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Anyone ever moved from a place that's warm year-round to colder/snow-y location?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey gents,

I'm based in Sunny Southern California, and I may be moving to the colder Mid-West or the East for career advancement. My question to those who's done this is how long did it take to transition? I've never lived in an area that snows before so I'm not even sure how to drive in the snow and all, haha. I'm not sure if this would be a permanent move, but at least for a couple of years.

Thanks in advance for anyone who helps out smile.gif
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wj4 View Post

Hey gents,

I'm based in Sunny Southern California, and I may be moving to the colder Mid-West or the East for career advancement. My question to those who's done this is how long did it take to transition? I've never lived in an area that snows before so I'm not even sure how to drive in the snow and all, haha. I'm not sure if this would be a permanent move, but at least for a couple of years.

Thanks in advance for anyone who helps out smile.gif

When I moved to Chicago it took until my second winter here to work out that the gear I wore for winter in the south simply wouldn't cut it - temps like we're seeing today (3*, -16* with windchill right now) need serious cold weather clothes (insulated, windproof, layers). Start with buying a few sets of long johns to wear under your current wardrobe, then upgrade what's lacking even with them on.

Snow isn't as big an issue. In the south, they don't remove the occasional snow, they shut down for a day or two and wait for it to melt. Here, they clear the stuff away so within hours the main roads are clear. If not, take comfort in the fact that lifelong residents haven't worked out how to drive in the snow, so you're no worse than them. I've mounted snows on a few vehicles over the years - I've never met a Chicago native that bothered; they just complain the plows haven't done the entire city within 30 minutes of the last snowfall.

On the plus side, once you acclimate to northern winters, visits to the southern states during the winter are laughable - weather that has my family breaking out parkas (40s-50s), I just wear a sweater.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply. I have a coworker that used to live in Chi Town. She said there would be times she had to pour water on the car door to defrost it so she can get in, haha.

I get cold easily so that will be a change for sure. If the weather is around 40 F here, that is end of world coldness smile.gif
post #4 of 21
You'll definitely need to invest in scarves, gloves (one nice another utilitarian), hats. Snow shoes are a god send. I have pretty effete ones from Tretorn but they're very handy when it's snowy, slippery or just rainy outside and you need grip. You can go the duck boot route or maybe some grippy work boots will be fine.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joffrey View Post

You'll definitely need to invest in scarves, gloves (one nice another utilitarian), hats. Snow shoes are a god send. I have pretty effete ones from Tretorn but they're very handy when it's snowy, slippery or just rainy outside and you need grip. You can go the duck boot route or maybe some grippy work boots will be fine.
I think I have most of that set. I'm one of the few crazies in SoCal that actually layer up and wear overcoats/top coats. I have tweeds and heavy wools the typical SoCal resident wouldn't even own. I guess it comes with being a member on this site, haha.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wj4 View Post

I get cold easily so that will be a change for sure. If the weather is around 40 F here, that is end of world coldness smile.gif

I was the same way growing up in the south - temps in the 30s meant I pretty much wasn't leaving the house. Once I got the hang of dealing with cold, I freaked out my co-workers (most Chicago natives) by walking the 3 miles to work year round, even in sub-zero temps. It was really just changing from a mindset of "avoid cold at all cost" to "deal with the cold." You may have to set aside some of the Styleforum mindset needed for occasionally. smile.gif
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wj4 View Post

If the weather is around 40 F here, that is end of world coldness smile.gif

Then good luck in Chicago and don't move up here to Minneapolis. The wind in downtown Chicago is more than just a nickname.

In a town like Chicago- it won't be driving on snow that takes the most getting used to, it will be the ice pack... a very different sort of driving. If you are not accustomed to driving in a northern winter... strongly consider AWD.
That and walking over/through the walls of snow/salt slush and ice along every curb.
post #8 of 21
Studded tires, snow shoes ,preferably water-proof. Hat that covers your ears. Windproof parka with hood (not Loro Piana or Herno) the real parka. Lot's of Cognac. Fireplace.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cary Grant View Post

Then good luck in Chicago and don't move up here to Minneapolis. The wind in downtown Chicago is more than just a nickname.

In a town like Chicago- it won't be driving on snow that takes the most getting used to, it will be the ice pack... a very different sort of driving. If you are not accustomed to driving in a northern winter... strongly consider AWD.
That and walking over/through the walls of snow/salt slush and ice along every curb.
Funny you mentioned MN. I have an interview in Eden Prairie in Jan, haha.
post #10 of 21

I grew up in South-Eastern Canada, but I had the same worries when I moved from Pasadena, where I'd been living for 6 years, back North East, to Boston.  It was surprisingly easy.  In Boston, it rarely gets really cold.  make sure that you have a couple pairs of good boots (waterproof is good, but even so, nothing for for certain, and you want options), and since you are not used to the weather, at least one pair of Commando soles (Carmina and Alfred Sargents are my deal).  A heavy wool coat like a Gloverall Monty, a warm knit cap (My baby Alpaca Inis Meain kept me warm in sub zero temperatures), and warm gloves (thinsulate>cashmere for real warmth) and you are pretty much set.  Be aware that you will probably get up before the sun is up, and the sun will probably have set before you are finished work, so try to get out for lunch to get some sunlight.  

 

My wife, a lifelong sunny weather girl, had trouble driving when we went to Canada for the first time, together.  She learned on our first drive from the local airport that it's okay in a snow storm to go under the speed limit.  I'm talking, 1/3 to 1/2 of the speed limit.  At a light, she was going too fast and had to brake too hard, and we ended up losing the hubcap from our rental car.  Lesson learned.  Just remember that even with snow tires, studs, and AWD, that you should go as slow as needed to feel safe, and that if that hill looks really steep and slippery, it probably is, and there are always alternate routes.

 

Minnesota is a very different, and much more dangerous animal, than Chicago.

post #11 of 21
Eden Prairie is nice for a suburb. Minneapolis is fantastic for a metro area. You will be ecstatic about what you can obtain versus So Cal for the price. Job outlook in MN metro area is strong.

If you are living in a suburb you just need a connected garage, parking close to work, and contract snow removal to stay warm. If you are in Minneapolis you can take the skyway everywhere. Hold off on the dog though. On the weekends, you only really need to worry when it gets under 5 deg F or so, which isn't all that common. Anything above is solved by simple layering principles.

I think that Chicago is roughly equivalent to Minneapolis-St Paul metro as far as cold (maybe 5-10 deg difference in temp, but wind from the Lake). Northeast is much warmer. Day length is shorter in both areas, but you might be surprised by how little. Check an almanac/weather site, the spreads really aren't that different in the evening.

When I lived in MN the prevailing sentiment was that cold keeps the riff-raff out. I'm of the belief that you can live anywhere for 2-5 years. That said, I did my time and I'm not sure I'm going back biggrin.gif
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

I grew up in South-Eastern Canada, but I had the same worries when I moved from Pasadena, where I'd been living for 6 years, back North East, to Boston.  It was surprisingly easy.  In Boston, it rarely gets really cold.  make sure that you have a couple pairs of good boots (waterproof is good, but even so, nothing for for certain, and you want options), and since you are not used to the weather, at least one pair of Commando soles (Carmina and Alfred Sargents are my deal).  A heavy wool coat like a Gloverall Monty, a warm knit cap (My baby Alpaca Inis Meain kept me warm in sub zero temperatures), and warm gloves (thinsulate>cashmere for real warmth) and you are pretty much set.  Be aware that you will probably get up before the sun is up, and the sun will probably have set before you are finished work, so try to get out for lunch to get some sunlight.  

My wife, a lifelong sunny weather girl, had trouble driving when we went to Canada for the first time, together.  She learned on our first drive from the local airport that it's okay in a snow storm to go under the speed limit.  I'm talking, 1/3 to 1/2 of the speed limit.  At a light, she was going too fast and had to brake too hard, and we ended up losing the hubcap from our rental car.  Lesson learned.  Just remember that even with snow tires, studs, and AWD, that you should go as slow as needed to feel safe, and that if that hill looks really steep and slippery, it probably is, and there are always alternate routes.

Minnesota is a very different, and much more dangerous animal, than Chicago.
Yikes. I thought FWD and AWD cars will cut it! I remember a female I know moved to Utah with her BMW 3 series. She did not have snow tires because she was from SoCal. She said she didn't know she needed snow tires to drive in the snow. As a result, she tried to brake at a red light and spun out. Luckily no one else was at the intersection.

I'm strangely scared, but looking forward at the same time, haha.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brimley View Post

Eden Prairie is nice for a suburb. Minneapolis is fantastic for a metro area. You will be ecstatic about what you can obtain versus So Cal for the price. Job outlook in MN metro area is strong.

If you are living in a suburb you just need a connected garage, parking close to work, and contract snow removal to stay warm. If you are in Minneapolis you can take the skyway everywhere. Hold off on the dog though. On the weekends, you only really need to worry when it gets under 5 deg F or so, which isn't all that common. Anything above is solved by simple layering principles.

I think that Chicago is roughly equivalent to Minneapolis-St Paul metro as far as cold (maybe 5-10 deg difference in temp, but wind from the Lake). Northeast is much warmer. Day length is shorter in both areas, but you might be surprised by how little. Check an almanac/weather site, the spreads really aren't that different in the evening.

When I lived in MN the prevailing sentiment was that cold keeps the riff-raff out. I'm of the belief that you can live anywhere for 2-5 years. That said, I did my time and I'm not sure I'm going back biggrin.gif
Oh, I know! I've already looked at the prices of housing/apt. Gotta make sure the juice is worth the squeeze.

That is what I've heard about Minneapolis. My coworker's daughter works for Target Corporate and she takes the skyway everywhere. I had no idea what this was so I had to Google it, haha.

This move would be for about 2-3 years. The firm has a global presence, and has many units throughout the world. I'm currently interviewing with 3-4 units, all are in the Mid-West and East Coast. The experience for the position sounds awesome and would look really good on my resume.

It will definitely take some time adjusting. I mean I was in a tank top and shorts yesterday for Xmas! Lol.


Thanks for the replies, dudes. I thoroughly enjoyed the inputs.
post #13 of 21
I went from Hong Kong -> Vancouver -> Calgary. The cold gets to you and takes a while to adjust. Everything they tell you about layering, dressing warmly and staying indoors really doesn't make irrelevant how bitterly miserable you can be just being surrounded by snow cover that lasts for a quarter of a year. I don't know what your conditions would be like in your city, but it's very unpleasant for a pansy who likes warm weather like myself to even bother going outside in Calgary winter. The snow-cover just ruins the urban landscape and city-life, and the dirt and debris from the road salt makes everything quite ugly on the street. Not to mention the frozen nose-hairs.

But apart from Alaska I can't think of anywhere in the US that would be too awful to consider if the opportunity and income were good enough. Canada on the other hand...
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by svelten View Post

I went from Hong Kong -> Vancouver -> Calgary. The cold gets to you and takes a while to adjust. Everything they tell you about layering, dressing warmly and staying indoors really doesn't make irrelevant how bitterly miserable you can be just being surrounded by snow cover that lasts for a quarter of a year. I don't know what your conditions would be like in your city, but it's very unpleasant for a pansy who likes warm weather like myself to even bother going outside in Calgary winter. The snow-cover just ruins the urban landscape and city-life, and the dirt and debris from the road salt makes everything quite ugly on the street. Not to mention the frozen nose-hairs.

But apart from Alaska I can't think of anywhere in the US that would be too awful to consider if the opportunity and income were good enough. Canada on the other hand...
Is this a permanent move for you, bud? You went from one side of the spectrum to the other, from humid central to extreme cold.
post #15 of 21

Went from Memphis, TN to Spokane, WA in the late 90's. I was 16 at the time, and it took a good couple of years to adjust. Just pay attention to what the natives wear, a lot of the "cold weather" gear I had in Tennessee got laughed at in eastern Washington. Now that I've been here for 15+ years, the cold doesn't bother me anymore. In fact, I don't know if I'd ever want to move back to the South...no skiing down there.

 

For those of you that don't know (I didn't), eastern WA is completely different that the western side of the state. Two entirely different climates.

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