Monday, February 05, 2007

SuperBowl or (Football Season is Over!!!)
I finally wrote a post for "This Person Knows what I'm talking about," a sports blog that Aaron runs, and a bunch of cool people blog on. The blog is cool--Go check it out!

DeathMatch 2007
DC V. Vernal
Winter Weather Comparison

I'm sitting at my desk shivering 2 hours after I walked into the building. I once again got the "but you're from out west" remark when I said, "its cold this morning." I have the west v. east winter comparison discussion at least twice a week in the winter out here which gets kind of old, but I'd thought I'd share my thoughts on here. Oh, and notice I said Vernal and not Utah or the Wasatch Front. Y'all on the front? Your winters are milder than the ones in Vernal.

1) Temp
Vernal regularly gets below zero. There's usually a five to ten degree difference between the high and low in Vernal all winter. 20 for a high, 15 for a low. 10 for a high 5 for a low. -15 for a low 5 for a high etc. It goes like this all winter. Vernal getting below zero for several weeks is expected every winter also.
I've seen the temp here get below zero maybe once. The low this morning was 8 degrees, and that for DC is abnormally cold. DC winters often go in 5-7 day cycles of temperature creep. right after a storm, a cold front will move in and the high is in the 20s or 30s and the low is the same. For 5-7 days the temperature creeps up until the high is in the 40s or 50s and then another storm comes through plunging the temp down by 20-30 degrees. This persists almost all winter-except for a few weeks where the low gets down in the teens and the high in the 20s.

2) Humidity
If you've lived or been out west in the summer, you know its a "dry heat." It feels like you're in a oven, but as soon as you get wet, you instantly cool off. Nights out west (especially in the desert or high desert) cool off. In the winter, its a dry cold. Its cold, but even when its windy--if you're dressed appropriately it isn't horrendous..(unless its below zero).
On the east coast in the summer, you're wet if you're outside for any period of time. Getting wet to cool off? Only works if you're in a pool or body of water. If you're outside, its matter what you're doing you almost immediately form a thin layer of sweat that increases with the amount of activity you're doing. In the winter, once the temp drops below 30 out here, it feels about 15-20 degrees colder. 30 feels like 15 in Vernal. 20 feels like zero. If the wind is blowing, it feels colder. The cold stays in your bones too out here. when it gets in the single digits, the only thing that really warms you up is a hot shower, no matter how you dress.
3) Lifestyle
In Utah, almost everyone drives to work. You feel the cold when you walk outside to your car, when your car is warming up, and walking from the parking lot to your work or destination. The only people who really use public transportation are the kids who may be bused to and from school (yes, I was one of those kids until High School).
Here in DC, I walk .75 of a mile one way. I walk a little less than a quarter of a mile to the metro station. Then, I hop on the metro (hopefully i don't wait, that metro station can be cold), ride it 10 miles to DC, and walk a little more than a half mile (6 blocks). I like my commute. I like that I'm subsidized, but its a long enough of a walk that when its really cold, I feel it. However, I try to dress accordingly so I'm comfortable. I keep an extra pair of shoes and socks under my desk so when it rains, my feet aren't soaked all morning. When the temp dips below 30 or especially below 20, I feel it...sometimes for a hour after I get home.
4) Snow
I like snow back home. I like to ski, I hate driving in black ice, but I don't fear driving in the snow out there. Here, when it snows, I don't like driving in it because others are dangerous driving in the snow. The only thing its really good for out here is the chance of getting a snow day. There's a few decent sledding hills, but there's no good snow sports within a 5 hour radius of my house out here.

5) Overall
Winter is colder, and lasts longer in Utah. However, DC winters shouldn't be disrespected. When it gets cold, it gets cold. In Utah snow is more fun than it is out here, although the monuments are pretty cloaked in snow.


stacer said...

You have just written my post comparing Seattle winters (similar to DC, but milder and drier in summer) to Illinois winters (similar to Vernal, except in Illinois it does still feel dang cold because of both humidity and wind chill--in a harsh winter back in 94, for example, the wind chill put the temp at -50 F at Nauvoo, freezing the Mississippi--but normal winters are in the 0-35 range).

Point being, the humidity here makes 30-40 degrees seep right into your bones, which finally made me realize why so many homes are built with fireplaces around here. At home, it's still cold, but we expect it to be cold and turn up the heat accordingly. :)

erinannie said...

I am so tempted to whine extensively about my experience with freezing my butt off today in a plane at Reagan DCA for 45 mins. But it would just remind me how miserable it was. So I won't.

Funny though. Today I was thinking about how I used to live in Provo, and I can't remember even once feeling as miserably cold as I was this morning.

Sherpa said...

oh, in Vernal when it gets below zero---its cold. But I respect an Illinois winter.

Erin---read my first couple of paragraphs. There's a reason I didn't compare "Utah."

Steve said...

Wow, vernal has a mild winter compared to Pennsylvania. Lookup my hometown of Eldred today and see for yourself. Today's forecast, low of -2, hi of 8 is typical for this time of year. Add a couple feet of snow and some wind and it's lovely, haha. One of the main reasons I avoid my parent's place from November until May. I remember lots of winters with cars freezing up and not getting above 20 degrees for weeks at a time. Good times. :)

For the record, I've turned into a pansy and complain when it gets below 40 now! ha.

Sherpa said...

Actually Steve, high of 8, low of -2 is normal for vernal. Nah, its not mild there compared to PA. except for the fact that you've got the humidity in PA.