Perfect Weather

On August 25, 2011 · 7 Comments

I spent a long weekend in Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago. The family had already been on holiday there for about ten days when I arrived, staying with the in-laws. We visited with my wife’s aunt and uncle one beautiful Sunday afternoon at their home along the banks of Lake Wisconsin.

Lake Wisconsin

The weather was absolutely perfect, a magnificent combination of sunny skies, a moderate temperature of about 75° f. (24° c.), and low humidity. We slowly motored around the lake in their party boat for much of the afternoon and feasted on barbeque and microbrews into the evening as the sun set.

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I prepared myself for the usual conversation, their annual attempt to convince me that Wisconsin would be a wonderful place to move the family permanently. I’ve said before and I continue to maintain that there’s no better place in the world in the summer. I would relocate to Wisconsin immediately if it was within my power to replicate this day every day. They are aware of this vulnerability and that’s when they strike. However, I’m from an area much further south and I cannot stand the downside found at the opposite end of the calendar. Wisconsin is the coldest place I’ve ever been in my life when winter rolls around.

It didn’t convince me to relocate but it did make me wonder where I could find the most perfect weather on the planet. I do realize that’s incredibly subjective. To some people, my wife’s family included, it would be somewhere similar to Wisconsin with its four very distinct seasons. Perfect to me would be a place that replicated that recent August day in Wisconsin, but for every single day all year long. I could always hop on an airplane and fly to a tropical beach or a ski resort whenever I missed the seasons.

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I really enjoy the California coast from San Francisco to San Diego. Certainly that would be a possibility. My job takes me to the west coast a few times every year and I’ve always experienced great weather. There was that one time in San Diego though. I arrived at the airport amid chaos. Everyone else was going in the other direction. They were trying to escape wildfires further inland that were pouring smoke and raining ash onto the city at a ferocious pace. At the hotel, the clerk informed me that they only had smoking rooms available (and she wasn’t being sarcastic). I took the room because it hardly seemed to matter – the entire city was already engulfed in a thick smoggy layer as dark as dusk.

Still, the middle to southern California coast would rise to the highest levels on my list.

I’ve always understood that Quito, Ecuador has a nice, constant temperature due to its remarkable elevation (9,350 ft / 2,850 m) near the equator.

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It’s like perpetual springtime. The average high temperature ranges between 64°-67° f. (18°-19° c.) all year long. Well, maybe that’s a bit chilly but I think I’m still a fan of Köppen climate classification "Cwb" which is the Subtropical Highland variety. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia falls within the same classification and it’s just a tad warmer. I’m not sure I’m adventurous enough to relocate to Ethiopia anytime soon and I know my family wouldn’t follow me. I have about as much of a chance of moving to Ecuador or Ethiopia as, well, Wisconsin.

The search for perfect weather continues. What location would you consider optimal?


On August 25, 2011 · 7 Comments

7 Responses to “Perfect Weather”

  1. Alger says:

    Ariquipa, Peru. It’s a lot like Quito, but without the smog. As a big plus, there are three big perfect cinder cones just north of the city.

    Anyway, I have lived in Wisconsin. The southern quarter of the state has lovely weather for 9 months of the year. For three you have to shovel and bundle up, but that is afair trade. Do stay away from Lake Micigan, it makes snow. In every way Wisco tops DC, where four months of the year feels like the poolside of the YMCA and the rest is just clammy.

  2. Rick Nordstrom says:

    Chillicothe, Ohio is located approximately 50 miles south of Columbus and 40 miles north of the Ohio River, along US 23. I lived there for three years, and although I cannot think of many other positives to share about a place where there could easily exist a communal family tree, I must admit the climate is almost perfect for my taste. I like things just a bit more varied and cooler than you, but not by much. Chillicothe gets snow, but not a lot, and it never got downright cold during the years I lived there. The summers can get warmer than I really like, but the humidity is surprisingly low. I’m certainly no climatologist, but I suspect its location in the foothills of the Appalachians has something to do with it.

  3. Peter says:

    I’ve heard that the North Island of New Zealand has very nice year-round weather. Another advantage is that it’s of course a decent place in which to live.

  4. I’m very much a cold weather afficionado, so my idea of ‘perfect weather’ is probably quite different from most people. I relish my -20°C (5°F) walkabouts in winter. On the flip side, I wince everytime it gets above room temperature. It’s the mountain kid in me. I suppose maybe northern Finland or southern Patagonia would be best suited to my liking. I readily admit that’s probably not the answer you were going for!

  5. Pfly says:

    One word: Hawaii.

    I once did a back-of-the-envelope analysis for where in the world I would like to live, with the criteria being “rarely too hot”, “rarely too cold”, and “near a relatively large city with Stuff To Do” (“culture”) (like Basement Geographer I tend to prefer more cool than warm–a bit of snow in the winter and summer highs in the 80s with rare peaks above would be perfect). The tentative results were: The west coast of North America from about Santa Barbara to Vancouver, perhaps Chile near Santiago, sizable areas of western Europe, from Bilboa, Spain, to Norway, including much of western and northern France, much of England, Scotland, and Ireland, misc. areas farther east, perhaps Trieste, Italy; most of Japan, perhaps parts of Korea and northern China, maybe Vladivostok (though likely falling short on “culture”), New Zealand, and southeasternmost Australia (though even Melbourne gets rather hot for my taste).

    Hawaii, maybe. But according to my parents, who lived there once, the weather is basically perfect *always*, which apparently gets to you after a while.

    For practical reasons–being a US citizen and only speaking English for starters–I then limited this to US places. This left me with, counting only fairly large cities, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle. I ended up in Seattle. The summers here are about as perfect as anyone could possibly want. The autumns are mostly very nice too. The other two seasons are a grey and dark trial. Guess you can’t have everything! …except in Hawaii…

  6. Matt says:

    Believe it or not, I like the climate of Toronto. The temperature rarely breaks 90 during the summer (although it did hit 100 one day this year), which is great. Winter days tend to be in the 20s Fahrenheit, but there’s not a lot of snow because it’s on the windward side of Lake Ontario (New York state gets all the snow.) There’s only a couple of really bitterly cold days a year. There’s enough rain to keep things green but fierce storms are uncommon. The only really crummy time of year there is around April, when it’s rainy, cold and gray.

  7. Mr Burns says:

    Kansas is *not* on the list. The local chambers of commerce will tell you quaintly that we “have four distinct seasons”. What they don’t say is that they often happen in one week. Our winters are especially mercurial, since we’re so far from any moderating ocean. I’ve seen it be in the 70’s in February, followed in just a few days by below zero temps. Summers are hot and dry. The wind blows nearly all the time.
    I’ve often said that Kansas has maybe three or four “perfect” weather days a year. But perhaps that’s the cynic in me. On the flip side, if you like storms, they’re magnificent in this part of the world!

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