Thursday, 26 February 2015


Weather and the seasons, that age old tradition that us Brits love, love, love to talk about. As you might have noticed, it does frequently feature on my blog. Which is why I enjoyed putting together this topic for the Expat Revelation series with Holly. I didn't consider the seasonal differences before moving here I will be honest. Maybe if I had, I would have been mentally prepared for the differences between South East Michigan and East Yorkshire. 

Michigan is both warmer (yey) and colder (boo) than Yorkshire. Average temperatures hit a high of 82F (28C) in July to a cold 17F (-8) in January. It seems in the last three plus years that America has been home, all averages have been smashed. Especially the average cold temperature, -8C would be a pretty warm seeing I've spent most of 2015 in -20C. Luckily, Michigan is a lot dryer than good old Yorkshire, not that that's at all surprising it does like to rain in Yorkshire. Less rain, more snow, I can't win. 

So let's start as we mean to go on with the season right out my window, winter:

Lake St Clair Weekend
PHOTO: NOAA via The Detroit News

Right now i'm covered under that super cold whiteness. Yes it's that cold and wintry.  

I have to admit, I have never seen as much as snow as I have until moving here. In winter you're guaranteed a good foot or four or snow throughout the season with -20C becoming the new norm this year. In fact in 2013 we hit about 100 inches in total of snow. Around here winter is measured by how much the Great Lakes freeze over. Currently that stands at nearly 85% of the Lakes being covered by ice. Which is pretty awesome when you consider the Great Lakes is home to 21% of the worlds fresh water by volume (ta wiki for that fact). Unlike the UK, Michigan doesn't grind to a halt and just gets on with it. Wearing four layers becomes the norm, -8C feels warm, and snow shoveling is a nice winter work out.

Downtown Detroit

Spring brings hazy days but not until late April and May. Temperatures are much like a warm British summer day. As  far as seasons go, it's pretty uneventful but lovely all the same. 

Sunset Ren Cen

Oh summer with your long hot days around the high 20's into the 30's (C). Still a little hot for this Brit to fully enjoy. Sometimes we get a tornado watch or warning when it's the season (late spring through early summer). Sometimes one passes through, although rarely. Long warm days lead to stormy nights. The thunder is eerily loud and threatening enough that it use to scare me the first year or so.

Fall Colours Michigan Cooke Dam Fall Colours Michigan

And what's the result of those warm spring days, lovely summers and a mild autumn with it's colder nights? A beautiful colorful colourful autumn finale. The fall colours Michigan has to offer because of it's seasons is one of the reasons I love calling the mitten home. Burnt oranges, to crisp reds and dazzling golden yellows, the Michigan landscape comes alive. By the end of October the trees are naked and Thanksgiving always rolls around with a snow shower or three.

We're lucky in Michigan that we actually get to enjoy all four seasons with their quirks and charms. According to all the seasonal information out there, Michigan is more cloudy than the norm. It's one of the affects of being surrounded by all the Great Lakes. Many leave the mitten and it's surrounding northern states for the warmer climes of the south to retire, it certainly tests what you're made of. But those fall colours, having those of your doorstep, that makes it all worth while in my book.

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