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Old 04-20-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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Decayingangel--You nailed the differences between Eastern winters and upper Midwestern winters quite nicely! One strange phenomenon in Midwestern winters that I never saw when living out East are sundogs! They are like small rainbows of ice crystals that appear on brilliantly sunny days when the temp is way below zero.
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Manchester Township, NJ
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Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
Decayingangel--You nailed the differences between Eastern winters and upper Midwestern winters quite nicely! One strange phenomenon in Midwestern winters that I never saw when living out East are sundogs! They are like small rainbows of ice crystals that appear on brilliantly sunny days when the temp is way below zero.

Yup, forgot about those. And also the crunchy surface the snow gets when temps stay below 0 for a while. The reflection off the snow when the moon is full is so bright you can read a newspaper by it. It has a weird beauty, though.

I would compare the midwest winters, esp. the northern parts, to Siberia. There are quite a few similarities. Mentioning scraping off the inside of windows even with the defroster going full blast, I realize now why vehicle windshields in Siberia actually have two layers of glass in order to trap any warm air in between so as to avoid this problem.

At least we learned it wasn't for us. I enjoyed the people in Iowa, but nothing can entice me to move out to that area. Two years was plenty. Another difference, this time choosing the warmer weather, is the fact that hardly anything stays green long after spring. The hot and dry temps quickly turn a lot of the grasses brown. I missed the lush green of a summer on the East Coast. I did notice, though, that eastern Iowa did have more trees and also more of a summery landscape.

My thoughts often turn to the early settlers, and in particular the French fur traders, who braved those winters. It's a wonder that as many survived as actually did.
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Old 04-22-2007, 04:50 PM
 
Location: I'm around here someplace :)
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I don't know Iowa City specifically, but one positive thing I can say about Iowa is the winters are quite a relief in comparison to the East Coast...
much shorter, much milder, in the 5 years I've been here

it's the humidity in the summer that may kill ya... a neighbor accurately described it as being like "trying to breathe through water"
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Southeast Iowa
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I lived in Iowa for 2 years, the winters were cold, cold, cold. It was 5 degrees out, and people were saying it was a "mild winter." Mild? The icy winds were blowing sideways, it was scary going out to the car! I like winter, snow, and cold weather. But Iowa winters are off the charts. The cold weather and gloomy cloudy days just lasted way to long. Month after month, no warmth, no sunshine. It was quite dreary to say the least. If I'm wearing 4 layers of clothing and goosedown coat, and I'm still shivering, after being outside just a few minutes, then that place is just not for me I guess. I never thought of myself as a wimp in the cold, but I guess Iowa proved me wrong.
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Ne
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Originally Posted by gypsy77 View Post
I lived in Iowa for 2 years, the winters were cold, cold, cold. It was 5 degrees out, and people were saying it was a "mild winter." Mild? The icy winds were blowing sideways, it was scary going out to the car! I like winter, snow, and cold weather. But Iowa winters are off the charts. The cold weather and gloomy cloudy days just lasted way to long. Month after month, no warmth, no sunshine. It was quite dreary to say the least. If I'm wearing 4 layers of clothing and goosedown coat, and I'm still shivering, after being outside just a few minutes, then that place is just not for me I guess. I never thought of myself as a wimp in the cold, but I guess Iowa proved me wrong.
Lol, 5 degrees was considered mild? I think the Average high temp right now (Jan 21) is like 30-36 degrees depending on where you live in Iowa.

I know what you’re saying though, it is too cold for me.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gypsy77 View Post
I lived in Iowa for 2 years, the winters were cold, cold, cold. It was 5 degrees out, and people were saying it was a "mild winter." Mild? The icy winds were blowing sideways, it was scary going out to the car! I like winter, snow, and cold weather. But Iowa winters are off the charts. The cold weather and gloomy cloudy days just lasted way to long. Month after month, no warmth, no sunshine. It was quite dreary to say the least. If I'm wearing 4 layers of clothing and goosedown coat, and I'm still shivering, after being outside just a few minutes, then that place is just not for me I guess. I never thought of myself as a wimp in the cold, but I guess Iowa proved me wrong.
Who said 5 degrees was a mild winter!?!? I grew up in Iowa, and 5 degrees would have been very extreme.

It happens a few times per winter, but usually never for more than 2-4 days at a time. 30's, 40's, and even 50's happen during the winter along with the 0's, 10's and 20's. It just bounces back and forth usually, so it's not THAT bad.

Someone also was saying how horrible it was, below zero all winter and something like -32 degree actual air temperature when they were walking to class. The all time low in Iowa City was -26, and it happened years ago. Not that much different, but just shows you how much people tend to exaggerate weather extremes. You remember the 3 days when it's 8 degrees out, but you forget about the two weeks before that when it was 38.

I actually traced back the daily highs/lows for the past 10 years to find the last time the high temperature was below zero. They only had 10 years of daily data, and there was no day where the temp. wasn't at least zero. I was amazed at the dozens of days during Dec./Jan./Feb. where the temp was in the 60's and even the 70's. I don't remember those days!!!

Last edited by Chicago60614; 01-22-2008 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Manchester Township, NJ
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Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
Who said 5 degrees was a mild winter!?!? I grew up in Iowa, and 5 degrees would have been very extreme.

It happens a few times per winter, but usually never for more than 2-4 days at a time. 30's, 40's, and even 50's happen during the winter along with the 0's, 10's and 20's. It just bounces back and forth usually, so it's not THAT bad.

Someone also was saying how horrible it was, below zero all winter and something like -32 degree actual air temperature when they were walking to class. The all time low in Iowa City was -26, and it happened years ago. Not that much different, but just shows you how much people tend to exaggerate weather extremes. You remember the 3 days when it's 8 degrees out, but you forget about the two weeks before that when it was 38.

I actually traced back the daily highs/lows for the past 10 years to find the last time the high temperature was below zero. They only had 10 years of daily data, and there was no day where the temp. wasn't at least zero. I was amazed at the dozens of days during Dec./Jan./Feb. where the temp was in the 60's and even the 70's. I don't remember those days!!!
Maybe where you lived in Iowa -32 was the the lowest, but I was living very close to the Iowa border in South Dakota (about 40 miles from Sioux City) and I can personally vouch for the fact that in December 1983 not only did the daytime temperature never get above 0, but on Christmas Eve it was -43 with a wind chill of -100. I remember it very well, as people were warned not to spend more then 10 minutes outside at a time. I also recall the poor man who froze to death because his snowmobile left the road and he froze to death while trying to crawl back up the hill with a broken ankle.

I was walking across the U of SD campus square in Vermillion to return library books and the short trip from my parked car to the library building caused the little hairs in my nose to freeze so quickly when I blew my nose they simply cracked right off. I know it sounds funny but that is exactly what happened. I had forgotten to cover my mouth and nose with a scarf.

So I am probably the person you are referring to in your post. BTW, my husband also remembers this very well so I am not in any way, shape or form exaggerating anything.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Southeast Iowa
154 posts, read 845,884 times
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I think some people also down play the cold. My in-laws who have lived in Iowa for many generations, they seem to have selective memory when it comes to ice storms, floods, months of snow covered roads, months of cold cloudy days etc.. I guess after awhile, some people learn to tolerate it more than others. Then it doesn't seem that bad I guess. For me, it was a nightmare! I like watching the snow fall, when I'm indoors in front of the fire place, but having to go out to work in it, take the baby daycare, etc., that's when it becomes miserable. My car doors were frozen shut, inches of ice on my windshield, icy roads...I just didn''t find that fun at all. So maybe I'm one of the ones who supposedly exaggerate how cold it is. I don't really care what the average temperatures show on the weather website, all I know that it was damn cold and miserable when I lived there.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Des Moines Metro
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Actually gypsy, I think its quite the opposite IMHO. I think *especially* during the winter here, people tend to forget we DO get hot weather here, and if not hot, its just comfortable.. Starting November into Early March is the only time the cold and snow is bad.... that's really not that bad considering the rest of the year is nice weather.

Not to mention all of that snow helps make our springs so pretty!

But maybe i'm just staying positive because I'm in iowa right now, dealing with the winter weather! Ah well, good for me.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Southeast Iowa
154 posts, read 845,884 times
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If people weren't complaining about the cold, they'd be complaining about something else I guess. I'm in California right now (59 degrees today) and everyone is complaining about how crowded it's getting here, the traffic, the housing market slump, etc.. Iowa's winters are just as miserable as California's over population and high cost of living. It's all relative. And yes, it does get nice and warm in Iowa...but that's when the millions of mosquitoes come out! LOL. Ok, I'll stop whining now.
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