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Wife wants to move to AZ

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Joel
msg: 1

Sun, Sep 7, 2003, 6:11pm

Hi all, I'm considering going for it but I need a few questions answered. We're from Maryland and I'm not sure if I can take all the heat. Can anybody compare a 105-110 degree day in AZ to a 90-95 degree day with 100% humidity in MD? Also what's this I hear about monsoons? Are they really dangerous or just an inconvenience? Are there scorpions and stuff going to be crawling on me when I'm asleep? And lastly, what are some of the cooler parts of AZ that are still within reach of the tech jobs? Thanks in advance.
NickCoons
msg: 2

Mon, Sep 8, 2003, 12:09am

Joel,

<Can anybody compare a 105-110 degree day in AZ to a 90-95 degree day with 100% humidity in MD?>

Humidity is more uncomfortable, but dry heat is more dangerous. That is, you can become dehydrated quickly if you're not familiar with the symptoms. If you're going to be outside for extended periods of time, keep water with you. Access to liquids will become second nature, so you won't even think about it after some time.

<Also what's this I hear about monsoons? Are they really dangerous or just an inconvenience?>

If you're watching them from the comfort of your own home, then you're generally safe except for the occasional power outages.

Try to stay off the road when visibility gets low, but this goes for any storm. I'm native here, and I while I always thought they were more exciting than dangerous, I have had to pull off the road a few times and let it settle down a bit.

<Are there scorpions and stuff going to be crawling on me when I'm asleep?>

This depends on where you live. The closer to the city you live, the less likely you are to see wildlife. The further out you live where there is still a lot of natural desert, the more likely you will see coyotes, snakes, and yes, scorpions.

But to put this into perspective, I saw my first wild (not in the zoo) rattlesnake just last weekend.. and as I mentioned, I've lived here my whole life.

<And lastly, what are some of the cooler parts of AZ that are still within reach of the tech jobs?>

Arizona probably has some of the most varying climates on the planet. In Phoenix, it often goes above 120F in the summer. On the other hand, I've been in Flagstaff in 14F winters (and it gets much colder half an hour north of Flagstaff).

What specific type of tech work do you do? There are computer retail and service centers opening up all over the state, and many of them in places that are 5000+ feet in elevation (nice cool weather). If you need to be in or near a city, then Flagstaff may be your best bet.. the average temperature is 20-30 lower than Phoenix.

But if your job is going to be in the Phoenix Valley, then you may consider Carefree at about 2500 feet.. though your average one-way commute to work will probably be 30-60 minutes.

Good luck! Let us know what other questions you might have.. Arizona's a great place to live.
Joel
msg: 3

Tue, Sep 9, 2003, 7:26am

Hey Nick, thanks for all the information. It really helps.
We have 2 small dogs which is why I'm so concernred about the bugs and such. However, I would make it a point to buy a place with a block wall around the yard.
It appears, by looking at some internet job searches, that we would probably have to get within reasonable distance to Phoenix. I'm guessing whatever suburbs are north of Phoenix, assuming they're good neighborhoods.
My wife is a top level software engineer/programmer/web developer. I'm more computer helpdesk trying to become a network admin and it looks like Phoenix is the place to be for these fields.
We've looked at a few places and seen some really nice newer houses for reasonable prices. In MD, housing is so exspensive, it's getting ridiculous.It costs a minimum of 200k for a small house in a decent neighborhood. And forget about Baltimore city, that is if you want to live for a while.
As far as the weather goes, you're right. 100% humidity is the worst. You sweat but it doesn't cool you down so you just sweat some more.
Can you tell me what an evapoative coolig system is? I keep seeing these mentioned but have never heard of one.
I think we're going to book a hotel and fly out and check out the place for ourselves soon. I need to see how the heat feels for myself, I could try to simulate it but I don't think my house heat will go that high :)

Thanks again for you're input!
NickCoons
msg: 4

Tue, Sep 9, 2003, 9:58am

<I'm guessing whatever suburbs are north of Phoenix, assuming they're good neighborhoods.>

Almost all good neighborhoods are good neighborhoods, especially in the East Valley (Tempe, Chandler) and Northeast (Scottsdale, Carefree, Fountain Hills). There're also some really nice areas in Phoenix, near Camelback Mountain, and also very far south (Ahwatukee).

<As far as the weather goes, you're right. 100% humidity is the worst. You sweat but it doesn't cool you down so you just sweat some more.>

This is something that throws a lot of people off when they first come here. It doesn't necessarily "feel" bad, so they are often unaware that they are about to either overheat or dehydrate. Signs are lightheadedness, losing your vision, and ringing in your ears and/or feeling pressure in your ears.

<Can you tell me what an evapoative coolig system is? I keep seeing these mentioned but have never heard of one.>

Evaporative coolers are generally only installed in older buildings. Most people don't choose evaporative cooling, unless they are cooling a large warehouse-type area because it's less expensive. It simply blows air across water to cool the air.

It's not surprise you're not familiar with them. They don't work in high-humidity, but they increase the humidity (again, not to most people's liking). Air conditioning is more expensive, but it actually removes water from the air.. so this is preferrable.

<I think we're going to book a hotel and fly out and check out the place for ourselves soon. I need to see how the heat feels for myself,>

If you want to see 100F, then you need to get here fast.. it's starting to cool down, so you've missed most of the heat this summer. With the monsoons comes higher humidity and temperatures that dip below 100F. While this is probably exactly what you're used to, most of us prefer it to the weather we had a month ago :-).

<I could try to simulate it but I don't think my house heat will go that high :)>

Take a hair-dryer and direct the air flow right at your face.. this simulates outdoors in the middle of the summer with a breeze :-).
jim
msg: 5

Tue, Oct 14, 2003, 5:35pm

Nick, I found this thread in a google search. I am also thinking of moving from the Northeast, as I am sick of insane real estate prices {you can probably guess that I don't own any real estate} and getting rained on.

I was looking for information about good neighborhoods. I have been hearing the northwest valley, north of Peoria Ave is the place to go, but you seem to like the east valley. Does that include Mesa also?

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