Posts Tagged 'cold weather'

Seriously, why is it so cold?

When we moved to Atlanta, we thought we were in for hot summers, a mere week of winter, and maybe a few crisp cool days in between. It was suggested to me that I might not even need a winter coat while living here.

In fact, an Atlantan told me recently that during most winters, she would wear flip flops, rather than shoes and socks, because the weather was so warm.

I find that hard to believe. Since October, the weather here has varied between chilly and freezing. While there were rare exceptions, like the Sunday in November when we held our daughter’s birthday party outside (that wouldn’t have happened in London without a sturdy tent), it seems like the temperatures have been relentlessly cold.

I have learned skills that I never thought I would master, like driving on snow and ice, and defrosting car windshields.

But for the most part, I find myself in a state of mind where I never thought I would be — nostalgic for British weather.

London was predictable. You might find a gray rainy sky in August, December, or April. And temperatures would probably hover between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 10-15 degrees Celsius for my European readers).

Here, when it rains, it’s apocalyptic, with flood waters rising and big trees falling down. In London, it rains frequently, but it’s usually just a mist that you stop noticing after a while.

People here tell me this cold weather is unusual for Atlanta. But having lived here for more than a year, I fear it’s becoming the norm.


I have become a big sissy when it comes to the cold.

When other Atlantans talk about how bitter the temperatures here have been over the past week, I nod gravely, and exchange dramatic stories about the biting wind and the icy ground.

And it is cold here. This normally lively fountain on Peachtree appears to have frozen.

But then, these 30 degree days are balmy compared to most winter days in upstate New York, where I went to college. And here, most people tend to spend mere minutes outside, while they walk from their climate controlled houses to their cozy cars.

In New York, I would trudge through the rain, sleet and snow to the subway, then slide down icy steps to the train.

Here, I just spend five minutes defrosting the car. So really, I have no right to complain.

From what I gather, temperatures here are rarely this low. And I am out of practice with cold climates. While I was living there, London was generally pretty temperate. Now, of course, that seems like a distant memory. I really feel for Londoners; the roads and public transport system have been snarled by far less snow than what they’re seeing now.

But I wonder whether cold weather aficionados in Scandinavia and elsewhere think we’re all a bunch of whiners.