So I regularly receive this email newsletter from a major German “leisure airline”. Today’s mail is about inexpensive options for fleeing the (moderately) cold and somewhat wet winter in Central Europe by flying to far away places and it features an attractive young lady wearing a colorful skirt and a bikini top. This got my attention.
I am, however, somewhat sceptical about some of the destinations that are on offer. They include:
[li]Providence, Rhode Island,[/li]
[li]Seattle, Washington [/li]
I’m wondering: Are Seattle and Toronto really prime options for prospective snowbirds?
Seattle’s winter weather is probably not that different than the German winters: wet and moderately cold. Snow is relatively rare, but not unheard of. It’s definitely better than the typical Toronto winter and likely better than Providence winters. Not that that’s saying much.
Just looked at the Weather Undergorund site. Toronto is currently 32F, but the temperature is dropping over the next week to near or below freezing and snow is in the forecast. Warmest it’ll get is about 44F in the next ten days.
Providence, Rhode Island is 56F now, and looks to stay in the 40-50F range, but evenings will be at or below 32F.
So unless that is a measureable improvement over your weather, I’d pass, unless you’re going there for the purpose of catching a flight to Florida…
I live near Boston which is not far from Providence, so I think I’m reasonably qualified to say that late February through early April is the bleakest, most miserably unattractive time to be in this area. The snow is gone or melting (but we still can get blizzards), everything is brown, grey, or covered in mud, and the weather is on the damp, cold, cloudy, windy side of unpredictable.
And not to be unkind to our neighbors to the south, but even though Providence has undergone a considerable renaissance over the past couple of decades, it’s still not a city you’d drive 80 minutes to get to, much less fly across an ocean.
It’s our first year in the Seattle area, so I’m no expert, but it feels like winter’s back broke mid-January. Since then it’s been mostly sunny days with temps topping out in the 50s (Fahrenheit) and nights that don’t freeze.
Compared to the Midwest, where we came from, which is currently under a state of emergency due to blizzard conditions, it’s really damn nice.
Seattle’s great in the winter if you enjoy days and days of overcast grey skies and drizzle and 45 Fahrenheit (5 Celsius). Seattle weather reports have a term of art I’ve never heard of in other places–“scattered sunbreaks”. In any other place they’d just report it as “cloudy”, but here, it’s a big enough deal that the sun might break through the clouds for a few minutes during they day they feel they have to announce it.
Ironically though it’s clear and cold this particular February morning, bright skies and 43 F. I watched the sun rise!
I’ve lived in Germany and Seattle. Seattle is a bit warmer than Germany (I was between Mainz and Heidelberg) and snowed less. In Seattle the spring season starts sometime in March.
Anyway, all that to say that you’ll be disappointed to travel to Seattle if you want to escape the weather. Providence? No way. I don’t know anything about Toronto except it’s in Canada and Canada = cold.
Toronto?!! Are they nuts?
Toronto in February is not as depressing as Toronto in November, but it’s still icy and snowy. We’ve been having highly-variable weather varying on a timescale of about a week, it’s been going from +5 to -20C. Up and down…
I’ve never been to Providence or Toronto, so can’t comment on them. I’m a long-term resident of the Seattle area, though, and I can’t honestly think why anyone would want to vacation here during the winter. It’s pretty dreary with the clouds and the drizzle. There are, of course, a number of indoor amusements – museums and so forth – so I guess it would be okay if you wanted to stay inside for your vacation.
Of course, if you actually enjoy rain, wind, and mud puddles, winter in Seattle would be a treat.
Toronto in the winter is why beaches in Florida and ski resorts in the Canadian Rockies are filled with Torontonians.
In the winter, Toronto is cold and damp enough to be miserable, but warm enough that it doesn’t usually maintain much of a snowpack for winter recreation. In other words, it should be avoided in the winter, despite it being a wonderful, vibrant city for tourists and residents. Pay a bit more and visit Toronto in any other season and you won’t be disappointed.