Monday, June 27, 2016

Comparing Climates Across the USA

I'm suffering. It's hot and humid down here in Kansas next to the Oklahoma border. I found this interesting map a few months ago, I think someone tweeted a link, with average high temperatures by county across the US. Both links are the same link. It's interesting to move the sliders around.

So what is my ideal day? 40F in the morning and 70F in the afternoon. That's a pretty high temperature swing as most days have a 20F morning to afternoon temperature swing, not 30F. Now, saying I have an ideal day, I need to clarify, I like the variation of sweating in the summer and skiing in the winter, so I do like variation, but I could take my ideal day 10 months a year.

As I was playing with the climate graph, and thinking about how much I was suffering in the heat here in southern Kansas, I had the idea to compare Montgomery County, Kansas to Dubuque County, Iowa. Then I had the idea to compare them based on the clothing I would wear while running. What you end up with is the chart below.
Average High Montgomery County Days Dubuque County Days
9F to 32⁰F 0 76
33⁰F to 49⁰F 79 64
50⁰F to 79⁰F 163 147
80⁰F to 108⁰F 123 78

It's organized by #1 weather you have to worry about snow and ice and slipping, #2 long pants and long sleeves but very comfortable, #3 shorts and short sleeves which is great, and #4 hot and slow. So as you can see I traded nearly 11 weeks of cold and snowy weather for an additional 45 days of weather that is hot enough to slow me down and deter me from moving any farther south. Plus, I gained nearly a month in the comfortable ranges. No place is perfect, and this list is only for average highs, not the lows or average temperatures. So we'll see. I have to finish suffering through these 123 days of heat before getting to the good eight months of the year. Hopefully I will remember to give a climate update in January, when the temperature to go running is amazing.

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