If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes
November 22, 2014 4:46 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for all the places that claim to have the weather change every 5 minutes.

This seems to be a constant refrain in so many regions: Toronto, UK (Wales and London), and now I read an Oklahoma blog that also mentions this.
I am certain that I have heard this said about other locations.

So, tell me: do you live in a place where people use the expression "if you don't like the weather, give it 5 minutes"? (or similar intention)
posted by olya to Writing & Language (84 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've definitely heard it for New England.
posted by andrewesque at 4:47 PM on November 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


I heard this regularly in Houston growing up.
posted by immlass at 4:48 PM on November 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Michigan
posted by superfille at 4:49 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Minnesota.
posted by sanka at 4:49 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've heard it in Wisconsin. Mostly in the summer. In the winter, it's just cold.
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:50 PM on November 22, 2014


Maryland.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:50 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Tasmania (Australia) and Wellington (New Zealand).
posted by girlgenius at 4:52 PM on November 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


I have quite literally heard this expression in every place I have ever lived (Iowa, Boston, NYC, Utah, Portland...)
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:53 PM on November 22, 2014 [22 favorites]


North Carolina, a few weeks ago we had a week were it was in the 40's, then 80's then 40's again. In 5 days.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 4:53 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Common in Ithaca, NY as well (possibly the rest of upstate too, but I don't know for sure).
posted by dorque at 4:54 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


San Francisco. “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
posted by blob at 4:55 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've heard this for Colorado.
posted by paulcole at 4:55 PM on November 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Melbourne, Australia. See also: four seasons in one day.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 4:56 PM on November 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


Definitely heard it in Kansas.
posted by ronofthedead at 4:56 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I grew up in Wyoming, where people say it. I now live in Boston, where people also say it.
posted by spindrifter at 4:58 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


We say it here in the Tualatin Valley in Oregon. (Beaverton, Hillsboro, Forest Grove)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:59 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Chicago.
posted by AlexiaSky at 4:59 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


As an Okie, I grew up with the quote, which has always been attributed to Will Rogers as far as I know.

I heard it a lot in Texas too, though (Dallas, specifically).
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:59 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I live in Yorkshire in England, and it's frequently said here too.
posted by winterhill at 5:00 PM on November 22, 2014


I don't think I've ever been in a place where they didn't say that. It's even a thing in other languages -- people said it in Brasilia when I lived there.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:00 PM on November 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


That is the old saw about New England. It is not exactly true, having been born and raised here. But yes, it is quite famously said here.
posted by McMillan's Other Wife at 5:01 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Definitely heard this for every northeast state I've lived in (CT, MA, NY, VT).

However, I've never been anywhere in the world where this was more true than Ireland (particularly the West).
posted by Betelgeuse at 5:02 PM on November 22, 2014


Heard it in Missouri. (Example weather map)

I came up with a version for the SF Bay Area: if you don't like the weather, drive five miles.
posted by zsazsa at 5:04 PM on November 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


Every single part of Ireland.

Also, "what's the weather going to be like tomorrow?" "changeable"
posted by knapah at 5:04 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Columbus, Ohio
posted by dgeiser13 at 5:05 PM on November 22, 2014


Everyone says this everywhere, as far as I can tell.
posted by Coatlicue at 5:06 PM on November 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


you know, I grew up in Minnesota and never heard this, but now I've heard/seen it regularly in the past few years in Minnesota, plus PA, plus a lot of New England, etc etc. I think it's caught on as one of those cutesy country-esque sayings that go on a sign in your house, and it's spread a lot.

(the cutesy thing I remember growing up was those "weather report" rocks. Rock is wet, it's raining...)
posted by nakedmolerats at 5:06 PM on November 22, 2014


Can confirm Central Texas (Waco) and Eastern Iowa.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 5:07 PM on November 22, 2014


They say this in Chicago.
posted by bleep at 5:10 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have always heard this attributed to Mark Twain, speaking of New England; I could not find a reference, but did find this quotation, which certainly carries the point, if not in so few words:

"There is a sumptuous variety about the New England weather that compels the stranger's admiration -- and regret. The weather is always doing something there; always attending strictly to business; always getting up new designs and trying them on the people to see how they will go. But it gets through more business in spring than in any other season.

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four-and-twenty hours. It was I that made the fame and fortune of that man that had that marvelous collection of weather on exhibition at the Centennial, that so astounded the foreigners. He was going to travel all over the world and get specimens from all the climes. I said, "Don't you do it; you come to New England on a favorable spring day." I told him what we could do in the way of style, variety, and quantity. Well, he came and he made his collection in four days. As to variety, why, he confessed that he got hundreds of kinds of weather that he had never heard of before. And as to quantity -- well, after he had picked out and discarded all that was blemished in any way, he not only had weather enough, but weather to spare; weather to hire out; weather to sell; to deposit; weather to invest; weather to give to the poor."


Twain apparently also didn't say "The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco," though it is often attributed to him.
posted by mr vino at 5:16 PM on November 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ireland. I never hear it in LA.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:17 PM on November 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


HA!

Also came in to say I NEVER hear this in LA.

I did hear this all over New Zealand.

This is not a thing in NYC, IMHE.

Similarly, I can really only remember one or two super striking weather changes in NY or LI, especially when sailing or flying.

Weather changes like this were typical for Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard, tho. Yep. Yep.
posted by jbenben at 5:25 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's fairly common in Seattle in spring.
posted by sculpin at 5:31 PM on November 22, 2014


I've only NOT heard this in NYC. Similarly "drivers here never use their turn signals/stop at stop signs." Probably because New Yorkers don't feel a lot of pressure to distinguish their home from other places.

See also the Clickhole list of "Thingd Only People From Your State Will Understand."
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:31 PM on November 22, 2014


They said this to us in Iceland, not knowing that as New Englanders we're all over that.
posted by cobaltnine at 5:31 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Almost everywhere in New Zealand makes this claim.
posted by ddd at 5:35 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I first heard it in New England (today it was 23 F and tomorrow it might get up to 50 F), and then in Chicago area.

I think it applies to any place that gets constant fronts moving through.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:37 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tennessee, particularly middle Tennessee I have heard this phrase. My favorite variants are

"If you don't like the weather in Tennessee, just wait"

and

"If it's sunny in the morning, bring an umbrella."
posted by Twain Device at 5:38 PM on November 22, 2014


This is such a New England thing that I have it on a coffee mug ("Bawstin Wetha" with illustrations of yestiddy's snow, tudday's scorching heat, and tummawruh's lobster hailstorm).

I've heard it said of Florida, too.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:42 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Odense, Denmark
posted by Comrade_robot at 5:46 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Definitely Colorado.
posted by cecic at 5:46 PM on November 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Montana.
posted by peakcomm at 5:48 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have heard it everywhere I have ever lived - which is up and down the east coast of the US - but the variant here in the mountains of western North Carolina is: if you don't like the weather, drive for five minutes. Which is crazily true here in the mountain microclimates but the wait five minutes can be true as well.
posted by mygothlaundry at 5:49 PM on November 22, 2014


I've heard it everywhere I've lived. Kentucky, Montana, and Illinois.
posted by honey.orange.honey at 5:53 PM on November 22, 2014


yep, this is not a thing that is said anywhere in Southern California.
posted by changeling at 5:54 PM on November 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


Thanks, everyone! These are wonderful and it's just as great as I hoped.
Looks like LA and NYC are the only places that this is NOT said in. Huh.
posted by olya at 5:54 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also not really said in Perth, Australia.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:57 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Seconding Melbourne Australia. I've traveled enough around Australia to know that Melbourne is kind of famous/derided for it and it is not said about other places further north with more stable climates. I grew up in Melbourne and find stable weather weird and boring.
posted by deadwax at 6:01 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Austin, TX
posted by Daddy-O at 6:02 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here are some maps people have put together to answer this very question.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:04 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


> San Francisco. “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

But we don't have changeable weather-by-the-minute here - more like, "If you don't like the weather, walk five minutes" because of the microclimates. Or maybe "drive five miles."

I've heard this saying when I lived in New England and in DC. I've never heard it in San Francisco, and I never heard it growing up in Hawaii.
posted by rtha at 6:07 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's also not really said in Phoenix. Because it's totally not true in Phoenix. Here, it's just hot for 5-6 months, then it's not hot for 6-7 months.
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:19 PM on November 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


North Texas. We literally have days when we run the air conditioner during the day and have to turn the heater on at night. I once watched the thermostat in my car go from 110 degrees down to 82, and back up to 108 within ten minutes.
posted by tamitang at 6:25 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pretty Common in Calgary (where it applied in spades) but I don't hear it much here in the interior of BC where we can go months of hot and dry in the summer and then months of cold and dry in the winter.
posted by Mitheral at 6:31 PM on November 22, 2014


I grew up in southern New Mexico and it was generally not said there. Mainly because there is only one type of weather there. Hot.
posted by pravit at 6:35 PM on November 22, 2014


I heard this in Nevada as an explanation of why the state seal used to have two plumes of smoke that appeared to be blowing in opposite directions (also attributed to Mark Twain, but probably just a defensible semi-mistake).
posted by Etrigan at 6:37 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I heard it in St. John's, Halifax, and Sasktoon. It's true for the former 2.
posted by hydrobatidae at 6:38 PM on November 22, 2014


Heard it in Rochester, NY.
posted by alex1965 at 6:42 PM on November 22, 2014


I saw a T-shirt saying this in Montreal.

As a Southern California native, I had never heard it before.
posted by LionIndex at 6:43 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Portland, OR and the Adirondacks region of upstate NY.
posted by bink at 6:48 PM on November 22, 2014


Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Hear it all the time, and it's true!!
posted by wats at 7:15 PM on November 22, 2014


Louisville, KY
posted by Young Kullervo at 7:18 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have definitely heard it here in South Dakota. (Also my elementary school state history textbook opened with a line something like "South Dakota is called the land of infinite variety. That also applies to the weather.")
posted by jeudi at 7:36 PM on November 22, 2014


Definitely Melbourne, definitely not Perth.
posted by Jubey at 7:45 PM on November 22, 2014


Columbia Gorge, OR/WA. Though that's generally sarcastic, with "an hour" being the realistic version. (Note that this is just east of Portland, OR, and several comments above mention either Portland or places in the Willamette Valley.

Not something that was typically said near Ontario, OR, on the OR/ID border.
posted by stormyteal at 8:08 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Someone already mentioned Colorado, but for me, especially Denver! I drive around town all day getting into and out of cars for my job and I swear I have to pack a tank top AND a winter coat because the weather never settles on one thing! I have stopped by my apartment countless times during the day to change into warmer or cooler clothes, even with extra clothes in my backpack.
posted by Zarya at 9:12 PM on November 22, 2014


Chicago and everywhere I've lived all over Florida.
posted by _Mona_ at 9:15 PM on November 22, 2014


Specifically re Colorado, the Front Range, where you literally can't see the weather coming from the West until it's on top of you.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 9:39 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


New Mexico
posted by stoneweaver at 9:54 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Add another vote for Melbourne. Nothing quite like the look on a visitor's face when you tell them a rain jacket and pants are a good idea on a 44ºC (that's be 111ºF) day. Cool changes can be spectacular fun.
posted by antipodes at 9:58 PM on November 22, 2014


I've been saying this my entire adult life in Atlanta.

Didn't realize it was a cliche! I guess I'll stop now :)
posted by intermod at 10:36 PM on November 22, 2014


Charlotte, NC
posted by oceanjesse at 11:26 PM on November 22, 2014


I have lived in New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Mass and spent summers on Long Island and Maine. No weather I experienced in any of those locations was as quickly changeable as the weather I experience now living in Ireland. Not long ago I was noting that my back yard experienced freezing cold and overcast skies, then hail, then torrential Ark-like downpour, then blue skies, mild temperature, sunshine and bird song all within about a 12-minute span.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:33 AM on November 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'd be surprised if you hear it in southern California or Phoenix. Like, think about San Diego. It's 70 degrees and sunny every day. Why would they say that? Now think about everywhere else. They have weather variability.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:13 AM on November 23, 2014


The standard line among my group in Pittsburgh is "Hey, I love having 4 seasons, just not all in one day."
posted by bfranklin at 6:45 AM on November 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Branson, Missouri.
posted by SarahElizaP at 8:02 AM on November 23, 2014


As said, everywhere. (Well, apparently there are a few exceptions.) In the places I've lived: NE Missouri, central Colorado, and northern California (not SF, actual northern CA).
posted by attercoppe at 11:17 AM on November 23, 2014


I've heard it about Alaska (although not while I was there) and Oregon (although I don't know why - it's more accurate to say "If you don't like the weather, wait 'til July.").

My husband, who isn't on Metafilter but gets everything second-half from me, said "Ask Metafilter: If you don't like the question, wait five minutes."
posted by Beti at 2:47 PM on November 23, 2014


Lexington, KY.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 5:02 PM on November 23, 2014


New Orleans in the summer.
posted by radioamy at 10:17 PM on November 23, 2014


Melbourne, capital city of Victoria in Australia is renowned for its volatile weather.
posted by h00py at 8:44 AM on November 24, 2014


Definitely said in Boston and Ithaca, definitely not said in Chennai, India (where the weather only changes between hot, hotter and hottest).
posted by peacheater at 4:45 PM on November 27, 2014


From 538 today: Which City Has the Most Unpredictable Weather?
posted by stoneweaver at 2:02 PM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thanks, everyone! What a fun and educating list.
I think the summary is that: live in LA or Perth if you want consistency.
posted by olya at 5:45 PM on December 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


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