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Old 04-01-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
1,798 posts, read 2,297,111 times
Reputation: 1583

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From reading posts in this forum about Phoenix and Tucson, you'd get the idea that southern Arizona is an extreme hot climate that isn't fit for year round living. Florida on the other hand seems to be more acceptable to the nation. Just look at the population numbers: FL has nearly 19 million people, AZ at about 6.5 million.

I compared heat indexes of Tampa and Phoenix almost every day last year. And what I found is that for most of the year, the heat index was higher in Tampa. Their winters are MUCH cooler in AZ, and they enjoy cooler nights for most of the year too. Only during their monsoon weather was their heat index about the same as FL.

Yet the heat and humidity here aren't listed as primary reason for wanting to leave FL. I have some theories about why FL is perceived as the more acceptable place to live.

Proximity: The most obvious, FL is closer to most of the nation. You're sick of grey cold weather and now you want sun and palm trees, just hop on I-75 or I-95 and come on down. It's maybe a two day drive at most. They've been doing this for 60+ years. Also you're not as isolated from your family here. Moving to AZ is a drastic move that involves commitment, you're way out there!

Diversion of the beach lifestyle: It's all about the water in FL. So naturally the hottest, most humid days make for good beach weather, the ocean essentially becomes a big 90 degree jacuzzi. If the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic were to majestically disappear, would people be just as tolerant of 93 degree days with 75 percent humidity? That's why I consider this whole water lifestyle a diversion from heat. You have cities in FL all along the coast lines that take advantage of this boating and beach lifestyle. Where as in AZ, the population is mostly in Phoenix and Tucson. If you're moving to the far away desert, you at least want to be where the people and jobs are.

Eastern Familiarity: The desert landscape is unsettling for a lot of people. Parts of FL on the other hand look like any other state out east. I even live in a neighborhood that has brick roads.

These are just a few of my reasons why people choose FL over AZ. And I don't think it's purely because of the Arizona heat. Because as I said, the heat indexes in southern AZ are lower for most of the year than they are in FL. When people complain about the heat in PHX, it usually also involves not liking the brown barren landscape and the endless sunny skies and no rain.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Florida
398 posts, read 621,468 times
Reputation: 261
Of course people move to Florida for water activities and beaches, inland springs and rivers, the ocean, owning a boat or jetskis, visual appeal and the tropical/sub tropical landscapes. Also you mention the absence of winter compared to AZ... AZ gets quite a bit colder at night. Southern Alabama/Georgia and Texas get hotter than Florida often though, and they still live there? Arkansas/Tennessee can also get obscenely hot. If the gulf and atlantic were to disappear, you wouldn't have the level of humidity, daily rainshowers, ocean breezes though... hard to have one without the other.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:31 AM
 
6,431 posts, read 9,950,274 times
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I've never been to Phoenix. Farthest out west I've lived is Texas. After reading countless threads about Arizona's weather, I would most certainly conclude Florida has the more hospitable climate. I'm not even trying to show bias. I've read so many Arizonians say that because of the dry weather over there, they've had bloody noses (even if they never had it before), cracked feet, extremely dry skin, coughing blood, dry hair, loads of allergies. That is scary. That would be my personal hell. I would rather deal with the humidity here any day than having all that trouble there. In addition to the terrible air quality. The air here in FL is excellent and clean. And we have pristine beaches on each coast that are extremely relaxing and perfect to getting away from the rat race. Even though I'm leaving Florida, I will be missing the beautiful beaches here.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Florida
398 posts, read 621,468 times
Reputation: 261
I got a bloody nose after 3-4 days in Las Vegas in the summer. It was the first time I ever had one.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:15 PM
 
353 posts, read 409,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desert_scene View Post
From reading posts in this forum about Phoenix and Tucson, you'd get the idea that southern Arizona is an extreme hot climate that isn't fit for year round living. Florida on the other hand seems to be more acceptable to the nation. Just look at the population numbers: FL has nearly 19 million people, AZ at about 6.5 million.

I compared heat indexes of Tampa and Phoenix almost every day last year. And what I found is that for most of the year, the heat index was higher in Tampa. Their winters are MUCH cooler in AZ, and they enjoy cooler nights for most of the year too. Only during their monsoon weather was their heat index about the same as FL.

Yet the heat and humidity here aren't listed as primary reason for wanting to leave FL. I have some theories about why FL is perceived as the more acceptable place to live.

Proximity: The most obvious, FL is closer to most of the nation. You're sick of grey cold weather and now you want sun and palm trees, just hop on I-75 or I-95 and come on down. It's maybe a two day drive at most. They've been doing this for 60+ years. Also you're not as isolated from your family here. Moving to AZ is a drastic move that involves commitment, you're way out there!

Diversion of the beach lifestyle: It's all about the water in FL. So naturally the hottest, most humid days make for good beach weather, the ocean essentially becomes a big 90 degree jacuzzi. If the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic were to majestically disappear, would people be just as tolerant of 93 degree days with 75 percent humidity? That's why I consider this whole water lifestyle a diversion from heat. You have cities in FL all along the coast lines that take advantage of this boating and beach lifestyle. Where as in AZ, the population is mostly in Phoenix and Tucson. If you're moving to the far away desert, you at least want to be where the people and jobs are.

Eastern Familiarity: The desert landscape is unsettling for a lot of people. Parts of FL on the other hand look like any other state out east. I even live in a neighborhood that has brick roads.

These are just a few of my reasons why people choose FL over AZ. And I don't think it's purely because of the Arizona heat. Because as I said, the heat indexes in southern AZ are lower for most of the year than they are in FL. When people complain about the heat in PHX, it usually also involves not liking the brown barren landscape and the endless sunny skies and no rain.
I agree with this. The beaches, greenery and east coast location hold sway for many.

FL does seem just as hot to me as AZ. The desert is unfamiliar to most people though. It is really different from the Southeastern US.

I think another reason is FL lacks a state income tax.

It is really hot in both places. Some prefer the warmer winters, especially overnight, in FL.

I personally prefer AZ. There is much more geographic diversity and you can escape the heat easily by going to higher altitudes. Mountains hold more sway for me than beaches.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
1,389 posts, read 1,946,828 times
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Personally, I don't think I could stand to live in the hotter areas of Arizona. Ugly, brown and dry, blast-furnace hot. That's what I say to myself when my wife and I visit her brother in Tucson. HOWEVER, the more moderate areas in higher elevations can be stunningly beautiful. I miss mountains. I love desert sunsets. My car's fuel economy loves the flatness of Florida but anytime I'm on the road or go back up north to visit family, I marvel at something as insignificant as moderate changes in terrain elevation.

Buuuut I love palm trees. And my skin appreciates humidity (although I'm not looking forward to summer).

ps - Arizona should be the "Sunshine State" as it receives far more average hours of sunshine than Florida. Also, unless you're in the heat-island of Phoenix, it is possible to survive AZ summers. Unlike FL, it's even possible to find relief at night out there.

Last edited by user8; 04-01-2012 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:23 PM
 
2,076 posts, read 3,077,441 times
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Heat indices are funny things and I don't think they every truly capture how you truly feel. There is NO hotter feeling than being in the dry beating Arizona sun when it's 120 F out. Even in the middle portions of Florida where you don't get the breezes, where it's hot, humid and stagnant it just doesn't feel as hot... All the water in the air shields you from the burning sun a bit. Now in the shade, and when the sun sets it's a whole different story.

And there is something desolate about the desert. I like green and wildlife around me.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
1,389 posts, read 1,946,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PosterExtraordinaire View Post
Even in the middle portions of Florida where you don't get the breezes, where it's hot, humid and stagnant it just doesn't feel as hot... All the water in the air shields you from the burning sun a bit. Now in the shade, and when the sun sets it's a whole different story.
Heh. I used to think this, too. The sun can sear your skin here just as it can out west in AZ. The only difference is that here you'll sweat buckets while frying in the summer sun because the dew point climbs into the mid-to-upper 70s and beyond, at which point your skin loses the ability to evaporate sweat.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:42 PM
 
2,076 posts, read 3,077,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user8 View Post
Heh. I used to think this, too. The sun can sear your skin here just as it can out west in AZ. The only difference is that here you'll sweat buckets while frying in the summer sun because the dew point climbs into the mid-to-upper 70s and beyond, at which point your skin loses the ability to evaporate sweat.
Nah, I wasn't thinking sunburn. At least my skin is dark enough I never worry about it burning. But the sun feels like you're own private furnace, I think you know what I mean. And that feeling is just oppressive in Arizona.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Florida
398 posts, read 621,468 times
Reputation: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by PosterExtraordinaire View Post
Nah, I wasn't thinking sunburn. At least my skin is dark enough I never worry about it burning. But the sun feels like you're own private furnace, I think you know what I mean. And that feeling is just oppressive in Arizona.
The wind feels hot and burns your face in Arizona... the wind cools you down in Florida.

Quote:
Originally Posted by user8 View Post

ps - Arizona should be the "Sunshine State" as it receives far more average hours of sunshine than Florida. Also, unless you're in the heat-island of Phoenix, it is possible to survive AZ summers. Unlike FL, it's even possible to find relief at night out there.
The sun in Florida is stronger b/c of lowest latitude of the continental U.S. and the days are longer in the winter when the sunshine hours are truly more noticeably lacking in other parts of the country.
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