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Old 08-25-2009, 11:42 AM
 
37 posts, read 432,320 times
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Me and my fiancee have been doing some research on different places to live, and from what I've read and seen (in pictures) of Oregon, it looks like a pretty good fit for us! (just FYI--I know my ideal weather would be in California, but thats not an option due to cost of living/housing and some other factors)

We are looking for somewhere with a mild climate, with a decent amount of sunshine--warm summers and cool, preferably short winters. We come from Wisconsin, and are looking to get away from the SUPER long freezing winters we have here! I don't mind 4 seasons, but due to health reasons the huge swings in tempature (like below zero in the winter, to 90* in the summer) are really hard on me, as is the major lack of sunshine all winter, and how difficult it is to DO anything out doors when its below zero out! So basically somewhere that has a good amount of sunny days, mild tempatures (ideally like a range from 70*-80* summers, and like 40*-50* winters--I know that is probably not possible, but I just mean it as a refernce point), and where the spring-summer-fall seasons are longer, and winter shorter.

I've read that a lot of areas in Oregon can be quite cloudy and rainy. I've seen the Medford-Grants Pass area mentioned for being more sunny and mild--is this true? And also Corvallis (sp?)? We would like to live close to a bigger city, for entertainment and jobs (we are both in healthcare), but have our house preferably in a more rural area, with a little land. Living near somewhere (lake, river, ocean whatever..) with nice swimming areas would be awesome, too!

I was also wondering what kind of growing season the sunnier areas of Oregon have (like for gardening). What kind of fruits grow well there?

Any other info on places in Oregon that I might want to check out would be welcome as well!! Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Bend Oregon
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I'm not sure that anywhere in Oregon will fit your specific needs. We have the sunshine you want over here on the eastern side of the Cascades, but we also have winter months. Our winter months are not similar to where you live. I lived in Michigan for a year, which I think resembles Wisconsin, and once it snowed, there always seemed to be snow and it just got dirtier and dirtier till it finally went away. Also, because we are in the high desert, we have low humidity so the hot doesn't feel as hot and the cold isn't as penetrating (not to say it doesn't get cold, it gets really cold some days). In the summer in Oregon, it can get pretty warm almost everywhere on some days, except maybe on the coast, but there you would have to deal with more cloudy days and rain. Growing seasons vary. High desert season is very short compared to the valley, but people still have successful gardens. If you've been reading up, then you know this is not a good time to move to Oregon unless you have a job.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:09 PM
 
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Something else to keep in mind with the high desert (and the Medford/Grants Pass area) is the daily temperature swings. Not unusual for the high to be 90º and the low near 50º. That can take some getting used to if coming from a place where the temperatures only vary 20 degrees or so from day to night.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:55 AM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,182 posts, read 5,278,579 times
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you have low UV in almost all of oregon. the coast is foggy/windy from what i hear. the high desert supposedly has 300 or so days of sun (what i've read, i'm not the expert) but there's the extreme temp swings that richpix mentions.

maybe the ashland area would suit you.

if i had it to do over again (my move here) i consider Lorane, Junction City, Pleasant Hill (all 3 near Eugene where I am presently), or the Ashland area.

the Albany/Corvallis area could be a consideration, based on reading posts in the forums but you'll find more sun further south.

maybe you'd like northern CA... i like the idea of Arcata but peeps on the forums tell me there isn't more sun there than in OR.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:14 PM
 
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Winters are relatively mild west of the Cascades, but still a good fives months or so long. You really have to get into latitudes of the 30's before the length of winter shortens significantly.

When your climate is influenced primarily by the North Pacific marine air mass, you're going to have a feast-and-famine schedule of sunshine: there will be a lot of overcast and rain during winter with summers that are arid and sunny. You'd have to get east of the Cascades before you see a mix of sun and clouds throughout the year. Southern Oregon is sunnier in the sense that it is more likely to be clear rather than partly cloudy during spring, summer and fall, but when it comes to the pit of winter, it isn't much different than Portland or Eugene. The Rogue Valley is subject to air inversions and can be socked in fog for long periods during winter.

Incidentally, southern Oregon is not "more mild" than the Willamette Valley to the north. It is colder in winter and hotter in summer. It is more of a Mediterranean climate, so it is drier. The growing season in the Rogue Valley typically runs 150-165 days. The area is well known for pomes, stone fruit, grapes, kiwis, some melons and a wide variety of berries. Way too cold in winter for citrus. Since there is no rain in summer, gardens need copious irrigation. Some people assume that the length of growing season in western Oregon would increase as you go farther south, but the opposite is true because southern Oregon is higher than the Willamette Valley. As you go north, growing seasons get longer, but the number of growing degree days decrease. Portland's growing season is over 200 days. Roseburg, which is between the Willamette Valley and the Rogue River Valley, also has a longer growing season. It also has a lot of fog in winter.

While Oregonians complain about clouds and rain in "winter," it is really the long dreary weepy springtime that gets to most people. We have early spring, mid-spring and late spring. Spring creeps in early -- around Valentine's Day -- and leaves late. One thing that might surprise you as a midwesterner is that seasons are delayed by about 5 weeks compared to what you are familiar with. You probably think of the Fourth of July as coming in the middle of summer, but most years here, spring is just winding down about then. Summer typically comes in the second week of July and then goes all the way through September. Fall comes around the middle of Oct. and goes into late Nov. or the first week of Dec. The displacement of seasons in southern Oregon is less drastic. Spring is shorter and a bit sunnier and warmer. It starts later, but summer starts earlier. Fall comes earlier, too.

You really need to get south of the 35th parallel if winter sun is a major factor for you. You might look into Prescott, AZ, Albuquerque, Las Cruces or El Paso. Those are all 4-season climate spots with shorter sunnier winters.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:27 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 14,365,528 times
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Everyone here offered you great advice already. I'll just chime-in and suggest you reconsider California. I can't even believe I'm saying this, because we lived in California for one year and relocated out as quickly as we could! But we were in the horribly hot and expensive central part, and my husband's job there was killing him (the stress...)...

Northern California, though, is where you should look. There are smallish villages scattered about that are still somewhat spendy (not really, for the west coast...) but not as crazy-expensive as the central or southern parts. Look near Shasta. That is a fun and beautiful area. Keep to the foothills in the norcal area - or the coast! - and you'll have a better time beating the summer heat.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:02 PM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,182 posts, read 5,278,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
Everyone here offered you great advice already. I'll just chime-in and suggest you reconsider California. I can't even believe I'm saying this, because we lived in California for one year and relocated out as quickly as we could! But we were in the horribly hot and expensive central part, and my husband's job there was killing him (the stress...)...

Northern California, though, is where you should look. There are smallish villages scattered about that are still somewhat spendy (not really, for the west coast...) but not as crazy-expensive as the central or southern parts. Look near Shasta. That is a fun and beautiful area. Keep to the foothills in the norcal area - or the coast! - and you'll have a better time beating the summer heat.
Having overdosed on the boards the past 4 days & read all the posts for people wishing to leave home & come to our fair, foggy state, I have to say the elf & everyone else is right on.

Steve97415 makes southern oregon sound much more appealing than anyone else ever has though. Mediteranean... hm!

This year's Spring here in the Willamette Valley seemed much cooler & later to take hold than my previous 4 Springs. I've seen a photo of people in the Ukraine with their shirts pulled up over their stomachs & faces tiltled up toward the sun like it was a miracle - like people frozen in time on a busy street, somewhere online. Sometimes I feel like that here. Like, omg, it's the SUN - give me SUN. I haven't noticed much of any "heat wave" this year in the WV, like I did in '05 & '06. However, people on the Portland boards have been complaining. Alot of pretty people with tans here in WV who look like it came out of a booth...

It seems most who are dead set on coming here opt for the Corvallis/Albany area or the Ashland/Medford area. Haven't seen many concessions for NorCal but it does seem the logical choice. Maybe the search is so exhausting that no one comes back to tell us!

It'll be interesting to see what you decide!

Last edited by sarahkate_m; 08-26-2009 at 03:11 PM..
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