Texas Transitions – what is this crazy weather?!

Hi everyone! I’m back from my three-day weekend and trip to Austin. I LOVE three-day weekends, but there’s something about them that make coming back to work even harder than it normally is. I’m posting later than normal today because I’ve been in the process of moving offices. No, I didn’t get a new job. We literally just shifted around offices in our suite, so I do have a new view!

Yep, my office is now right in front of the waiting area. Yikes! Talk about zero privacy. This may take some getting used to.

Anyways, it’s time for the next installment of Texas Transitions. I thought I’d discuss the thing that seems to be on everyone’s minds lately: THE WEATHER!

In case you’re living on Mars or don’t ever flip on the national news, it is HOT here. Really hot. In fact, for 30 some days straight now the highs have been over 100.  We’re not just experiencing weather in the 100s anymore, we’re now experiencing temps well into the 100s. Like 110.

In Texas, the hottest part of the day is around 4 or 5pm. In Ohio, the hottest part of the day is noon. Therefore, Texas nights do not cool off until well into the night. Like 3am. This makes it hard to go outside and enjoy the evenings during the summers here. It’s just too hot. You have to stay inside in the air conditioning to stay cool. Also, everyone here has A/C of some sort. In Ohio, you’ll find a good number of families or old homes that do without. You just couldn’t survive without it here.

For me, the Texas heat feels like a dry heat (people from California always say it’s a humid heat, so really it’s all about perspective). Therefore, it feels more bearable on most days than the oppressive humidity and 80 degree temps do in Ohio. I’d take dry heat over humid heat on any day! I might sweat a little (ok, a lot!), but at least my hair doesn’t turn into a total frizz-ball monster and walking outside doesn’t feel like wading through a wet sauna.

However, Texas also deals with some pretty severe draught conditions in the summer. This year has been exceptionally devastating. Austin has not seen rain for over a year. Yes, a YEAR! That is really hard for me to comprehend since I come from a place that gets a lot of rain and snow. The lack of rain has more dire effects that I ever imagined. This article explains some of the long-term effects that the drought will have on the wildlife in Texas and this article shows the drought in pictures. Farmers are losing crops like crazy and livestock is starving to death. It’s a scary situation and there is no end in sight!

Texas does have an abundance of pools to cool off in. Even the university I used to work at had about 5 recreational pools on campus. Unheard of in Ohio! Oh yea, and they open in April and stay open all year! No need to close them in the winter down here because there’s no risk of them freezing. However, the popular pool seasons are different. Pool season in Ohio is definitely the traditional summer months (June, July, August), but in Texas it gets almost too hot to use the pools during the main stretch of the summer. The last time I went to my apartment’s pool it was like swimming in a bathtub. Not exactly refreshing. I can’t imagine being a swimmer in an outdoor league during the summer in Texas. The best time to utilize the pools here is April through early June and September through early October. Unless you like swimming in bath water and in that case you’ll love the pools right now!

What else is different between Texas and Ohio? SUN! The sun is always out here. I literally had no idea that the sun shone so frequently in other parts of the country. I thought it was normal to be encased in a thick layer of clouds for 300+ days per year (I’m not kidding, Ohio is ALWAYS grey! It’s known for it, actually). This was the view from the plane as I flew over Ohio during my trip home in May. It was clear with beautiful views right until we got to Ohio.

Ohio clouds as seen from above. May, 2011

The abundance of sun is actually a positive and a negative for me. I, oddly enough, enjoy a nice rainy day every now and again. I like weather. All kinds of weather. Even snow! Texas gets snow once a year, but it’s not quite the same. It’s more of an icy mess than real snow. The seasons kind of blend together here with little definition. I do miss the transition into fall with the first crisp days in October and then the first snowflakes of winter in November or December. Here we just gradually get a little bit cooler, have a random “snow” storm, and then get hot again.

Cowboy's Stadium during the freak "snow" storm in February 2011

So there you have it. If you like sun and heat then Texas is probably the place for you. If you value the changing of the seasons and a little more “weather” it might not be such a good fit. For me, the weather sure has taken a little getting used to over the past two years!

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13 thoughts on “Texas Transitions – what is this crazy weather?!

  1. Oh man it is hot this summer!!! My pool water registered 95 this weekend. We got in but then I had to get out after a while cause I started to feel sick… I think cause the water was too hot. I keep telling myself, we just have to deal with this so we can have a nice mild winter…

  2. Imagine me!! I live in South Texas and the sun beats down on you harder than ever. Walking from the car to the store I nearly feel like my skin is burning it’s that bad, just yesterday my car read 116 degrees. It’s crazy. Honestly it hasn’t been this bad ever!

  3. I was watching the news this morning, and they were talking about it cooling off in other parts of the country. Meanwhile it said “sizzling” above Texas on the map. Then the word sizzling started flaming. I think that’s pretty accurate right now.*

  4. That’s true…humid heat is SO MUCH WORSE than dry heat. I will take dry heat any day! It is so humid in Ontario. But still, I’ll take heat over winter.
    That sucks that nights are too hot…I love summer evenings!

    Does your computer monitor at least face away from your new front window? Then you can still be a bit sneaky 😉

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