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Old 01-31-2009, 08:01 PM
 
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Hello everyone. I am considering relocating to Minneapolis next year and I have heard terrible things about the winters. But I'm from Toronto, Canada. We have bad winters too. I just wonder how the two compare. I have looked at the weather forecasts for both and compared, and usually Minneapolis is a few degrees cooler. I find that I don't like Toronto winters -- not so much because of the cold but because of the wild changes in temperature, the slush, the mud, the wet snow, the sudden cold snap, the overcast days... I get a lot of headaches from the rapid weather changes. Here is how Wikipedia describes Toronto weather in general:

Toronto winters sometimes feature short cold snaps where maximum temperatures remain below −10 C (14 F), often made to feel colder by wind chill. Snowstorms, sometimes mixed with ice and rain can disrupt work and travel schedules, accumulating snow can fall anytime from November until mid-April. However, mild stretches with temperatures in the 5 to 12 C (40 to 54 F) range and infrequently higher also occur in most winters melting accumulated snow. Summer in Toronto is characterized by long stretches of humid weather. Although generally in the range from 23 C (73 F) to 31 C (88 F), daytime temperatures occasionally surpass 35 C (95 F), with accompanying high humidity making it feel oppressive during brief periods of hot weather. Spring and Autumn are transitional seasons with generally mild or cool temperatures with alternating dry and wet periods.

I checked out the Wiki description of Minnesota's climate and it was much more simple, suggesting either that the weather is not as crazy as that of Toronto or the writer of the article was not inspired to go into much detail. I am expecting Minnesota to be cold, but can you tell me more? Good and bad? Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:01 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
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Hi

I am a weather forecaster out of Grand Forks ND and I have forecasted weather for Minnesota (and North Dakota) and actually for parts of Ontario and New York state (before moving to my current location). i will give you my impressions instead of quoting from already available sources.

Overall the summers would be comparable...each city can get long spells of warm to hot and humid weather...30-35C and humid weather would be pretty typical July-August weather highs with about 18-20C for lows. Minneapolis might have a bit more frequent "relief" cool downs than Toronto when cold fronts drop south and bring less humid and a bit cooler weather. One thing is that Minneapolis would tend to get more frequent thunderstorms and hail events than Toronto (as often the waters of the Great Lakes may keep the airmass more stable for those living near its shores). I would think too a bit more windy and less hazy stagnant air too than Toronto.

In winter...it can vary. Minneapolis is more often in the path of very cold arctic air dropping south from Canada whereas Toronto is more under the influence of the Great Lakes and thus Toronto would have more clouds in the winter and less extreme cold (say -20C or colder). Often winters in Minnesota, while cold, can have decent sunny periods...not always as it can also stay cloudy for days too. We tend to get less "slop" of rain then snow then rain than you get in Toronto and farther east into New York state. You might get overall more snowfall on average in Toronto just due to more clouds....but I dont think it is a huge difference in average snowfall.

So in a nutshell MSP would have comparable summers (maybe a bit less humid) but with more frequent thunderstorms and colder and drier winters than Toronto.


That is my info at least...I will let others chime in. Of course personal preference plays a role too...


Dan
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Columbus OH
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I'd agree with Dan's post, except that I do think summer seems decidedly more humid in Toronto. I've visited Toronto three times during the past ten years--each time in the summer. Each time the weather was notably more humid than what I'm used to here in the Twin Cities.

In general though, winters here are colder, but sunnier. We also have a dryer cold, so the our temperature of 5 degrees F may actually feel warmer than 5 degrees F in Toronto. Both cities are generally well built for cold weather, with skyways in Minneapolis and the underground tunnels in Toronto.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:22 AM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
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I had time to look at some stats (normals) comparing the two cities...

Here are the links (based on 30 yr 1971-2000)

Toronto Pearson Airport (from Environment Canada)
Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000 | Canada's National Climate Archive (http://www.climate.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/climate_normals/results_e.html?StnID=5097&autofwd=1 - broken link)

For Minneapolis - St Paul Intl Airport (Natl Weather Service)
http://climate.umn.edu/pdf/normals_m...MSP_page_3.pdf

Here is a great metric calculater for conversions...
http://www.worldwidemetric.com/metcal.htm

In a nutshell

January
MSP average high -5.6C Toronto -2.1C
MSP average low -15.3C Toronto -10.5C

July
MSP average high 28.5C Toronto 26.8C
MSP average low 17.2C Toronto 14.8C

average yearly snowfall
MSP 142 cm (55.9 inches) Toronto 115 cm (45.3 inches)


These are climate averages over a 30 year period and of course each day and year can be quite different.


Dan
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:10 AM
 
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Wow...thanks DaninEGF and MplsTodd! I really appreciate your insights, and thanks for the links!! It sounds a lot like what I was expecting. I will happily endure the cold if it means less humidity than what we have in Toronto! I also think I will enjoy a dry cold winter better than a wet cold one.

Would you say that the weather is reasonably "stable" in Minneapolis -- this is just layman's speak for weather that doesn't seem to be constantly changing day to day -- i.e., -20 Celsius one day, +5 the next...humid one day, dry the next...and on and on... I'm no expert on weather, but I do feel that what I endure in Toronto can't be "normal" and that there must be places where the weather doesn't change so wildly on a day to day basis. Well, maybe I notice it more because of how it affects my head. Once I was actually inspired to collect weather data and correlate it to my headaches. I remember that I did find some relationship between both barometric pressure and humidity and my head pain, but I can't remember exactly what the relationship was! Too bad... I don't think I have that data anymore. Maybe I will try doing that again.

Anyway, thanks again for your help! I really appreciate it.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:44 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabine_and_Will View Post
Wow...thanks DaninEGF and MplsTodd! I really appreciate your insights, and thanks for the links!! It sounds a lot like what I was expecting. I will happily endure the cold if it means less humidity than what we have in Toronto! I also think I will enjoy a dry cold winter better than a wet cold one.

Would you say that the weather is reasonably "stable" in Minneapolis -- this is just layman's speak for weather that doesn't seem to be constantly changing day to day -- i.e., -20 Celsius one day, +5 the next...humid one day, dry the next...and on and on... I'm no expert on weather, but I do feel that what I endure in Toronto can't be "normal" and that there must be places where the weather doesn't change so wildly on a day to day basis. Well, maybe I notice it more because of how it affects my head. Once I was actually inspired to collect weather data and correlate it to my headaches. I remember that I did find some relationship between both barometric pressure and humidity and my head pain, but I can't remember exactly what the relationship was! Too bad... I don't think I have that data anymore. Maybe I will try doing that again.

Anyway, thanks again for your help! I really appreciate it.
I have heard of people with headaches with an approaching storm system....this is when barometric pressure falls. My son has asthma and it acts up mostly in humid weather which fortunately in some years isnt too bad.

But as for changeable...that is a tough one. Both areas are in the storm track per se most of the year...and frequent airmass changes are not uncommon in Minneapolis too... late spring and early summer and again early fall would be times of the year when airmass changes from warm and humid to dry and cooler would be most frequent. Hopefully it will be better than in Toronto. I do know you have to get really far south in the U.S. or along the west coast of the U.S. (i.e. California coast) to get into a weather regime where frequent airmass changes are not as common.

Dan
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:58 PM
 
207 posts, read 680,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaninEGF View Post
I have heard of people with headaches with an approaching storm system....this is when barometric pressure falls. My son has asthma and it acts up mostly in humid weather which fortunately in some years isnt too bad.

But as for changeable...that is a tough one. Both areas are in the storm track per se most of the year...and frequent airmass changes are not uncommon in Minneapolis too... late spring and early summer and again early fall would be times of the year when airmass changes from warm and humid to dry and cooler would be most frequent. Hopefully it will be better than in Toronto. I do know you have to get really far south in the U.S. or along the west coast of the U.S. (i.e. California coast) to get into a weather regime where frequent airmass changes are not as common.

Dan
Thanks for your insights, Dan! Much appreciated. Well, I hope it works out. I'm not totally sure that I will be attending school in Minneapolis yet, but it's likely... One day though I will seriously contemplate a move to some place far south...
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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Hi,

I used to live in Toronto (grew up there) and now I am living in Minneapolis, though I spent the past six years living in Vancouver. I'm not a weather forecaster, but I have to agree with Dan. So far I've found the winters marginally colder in Minneapolis than Toronto, but not so much that it really matters. The air feels a lot dryer to me here than it did in Toronto though. The summers here (that I've experienced, which is limited) are pretty warm and humid, but not quite as disgustingly humid as they get in Toronto.

I think that Minneapolis / Saint Paul is a pretty nice area to live in. I love Toronto, but I think I could live in the twin cities for a long time (probably only going to stay here for 2-3 years though).

Brad
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:29 PM
 
207 posts, read 680,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhdavis1978 View Post
Hi,

I used to live in Toronto (grew up there) and now I am living in Minneapolis, though I spent the past six years living in Vancouver. I'm not a weather forecaster, but I have to agree with Dan. So far I've found the winters marginally colder in Minneapolis than Toronto, but not so much that it really matters. The air feels a lot dryer to me here than it did in Toronto though. The summers here (that I've experienced, which is limited) are pretty warm and humid, but not quite as disgustingly humid as they get in Toronto.

I think that Minneapolis / Saint Paul is a pretty nice area to live in. I love Toronto, but I think I could live in the twin cities for a long time (probably only going to stay here for 2-3 years though).

Brad
Hey Brad, thanks for your post. Well, it sounds like the little bit of extra cold might be worth it if the summers are a bit less humid...
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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I used to live across Lake Ontario from Toronto in Western NY, so I am assuming the weather is fairly similar between the two. Compared to WNY, the thing that strikes me the most about Mpls/St Paul winters is that there is lots more winter SUN! It lifts my spirits, even though if a January day is sunny in Minnesota, you can bet the air is extremely frigid! Also, you mentioned mud, slush and wet snow. Yes, we have that here in MN, but much less than I was used to in WNY. Winter rain seems much less common here, also
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