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Old 06-21-2012, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Derbyshire
7 posts, read 12,176 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi There,

Myself, my husband & our 18 month old son currently live in England. We are considering a move abroad as we are getting a little fed up of the lack of summer & endless grey days here. Grand Rapids has come up as a possible opportunity & I was hoping for a little advice on how good the summers are? I would be happy with real seasons as long as there was a good hot summer. Also the beaches look beautiful, do you get enough beautiful weather to use them?

I have read lots about what a great place Grand Rapids is, especially for young families, but just want to make sure its a good fit all round.

Would really appreciate some advice.
Many thanks, Maya
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
2,201 posts, read 3,736,967 times
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well so far it's been pretty hot out, in the 90s, for the past couple of days with some rain showers. The summers are for the most part sunny and the sky is blue. Temperatures range from the 70s-90s during the day with lots of humidity, at night it can get down to the 60s-70s depending on how hot the day is. There is always an opportunity to cool off in the lakes, and rivers in West Michigan. The winter can wear on some people, but it's all what you make it too. We get some pretty heavy duty snow in the winter time, but not as bad as some other places.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Derbyshire
7 posts, read 12,176 times
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That sounds lovely We are struggling to reach 65 in the daytime at the moment & its very wet & grey. Gets a wearing after a while! A bit of rain is fine if its mostly hot with blue skies. I don't mind the idea of lots of snow, especially as it sounds as if you guys are well equiped to deal with it out there.

Thanks for the advice
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
8,218 posts, read 16,823,026 times
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Michigan is a continental climate somewhat moderated by the presence of the Great Lakes. So you get slightly cooler summers (though still warmer than southern England) and slightly warmer, though snowier, winters than you would in, say Milwaukee or even Chicago. The only time of the year that seemed particularly rainy when I lived there was, oddly, the month of October.

For a winter equivalent, it looks like Oslo, Norway has pretty similar temps.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:56 PM
 
2,331 posts, read 4,911,092 times
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Mid-Michigan weather is quite a bit different than England, as it is hotter here in the summer and colder in the winter. England has the advantage of being an island with more moderating ocean factors, which of course produce more rain. Michigan is a state that is heating up due to global warming (one of top 10 states that are warming the fastest in the US), due mostly to the industrialization in the upper midwest. The summers in MI are definitely getting hotter each year, so plan on using air conditioning. We have already had two stretches of 90F+ weather and it's not even summer!

GR is a conservative city, if that's important to you, more Republican than Democrat. It struggled economically when the auto industry was failing a few years back, but rode out the economic storm better than some other parts of the state since it has more diversity in its economy. It's proximity to pretty areas on the western coast of the state bordering on Lake Michigan is a plus (1 hour to the coastal areas), and within 2 hours, you can be in Traverse City, a pretty city in cherry county in the northern part of the state. MI is a beautiful state, surrounded by the Great Lakes, but there are areas of extreme poverty in Detroit and Flint, for example, that look like they have been through a war, and there are other areas that are doing ok economically (Ann Arbor, Lansing and Grand Rapids). Police forces are being cut in cities like Detroit and Flint, only compounding the problem and there is a spill-over effect to some surrounding cities and towns with crime rates quite high. Not surprising, there is still pretty high unemployment across the state. Like most states, it has its good and bad aspects. Are you looking at other parts of the US?
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:43 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,623,135 times
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Quote:
Michigan is a state that is heating up due to global warming (one of top 10 states that are warming the fastest in the US), due mostly to the industrialization in the upper midwest. The summers in MI are definitely getting hotter each year, so plan on using air conditioning. We have already had two stretches of 90F+ weather and it's not even summer!
I am very skeptical of this statement. Can you provide a link to verify this? I've never heard anywhere that global warming is happening more in the upper Midwest because it is "industrialized." Seriously, I'm not trying to get into a global warming debate. But I don't think that is how the global climate works. Even if the upper midwest DID create more "greenhouse gases" than other places, it's not like the CO2 goes straight up above Gary Indiana and just... stays there. Sorry. I would like to see some real science on this.

Also, our summers are not "getting hotter every year." Just a few years ago, in 2008, we had one of our coolest summers ever. So your theory that it is "getting hotter every year" is already bogus. Some of our hottest summers ever were in the 1930's.

Lets try to stick to the facts when discussing Michigan's climate. These folks are considering a big move across the Atlantic. They would probably appreciate fact-based information.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:42 PM
 
157 posts, read 261,119 times
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Others have covered the summer weather well but be sure to pay attention to the winter weather here also. It is colder than England and arguably greyer than much of England. During certain winter months you are lucky to get 2+ hours of sunshine on average a day. The sun rises late in the winter and sets very early. During the summer the sun rises early and sets late. This is a lovely place to live but nor an ideal place if you dislike cold grey winters.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Derbyshire
7 posts, read 12,176 times
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Thank you Thats helped & is food for thought. Its a big decision & early days. But it sounds like you get much better summers & potentially winters than we do. I don't mind snow & cold, if it is balanced by heat & sunshine. It's the endless grey & wet when its supposed to be summer that is depressing.
Does the snow & cold stop play much? Or are there plenty of things to do on the winter months too? Are the winters predominantly grey or are there sunny snowy days too?
We are open to any locations really as long as there is work. We are also considering Australia, but the big downside is that it is so far away from home!
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
2,201 posts, read 3,736,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklymaya View Post
Thank you Thats helped & is food for thought. Its a big decision & early days. But it sounds like you get much better summers & potentially winters than we do. I don't mind snow & cold, if it is balanced by heat & sunshine. It's the endless grey & wet when its supposed to be summer that is depressing.
Does the snow & cold stop play much? Or are there plenty of things to do on the winter months too? Are the winters predominantly grey or are there sunny snowy days too?
We are open to any locations really as long as there is work. We are also considering Australia, but the big downside is that it is so far away from home!

There is plenty to do in the winter: Snow boarding, Sking (down hill, cross country) snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, sledding.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,018,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklymaya View Post
Thank you Thats helped & is food for thought. Its a big decision & early days. But it sounds like you get much better summers & potentially winters than we do. I don't mind snow & cold, if it is balanced by heat & sunshine. It's the endless grey & wet when its supposed to be summer that is depressing.
Does the snow & cold stop play much? Or are there plenty of things to do on the winter months too? Are the winters predominantly grey or are there sunny snowy days too?
We are open to any locations really as long as there is work. We are also considering Australia, but the big downside is that it is so far away from home!
Winter is fun.... snowshoes, cross-country skis, sledding if you have kids. There are also great cultural institutions in GR so you have symphony, theater, etc. I find Michigan winters to be very enjoyable, but too long. I find summer to be almost heavenly but too short. That's just my opinion, and the truth is that we like it enough to stay here anyway. I have a career I could take anywhere really, but GR has proven to be a great place to live and raise my family.

If you're outdoorsy (hiking, camping, kayaking, etc.) Michigan is fantastic most every season. That for me has been the reason to stay. The beaches are incredible, the forests are vast (if you drive north a few hours) and the scenery in the northwest corner of the lower peninsula of MIchigan (sleeping bear and the leelanau peninsula) is literally second to none in my opinion.
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