Moving to an area with a different climate doesn’t necessarily mean a cross-country or even long-distance move. In some regions of the country, like here in the Pacific Northwest, you could experience a dramatically different climate just a few towns away. It’s typically wet here in Portland, but in Bend for example, it’s quite dry.
So, how do you prepare for living in an unfamiliar climate? Weather is no small consideration when you think about the ways it can affect your everyday life. It makes a difference in your wardrobe, heating and cooling needs, and even the tools required to care for your home and garden.
Here are a few things to think about when moving to a new climate:
Expect the Unexpected
Even when you think you know what you’re getting into, you might be caught off guard. Let’s say you’re moving to California. You’re probably expecting year-round sunshine, shorts and flip-flops, but few people know about the microclimates. Weather there can change in a matter of minutes and temperatures increase by 10 degrees from one neighborhood to the next. Dressing for a full day in that type of climate can be a challenge as it’s likely to be quite cool in the morning and hot by the afternoon.
The Necessary Gear
No matter where you’re relocating to, you might want to set aside some extra funds for new, climate-appropriate gear. If you’re moving up north you may need a snow shovel, parka, and a good pair of boots. Anywhere in the Pacific Northwest you’re likely to need a leaf blower, sump pump and an assortment of rain coats. In other regions you may spend more on pest control or swimming pool care. Having a stash of cash for these purposes will save you from financial surprises.
Adjust Your Schedule
If you’re accustomed to going for a run after work and you’re moving to the Southwest, you might want to re-think your schedule. In Arizona for example, it’s sweltering at 5 p.m., so you’d probably rather get out there in the morning when it’s relatively cooler. On the other hand, if you’re a morning runner relocating to a colder climate, you might want to prepare for afternoon workouts instead.
Get the Low Down From the Locals
Every region has little nuances you’d never know about until you live there for a while. But, you can avoid the frustration of trial and error by asking your new boss, co-workers, and real estate agent about what to expect. Here in Portland, for example, only tourists carry umbrellas. Locals wear rain jackets and boots. In some areas of the south, many insects are horrifyingly large and the cockroaches fly. You’re going to want to know if your pipes will freeze or your basement will flood in the winter, how often you’ll need to clean out your gutters, or whether it’s worth it to pay extra for a storm shelter. Consult with your realtor and others who know the lay of the land, especially if you’re looking to buy a home.
Remember, while you may be unfamiliar with the weather in your new city, every climate has its advantages. The rain here in the Northwest is a given, but it makes for a breathtaking, bountiful outdoor environment for all to enjoy when the sun comes out.