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Geographic location for consistently comfortable weather?
October 5, 2007 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Where is a good place in the world to live for consistently comfortable temperatures throughout most of the year? The UK alternates between unbearably hot, and bloody freezing, and I'm sick of it.
posted by oxide to Travel & Transportation (68 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
San Diego
posted by sanka at 4:20 PM on October 5, 2007


Santa Fe has perfect weather. 350 days of sun a year, never too hot, never too cold. I've heard Israel is awesome, too.

People talk on and on about how the Canary Islands always have the same beautiful weather.
posted by koeselitz at 4:25 PM on October 5, 2007


Or Palo Alto (scroll down for weather graph).
posted by beagle at 4:26 PM on October 5, 2007


Seconding San Diego (although anything coastal in Southern California works as well). Why oh why did I ever move away?
posted by Arbac at 4:27 PM on October 5, 2007


San Diego gets too hot in the summer.

You want Camarillo, California for far more consistently mild temperatures.
posted by The World Famous at 4:33 PM on October 5, 2007


Seattle. But don't bring a Car please. We have enough traffic.
posted by jeffamaphone at 4:33 PM on October 5, 2007


Seconding Seattle. When weather here gets really hot or really cold, it's newsworthy.
posted by vito90 at 4:36 PM on October 5, 2007


Portugal
posted by ReiToei at 4:37 PM on October 5, 2007


If you think that the UK gets unbearably hot then neither San Diego, Palo Alto nor Camarillo are for you. And you would freeze to death in Santa Fe.
posted by fshgrl at 4:41 PM on October 5, 2007


What's "uncomfortably hot?"

Hawaii is about as consistent as it gets. It never gets hotter than 89 degrees or colder than 65 degrees Fahrenheit (although contrary to popular belief, it does in fact snow in Hawaii).
posted by melorama at 4:41 PM on October 5, 2007


Also try:
Capetown
Melbourne (Also rated Best City in the World to live in)
posted by beagle at 4:43 PM on October 5, 2007


San diego is pretty darn nice, and not ALL that different in climate, in terms of temp, from London

not vastly so, anyways
posted by Salvatorparadise at 4:44 PM on October 5, 2007


2nding Hawaii, and you can even find micro climes within so you won't miss the constant misting rain of England, but it will be warm enough that you won't mind
posted by kanemano at 4:45 PM on October 5, 2007


Pasadena is nice 10 months out of the year. June can be a bit gloomy and August can be hot, but the rest of the year is warm, pretty and sunny (average temps here).

I have also heard good things about Nice, though it is chilly in the wintertime.
posted by charlesv at 4:46 PM on October 5, 2007


Hawaii is about as consistent as it gets. It never gets hotter than 89 degrees or colder than 65 degrees Fahrenheit

89 is the average August and September high in Honolulu. It gets hotter than 89 quite often.
posted by The World Famous at 4:46 PM on October 5, 2007


Southern California has the greatest weather I know. I am sure there are other places on the planet like this, but it is hard to beat. On top of that are mountains, oceans, and just an incredible outdoor paradise. On the negative side are the highest housing costs in the US, some of the most vapid people you will ever meet, traffic, traffic and more traffic, due to just too many damn people being in one place. There are intelligent people, despite the vapid aura, and there is great food and wine. If you find the right situation, it is a great place to live, and this comes from a committed east coaster.
posted by caddis at 4:48 PM on October 5, 2007


Seattle's weather could only be an improvement on the UK's if the OP's complaint was that it didn't rain enough.

Ajijic, Lake Chapala and other areas around Guadalahara are supposed to have spring-like weather all year round.
posted by timeistight at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2007


Pasadena: Lies! I remember one winter when it rained, hard, for three months straight. Also, when it's sunny, you're lucky if there isn't a cloud of smog hovering over the place, trapped by the San Gabriels.
posted by xil at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2007


Oh yeah - St. Martin is also great, with daytime temps year-round rarely being higher or lower than 80 F.

(As a kid I spent a lot of time at Villa Dalming).
posted by charlesv at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2007


Pasadena: Lies! I remember one winter when it rained, hard, for three months straight. Also, when it's sunny, you're lucky if there isn't a cloud of smog hovering over the place, trapped by the San Gabriels.

Seconded. I grew up in Pasadena, and it is miserable from July through the middle of September. Moving a closer to the shore, though, and you're set. I've lived up and down the West Coast, and I've never found weather as agreeable as you'll find in Santa Monica.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2007


Previously
posted by arha at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2007


This question would have been easier to answer if the OP had defined what "too hot" and "too cold" mean. If you're going to ask for locations where it stays in a particular temperature range you might want to mention the range you're looking for!
posted by Justinian at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2007


Santa Fe has perfect weather. 350 days of sun a year, never too hot, never too cold.

This just isn't true. Santa Fe is indeed lovely (though not 350-days-worth-of-sun lovely -- jeez, I don't know that Los Angeles even gets 350 days of sun!), but as high desert and with an elevation of 7000 feet, it actually can have some real extremes. I've been visiting family out there off and on for 15 years, so I can tell you first-hand that Santa Fe can get bitterly cold in the winter (it's actually one of the reasons my parents are hoping to move to Arizona). It's can also regularly get into the 90s and sometimes even hotter during the summer.
posted by scody at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2007


You'll face a few cold nights in January in Morelia, and, perhaps, an occasional hot August day. But due to the altitude, and the position of the city on the high Mexican plain, between two oceans, the air quality is excellent, with little humidity, or pollen. Rarely will you need a real overcoat, or find yourself feeling the necessity to take off your suit jacket or sport coat.
posted by paulsc at 4:59 PM on October 5, 2007


Pretty much anywhere near a coast and on a Mediterranean latitude.
posted by letitrain at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2007


Last time I went to Seattle I got stuck in a blizzard. It was the only time I've ever been.

Just sayin'.
posted by Muffpub at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2007


This question would have been easier to answer if the OP had defined what "too hot" and "too cold" mean.

Agreed, but I suppose we could answer by what the average person would consider ideal.

From an informal survey...
Rarely above 85F during hottest part of day in the hottest part of the year.

Rarely below 50F during coldest part of the night in the coldest part of the year.

More than 7 inches of rain, but less than 20.

In the US that pretty much rules out everywhere but coastal California.
posted by xetere at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2007


If OP doesn't mind rain, and considering Seattle, why not go north another 3 hours and settle in Vancouver BC? Very similar climate to Seattle but much much prettier. I'm surprised no one here has mentioned it yet.
posted by reformedjerk at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2007


Ajijic, Lake Chapala and other areas around Guadalahara are supposed to have spring-like weather all year round.

My Dad lives there. The worst you'd get would be 40-ish temperatures at night for a couple of months in the winter. Maybe high eighties-nineties for a couple of months in the summer. There are also epic hailstorms that roll in from the mountains.

So . . . not perfectly spring-like. But close. The weather is very nice. all things considered.
posted by jason's_planet at 5:21 PM on October 5, 2007


reformedjerk, I'll see your Vancouver and raise you Victoria. A hell of a lot less rain, and it's more British than the British.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:26 PM on October 5, 2007


dirtynumbangelboy, oops, Victoria totally skipped my mind. Good call. I'm sure OP will love to retire there when he's old and easily confused by the big lights of the city :-p I kid, I kid--I love Victoria.
posted by reformedjerk at 5:39 PM on October 5, 2007


San Diego gets too hot in the summer.

I dont know what you're talking about
posted by vacapinta at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2007


San Diego gets too hot in the summer.

I dont know what you're talking about


Have you lived there? I have. The high temperatures in summer are dramatically different depending on how far from the beach you live, with the summer highs being 10 degrees or more hotter for those who live 3-5 miles from the beach than for those on the beach.

Last summer it was in the 100s for what seemed like an eternity, and I was within spitting distance of the ocean. Absolutely miserable.
posted by The World Famous at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2007


Melbourne, Melbourne, Melbourne. It's a bit too cold for my liking in the winter, but nothing compared to the weather in UK.
posted by liquorice at 6:08 PM on October 5, 2007


The UK alternates between unbearably hot

Translation of unbearably hot: the highest-ever maximum temperature for July at the RHS gardens at Wisley in Surrey was 36.5 °C (that's a mere 96° F). The average summer temp is 60° F. This person is used to much, much cooler summers than most of us in the States.

Given that, the OP certainly isn't going to want to live in Pasadena, Santa Fe, San Diego or Hawaii.

The only place I've been that stays cool all summer is the coast of California just south of San Francisco--Half Moon Bay and thereabouts.
posted by tula at 6:30 PM on October 5, 2007


Have you lived there? I have. The high temperatures in summer are dramatically different depending on how far from the beach you live, with the summer highs being 10 degrees or more hotter for those who live 3-5 miles from the beach than for those on the beach.

Yes. I was born in La Jolla. And grew up in Cardiff.

I will grant that it gets hot inland but downtown San Diego is on the coast.
posted by vacapinta at 6:30 PM on October 5, 2007


I'd suggest San Francisco. I live in Vancouver, and I can tell you that although it's beautiful here, it rains A LOT in Vancouver and Seattle--for several months a year. I am guessing you might also be sick of all the rain in the U.K. I lived in San Francisco for a couple of years, and found northern California to be a perfect, but subtle, "improvement" over Pacific Northwest weather--moderate temperature all year round, never freezing nor sweltering, and very little rain. Bonus: it's an amazing, gorgeous city.
posted by parkerama at 6:38 PM on October 5, 2007


The UK can be unbearably hot???? For a day or two every other year, no?
posted by lucia__is__dada at 6:43 PM on October 5, 2007


I've lived in San Diego since '98, including last summer. What beach were you near where the temperature reached 100 degrees? Are you sure your thermometer wasn't broken?

That said, I wouldn't live here if I had any choice in the matter. But working in biotech doesn't give me any better options. If you have no such constraints, pick one of the other suggested cities.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 6:56 PM on October 5, 2007


Tampa Bay, FL is pretty nice.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:11 PM on October 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Brisbane, Australia, has beautiful sunny weather year-round. Our winters are very mild, and while summer can be hot it's worth it (I think) for the other 9 months of perfect weather.

The island of Tonga also has mild and consistent weather all year round.
posted by katala at 7:12 PM on October 5, 2007


Um, Seattle? Or Portland, or Vancouver (in Canada). Basically anywhere in the Pacific Northwest has some pretty mild weather year-round.
posted by elisynn at 7:41 PM on October 5, 2007


San Diego is a little warm for me (it was 100F+ a couple. weeks ago, and in the summer it's not uncommon to have 90+ days) but most people don't seem to mind at all. And yeah, being closer to the coast makes it much cooler (i used to live in la jolla, now i live inland in rancho bernardo). Personally, I'd prefer a San Luis Obispo / Santa Barbara type weather.

http://www.santabarbara.com/community/weather/

http://countrystudies.us/united-states/weather/California/san-luis-obispo.htm
posted by escher at 7:53 PM on October 5, 2007


The average minimum temp at Heathrow? Varies between 2 degrees Celsius, and 13. Average max? 7 to 22 degrees Celsius. That's lovely, not at all extreme weather. Albertan winters, to put things in perspective, can easily hit -40 degrees (that's "hook up your car heater to the engine" weather, cause even if it was in a garage, it's frozen now). The summers can easily go up past 30 degrees.

The average difference in Heathrow temperature (based on monthly averages) is 13 degrees. Albertan weather, in Jasper, can go from -16 to +16, on average. That's a 32 degree average difference. (Side note: when my dad lived in Regina, a classmate of his had just came from somewhere in Britain. It didn't take her long to get frostbite on her hands, because she thought everyone was over-exaggerating about the need for mittens and gloves. Almost lost chunks of her hands.)

These things are all relative, of course. So relative to that, I'm thinking small pacific/atlantic islands. Lots of water = moderate temperatures.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:23 PM on October 5, 2007


Actually, I just asked him, and no: she did lose a tiny bit of a finger.

Like I said, it's all relative, but... Perhaps this is a bit of looking a gift horse in the mouth?

If you disagree, of course, try to find a nice island away from the equator, and very far out to ocean. I've been having a bit of luck googling various adjectives + temperature + island. The Canary Islands all hover around 21 degrees.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:30 PM on October 5, 2007


If OP doesn't mind rain, and considering Seattle, why not go north another 3 hours and settle in Vancouver BC? Very similar climate to Seattle but much much prettier. I'm surprised no one here has mentioned it yet.

Are you insane? I mean I love Vancouver -- I live here -- but if this is the world's best weather I may as well kill myself right now.
posted by timeistight at 8:35 PM on October 5, 2007


Are you insane? I mean I love Vancouver -- I live here --

All in the eye of the beholder. I love Vancouver weather; the powers that be that control indoor temperature at offices & hospitals tend to keep it warmer than I like (~22'C), though.

Sure it rains and stuff (I'd rather it rain more here instead of the 'drizzle') but compared to The Fog? There's plenty of sunshine in Vancouver; people just like to complain (but then again, I could live underground with artificial lighting and wouldn't have a problem with that).
posted by porpoise at 9:10 PM on October 5, 2007


If anywhere in the UK is "unbearably hot" for more than a few days, you will need to move to Lappland or perhaps an Antarctic scientific station during the summer.

I am at a loss to suggest a place for the winter, because while I know places that aren't "bloody freezing," such as southern California, Brazil, Australia, and such, they may well cross into the "unbearably hot" category.

Perhaps you would indulge us by providing the one or two degrees within which you are comfortable? And other climactic conditions that suit you?
posted by lackutrol at 9:44 PM on October 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I grew up in the Monterey area (central coast, California) and I've been spoiled for weather ever since. Since then I've lived in western Massachusetts, Chicago, Portland Oregon, and Korea, and I'm only finally (18 years after leaving CA) getting used to the crap 90% of the world has to tolerate.

I'd take Monterey weather over San Diego, myself. I like the option of wearing a sweater OR a t-shirt.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:58 PM on October 5, 2007


The South West of the UK is generally milder than the South East. In Weymouth for example, the average max in August is given as 20.4 celsius when in London it's 22.6. In February the average low is 3.1 celsius but in London it's 2.2. I think it would be worth doing some more research into these regional differences if you're serious.
posted by tomcooke at 11:14 PM on October 5, 2007


I think you should move to Montreal, or Minneapolis, maybe. It won't solve your problem, exactly, except by teaching you the actual meaning of the words "unbearably hot" and "bloody freezing".

Vancouver is actually very temperate, and is beautiful, weather wise, except for the months of rain, which aren't that much worse than the UK - and the summers are longer, and more pleasant (except for this year).
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:10 AM on October 6, 2007


Oh, and don't under any circumstances, move to Victoria. For someone from the UK, it's like some sort of Bizarro-world Theme Britland. Creepy.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:13 AM on October 6, 2007


I'm from Minneapolis and what I've loved about living in the UK for the last few years is the mildness and relative consistency of the weather. I would guess that *most* of the US would be too extreme for you.

Like lacutrol said, I think places that you might find that aren't too cold will cross into too hot. The Canary Islands have pretty nice weather all year round but again might be too warm for you.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:47 AM on October 6, 2007


Triggerfinger is correct. London's climate is pretty mild compared to anywhere I can think of in terms of highs and lows, although the summers have been getting noticeably hotter in the last decade. It's all about what you are acclimated to, so a day with a record-breaking 100F high may be excruciating to a Londoner, but far less laborious to a native Texan or Floridian.

Cork, Ireland is where the gulf stream hits Europe and as a result, we have more mild weather than London. I moved from London with a particular winter coat it has never been cold enough here to wear, and this summer we had lovely weather but we never even broke out our fan.

Statistically, we get 12 more inches of rain per year than London, (29.9 vs 42.6) but it only rains seriously in January. A lot of the time we just get 20 minutes of that particular Irish mist thing, which while it undoubtedly accumulates over the year in the stats, does not even require an umbrella.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:02 AM on October 6, 2007


Thanks for all the helpful comments. I guess I should have been more detailed in my initial question.

To be specific, I'm referring to London, and yes I understand that what is hot to me, may be comfortable to others. However, it seems like we rarely have a middle ground here. It's either very hot or very cold.

The problem is not so much the heat, as it is the humidity. I've been to Vegas in the summer, which was much hotter than I'm used to, but it wasn't so humid so it was not too bad.

Conversely, an american friend who is from Oklahoma stayed with us for 4 months last year during the height of summer and said that the humidity here in the UK really made the heat quite oppressive.

I just feel like it's time to move somewhere where the climate is a little more stable.
posted by oxide at 3:29 AM on October 6, 2007


The World Famous: "89 is the average August and September high in Honolulu. It gets hotter than 89 quite often."

Well, seeing that I actually live in Hawaii, and have lived here for over 30 years, I can say that, at least on Oahu, it is extremely rare that we get 90˚F+ days.

Now, I'll grant you one thing...the humidity can be a bitch sometimes. But the consolation to that is that a beach is always within a 10-20 minute drive anywhere you are on the island...
posted by melorama at 4:18 AM on October 6, 2007


Yeah, I cannot think of anywhere that would be cooler than London in the summer, but actually warmer in the winter. Average low of 41 in January? Sign me up! I grew up in the Portland, Maine area. Check out that wave!

Seattle actually looks like a similar summer, but slightly cooler winter, and more rainfall.

Melbourne does look pretty dang consistent, but their summers are slightly hotter than London, with comparable monthly rainfall.
posted by lampoil at 6:03 AM on October 6, 2007


Oh, and my man always cites Bangalore as the place to be if you want consistent temperature. Looks like he's right, if you also want a HUGE variation in monthly rainfall. Also it's hot. I imagine there are places all over the world that have pretty much totally consistent temperatures, the only problem is that consistent temperature is going to be much, much hotter than London. Because they're going to be near the equator. London is actually an example they used to give in school as a place with unusually mild, consistent weather, despite the latitude (which was roughly the same as ours in Maine).

If you're looking for dry, sure, Las Vegas is dry, but it's not what you're looking for if you're looking for consistent temp.
posted by lampoil at 6:16 AM on October 6, 2007


Nthing California central coast. My experience is with Santa Cruz, and it seriously is almost never too cold and never to hot. And it's absolutely beautiful...
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:17 AM on October 6, 2007


Out of curiosity, how are you finding today's weather? very hot or very cold?

One of the major differences between comfort zones in the US vs the UK is air conditioning. Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, etc have more or less state-wide air conditioning. Virtually every building from post offices to WalMart to office blocks (and the cars you use to get between them) has aircon, which eliminates humidity. Not only is the UK far less air conditioned, but if you're commuting by tube or bus in the city, it ramps up your experience of hell considerably.

I would definitely not choose to live in Oklahoma over London for weather. You cannot tell me "its not the heat, its the humidity" when it's 110F outside. Stepping out of an air conditioned car into a steaming hot parking lot in Tulsa is enough to quite literally make me pass out. That shit is hot.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:32 AM on October 6, 2007


For a lower temperature range, head closer to the sea. This applies in a local sort of scale, as described in some of the posts above about differing experiences of the same city, and on a larger scale, where heading as far as possible from any continental land mass is the best solution. Thus, moving to Cyprus might be nice, but getting a house in the mountains is a silly idea, because they have winter.

The urban heat island effect will give you hotter summers - I'm English, but the first time I went to London in August was a suffocating nightmare. I've since been happy in hotter places, but still, London in summer is somewhere I don't want to go again. Going further West takes you to somewhere less cold but wetter, and personally I'm happier with freezing yet clear East coast of Scotland winters than with soggy grey Cornish ones. YMMV.

From personal experience, the Canaries are lovely in both October and January, but I doubt I'd want to be there in July. That's probably at least in part to do with the other people there, though.

In conclusion, Madeira? If you're feeling less adventurous, the Channel Islands? Obviously not nearly as even a climate, but still better than London. Or, I don't know, Bermuda? Malta?
posted by Lebannen at 6:37 AM on October 6, 2007


Santa Barbara. Not only is the weather consistently good, but you've got great beaches and beautiful mountains right there at hand, and the city's gorgeous too. (Lots of annoying rich people, but nothing's perfect.)
posted by languagehat at 7:02 AM on October 6, 2007


Coastal California, whether central or northern, is lovely, and not prone to extreme shifts of temperatures. I live in Humboldt County near the coast, and the temps seldom top 70 or dip below 37-38 degrees. Plenty of rain as you might expect, though.
posted by porn in the woods at 7:54 AM on October 6, 2007


scody: "Santa Fe is indeed lovely though not 350-days-worth-of-sun lovely -- jeez, I don't know that Los Angeles even gets 350 days of sun!"

True. I meant to say 330. That was the total each year during most of the 7 years I was there. Santa Fe routinely has more days of sun than Los Angeles. The fact is that the skies are clearer.

"I've been visiting family out there off and on for 15 years, so I can tell you first-hand that Santa Fe can get bitterly cold in the winter (it's actually one of the reasons my parents are hoping to move to Arizona)."

I'm from CO. I guess I have a different impression of what "bitterly cold" means. But, according to the chart on this page, the normal low is never more than 16 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow doesn't tend to last for more than five hours once it hits the ground. If you think the existence of snow means it's "bitterly cold" outside, I don't imagine you've seen the UK in winter, though.

And the normal high is never more than 85 degrees, which is really not that high. The important thing to remember, also, is that 85 in a dry place feels quite comfortable, whereas 85 in Atlanta is a different story.

It's amazing, however, how biased we can be to a place. I miss SF, and think Arizona is either the third or fourth level of hell, if only because Tucson, the only city worth living in, gets so damned hot. But I have a feeling that's mostly just me.
posted by koeselitz at 8:22 AM on October 6, 2007


sorry link
posted by koeselitz at 8:22 AM on October 6, 2007


I'm from CO. I guess I have a different impression of what "bitterly cold" means. [...] If you think the existence of snow means it's "bitterly cold" outside, I don't imagine you've seen the UK in winter, though.

I'm originally from Wyoming and lived plenty of years in northern Colorado myself (plus have lived through two UK winters as well, thanks -- one in London and one in Norwich), and I always found the cold snaps in SF to be worse, temperature-wise, than the ones in Denver -- far less snow, though, of course. Now, that naturally doesn't compare to the cold in a place like Chicago (where I also lived for 7 years -- so yeah, I do have a little bit of experience in cold climates, which could lead to some not-inaccurate conclusions as to why I now live in L.A.); even when it gets below freezing in Santa Fe, at least it is A) usually sunny, B) doesn't come with gale-force winds, and C) doesn't last for, oh, a third of the damn year.

But regardless of how the cold feels to Western staters like us, if the OP thinks London gets "bloody freezing," Santa Fe isn't going to be any improvement in the temperature dept. It's certainly infinitely less damp and dreary, of course, but it's still outright cold -- colder than London -- for several months a year.


In the grander scheme of things, I'm chiming back in to nth all the suggestions of coastal California. Santa Monica, on the coast on the northwest side of L.A., has terrific weather -- and I don't think it's a coincidence that there's quite a significant British ex-pat community there. Even when it gets really hot in L.A. itself (and worse up in Pasadena, which positively broils in the summer), it generally stays cool in Santa Monica.
posted by scody at 9:48 AM on October 6, 2007


Malta? Malta?!?!!? No no no. High humidity and high temperature in high summer.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:54 AM on October 6, 2007


Urmmm... the Gulf Stream means that we get less temperature variations in the UK than other places in the world. So, unless you want to move somewhere where the temperature is hot all year round, you might be looking for something that doesn't exist.

So move somewhere hot, or move out of London to somewhere else in the South (I'd say South west - they can grow palm trees there).
posted by Helga-woo at 10:32 AM on October 6, 2007


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