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I have a few questions about Spokane and would appreciate very much if anyone could answer them. For the last few years, I have been going back and forth on whether I should move to Spokane or not. I don't know anyone that lives there personally, so I don't have anyone to ask. I have done a lot of research, but I haven't heard anything firsthand from anyone.
My main concern is the weather. I currently live in Indiana and have lived all over including LA, AL, FL, TX, etc. But I have never lived in that area of the country, so I don't know what it's like. I have lived in IN for the last couple years and the snow and especially the ice is a little too much.
1.) How many months does it generally snow in Spokane and approx. how many times does it snow during the winter? Just a guesstimate. Is it an almost every week thing or is it just a couple times over the course of the winter? Is the ice pretty bad? I am just concerned about ice and snow and how much of each is normal for the city.
Mostly I am worried about the ICE. Cold weather doesn't bother me and I don't mind snow flurries or even trudging through snow, but is it the type of snow that is mostly slippery and icy underneath, so that it would be difficult to walk around in downtown to go to work every day without constantly slipping?
2.) Is there adequate public transportation system(s) in the city for those without personal automobiles?
3.) Is the job market pretty good for new college graduates and/or generally a lot of office and administrative type positions available?
4.) How is the air quality? Is it fairly clean and clear or is it smoky, dusty, or polluted? Does the city sit in a 'bowl' and acquire a lot of dust or smoke from farming or manufacturing areas?
5.) How often does it rain? Is it an almost every day thing? When it rains does it just drizzle/sprinkle or is it big downpours? When I lived in New Orleans, the weather was tropical and it sprinkled rain several times a week. That sort of thing doesn't bother me.
6.) Would you recommend Spokane to relocate to or is there another city or town that in your opinion might as good or better in terms of affordable housing, fairly mild weather, good office/business/admin type jobs available, not too much snow and ice, and fairly good air quality?
I will probably have a few more questions when I think of them, but these are by far the most important to me. Thank you SO much to anyone that might have a moment to respond to some or all of these questions. =]
Last edited by antigone01; 05-25-2009 at 03:45 PM..
Wow, you have a load of questions ...
I will try and anwer some as the best I can..
In regards to the winter weather, all I and my wife know is this past winter was recorded as the worse in Spokane history, and that's not a good thing. Where we live, I would say it was well over 5 feet, yes that is some awsome snow piles. If it were not for 4x4, we wouldn't have gotten around for grocerys without a real challenge.
Here is a web page that will give you information on Spokane's average winter weather:
You mentioned walking in town in the winter months, most sidewalks here this past winter were piled with many feet of snow, there was so much snow, at a point the public schools had to close, all the sidewalks in front of the schools were packed with snow and ice. I must mention though this was the worse winter in our history, so it's surely not a guide to go by "we hope". I actually had a tunnel from my front door to my mailbox and for 2 weeks the mail even stopped delivering, don't mean to scare you, that's just the way it was this past winter. In regards to rain, no not that often, the rain is more so on the western side of the state in and around Seattle/Tacoma area. Another location on this side of the state which doesn't have as harsh of winters, but summers are HOT is the Tricities and housing there seems less expensive in general but nice homes. Tricities is more of a desert land in comparison to Spokane which has nice Pine trees and vegetation. I know what it's like in Indiana, used to go there often in the past when in the military.
In regards to the job market , I will say it's definately not as bad as other parts of the country, but then again we were also hit with the devastating economy. There are various sites on the web you can search on specific jobs in this area, ofcourse there is always craigslist, it has many different type of jobs posted on a regular basis. Also this site may be useful to you: Jobs Spokane Employment
Reference to the air quality: Where I reside there is no issue with smog, dust or the sort. Actually I can see the mtns from my livingroom window, it's very nice here; we live pretty close to the Spokane River.
Public transportation is readily used here, it's a great asset for the public, so that's something that may assist you in getting around.
This is a large city, but with a small town feeling in the different areas in the county. Hope some of this will help in your decision
You can pm , if need be.
My fingers are saying, enough, but know what it's like with no prior help before making a decision on a possible move to a new location, been there, lol...
I've only been in Spokane for a few weeks, but I'll take a stab.
1) I haven't been in Spokane for a winter yet, but I might go as far to tell you not to move somewhere it snows/ices, if you are really that worried about it.
2) For a city its size, more people in Spokane ride the bus than you would think, so it must be good. At every house I looked to rent, the lessors would say something like, "The house is near the bus line," and I would really want to reply with, "Didn't you just see me drive up in a car?".
3) Spokane County's unemployment rate is 10.4% (March 2009), worse than the national average (8.5%). But, the locals seem to concede that Spokane doesn't boom as big as most other cities, and doesn't bust as fast as most other cities. They say it seems to stay about the same through economic cycles, and booms and busts very slowly. Although I moved to Spokane with my job, I wouldn't think it'd be a great place to embark on a career; however, even with all the colleges in Spokane, the city's population as a whole seems rather undereducated, which might be good for a college graduate like yourself (less competition).
4) The air quality is nothing like you'd find in major metros. You can actually see everything (mountains/hills/trees) for miles on clear days. I've noticed a little occasional haze, but it's not anything to worry about.
5) It's only rained a few times in May. Only in early May at that.
6) I'm not the kind of person that would live somewhere where there wasn't at least significant snowfall, so I can't really help you in that department. I would recommend Denver, Omaha, or Kansas City, if you are willing to concede the snow/ice thing. I've lived in Denver for the past two years, and am really sad to be leaving it, I think I'm starting to realize that it may have been the perfect place for me. I would stay off the west coast for one reason: you need lots of this: $$$$$$ to live there.
Last edited by David Aguilar; 05-26-2009 at 02:21 PM..
Reason: removed quote
I agree with David... If you are worried about slipping on ice don't move here. My pastor said in one day he slipped three times!! The sidewalks where I live didn't get shoveled at all but then again I live in the County and not in city limits. The snow was great for the snowboarders/skiers but was quite annoying as it stayed on the ground forever...and then it became crunchy ice!! It was sometimes impossible to get out of our driveway.. But then again I heard over and over again that the snowfall was not a normal thing for Spokane. That is does snow but not that much.
I personally like Spokane but not everyone does. And David is right about the West Coast especially Southern Cal... Way too expensive and not worth the hassle..
Grew up in Spokane area--maybe some help--maybe not...
1. I can snow--a lot. Usually doesn't snow a lot though. The closest equivalent to this past winter was '67-'68, so if you can stand a big one every 30 years or so...
Ice storms as such are relatively rare--did have a bad one a few years ago, but if you can survive Indiana and their ice storms, you'll be fine. Black ice is a bigger problem.
It can get cold enough to snow most months--I've been snowed on in June once! Now, no sticking, or accumulation, but it was cool enough that it did. I think the only months I never got snowed on was July and August. Trick or treated more than once while getting snowed on. It's not like it snowed in late October and stayed on the ground until April, although some winters it'll feel like it--you'll have snows and thaws. Snow in the city can vary from place to place due to differences in elevation.
2. Spokane has a better than average bus system, especially for a city it's size. Widely used.
3. Spokane is definitely suffering from the economy and newer grads are having a harder time than in other times in the past. But, it's relative...it's not as bad as many other places!
4. Yes, the city does sit in a bowl, and it used to get pretty smokey from fireplaces, etc. during winter during air inversions. That's pretty well been addressed.
Spokane's air quality is generally pretty good, and comparing it with the years I spent back east, it will probably be noticeably better than some other places you've lived. There are times, especially during the summers, where you may have some smokey days due to area forest/range fires.
5. Rain? Not much--it isn't Seattle.
6. I've left Spokane, come back to the area, left again, and will be coming back again.
There's good info in the links already posted...hope what I wrote from the perspective of 40 years of either living there or visiting or working there a whooooole lot may give a little more beyond just the facts and averages.
1.)It usually starts snowing around october, but it doens't stick. It wont stick until about mid nov. to sometime in december. And this year we got a whole lot of snow in december, it snowed for like a week straight off and on with one 24 hour period it snowed constantly. But that was a freak storm and it never happens like that normally. Most of the time it just snows every couple days or it doesn't snow for a couple weeks. You can't really predict what it will do until about 3 days before. Ice isn't really a big issue, there is a lot of black ice, and sidewalks get a little icy at times, but if people take care of the sidewalks in front of their houses and businesses it's all fine!
2.) The bus system is pretty good. Not as good as it is in seattle, but a lot of people use it here. It's just a dollar to get anywhere you want to go. No free ride areas which sucks a little, check out the spokane city transit website to get more info.
3.) Job market is a little tough right now, but if you can transfer from your current position right now you'll be golden. I suggest setting up some interviews before you move.
4.) Air quality is pretty good compared to some areas. We have emission testing on our vehicles every 2 years. The only thing that i have noticed is when there is no wind for a fews days the air gets kinda heavy and smokey, but mostly from fireplaces in winter. And in the summer we get a lot of wild fires in the area so the air gets a little smokey then too. Alergies in the spring and summer from pollen, but i think that's everywhere...
5.) Rains in Spring a bit, but just enough to make things grow and turn green. We sometimes get thunder and lightning storms in the summer, 50/50 chance of rain with those. And fall brings rain sometimes too. it's not bad like in seattle.
6.) Spokane is good to relocate to. we have a lot of that happening here. A lot of developments going in with good houses. Other places to look at would be airway heights, spokane valley, and check out idaho, there are a lot of nice cities to live in along the state line.
Hope this helps, if you have any more questions please feel free to ask!
My husband and I are thinking about moving to Spokane. I keep reading a lot of extremely different opinions about moving there though. I grew up in Alaska, where winter lasted like 9 months out of the year, and have been in Phoenix, AZ for the last 6 years, where its 90 or above most of the year. I read that Spokane has really severe winters. What does that mean? Where I grew up, severe is when its -30 and you cant leave your house cause the doors are frozen shut and your car froze to the ground. Is it like that?
Also, I hear that its really hard to get a job there. My husband has been working at the same millwork company for the last 10 years, but they are about to go out of business in about two months, and finding jobs here is near impossible. Is it true that all the jobs available there are for minimum wage and if you want something better you have to be related to half the town?
We live in west Phoenix now, and the crime rate here is really bad. We have shootings down the street just about every week and where we lived before there were multiple murders every week less than a block away. I've read on a lot of these forums that the crime is really bad. Where can I go to see the crime statistics?
Spokane is somewhere in between Alaska and Arizona, both figuratively, and literally. Winters are classified as "mild continental", meaning, yes snow and cold, but moderated by being relatively close to the Pacific.
The job scene is no worse or better than anywhere else right now. Don't let that be a factor.
Crime is also quite normal for its size. "shootings down the street just about every week" are not a feature anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.
My only negative with Spokane is it is quite isolated and always seems to be about 10 years behind other cities in the west. However, if that isn't important to you, then I would say go for it!
My only negative with Spokane is it is quite isolated and always seems to be about 10 years behind other cities in the west.
Ha! those are positives to me!
That's why avabug gets different opinions on Spokane (or any place!)--we all like different things.
Don't think my car ever froze to the ground...if it did, it moved!
Never heard shots "just down the street" unless it was Earl sighting in his deer gun...
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