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Old 01-23-2012, 06:54 PM
 
Location: California
4,552 posts, read 5,466,666 times
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I would rather have the cold than the tornados that hit the south AGAIN last night!
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
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I grew up in one of the snowiest areas of the country, not so much extreme cold as when that happens it doesn't snow, but winds can be excessive. Until I was an adult I thought everyone got snow like we did because you don't stray far from home in winter.

Spring and fall are very busy at the motor vehicle bureau as people are putting their good cars away and bringing out heavy duty trucks (many with plows). It suddenly looks like an army base. There are ten foot wooden poles placed along the side of roadways so you can distinguish where the edge of the road is after the snow banks build up. When it gets too high they have special equipment to slice the top off the banks and at intersections so you can see around them in order to drive without having to crawl into the middle of the intersection to see. It's also very hilly so you have to plan your route to either gun it up to the top without stopping or crawl down. One to two feet a night is normal. Anything less is considered a dusting. Municipal plows are out all night. Not unusual to have to have your personal plow guy come more than once a day. I've personally spent eight hours getting out of the driveway, and then again the next day. Shovels are useless except to get you out the door and snow blowers better be the biggest, full sized brooms carried in your car can handle a few foot buildup on them so you don't clobber the guy behind you on the road.

People listen to the radio a lot to see what is cancelled, school delays, evening events. Everyone is stocked up with food to last at least a month or two in case you can't get out and enough wood/pellets to last the winter. Trips to the grocery store may be your only social contact for months. If you do have to work and can get there it's dark before you get out so you almost look forward to the beginning of snow as it reflects any sun that comes through the overcast sky. Snow drifts can be many times higher than what's on the ground even to over your roof, and the wind can make it difficult to breathe or walk. Sometimes ropes are tied along paths in the windiest places so you don't get blown over. You never see white cars because white-outs are common where you can't see your hand in front of your face. Very dangerous to drive in unless you have a death wish better to pull over with flashing lights and hope no one runs over you or pushes you into a ditch with the other ten cars that slid off the road. Cabin fever can be helped by going outside but it takes four times as long to get bundled up and unbundled and then you still have it to some degree 'cause you can't go anywhere except nearby because you never know if you can make it back home. Lots of reading and tv goes on. Good time for hobbies.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:21 PM
 
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Our boogers freeze.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Valdez, Alaska
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Wow, Sgoldie, snow really takes a toll there. Sounds like it's drier than what we get, so drifting is a bigger problem. We get some of that, especially up on the pass just north of here and through the canyons and in the Interior. But unless the road is actually closed people still just go about their business, including making the several-hundred-mile trip through the mountains to the big city, through areas that get down to -50F and sometimes lower. People who grew up here or have lived here a long time seem to have a screw loose when it comes to driving - no fear at all.

We get an average of about 27 feet of mostly heavy, wet snow here, and it doesn't seem to affect life all that much, aside from the time spent shoveling. Until two weeks ago the schools had never had a snow day (we got 8 feet in a week and the snow load was too heavy for the roof), the grocery store is just as well-stocked as in summer, people still drive their little cars, and so on. The snow banks on the highway and in town get higher than your vehicle, but it's not a big deal. I think of them as natural guardrails - If I'm going to slide I'd rather hit hardpacked snow than go into a river, you know? A lot of people ski/snowboard or snowmachine, and prefer winter over summer, and people go out to eat/drink and get together with friends just as much as the rest of the year.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Valdez, Alaska
2,759 posts, read 4,357,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knke0204 View Post
In the middle of summer when it's hot and sticky and light out til 10, I literally CANNOT fathom how in the world we deal with 0 degrees and darkness at 430 pm. But when it comes, you're used to it, make a few adjustments and life goes on as normal
Yeah, and on the other side of it, when you're in the middle of winter it's weird to think of everything green and people actually having yards again instead of snowpiles. I was looking at some pictures from the summer earlier and it was kind of disorienting to see our street without snow covering absolutely everything.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Virginia Highland, GA
1,939 posts, read 3,981,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi60 View Post
I would rather have the cold than the tornados that hit the south AGAIN last night!
This was not a normal thing in January, and it has not been normal anywhere this winter, we have basically had no winter except for the Pac NW and Alaska, very isolated areas.
It is spelled Tornadoes.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:07 AM
 
Location: MN
3,798 posts, read 8,166,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigre79 View Post
Yeah, and on the other side of it, when you're in the middle of winter it's weird to think of everything green and people actually having yards again instead of snowpiles. I was looking at some pictures from the summer earlier and it was kind of disorienting to see our street without snow covering absolutely everything.
I hear ya.

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/24328_667929896531_56000713_38293236_459927_n.jpg (broken link)
or
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/301510_910685657041_56000713_41889474_691545260_n. jpg (broken link)
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
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Yeah, it can be a lot of work. It's not unusual for us to get 2-300 inches of that wet heavy stuff even so with stiff winds off the lake it still drifts quite a bit.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,328,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Anything colder than Chicago? Especially a place like Minneapolis (I guess the coldest big city in the US, I imagine this question would be more pertinent for Canadian cities) I mean people still have to go to work, but do a lot fewer people go out for dining, entertainment etc? Or do they just all rug up but go out in similar numbers? Is it common for people to pass out drunk and freeze to death?

How is life for homeless folk? Are there a lot more shelters per capita? If for whatever reason they can't stay at shelters, are there public indoor areas open 24/7 where people can sleep during cold nights?
I live right outside of Duluth. Duluth's average temperature is as lower than Chicago's average temperature as Chicago's is to Atlanta. Duluth is also quite a bit colder than Minneapolis.

Winter brings variable conditions. On the really cold days, like when it doesn't get above -5F (for a high), and the wind is roaring, bring down windchills to -50F or lower, there is almost no unnecessary activity outside. Kids stay in the school building for recess (usually they go to the gym) and people going to work walk right from their cars to their workplaces.

On other days, like when it is 25 or 30F, the ski hill (Spirit Mountain) can be packed, and people actually enjoy the weather by going snowmobiling (very popular here), snowshoing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, etc.

What really stands out about places with severe winters is not so much what people do during the winters as how they react to warming temperatures in spring and how much value they place on summers. On the first days of the year that it reaches the 40's, usually in March and April, people will be wearing shorts and tank tops (for the girls). The first really warm day of the year (say, when it hits 75 - also usually in April or May), almost everyone will be attired like it's the hottest day of the year. Heck, I even remember it being about 30F and sunny and seeing people wearing shorts in their driveway shooting hoops.

Minnesotans in particular place a lot of value on their precious summers as well. Owning a summer cabin and boat are two things that Minnesota leads the rest of the country in - I know we are #1 in boat ownership, and if we aren't #1 in second home ownership, we're pretty close. Going "up north" to the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) is a Minnesota tradition.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,904 posts, read 6,115,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
...snipped...
How is life for homeless folk? Are there a lot more shelters per capita? If for whatever reason they can't stay at shelters, are there public indoor areas open 24/7 where people can sleep during cold nights?
we get returning homeless every year. I see many go by my office during the day....same ones. Only see them in the winter time....we have homeless shelters here but we don't have the extreme cold weather. Facilities are opened up when the winter temps dip down to freezing. Anyone can use them.

eta: I'm in Central Fl
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