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Old 09-09-2018, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Central, TX
11 posts, read 10,948 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi,

Like the Title reads, we will possibly be moving from TX to Ames. I'm excited and terrified. I love TX but hate the heat. I am well aware that we are not completely ready for Iowa winters. We lived in Nashville for a year, so we have somewhat of an idea. One of my many questions is what is the best way to prepare for Iowa winters? I know we will need insulated boots, gloves, coats/jackets. Parkas? Our daughter hopes to be attending university.

I am a planner and this is why I am now looking at what we will need. Once she applies and gets accepted we will start putting things in place for the move. I don't want to be purchasing needed wardrobe out of panic.

We are looking at rentals and home purchases. We have 1 dog, right now he is 40lbs. We are having fun looking and researching the city of Ames. Hopefully we will be visiting in a few months.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,637,967 times
Reputation: 9679
Welcome to Iowa!

It's great that you're planning ahead, but heavy clothing isn't available yet. You probably will need to purchase whatever you want at the last minute.

Layering is key. As soon as thermo underwear is available (look into Cuddl Duds at Target and Kohls for ladies), start there and also look for comfy (not scratchy) wool and wool blend socks. I wear summer hiking boots well into December with wool socks, and I recommend winter hiking boots for your college student.

It's very windy in Ames, so don't skimp on hats, gloves, and scarves.

A lot of years, the sub-zero stuff doesn't hit until January/February, so you'll probably have plenty of time to acquire winter clothing.

I went through my first winter here without a parka -- I used an insulated hoodie under a down vest and wasn't outside all that much, but I really don't recommend that, unless money is tight.

Don't forget to put together a winter survival kit for your car and pay attention to the weather if you are traveling outside of Ames. That was my other lesson: weather is not hyped here. If the forecasters tell you it's going to be bad, believe them. I-35 has gates along the exits, and every other year since I've been here, they have shut down portions of the road. You will not get through on Rt. 69 (parallels I-35 a lot of the way). Don't ask me how I know this: it's embarrassing because I'm from Michigan and grew up driving in snow, but that honestly doesn't matter when it gets bad out here on the prairie. Sometimes it pays to stay home!
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:47 PM
 
134 posts, read 191,733 times
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Roxce,

I am in the same boat come June 2019, but I grew up about an hour and 20 minutes from Ames and know what the weather is like. I am military and have been stationed in Texas since 2015 and absolutely hate the heat. I will be retiring in November and can not wait to get back to Iowa.....let the haters start talking. My wife is from South Carolina and can not wait to go back to Iowa.....like she says.....you don't need to go out in the winter if you don't want to, especially if you have an office job. I however love the challenge of winter weather!!

Aaron
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,637,967 times
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Welcome back, Aaron, and thank you for your service!

Do give yourself at least one winter to get used to the cold, again. It really does take our bodies awhile to re-adjust.
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Central, TX
11 posts, read 10,948 times
Reputation: 10
Default Great Information

Meemur,

Thank you so much for replying. Great information and now I have an idea of timeline. Perhaps we will purchase most of the winter attire here in TX at a local sporting goods store. I didn't even think about a winter survival kit for our daughters car. Although we are months away from making the actual move, I am looking at houses as closest to the university as possible. I know it might be a long shot, but we are flexible. I work from home mostly, although if I need to find outside employment, I'm willing. My husband is from Michigan and moved to Texas late 80's. He's happy that we will be much closer to his family.
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Central, TX
11 posts, read 10,948 times
Reputation: 10
Aaron, thank you for your service! Congratulations on your pending retirement! We are not telling anyone about the move until it's official. It's news that will not be well received.
My husband is from Michigan and is ready to be closer to his family. Texas will always be home but we will not miss the heat. It's been awful this summer. I am concerned about our daughter having to drive in winter weather, especially icy roads and all that comes with wonderful winter. Which is why I'm looking at houses that are close to university. She'll getting my car once we move and my husband and I share truck, at least until I feel that I need my own vehicle. I'm hoping we adjust well to driving up there, as it is, I hate driving when it's raining mostly because it seems people drive faster. It's ridiculous.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:02 PM
 
699 posts, read 251,945 times
Reputation: 1159
Ames is a great community.

Iowa winters can be a mixed bag. Some years they aren't bad at all, some years they're pretty tough. A sturdy winter coat, hat, gloves, and boots should take care of you in Ames. As others have said, layer. It's not uncommon during late fall and early spring to see highs in the mid 60's and lows in the 30's on the same day.

Also, don't forget that you will still have some nasty heat in summer. It won't be as bad as Texas, but it still hits 100 degrees in Central Iowa, and it can be awfully muggy. You will legitimately see 120 degree swings from the low to the high temp in many years. But Fall is incredibly beautiful and spring can be as well. It's a true 4 season climate.
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Central, TX
11 posts, read 10,948 times
Reputation: 10
I have been reading about Ames, and we are looking forward to visiting in a few months. Seems like a small town and that is what we have right now. We are excited about the having 4 seasons.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,637,967 times
Reputation: 9679
It's a small town with a university in it, so there will be concerts and many college activities, like football, that are open to all.

I like Ames. It was on my short list, but I ended up working in Ankeny, so I live closer to it, but I shop in Ames quite a bit. There's a new Fresh Thyme there (organic grocery) and that Hobby Lobby (huge craft store) is closer than going to Des Moines.

I also wouldn't worry that much about winter driving if you live right in Ames. They keep the roads in town in good shape. Have your daughter find a vacant parking lot and practice stopping when the first snow hits. The problem is with commuting into and out of town when it gets bad. There will just be some days that it's safest not to leave town, but if you're down the street from the HyVee (grocery store), you'll be able to drive there most days, save for a bad ice storm. People laugh at me, but I have a winter pantry. I've got canned goods, and I can stay home for two weeks without a problem, but it's been a lot of years since I've dealt with bad winters like that, and I was living in Mid-Michigan (Mt. Pleasant) at the time. I'm sure your husband knows about that area.
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,243 posts, read 17,629,648 times
Reputation: 12570
East Texas or West Texas? If you're from the muggy east you might not even run your AC in the summer in Ames. But if you're from the arid western part of the state you might find the humid Iowa summers just as much of a shock as the winters.
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