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Old 08-15-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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My husband is in his 50s and grew up in Portland. He LOVES Oregon and doesn't want to leave. However, he has multiple sclerosis and as he gets older seems more and more affected by lack of sunshine here in Portland. We do have two children (one 11 and one 14 months) and really don't like the idea of a small town (unless it is progressive and not too redneckish--if I may use that term!). We love everything about Portland culturally and really the main reason we are considering a move is the climate here.

So....does Ashland/Medford area offer significantly more sun and less rain than Portland? Enough to warrant a move? Or is it still a problem down there...as far as people with dealing with depression and SAD? I'm so confused about this. Truthfully, my husband probably needs to live in a place more like California but I don't know how we would be able to afford rent down there on a 3-bedroom home...so we've kind of let that idea go. Although secretly I'd love to live in the San Luis Obispo area!

Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
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Bend gets a lot more sun. You get snow though too.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
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It does rain less in Southern Oregon than in Portland. Recently I looked at moving to Salem and found it rains almost twice as many days per year in Northern Oregon than Southern Oregon. Check out this link: National Weather Service - NWS Portland.

My neighbor has MS and so does someone in my immediate family and they do well here, although it does get hotter here than Portland and the heat really seems to take their energy away if they have to do anything outside.

My family lives in Central Point which is a small town, but not a redneck area at all. My family is unique in that we are transracial so we pay particular attention to cultural diversity and tolerance and found this area to be great. My wife and I have lived in the Rogue Valley for 30 years. There are some specific areas that I would consider redneck, but if you stick with Medford, Ashland or Central Point you'll really like it I think.

Good luck!
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:12 PM
 
1,313 posts, read 6,023,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarleysMama View Post

So....does Ashland/Medford area offer significantly more sun and less rain than Portland? Enough to warrant a move? Or is it still a problem down there...as far as people with dealing with depression and SAD?
You'll hear lots of references to "sunny southern Oregon." By Willamette Valley standards, it is a shade sunnier, but most of that extra sunshine comes in the summer when we have more than we need already. Spring gets started later, but warms up faster and late spring (mid-April to June) will be a little sunnier than what you're used to. The same for early fall. But the bad news is...winter will only be about a 20% improvement (that' not much). Medford and Ashland are in the rainshadow of the Siskiyou Mts. and so get much less rain than Portland. But that doesn't mean it's significantly less cloudy.

You really have to get out of the "roaring forties" to get an improvement in winter sunshine. Unfortunately, the 42nd parallel is Oregon's southern border. You don't have to go much further south...Redding or Chico...to get south of the storm track and pick up a huge benefit in winter sun (more than 140 hrs. in Dec. as opposed to 60-80 in Medford). But than means living in California...ew.






Quote:
Originally Posted by MarleysMama View Post
Although secretly I'd love to live in the San Luis Obispo area!
Wouldn't we all. I'm only about $4 million short of being able to swing SLO myself.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:45 PM
 
378 posts, read 1,463,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve97415 View Post
You'll hear lots of references to "sunny southern Oregon." By Willamette Valley standards, it is a shade sunnier, but most of that extra sunshine comes in the summer when we have more than we need already. Spring gets started later, but warms up faster and late spring (mid-April to June) will be a little sunnier than what you're used to. The same for early fall. But the bad news is...winter will only be about a 20% improvement (that' not much). Medford and Ashland are in the rainshadow of the Siskiyou Mts. and so get much less rain than Portland. But that doesn't mean it's significantly less cloudy.

You really have to get out of the "roaring forties" to get an improvement in winter sunshine. Unfortunately, the 42nd parallel is Oregon's southern border. You don't have to go much further south...Redding or Chico...to get south of the storm track and pick up a huge benefit in winter sun (more than 140 hrs. in Dec. as opposed to 60-80 in Medford). But than means living in California...ew.








Wouldn't we all. I'm only about $4 million short of being able to swing SLO myself.
Looking at both sides, I have lived in Chico and the summer heat (sun) is absolutely unbearable too. You can't have it both ways...
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:12 AM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
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I moved from Corvallis to Ashland, and it does seem substantially drier and sunnier to me. I suffered from mild SAD in the Willamette Valley, but not here. Steve97415 is right in pointing out that the difference in summer is actually more than winter, but as with all thresholds, a little change in absolute sunlight can have a fairly large effect, depending upon the person. I am not saying that would work for your husband, just sharing that it did for me. I would also add that Ashland is usually above the Rogue Valley inversion (not always but about 60% of the time), so while Medford is socked in with fog, we are often clear and cold. It is certainly not a sunny climate, but I would wager is is about 30% sunnier over the year and with the somewhat colder, drier weather, we are really intermediate between, say, Portland and Bend in almost all our climate statistics. I would echo that the Sacramento Valley of California is much sunnier in winter, but then you have hellish summers to deal with. Just a matter of finding the combination that works for you.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
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I've lived in both Portland, Southern Oregon, and Pendleton. As for winter sun, Pendleton is the best, but Southern Oregon is much better than Portland, especially if you can live at a higher elevation to get above the fog that socks in the Rogues Valley a great deal during the winter.

A lot depends on your work schedule. I worked regular days, as well as "swing" shift, and preferred swing because I could get out an soak up the sun we did get in the winter. I could also drive up and out of the fog in Medford too.

I also found that regular exercise makes a big difference with the SAD stuff, but as I said, Pendleton has been great too.

HTH
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
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I grew up in Josephine County (mostly Grants Pass, though Merlin and Hugo as well), and I really do not notice much of a difference between that area and Portland. Late spring and summers are sunnier. There are less summer days in Southern Oregon like we have had in Portland lately where it starts off cool and grey and ends up hot and sunny by afternoon. Winters, in my experience, are no better in Southern Oregon, at least in Grants Pass. 20% less cloudy days according to some stats? Maybe in Ashland/Medford, but I would be doubtful if that applied to the Grants Pass/Merlin areas, because I really do not notice a difference in Portland in the winter.

If you just do not like the rain itself, there is a difference between Medford/Ashland and Portland, definitely. 20 inches in MFR versus 40 inches in PDX versus 30 inches in GP.
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
22,937 posts, read 12,261,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
I moved from Corvallis to Ashland, and it does seem substantially drier and sunnier to me. I suffered from mild SAD in the Willamette Valley, but not here. Steve97415 is right in pointing out that the difference in summer is actually more than winter, but as with all thresholds, a little change in absolute sunlight can have a fairly large effect, depending upon the person. I am not saying that would work for your husband, just sharing that it did for me. I would also add that Ashland is usually above the Rogue Valley inversion (not always but about 60% of the time), so while Medford is socked in with fog, we are often clear and cold. It is certainly not a sunny climate, but I would wager is is about 30% sunnier over the year and with the somewhat colder, drier weather, we are really intermediate between, say, Portland and Bend in almost all our climate statistics. I would echo that the Sacramento Valley of California is much sunnier in winter, but then you have hellish summers to deal with. Just a matter of finding the combination that works for you.
I lived in Portland area for 3 years and now further north in The Evergreen and I'm ready for more sun and less SADD. I've researched the climate and all indications are that Medford/Ashland get more sun than Portland and Seattle and 4 of the 5 that responded agree that they noticed an appreciable difference. The one exception was someone from GP and GP does get 30" of rain annually compared to 20" in Medford.
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:01 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,785 posts, read 16,633,789 times
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I realize he OP is likely long gone, but, since the thread has been brought back, here are my 10 cents (I am on vacation on the cost, that is why it is more than 2 cents):

According to the Western Region Climate Center at OSU, Portland gets about 140 days of sun/part sun, Medford gets about 198. The sunniest part of Oregon in Lakeview/Klamath Falls (220 days average of sun), but be prepared for a raw cold winter, with freezes (not frosts) starting early September and running out until mid-June.

But the winter in the Rogue Valley is similar to the Portland winter - cloudy, cool and damp - it's just shorter, with a little more fog thrown in. The overcast months are November-early March. You can still get weeks without sun down here, plus you will have a much hotter summer than Portland. Average highs in July and August are in the low 90s, and you will get 10-15 days above 100 in summer.

There are many other considerations past weather - jobs, schools, etc, but this was many a question about weather.
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