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Old 02-04-2010, 01:23 AM
40 posts, read 88,518 times
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Ok...so I am interviewing it seems for now only East Coast jobs. I currently reside in Southern California which is of course quite different.

I have 4 kids (ages 8 to 14) but I am worried about moving the family and underestimating the impact of the weather as relates to which location we pick thus, I need your help...as I simply can't tell (as I never lived on the East coast) if we are talking truly tangible differences or quantitative differences. Having said that, this move is about A LOT more than just weather, its the usual....better overall quality of life planned, better schools, better career/future for me, etc. so we get that part, but still curious as to "Real" input from folks if you don't mind.

Places look like they would be Boston, Maryland, or New Jersey. Sure I can google and compare weather, climate graphs, etc...but that only tells you so much. The average weather between say Boston and Maryland suggests that yes, Boston is colder on the average, but what does that translate to? Are we talking MASSIVE differences in length of winter, is it mostly an "amount of snowfall" difference, etc.

And now after reading other threads, it seems i should also be asking for your infinite wisdom regarding the other seasons. Is it accurate to say that summers are actually nicer weatherwise than DC for example? Mostly concerned about winter differences but for completeness anything you can add per the other seasons would also be greatly appreciated.

Personally, though I have no hard data yet, the Boston opportunity is by far the most appealing for a lot of reasons, but that's me, and I am the easiest person to please in the family as relates to the move. If I get one or more offers it may become more clear on that alone but under the assumption I end up with a choice, i really wanted to do some homework with your help.

Thank you all SO much in advance for any help you may provide.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:20 AM
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Between MD and MA there is enough difference in the length of winter, and summer, to be noticed. The seasons in MD and MA will vary depending on which part of each state you're in. If we compare Baltimore and Boston, off the top of my head I'm going to guess that there might be about three weeks' difference in the dates during spring and fall when you have about the same average temperatures. Your post gives me the impression that you've studied temperature charts, so correct me if I'm wrong with that estimate, but I've lived in Boston and in central Ohio, and even that diffrence in latitude was enough for me to notice some difference in the length of the seasons, with a shift of maybe about 1-1/2 to two weeks in the time when each stage of spring and fall arrived. The difference between NJ and either Boston or Baltimore will fall somewhere in between the gap separating those two cities from each other, by how much depending on what part of NJ.

During the spring, there seems to be more to the weather in Boston than just average temperatures. I'm speculating that the reason for this has something to do with the fact that southern New England pokes out into the ocean and has cold water to the south, southeast, and east, but for whatever reason the region is prone to occasional days, or sometimes spells of a few days, of raw, dank, gray, wet, chilly weather deep into spring. Through about the end of April there is a lot of shifting around between various types of weather. Basically, anything except frigid mid-winter weather and muggy, hot summer weather is likely to happen during the period from mid March to late April, with a lot of quick shifting from one kind of weather to another. Even well into May it is possible to have a day of that gray, raw kind of weather here and there. Once every ten years or so you might see a bit of weather like that even in early June. However, when that kind of weather happens in May or June, it gets right back to nice weather quickly. May and June overall are very pleasant months. Still, the shifts of weather which bring chilly weather here and there deep into spring leave some people feeling as if it takes a long time to finally settle into really nice weather. Farther south it seems more as if once you really settle into spring, you generally have pleasant weather from then on, without the sudden shifts back to spells of chilly weather which happen in New England.

Similarly, there is enough difference in the length of the summers to notice the difference. Also, there will be more frequent spells of highs in the 90's, and the hot spells may last longer, in MD than in MA. I get the sense that many people would prefer longer summers rather than longer winters if they had to choose, but be careful thinking about what you want, because individuals vary in their preferences. Some people really feel their energy sapped by the heavy heat that occurs in the east because of humidity. That is something to take into consideration. Hot weather on the east coast is not like hot weather in southern Cal. In the east, when it's hot, the heat can really weigh on you.

Despite the fact that the differences in climate between MA and MD are enough to be clearly noticed, both states, and everywhere in between, basically have classic four-seasons climates. You don't have to worry about the harshest extremes in either place. Yes, Boston gets real winter, but it's not some far-north place where people travel by dog sled and get snowed in for weeks at a time. Similarly, the summers in MD are thick and sultry a lot of the time, but MD is not some tropical jungle. I would put other factors well ahead of weather as considerations for which portion of the Northeast Corridor to move to.

Last edited by ogre; 02-04-2010 at 02:34 AM..
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:34 AM
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I concur with the above (have lived outside Boston for 36 years! and grew up in south Jersey).
Actually, I remember more snow in Jersey growing up than they get now, and I think Boston was colder and snowier when I first got here.
Also, the previous poster is dead on about the humidity. I loathe it. In fact, summers in Boston haven't been hot much for years, meaning, rare to get up to 90- but the humidity has been getting more oppressive, more often. I think of the last few summers as grey and sticky, not hot. Nothing like warm weather in southern California.
That said, I think the Boston and New England area is a very good place to live. You sure won't have sticker shock if you're used to southern California. I like what I perceive as the history and Yankee flavor, which I see as a lack of glitz/conspicuous consumption. There are not huge subdivisions with hundreds of houses lined up.
I know you only asked about the weather. I wouldn't see a huge difference in the four seasons in any of the places you mentioned, just that they are all not like southern California.
Best wishes on your move.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:30 AM
Location: New York City
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I've lived in Honolulu and Minneapolis (and Boston, Seattle, DC, San Francisco and New York). I got used to the weather wherever I was (although winter in Minneapolis was painful). Most people are adaptable. I find that lifestyle, i.e., housing, jobs, amenities, culture, people are more important than the weather.

Working people (as opposed to retirees) who obsess over the weather are often concerned with something else: usually money, cost of living and lifestyle.

The Northeast is uniformly deciduous. Changes in latitude effect temperature much as you would expect provided you stay near the coast. The further north you go the colder the winters. On the other hand, the summer are more moderate. It's a question of degree, not kind.

The difference between Southern California and the Northeast is appreciable. Compared to that, the difference between New Jersey and Massachusetts is negligible. I would follow the best job offer.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:03 PM
40 posts, read 88,518 times
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I want to thank all of you for the fantastic responses!

The perspective provided makes entire sense.

And indeed, there is no doubt that this is MUCH more about weather, though weather differences amongst the East Coast cities I am looking at was challenging me a bit.

This whole move would be about bettering the career opportunities for self, quality of life as a whole for the family, and actually feeling like there may actually be a light at the end of the tunnel instead of feeling as if the tunnel here only gets longer in front of me each day. I grew up here but am VERY excited about moving. The PROs and CONs list clearly lends itself to us moving. Boston, IMHO, has a huge list of PROs for us as a family.

For what its worth, and its rather comical, here is the weather chart of the city i currently live in which is quite different than many other socal cities. As you can see, we too have different seasons - in the winter it can have average high temps below room temp...LOL
Attached Thumbnails
Newb needs help re: East Coast cities per relocation-2-4-2010-10-02-08  
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:08 PM
Location: USA
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I have lived in southern California (San Diego) and have also lived in various East Coast cities. Here are just few things to consider weatherwise:

In my experience there is a noticeable difference in climate one you get much north of the Tri-State area compared to New England. Summers in Boston are cooler, but also cloudier. The comment above is quite right, winter ends quicker in the Mid-Atlantic (Maryland, NJ…etc) than up in New England. Also, seasonal snowfall gets heavy once you get much above Long Island/ Connecticut. A city like Newark or Trenton, NJ, Stamford, CT or NYC gets 25 inches of snow a season, while Boston gets like 50-inches (inland Mass gets 70 + inches). If snow is an issue I might bend toward NJ or MD. Massachusetts might be a little harder of an adjustment.

The other end of the coin, which can be positive or negative depending on your perspective, is summer in the Middle Atlantic States. Summer, especially early summer, in coastal California is a fairly bland season –coolish days often, or mild sunny days, days with stratus, fog…etc. The East Coast summer is totally different in that regard: often hot and humid 85 F days, thunderstorms, quick bursts of torrential rain, occasional lightning strikes…etc. Coming from San Diego it was actually a bit exciting to me. Unlike the West Coast - June feels like June on the East Coast. However, the heat is not dry like in CA, but humid. It might take some getting used to if you liked the dry climate of CA. Although I never made it to Cape Cod south of Boston in summer, the beaches are quite nice along the Maryland and Delaware Atlantic seacoast. I have been to a place called Fenwick Island many times and it is quite beautiful. Also, I think the Atlantic is warmer than the Pacific off California, or at least it felt that way.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:13 PM
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in the winter if there's 2 feet of snow in Boston no one flinches, in NJ and MD people are shocked.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:16 PM
Location: NJ
12,285 posts, read 34,532,047 times
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Just picking a nit, but as far as NJ is concerned, parts of NJ (northwest) have climates like the Boston area in as far as temps and snowfall. Terrain in this area (hilly/"mountainous") will dictate weather more than latitude. Typically we get twice as much snow as NYC. You've gotten some really excellent responses and typify what these boards are about!

I personally love the Boston area wouldn't cry one bit if I had to move there.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:18 PM
Location: NJ
12,285 posts, read 34,532,047 times
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Originally Posted by jknic View Post
in the winter if there's 2 feet of snow in Boston no one flinches, in NJ and MD people are shocked.
someone needs to tell my Boston friends that! They freak.
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:07 PM
Location: Denver
6,627 posts, read 13,895,331 times
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Your friends are sissies! Haha j/k

I don't think anyone has mentioned the wind yet...so I will. If you're working in the city, the wind can be a bit on the insane side. I work in the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square and the wind can literally knock you over if it hits you right. In the dead of winter it can feel like someone is taking a potato-peeler to your face...an unpleasant experience to say the least haha.

However, that is not something that happens everyday on the year, and I happen to work in the windiest area of the city (the Hancock Tower creates a hideous wind tunnel). I just wanted to forewarn you that the wind can make it feel a lot colder than it actually is.
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