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Old 07-29-2017, 07:26 PM
 
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How do New Hampshire winters compare to the midwest in terms of severity? and/or fun potential?

specifically...in Chicago, I seem to recall sub-zero temps with howling wind and -40F windchill.

NOT fun. people didn't play in the snow there. they just had heart attacks from shoveling.

In general, Great Lakes region was not a good time in the winter. My time in Michigan was equally cold and miserable during the winter months.

But..at least in Chicago, they were good about snow removal (even if that included burying cars parked on the street....that's you're own fault for parking there apparently).

Pacific NW...not good about snow removal. Lots of bad drivers from a sunny state to the south. In general, not as cold, but wetter heavier snow...and some fun potential with ski resorts with relatively long seasons compared to Tahoe area resorts.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:26 PM
KCZ
 
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First of all, NH winters vary dramatically from north to south.

I live in the northern half. We get LOTS of snow, many subzero days, fewer days of -20*F or lower, and wind chills frequently below zero although I suspect the wind is not as bad here as blowing off the Great Lakes. Snow removal crews are well-prepared and effective. We also have more opportunities for outdoor winter recreation, if you like that sort of thing...both downhill and X-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating, ice fishing, etc. The worst part is that the winters are LONG (first snow around Nov 1st, last melt in late April) and DARK (light around 7 am, dark around 4:30 pm in midwinter, and worse if it's cloudy). Besides 4WD and long underwear, you need to find some way to keep yourself engaged and sane, because long-term self-medication with alcohol is disastrous.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:53 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Pretty much anywhere in New Hampshire gets quite a bit more snow than Chicago on average. Michigan is more comparable to NH when it comes to snowfall, but MI varies a lot depending on how close to a Great Lake you are. NH gets more severe blizzards more often than Chicago or Michigan due to Nor'easters. MI gets more frequent snowfalls of smaller amounts and more cloudy days. When it comes to temps, I think all three are fairly similar. All three places have "real" winters for sure. Chicago would be my last choice due to the lower amount of snowfall and lack of outdoor winter activities compared to NH or MI. There's nothing worse than bitter cold without consistent snow cover. The lower wind speeds in NH and reasonable amount of winter sun might make winter the most enjoyable there out of the three places.

Check out this comparison: https://outflux.net/weather/noaa/ind...66%3BFORID%3A9

Last edited by michigan83; 07-29-2017 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:52 AM
 
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Having lived both in Chicago and New England, now SW NH, I'd say that NE gets much more snow due to ocean effects, especially Northeasters, but Chicago does get generous lake effect snow if you're near enough to the lake.
Temp wise, Chicago tends to be a few weeks later in its onset of winter, winter temps can swing lower, and spring comes a few weeks earlier. This is all typical of a continental weather pattern. As you go south in NH, temperatures are more and more moderated by ocean effects - the gulf stream is a huge heat engine, so in N NH, temps will be lower than Chicago.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:03 AM
 
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thanks for all the replies. very helpful. I was actually born in New England and only have maybe a supressed memory of Nor'easters. I remember some hard winters from being very young in upstate NY (real upstate, I'm not talking Westchester...more like southern Quebec).

I think in the end, it all boils down to having proper winter clothing and getting your layering system figured out. Sunny and warm weather is for suckers.

I suffered through four-years of winters during college in the Chicago area. Then once I got a grownup job and actually bought a decent winter coat and some shoes that were slush-proof....ta-da! a miracle. I was invincible.

thanks again everyone.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:52 AM
 
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Having lived in Indiana, and traveled weekly to most points between Chicago and Cleveland down to Cincinnati, no distinct difference in the weather any time of the year, if we're talking about southern New Hampshire. Springs are unpredictable day-to-day, and some winters it snows very little, some winters it snows quite a bit. Tornados of course are more of a threat out there, but generally the weather differences are very faint.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:37 PM
 
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The big differences are at the extremes. Greatest snowfall ever in Chicago is 23" in '67. In most of NH, you'd need to be above 30 or so to even start counting. 20" falls are relatively routine.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Monadnock area, NH
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I grew up in Minnesota, NH winters are pretty tame IMO.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:16 PM
 
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Lived in MN for a few years too. Minneapolis gets a bit less snow than S. NH, but still gets an average of 45", which is pretty good for a cold, inland location. Its record is 47" in one storm in 1994. But the big difference is that thaws are much rarer than in New England, and it's colder unless you're north of the White Mts. Snow tends to build up - when I was there in the '80s, we'd lose a lane on some 4 lane roads, and finding shopping center entrance roads was tricky - look for a break in the 20' high snow piles on the edges of the parking lots!
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:27 PM
 
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NH winters vary widely depending on where you are in the state. I live on the coast, and it's not uncommon for it to be raining here and snowing inland.
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