Weather Whys: Our cold climate explained

Weather Whys

We have some of the coldest temperatures in the country on a regular basis. You may already guess that some of this is due to our higher latitude. Since we were kids, we’re taught that the farther north you are, the colder you get..  but that isn’t the only factor to consider here

As they say in real estate, it’s all about the location… and in this case, it’s about how far away we are from the ocean. Land heats and cools fast. Our air is also drier here. This all allows us to have such dramatic temperature swings. 

Near the oceans, the climate takes on different characteristics. Water heats and cools much slower. So your daytime heating will hang on a little longer in the evening and the lows won’t drop nearly as dramatic. 

This is why Raymond, Washington, at our same latitude in the West, has an average high today of 49 degrees. Bar Harbor, Main, in the East, has an average high today of 46 degrees. Our average high here is 33 degrees. We’re at the same latitude but we’re colder because we are centrally located and not kept as warm from that moist air. 

The same principle applies to the Canadian Prairies. Quite often we get cold, dry, Canadian air in the Winter and warmer, moist air from the South in the Summer. That moist air comes from the Gulf mainly. This moisture is modified as it moves over dry land which is why we’re not as humid here as Southern Texas.  

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