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Old 09-14-2009, 06:24 PM
 
108 posts, read 499,372 times
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So I've been toying with the idea of Oregon as the state I might want to end up in some day. I promised my wife we'd stay where we are until our youngest graduates from High school.

I've asked questions here before, and gotten a lot of great answers, but I've started really thinking about the whole SAD thing. I'm pretty sure I could come to terms with it, but I'm fairly sure my wife would have a hard time with it.

I'm a gardener, and one of the main things I was interested in was the growing season there compared to where I am. (NE Nevada, near Elko). I'm especially interested in the Willamette Valley.

I was under the impression that the further North you go, the cloudier it is, more or less, and that I might be a little bit safer say, down by Roseburg than up by Salem or Corvallis. Any truth to that? I saw someone mention recently that Corvallis could be gray and dreary from late October till June. Ouch.

And the problem is that once you get down to Grants Pass and Medford, it gets hotter than we really like in the summer.

Is Roseburg any less gray in the Winter than Salem?

Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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There's no significant difference in winter cloudiness north to south in western Oregon. The Dec./Jan. cloud cover ratio is 80-90% for just about all of western Oregon including the Umpqua River Valley (Roseburg). There isn't much of a break in the Rogue River Valley, either until March or so. The "roaring 40's" is a well-named band of latitude; a lot of storm cells come through there. You really have to get down to about Redding, CA before there's a notable let-up in winter gloom. Roseburg is also subject to quite a bit of winter fog. There could easily be blue skies at 3000 ft., but you'd never know it down in the valley because of the thick scud of water vapor being held down on top of you by an air inversion.

BTW, "SAD" is a genetically-linked condition. It has little to do with how you feel about cloudy weather, but is a physiological response to full-spectrum light privation. You won't experience it unless you've inherited the gene for it.

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Old 09-14-2009, 06:51 PM
 
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I lived in Salem for years. I am afraid you will get people who say the glass is half empty and others, like me, who will say that it is half full. Many, many of what are called "gray days" are also sun/mixed clouds days. My husband was just talking with a fellow who has lived here at the coast for about 7 months now. To preface it, there are some people who say the coast is mostly dreary....anyway, they were talking and the guy said he loves it and thinks the weather is wonderful. He said that people told him the opposite of what he, himself, has experienced and he is glad that he didn't listen to them! So, I will tell you that, yes, it rains in the valley. Nov-Jan. are the worst. Sometimes there are stretches without much sun in the winter, but I know it won't last and there are months of perfect weather too. This past January, we had weeks of sun at the beach. Spring is wonderful in the valley with tons of days with sprinkles and sun. If you like gardening, it is a dream. My only complaint was that the weeds grew before our eyes too! I LOVE the cloudy days/mixed sun. They are my favorite. I don't like the straight sunny days. When there are clouds, the sky is much more interesting to me. So I see cloudy days with mixed sun as great, while others hate any cloudiness. You need to come out and visit and see how you feel. You can't get a feel by looking at charts or believing everything you hear. Also, I learned that which way your house faces and the amount of windows it has makes a ton of difference too! The last 5 years I lived in Salem, I lived in a south facing home with tons of windows. We got lots of winter sun and light.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:24 PM
 
1,313 posts, read 6,024,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonbeachlover View Post
I LOVE the cloudy days/mixed sun. They are my favorite. I don't like the straight sunny days.
Well, I think the original poster needs to take that into consideration in evaluating what his response might be. I fully acknowledge that there are people who prefer cloudier conditions to sunnier ones, but that doesn't change the statistics.

Whenever I point out the low sunlight liabilities of western Oregon, there are those who feel their chosen spot has been slighted and rush to defend living with the gray, or to extol the compensations of greenery that come with rain. When I question those who say there is "plenty of light" in western Oregon about where else they have lived, I often find they've never lived outside of the upper West Coast. Their only point of comparison is with other spots of this relatively dark corner of the U.S. They've never lived in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, southern California or even the Midwest. Their notion of "normal incidence of sunlight" is entirely informed by their own previous experience with Pacific Northwest winters. So when inquiring about climate on CD, one must look for these two things:

1. Posters who try and convey an objective impression of climate and back it up with independently verifiable statistics. No half-empty-half-full subjectivity...only the Joe-Friday ("just the facts, ma-am") version.

2. Posters who will regale you with their personal affective response to climate for better or for worse. While they might argue that they do not find a particular feature of climate to be a hardship for them, that implies nothing about how you will respond to it.

Look at the Arizona forum and you will see the same thing -- those who insist that southern Arizona has the best climate in the nation and those who think that it is the worst.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:24 PM
 
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Well written post there, Steve97415. Both of them.

EricG: The Willamette Valley is one of the most fertile valleys in this country. It has wonderful soil and it's very hard not to be able to grow things well.

However, I would caution you to consider Steve's posts carefully and unemotionally. Not as eloquently, but I certainly second his opinions on the weather.

Would you be able to spend a winter here to experience it, before committing to living in this part of Oregon full-time? Or at least visit for a few weeks?

I had some friends visit from northern Canada (cold!). After one afternoon of rain and grey, they knew immediately that they couldn't stand months of it, intermittent drizzle or not. Maybe it's something that you and your wife would have to exprience first hand to know.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,713 posts, read 35,598,559 times
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Honestly you just need to come and visit. You can look at all the data you want, but sometimes it is best just to experience something for yourself so you can decide. I do agree that Nov-Jan is the worst of the gray, rainy weather so if you could spend some time here during that time frame you could decide if it bothers you or not.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:12 PM
 
Location: oregon
899 posts, read 2,693,327 times
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Hi there
The gardening is fantastic, I have a small yard but am a hort volunteer out at oregon gardens in silverton and we play in the dirt year around..if you have space there are winter crops you can grow too..The nursery's just in marion county will make you canidate for Plant Alocholics Annoymus (excuse the spelling).
the gray weather well doesn't every place have days that are simply days you don't want to be out in...Life up here is what you make it.
Come up and visit in November or February and see what its like..
we came up from northern cal and love it here.
good luck
mamh
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:40 PM
 
108 posts, read 499,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve97415 View Post

BTW, "SAD" is a genetically-linked condition. It has little to do with how you feel about cloudy weather, but is a physiological response to full-spectrum light privation. You won't experience it unless you've inherited the gene for it.
Yeah, I probably shouldn't have used the actual SAD condition...more like "a person who starts to climb the walls after it's been cloudy for weeks." I think I would be fine, I like rainy weather, and my office is in the basement in a room with no windows because I don't like glare on my computer screen. Hehe.

My wife is the issue. Has to have windows, lots of sunshine and wide open vistas. I am coming to the depressing possibility that Oregon should stay a place we visit rather than move to. 8(

Will do some longer term visits before we make a decision though. Although we have long cold winters here, the sunshine is relentless, which is better for solar power. (I'm trying to look at the bright side. Get it? Bright side?)

Thanks for the reply though Steve, you've left several in the past that were helpful also.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:44 PM
 
108 posts, read 499,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonbeachlover View Post
... Many, many of what are called "gray days" are also sun/mixed clouds days. My husband was just talking with a fellow who has lived here at the coast for about 7 months now. To preface it, there are some people who say the coast is mostly dreary....anyway, they were talking and the guy said he loves it and thinks the weather is wonderful. ...
I know what you mean. I know that it's not solid gray for the whole time, and that there are frequently scattered skies with some sun. We really will have to spend a longer vacation there in the Winter at some point, since just dropping in for a day or two doesn't really tell the story.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:49 PM
 
108 posts, read 499,372 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeBee View Post
...

However, I would caution you to consider Steve's posts carefully and unemotionally. Not as eloquently, but I certainly second his opinions on the weather. ...
Thanks SeeBee, believe me, I'm in no rush. It would be my first choice, but not if it would end up making my wife miserable! Once we get closer to making a decision, we would have to spend some longer periods of time there to see firsthand how we would deal with it.
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