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Old 02-26-2012, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Chicago
36,067 posts, read 55,947,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben86 View Post
I'm wondering, in places like yours that get a lot more freeze-thaw cycles than I'm used to (Hampstead averages 26 air frosts a year, though no date has an average low below freezing), is damage by physical weathering (i.e. potholes) a significant problem? In recent winters here (though probably not this one) there have been more damaged road surfaces than normally because of extra frost/snow - do engineers in colder climates have a way of working round the frostier winters or is it just accepted that when spring comes there'll be potholes to repair?
In the northern U.S. and pretty much all of Canada, potholes are an ongoing nightmare. Most of the side streets in my city look like strips of moon landscape because they just can't keep up with it. The recent budgetary downturn hasn't helped matters any. Fortunately they're a little more diligent about maintaining the arterial streets and major highways. Still, potholes can pop up instantly on a strip of street or highway that was perfectly smooth just minutes ago. A couple winters ago I had to replace two rims and a tire. Between the salt and the potholes, winters are pretty rough on cars around here.

I took a drive on several secondary highways Wisconsin (the state north of me) a few months ago and the state of the roads was appalling. And Wisconsin is a state that prides itself on its ribbon-smooth highways. But lately they just can't keep up.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
4,489 posts, read 3,467,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weatherfan2 View Post
Personally I'd disagree very much, the UK has one of the most interesting climates in the world, and this winter's been no exception, very variable and interesting, we've had every type of weather here at least, and then a big cold snap, and unusual mildness. Not to mention the weather is so different from year to year at the same times of year unlike many other far more predictable climates.
^^ Agreed - it's the subtleties about our climate that interest me, not the tame extremes. I like the fact that even in my lifetime I've seen Aprils colder than Januarys (though not in the same year) and then the all-time warmest April record over 350 years of data smashed twice, a winter over twice as sunny as the previous one, a record-sunny February and a record-dull August in the same year, both April and October having a higher absolute max than July in the same year, plus endless other "once-in-100+ years" unpredictable weather events which seem to have become the norm in the past few years.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:21 AM
Status: "back to being a 3 dog household" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
2,506 posts, read 2,048,953 times
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Average low hits 31 on Nov. 14 and reaches 33 on March 27th. That's according to the Accuweather website. So with more than 130 days of temps dropping below freezing you would think that the people who built this house would have not just a heat pump but an alternative such as propane.

Heat pumps are not much good when temps get below 40 degrees and that's the case here from Oct 15 through April 20 or more than 6 months of the year. I do wish I'd known about heat pumps before I bought this place.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
14,608 posts, read 8,170,409 times
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I guess none of those things are interesting to me.. I don't like year to year variability, I don't like how we went from a very cold December to a stupidly mild one, and I don't like how we switched from a lot of storms in the early 2000's to suddenly very little now, I like variation from day-to-day, like Denver, but I also like snow that will last for over a month, so I guess somewhere like the Great Lakes where a blizzard can appear from nowhere.. the UK climate just isn't for me, not enough extremes, not enough snow, not enough thunderstorms.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Melbourne AUS
1,158 posts, read 696,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
I guess none of those things are interesting to me.. I don't like year to year variability, I don't like how we went from a very cold December to a stupidly mild one, and I don't like how we switched from a lot of storms in the early 2000's to suddenly very little now, I like variation from day-to-day, like Denver, but I also like snow that will last for over a month, so I guess somewhere like the Great Lakes where a blizzard can appear from nowhere.. the UK climate just isn't for me, not enough extremes, not enough snow, not enough thunderstorms.
I sort of symphasise with you here, Melbourne had THE BEST storm season in Sep-Dec 2011...then after the Christmas Day supercell outbreak... We had ONE , that's right, ONE FREAKING STORM since CHRISTMAS DAY, while places LESS than 100KM AWAY HAVE GOTTEN ENDLESS STORM ACTIVITY this month

And today, storms go to the south and JUST far enough NORTH to AVOID a lighnting show for Melbourne

Last edited by nei; 02-26-2012 at 06:44 AM.. Reason: language
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:52 AM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,072 posts, read 2,644,315 times
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Perhaps you are like myself, and desire "variability", just with different parameters. For instance, instead of varying between 30 and 60, it could vary between 0 and 30. Instead of going from one half-decent (snow)storm to none for an extended period, you could have one year have 5 hurricane-force blizzards and the other year just having 2. I grant that this is not variability in the actual conditions, i.e. still cold, snowy, and stormy, but there is variability in the conditions, just with a different range, which for me would go from the worst still being great to the best being stupendous.

The trick is to have interesting weather but have it all stay in the range you consider good.

I do agree 100 percent with that I'm not fond of inter-annual variability as you described it, as it so often goes in most parts of the world from good or decent one year to just horrible weather for an extended period of time. That's just horrible, and I hate "changeable", indistinct weather like Aprils being colder than Januaries. I also don't like climates that have all types of weather; I just like a few types of weather for different seasons, and there's a lot of weather I'd not want to ever see (heat/humidity for instance, rain in wintertime, etc.). The only time I like changeable weather (i.e. going from warm to cold and back) is from May to September, perhaps including parts of April and October. From October to April and especially December to February, I want cold, snow, and wind to be guaranteed dominance.

I will say that I'm far more fond of variability day-to-day and seasonally than inter-annually; in fact I'd consider that sort of variability to be essential. I reserve a special hatred of monotony, but that applies day-to-day and season-to-season, not year-to-year.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Buxton, England
7,039 posts, read 3,778,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
I guess none of those things are interesting to me.. I don't like year to year variability, I don't like how we went from a very cold December to a stupidly mild one, and I don't like how we switched from a lot of storms in the early 2000's to suddenly very little now, I like variation from day-to-day, like Denver, but I also like snow that will last for over a month, so I guess somewhere like the Great Lakes where a blizzard can appear from nowhere.. the UK climate just isn't for me, not enough extremes, not enough snow, not enough thunderstorms.
I see what you mean... in that the UK will not manage the type of extremes of such climates as continental ones for example. From the context of taking weather records I find this climate and the inter-annual variability most interesting... inc. when we get good cold snaps.... even though some of this weather is not personally comfortable to me, I still see the interest in it.

My current location is a bit duller and damper/cooler that my ideal, but I'm not here for long anyway and a SE'ern UK climate is perfectly acceptable for me, from mildness/warmth levels to weather variation and that it gets less snow is even more a bonus for me.

Last edited by nei; 02-26-2012 at 06:45 AM.. Reason: removed off-topic bickering
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
14,608 posts, read 8,170,409 times
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Yeah, I don't like heat but from a weather-enthusiasts point of view, 35C temperatures are interesting.. the UK is highly variable but I guess I just like to moan about how it lacks the weather I like most. Actually if the UK just got more thunderstorms like it used to (17 storms in 2005), I'd probably be okay, even with the lack of snow
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
27,004 posts, read 13,367,681 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben86 View Post
^^ Agreed - it's the subtleties about our climate that interest me, not the tame extremes. I like the fact that even in my lifetime I've seen Aprils colder than Januarys (though not in the same year) and then the all-time warmest April record over 350 years of data smashed twice, a winter over twice as sunny as the previous one, a record-sunny February and a record-dull August in the same year, both April and October having a higher absolute max than July in the same year, plus endless other "once-in-100+ years" unpredictable weather events which seem to have become the norm in the past few years.
Our variation is on a similar level to yours, maybe a little less, the only reason we can't get Julys colder than April or October, is the average temperature difference between months is much higher than the UKs.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,072 posts, read 2,644,315 times
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I'd hardly consider the UK to be variable. Perhaps the monotonous averages, which enable Octobers to be warmer than Julys for instance, make it appear that way, but the weather there nearly always stays tightly close to the average. Anything more than 5 degrees above or below is noteworthy, whereas here in North America it would be considered unusually close to the norm if that's all we ever got. The U.K.'s variability is spectacularly lacking compared to what I'd consider a variable climate, the High Plains of the U.S. Even parts of the Southeastern U.S. have bigger winter swings than England has.

I also agree about the differences in approach between seeking out and appreciating weather we like, and seeking out and enjoying extreme weather of any kind.
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