U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Weather
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 10-29-2010, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
1,372 posts, read 1,312,724 times
Reputation: 573

Advertisements

i was thinking they would shield off most Arctic weather patterns, explaining why extreme cold is uncommon on the west coast.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-29-2010, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
5,912 posts, read 4,479,187 times
Reputation: 2151
I think the mountains do help protect somewhat when the occasional arctic fronts blow through, although the arctic outflow winds in the valleys at times can be quite severe. I know the Fraser Valley has recorded windchills below -20C (-5F) before.
I think mostly though extreme cold is uncommon on the West Coast because most of the time the prevailing winds come from the Pacific Ocean which is mild compared to cold continental air in winter.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2010, 11:33 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
10,734 posts, read 5,999,835 times
Reputation: 4946
When was the last major arctic outbreak to affect California or Arizona? IIRC, Phoenix has recorded a record low in the teens.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-30-2010, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Long Island
7,878 posts, read 9,681,708 times
Reputation: 4971
I wish the Appalchians were taller (only when cold fronts approach).
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-30-2010, 11:35 PM
 
437 posts, read 657,534 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemycomputer90 View Post
when was the last major arctic outbreak to affect california or arizona? Iirc, phoenix has recorded a record low in the teens.
2007
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2010, 02:03 AM
 
Location: Bryte, CA
1,963 posts, read 2,839,189 times
Reputation: 1321
Mountains have an effect. However, an onshore flow moderates the climates along the west coasts of continents. The British Isles is a good example. Ireland doesn't get excessively cold because the ocean moderates the temperature, and there isn't a mountain range nearby to block cold arctic air.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2010, 06:59 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
4,445 posts, read 4,765,486 times
Reputation: 1923
…as others pointed out…the marine flow off the ocean keeps West Coast climates from ever getting very cold, and the few bouts of cold that do occur - are fleeting. This has less to do with the Mts of British Columbia. Places in middle latitudes like Seattle, London, New Zealand…etc are often 15 F or more warmer than average for their latitude in the winter months.

However, the marine flow is a two edged sword:

Middle and high latitude marine West Coast climates are 15 to 20 F colder than average for their latitude in the summer months. Places like Seattle, London, or New Zealand are 15 to 20 F colder than comparable locations in the interior/eastern areas of most continents. Also, because of the constant higher latitude flow off the oceans…West Coast marine climates are the cloudiest land climates on earth. The flow also causes upwelling making for cold ocean waters all year.

Pick your poison I guess.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2010, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
1,372 posts, read 1,312,724 times
Reputation: 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavehunter007 View Post
…as others pointed out…the marine flow off the ocean keeps West Coast climates from ever getting very cold, and the few bouts of cold that do occur - are fleeting. This has less to do with the Mts of British Columbia. Places in middle latitudes like Seattle, London, New Zealand…etc are often 15 F or more warmer than average for their latitude in the winter months.

However, the marine flow is a two edged sword:

Middle and high latitude marine West Coast climates are 15 to 20 F colder than average for their latitude in the summer months. Places like Seattle, London, or New Zealand are 15 to 20 F colder than comparable locations in the interior/eastern areas of most continents. Also, because of the constant higher latitude flow off the oceans…West Coast marine climates are the cloudiest land climates on earth. The flow also causes upwelling making for cold ocean waters all year.

Pick your poison I guess.
So does that mean in terms of absolute averages, Seattle is every bit as cold as Minneapolis, or colder, year round?
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2010, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
28,603 posts, read 14,826,159 times
Reputation: 9124
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPwn View Post
So does that mean in terms of absolute averages, Seattle is every bit as cold as Minneapolis, or colder, year round?
No! Seattle is about as cold as Boston. But Minneapolis might be cold for its latitude.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2010, 07:37 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
4,445 posts, read 4,765,486 times
Reputation: 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPwn View Post
So does that mean in terms of absolute averages, Seattle is every bit as cold as Minneapolis, or colder, year round?
Attempting to compare locations based on temperature can often be difficult because one is often confused as to what temp profiles should be used: Should one compare annual mean temperature…seasonal temperature extremes (winter lows/summer highs)…growing degree days…etc? Coastal Norway has about the same about of frost as parts of interior central China 1000 miles to the south. Yet agriculturally, China is a far better climate because of the sunny days and warmer summers produces a much better growing environment. It can be confusing.

My guess is that the annual mean (yearly) temperature is the best measure of any climate. I don’t know what the annual averages are for Seattle and Minnapolis (I would guess that Seattle is 3 to 5 F warmer).
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Weather

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top