1-3 inches occur about 7 times; 4-6 inches, twice; 7-10 inches, once; more than 10 inches, about once every three years.

Normally you'd have to shovel if it's 4" or more, but things aren't going to shut down or be cancelled unless it's well over 6" on average. So basically you need to really pay attention and think about shoveling or a decent snowfall about 3 times a year. Otherwise if you get an inch or two people won't even comment on the fact.

Down south you get an inch and people start cancelling everything and getting upset. If you get 7" down south people are shutting everything down and no one goes outside, sometimes for a few days. Up here that would be a really messy commute and maybe a few schools letting out, but things are back to normal within hours.

Then again the Northeast tends to see a lot more of those 10"+ snowstorms than we get around here. We get 10" or more once every few years. Out east it seems they get them once a year. It's all about the weather patterns.

Our 20" snow last February is something that's only happened 3 or 4 times since the city was founded, but it was definitely fun! I'd love to have one of those every few years.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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It was very manageable in Missouri (short Winter, enough snow to keep you entertained, but not enough to really make you hate winter. Long Island was also reasonable.

Snow gets old after awhile. First fallen snow is beautiful. two or three days later is is slush, mud and black with exhaust dust.

I really hate winter. One of the reasons I love California - If I want to play in the snow, I can take a short drive up to the mountains, then come back to nice 70 degree beach weather.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
We were actually just talking about it. As others said, it obviously depends on where you're located.

On average, Chicago receives snows in the range of 1-3 inches occur about 7 times; 4-6 inches, twice; 7-10 inches, once; more than 10 inches, about once every three years.

Normally you'd have to shovel if it's 4" or more, but things aren't going to shut down or be cancelled unless it's well over 6" on average. So basically you need to really pay attention and think about shoveling or a decent snowfall about 3 times a year. Otherwise if you get an inch or two people won't even comment on the fact.

Down south you get an inch and people start cancelling everything and getting upset. If you get 7" down south people are shutting everything down and no one goes outside, sometimes for a few days. Up here that would be a really messy commute and maybe a few schools letting out, but things are back to normal within hours.

Then again the Northeast tends to see a lot more of those 10"+ snowstorms than we get around here. We get 10" or more once every few years. Out east it seems they get them once a year. It's all about the weather patterns.

Our 20" snow last February is something that's only happened 3 or 4 times since the city was founded, but it was definitely fun! I'd love to have one of those every few years.
Actually, we get more than one 10+ inch storm per winter. Last year we had 5 such storms within 6 weeks here in Boston...and other cities, such as afore-mentioned Burlington, VT ( my hometown), these storms happen routinely throughout the winter..
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:37 PM
 
56,533 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
Mud, ice, slush are more "trapping" inside than snow. I would second the advice to go to where snow is expected and handled. Try Buffalo or Syracuse.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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All snow is not alike.

Syracuse is frequently on the Weather Channel with ginormous snow depth totals... but it's lake effect snow, so most of that snow is AIR.

On the other hand, if you live closer to the coast, you're going to get Nor'easter driven snow (like they did last week on the coast) which is decidedly NOT "mostly air."
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