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Old 01-05-2017, 02:23 PM
 
10 posts, read 7,557 times
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Hello,

I've searched, but wanted to get a direct comparison from the location I currently reside.

My wife and I are considering a move from Minneapolis to Kansas City. We have three cities from which we are choosing from (Charlotte, Nashville being the other two). We've been to Charlotte, and love it, but it presents unique challenges. We will be in KC in March and are looking forward to our visit there.

My question is primarily concerned with the winters that still exist in Kansas City. We are both from the Midwest, and have lived in areas our entire lives that have winters similar to Minneapolis, less the deep freezes and slightly less snow. Looking at weather averages is one thing, but I'd like to know the actual experiences of individuals moving from upper Midwest to KC.

Has anyone made the move from Minneapolis to Kansas City? How do winters compare in your experience?

Specifically -

1) I've read 15"-20" of snow per winter. Are there still 4"+ snowfalls? How common?
2) How often is snow "on the ground"? Those of you up north will understand.
3) Do you consider it mild and still 'tolerable'? Or is it still 'too much winter' for you?
4) Are there frequent, smaller, snowfalls that disappear in a day? Is that where the large amount of snow comes from?

Other noticeable or appreciable differences in the four seasons? I suspect fall will be much better than Minneapolis.

Thanks for the insight.

Last edited by scienceisgreat; 01-05-2017 at 02:26 PM.. Reason: added additional question
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:09 PM
 
677 posts, read 1,146,024 times
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Winters can vary greatly. Some years can be mild with very little snow, while occasionally, we get some colder winters with significant snow.

I don't think we have had a 4"+ snowfall the last two or three years, but there were a couple years in a row (maybe 5 and 6 years ago) where there were multiple large (8"+) snow events.

Almost every year, the snow won't last long on the ground before it melts (but one of those recent years was an exception, and it was the only year in recent memory that I recall having some snow on the ground for a good chunk of the winter).

I consider winter in KC tolerable, for the most part. The cold snaps usually don't last long. For instance, we just had a day that hit -9, which I believe is the coldest temp this century, but a few days later, it was in the 60s. It seems like most often, the temp will be in the 40s - and if the sun is shining, I consider that pretty comfortable to go out for a walk, or do some sort of outdoor activity. But you usually get around two arctic blasts where lows can be in the single digits. On the flip side, you can get some warm fronts where it might hit the 60s.

I don't have any experience with Minnesota winters, but from everything I hear, KC is considerably milder and more tolerable.

And the falls in KC are wonderful - definitely my favorite season.
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:11 PM
 
Location: IN
20,170 posts, read 34,496,158 times
Reputation: 12508
Quote:
Originally Posted by scienceisgreat View Post
Hello,

I've searched, but wanted to get a direct comparison from the location I currently reside.

My wife and I are considering a move from Minneapolis to Kansas City. We have three cities from which we are choosing from (Charlotte, Nashville being the other two). We've been to Charlotte, and love it, but it presents unique challenges. We will be in KC in March and are looking forward to our visit there.

My question is primarily concerned with the winters that still exist in Kansas City. We are both from the Midwest, and have lived in areas our entire lives that have winters similar to Minneapolis, less the deep freezes and slightly less snow. Looking at weather averages is one thing, but I'd like to know the actual experiences of individuals moving from upper Midwest to KC.

Has anyone made the move from Minneapolis to Kansas City? How do winters compare in your experience?

Specifically -

1) I've read 15"-20" of snow per winter. Are there still 4"+ snowfalls? How common?
2) How often is snow "on the ground"? Those of you up north will understand.
3) Do you consider it mild and still 'tolerable'? Or is it still 'too much winter' for you?
4) Are there frequent, smaller, snowfalls that disappear in a day? Is that where the large amount of snow comes from?

Other noticeable or appreciable differences in the four seasons? I suspect fall will be much better than Minneapolis.

Thanks for the insight.
Yes, I have lived in the Upper Midwest as well as KC. They have nothing at all in common in terms of winter for the most part.

1) the official average is closer to 20'' at the KCI airport in the NW corner of the metro. There are not very many 4'' snowfalls each winter, expect 1-3 on average at most.

2) Snow is rarely on the ground for more than 1-2 weeks at a time, I think the longest period of continuous snowfall in KC was around 100 days in the winter of 78-79.

3) Winter in KC is mild compared to the Upper Midwest across the board due to a modified chinook downsloping wind that comes from the west off the Rocky Mountains. That is a common feature, but is not talked about by local meteorologists much because the target demographic probably would not understand the details. Rapid temperature swings can be common, EVEN IN JANUARY.
There will be high temperatures of 50F+ or milder down to 10F within a short time horizon. The cold is very dry, invest in moisturizers and humidifiers as forced natural gas heat dries everything out fast. Not even remotely enough snow for winter sports and recreation, you have to head to Colorado or Up North to partake- Weston Ski area in Missouri does not count in my opinion.

4) Due to the very low latitude of KC compared to the Upper Midwest, you will have snowfalls that will melt some during the day and refreeze at night creating more black ice concerns. Mixed precipitation in terms of freezing rain and sleet are also more common in KC than Minneapolis as well which create many annoyances compared to snowfall.

The huge problem you overlook regarding the climate of KC is the horrid summer heat and humidity, much much worse than anything in Minneapolis. You can't escape the sun, heat, and humidity in KC and I would take an Upper Midwest winter every day over a KC summer, but that is a personal preference. Summer temperatures in Wisconsin are beyond pleasant for 3/4 of the season which can not be underestimated.
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Cleverly concealed
889 posts, read 1,429,027 times
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I've lived in both cities.

It's not as cold in Kansas City, we don't get as much snow as Minneapolis, and spring arrives earlier. Most of our snow falls in February.

Because of the wild swings in temperatures, you can't trust the stability of ponds for ice skating or ice fishing, and snow doesn't last long enough for cross-country skiing or most other winter sports.

We're in a pattern right now where the temperature falls out the bottom of the thermometer for a couple of days (-4 is the predicted low Friday morning-- that's exceptionally cold for us), but then it shoots up again (Tuesday high at the moment expected to be 50). Your typical January high would be around 28 with a low in the teens.

Don't worry about humidity. It's not as bad as people make it out to be. It's not "high plains dry" but not "southern humid" either, somewhere in between. Nashville and Charlotte are much more sticky.

Autumn, aside from my allergies, is the best season in my opinion.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:23 PM
 
Location: IN
20,170 posts, read 34,496,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioSilence View Post
I've lived in both cities.

It's not as cold in Kansas City, we don't get as much snow as Minneapolis, and spring arrives earlier. Most of our snow falls in February.

Because of the wild swings in temperatures, you can't trust the stability of ponds for ice skating or ice fishing, and snow doesn't last long enough for cross-country skiing or most other winter sports.

We're in a pattern right now where the temperature falls out the bottom of the thermometer for a couple of days (-4 is the predicted low Friday morning-- that's exceptionally cold for us), but then it shoots up again (Tuesday high at the moment expected to be 50). Your typical January high would be around 28 with a low in the teens.

Don't worry about humidity. It's not as bad as people make it out to be. It's not "high plains dry" but not "southern humid" either, somewhere in between. Nashville and Charlotte are much more sticky.

Autumn, aside from my allergies, is the best season in my opinion.
I would have to disagree regarding humidity, it is quite bad for a long duration of time considering the high temperatures and sun angle of summer. The ambient dewpoint, the measure of low level moisture, can reach values higher than anywhere in the Southeast due to evapotranspiration- from adjacent agricultural fields not too far removed from the KC metro area. An example: I have experienced an air temperature in Lawrence of 106F with a 78F dewpoint. That created a heat index of nearly 120F in the shade in July. So, it can indeed get that uncomfortable.

Last edited by GraniteStater; 01-05-2017 at 04:42 PM..
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15 posts, read 9,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioSilence View Post
Don't worry about humidity. It's not as bad as people make it out to be. It's not "high plains dry" but not "southern humid" either, somewhere in between. Nashville and Charlotte are much more sticky.
I would agree with this assessment of the humidity. The short period that I was in KC was during the peak of summer. Growing up in SoCal I'd say my tolerance for humidity is quite a bit less than most. That said, I found the KC heat and humidity to be tolerable and better than expected - I frequently went on jogs when it was 90+ outside and humid. I've also spent a summer in Georgia and that is horrid heat and humidity.

I also have family in Minnesota and have only been there during the summer time; it still got hot and muggy up there, so if you can tolerate that then I don't think it'll be an issue in KC.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:25 AM
 
10 posts, read 7,557 times
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Thanks for the replies.

I realize this discussion has gone into 'tolerating the humidity', but I'd like to have it continued to be focused on the winter months for several reasons.

It's very well documented the heat and humidity will exist in the three locations we go to. That's a constant. Nashville and Charlotte also have well documented mild winters. KC, on the other hand, is more of an unknown. A few posters above have substantially helped with that request, thank you for that.

The reasoning is that we are looking to move away from winter. So, the question in the room is (and incredibly difficult to assess until we live there, I suppose): Would people who have been in the upper Midwest consider the winter tolerable? Or still think it's too much?

There are several reasons we have KC on our list, and plenty of them are very strong reasons. The hesitation is that since we are attempting to avoid 'winter' (cold / snow) for long periods, I'm not sure KC would be the best long term option.

Then again, maybe instead of 1-2 feet of snow on the ground and very cold temperatures on a consistent basis in the North compared to what I've read on KC, that would be good enough! So that's the foundation of which I'm attempting to get a better grasp with.

I realize this is a YMMV type of question, but that's why a direct North / Upper Midwest to KC experience was desired.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:06 AM
 
Location: IN
20,170 posts, read 34,496,158 times
Reputation: 12508
Quote:
Originally Posted by scienceisgreat View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I realize this discussion has gone into 'tolerating the humidity', but I'd like to have it continued to be focused on the winter months for several reasons.

It's very well documented the heat and humidity will exist in the three locations we go to. That's a constant. Nashville and Charlotte also have well documented mild winters. KC, on the other hand, is more of an unknown. A few posters above have substantially helped with that request, thank you for that.

The reasoning is that we are looking to move away from winter. So, the question in the room is (and incredibly difficult to assess until we live there, I suppose): Would people who have been in the upper Midwest consider the winter tolerable? Or still think it's too much?

There are several reasons we have KC on our list, and plenty of them are very strong reasons. The hesitation is that since we are attempting to avoid 'winter' (cold / snow) for long periods, I'm not sure KC would be the best long term option.

Then again, maybe instead of 1-2 feet of snow on the ground and very cold temperatures on a consistent basis in the North compared to what I've read on KC, that would be good enough! So that's the foundation of which I'm attempting to get a better grasp with.

I realize this is a YMMV type of question, but that's why a direct North / Upper Midwest to KC experience was desired.

Thanks again!
Again, you're not going to be avoid the cold in KC, but compared to the Upper Midwest the periods of arctic cold will be less for sure. For example, the low temperature in Kansas City was -4F this morning, and temperatures that cold and colder are common every winter season. The Southeast will have far milder winters with less extremes.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:41 PM
 
677 posts, read 1,146,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
For example, the low temperature in Kansas City was -4F this morning, and temperatures that cold and colder are common every winter season.
To call temps below -4F common every winter is not true at all. Many years it will never get below zero. In fact, 14 out of the last 30 years never had a temp below zero. In 2006, the temperature never got below 22 degrees.

I can't find and average of number of days with a below zero temp, but average days with a low under 10 degrees is 11 per year. Below zero temps happen much less often than below 10 in KC. I would guess that average might be 2 days a year.
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,361,269 times
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I've lived in Minnesota (and was born and raised in northern Illinois, near the Wisconsin border...also spent significant time in WI, though never as a resident). Winters in KC will be a piece of cake. Even the "bad" weather days. At most, it's an occasional annoyance.
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