• September 19, 2014

Community voices It’s Texas weather vs. climate in Alaska

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Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 4:30 am

I’ve lived in Copperas Cove for almost two years, and I feel like I’m finally acclimated to the weather.

My wife and I moved to Texas from Seattle in 2011 when she received her orders to Fort Hood, and it’s taken us some time to get used to how everything works.

Fortunately, we both went to college in eastern Washington, where the climate is very similar to the Texas Hill Country but with some minor differences. For instance, we used to get snow.

One thing I still haven’t adapted to is the rain in Texas.

I know you’re thinking, “This guy is from Seattle, and he can’t stand our rain?”

That is correct. I can’t stand your rain, because it doesn’t just drizzle here like it does in Seattle. It monsoons.

When my wife and I first moved into our home, we didn’t think anything about the house not having gutters. We figured the amount of rainfall merited that.

Nope.

The wall of water that forms around our house when it rains is frightening, and I still can’t wrap my head around the number of times I’ve seen my backyard flood.

Last fall, my cousin moved from the comparatively tropical climes of Washington to Fairbanks, Alaska. I was shocked when I first heard this, not because of the move to Alaska, but because of the timing.

If I moved somewhere as cold as Fairbanks, I’d want to do it in the summer and get some semblance of a normal climate before hunkering down for the inevitable frozen months ahead.

But I can’t say too much about that, because when I moved here, it was the middle of summer, at the beginning of the most recent massive Texas drought. Unloading a moving van in 110 degrees heat is unpleasant. But I imagine it’s nothing compared to doing the same thing in minus 20 degrees cold.

The one thing I have going here is that no matter how hot it gets, I don’t have to run my car for 20 minutes to keep from freezing to death on my way to work.

Since my cousin moved to Fairbanks, we’ve played dueling weather banjos about our current temperatures. One day, he dropped a bit of sarcasm that turned out to be an omen: “We should see if there’s a 100-degree difference between us someday.”

Be careful what you wish for.

The only reason I remember Nov. 20 is because I took a picture of the thermostat in my car, which read 82 degrees.

The temperature in Fairbanks? Minus 35.

Ever since, we tried to beat our record of 117 degrees difference between the two locations. Whenever we have a warm day here, the first thing I do is check the National Weather Service and see what the weather is like in Fairbanks.

Wouldn’t you know? It’s starting to get good again. On April 8, it was minus 14 there and a balmy 72 here in Cove.

Still a ways to go to beat the record, but I can always hope.

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