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View Poll Results: Best way to judge winter.
Average High 30 78.95%
Average Low 8 21.05%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-19-2013, 05:29 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
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Just wondering what is the best way to judge the coldness of the city. The average high of the day? Or the average low of the day when looking at weather charts. For instance an average high might be different by 12 degrees. But the "low" of the day might be within 4 degrees of each other, and vice versa. So which stat is best for judging how cold a place is in winter?
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:38 PM
 
Location: London, UK
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Everything else being equal I prefer warm low and high winter temps, but the most important would be high temps I guess. I'd take -5/10°C over 1/4°C, or 2/18°C over 8/12°C, by far.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:41 PM
 
Location: HERE
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Both equally
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Buxton, England
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Both really but with slightly more emphasis on the average maximum.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:07 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
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Normally I lean slightly towards the average highs but it's important to assess both the high and low temperature.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
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In the aggregate I look at both equally. However, when on the warm side (>30F for the daily mean) I look at average lows more than average highs, since a place with colder average lows in that case has a better chance of getting snow and actual cold weather. When on the cold side (<30F for the daily mean), I look at average highs more, because that is the best indicator of the potential for thawing and rain.

So, in the poll I'll vote for the average lows since the OP's bent seems to be towards determining whether or not winter in a city is cold, as opposed to determining if it's mild or warm.

For instance, New York City's average lows in winter are slightly warmer than Bowling Green's, and it really shows with regards to the weather - true cold (like around 0F) is rare, and the predominant precipitation type is rain, and when snow does fall it typically* falls in marginal air (near freezing). South Lake Tahoe averages 5F warmer than NYC for high temperatures, but seems more wintry because there is plenty of snow and morning lows average 16F.

*I know there are exceptions, especially in colder winters, but that's the most typical scenario. The same can be said of a lot of places, but it demonstrates my point with regards to the nighttime lows being a big factor at those temperatures.

If highs average 5F or so the wintry feel won't be impacted by the average low being 0F (a range of 5F, tighter than NYC's!). A low of -20F would feel a lot colder, sure, but the warmer low of 0F still feels quite wintry and cold. If the low is already as cold as 0F, then highs will be more important. An average high of 5F usually makes thawing a rare event, but an average high of 30F usually invites it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:21 PM
 
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When picking my retirement re-location I used both high temps and low temps.

My criteria was it had to be close to a 50 and 30 minimum for the coldest month ( January )

The location picked is slightly below that.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wolf View Post
When picking my retirement re-location I used both high temps and low temps.

My criteria was it had to be close to a 50 and 30 minimum for the coldest month ( January )

The location picked is slightly below that.
Slightly below 50F/30F for coldest month

In the US, cities like Albuquerque or Nashville would fit that, either would be good for retiring to.

dhdh mentioned prefering 10c/-5c over 4c/1c and 18c/2c over 12c/8c
Same for me, I don't mind a large diurnal swing usually means a drier/sunnier climate.

For example,
10/-5c january avg is like Amarillo,TX
4/1c january avg is very oceanic...not sure, maybe like Prince Rupert,BC?

18/2c january avg is like Tucson,AZ
12/8c january avg is like Coruna, Spain

For me avg highs are more important.

Last edited by eastyork; 03-19-2013 at 09:05 PM..
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:28 PM
 
Location: New York
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I consider both, although I place more weight on the average highs.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:59 PM
 
Location: ATL -> HOU -> DAL -> ATL
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I assume I'll (hopefully) be asleep when the low temperature is recorded so I focus on the highs since I'm more likely to be outside when they occur.
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