I’m coming to the conclusion that there’s no great place to live in the USA, weather-wise at least. Think about it. We currently have Hurricane Irene lashing her way up the Eastern Seaboard and it’s not just a heavy storm. This stuff is of near - biblical proportions and there will no doubt be a lot of damage and destruction. Although this is the first hurricane to affect so much of the Atlantic coast line, it’s not unusual for the lower states (Florida and the Carolina’s) to experience hurricane weather.
As you travel into the Heartland (the middle of the country) you have frigid winters in the northern states, (where the temperatures plummet to below freezing for months and months), and sweltering heat in the southern states. Oh, and there’s Tornado Alley running vertically right through the middle and the New Madrid Seismic Zone from Illinois on down.
Out west, they’ve convinced themselves that California has the best climate but they’re all sitting on the San Andreas fault line, aren’t they? Not to mention the desserts in the southwest where many a lost soul has parched to death. If you like your ‘seasons’, San Francisco and San Diego apparently have the least variety in weather in the country. California is also prey to wildfires and mudslides, so not as attractive as one might think.
It’s quite amazing that so many people have made their homes here.
When I first moved to the UK, I had the idea that I was getting the short end of the weather stick—having fallen prey to the popular myth concerning the awfulness of British weather. It did not take me very long to realize I had hit the climate jackpot, however.
Over the years, I have made much of the weather differences between here and home, so I won’t go into that again, instead I will simply agree with Toni that, in much of America, for much of the year, merely being outside is lethal, whereas in the UK, it generally is not.
When I visited Phoenix during July many years ago (if there was ever a city with no reason for existence, it is Phoenix; it’s in the middle of a desert, for chissake, and it was founded before they had air conditioning), I and some friends (also from New York) decided to take a walk after lunch. Our hosts told us we could not go out without shoes as the pavement would burn our feet. We took their advice and ended up walking from shop to shop down the street because we found we could not tolerate being without air conditioning for more than four minutes at a time, which is three minutes longer than you can tolerate being without central heating in Minnesota during January.
The idea that you can die from just being outside is a foreign concept to most of the people I know here. In America—pick a section of that vast land, any section—and it is a common occurrence. You generally won’t find “Being Outside” listed as the cause of death on the death certificate—that will be something more specific like, hypothermia, terminal sunburn, washed away in a flash flood, sucked up into a funnel cloud and not seen since, disappeared in a snow bank or ground opened up and swallowed him—but the common root of all these outcomes is, Being Outside.
I would not be surprised to overhear the following conversation in any Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks or Denny’s in any part the country at any given time of the year:
“What happened to Bob?”
“Oh, didn’t you hear? He went outside!”
So, you in America, stay inside.
Especially if you live on the East Coast.
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