Planning to relocate? There are many differences between Midwest and Southwest Living. Read about them here.
There are many interesting differences between living in the Midwest areas of the United States versus the Southwest. There are many factors that greatly affect lifestyle, weather being the largest. Before relocating from or to either of these areas its best to know what changes you will find. To simplify we will use Southern Michigan and Southern Nevada as two such areas where the extreme differences are almost opposite one another.
The biggest difference between Michigan and Nevada is that one is extremely wet while the other is extremely dry. While Michigan endures from 30 to 38 inches of rain annually, Nevada, in contrast, may see less than 10 inches overall in a full year. Humidity levels are also at opposite ends of the spectrum with Nevada rarely reaching 33% and Michigan often reaching 85% in the summer and sometimes hitting the dreaded 100% mark. These factors cause many changes in lifestyle. For instance, in Michigan you would not leave certain items outdoors for fear of rainfall and humidity damage. In Nevada you can leave almost anything outdoors and do not have to worry about rain. However, in Nevada the danger is that your patio items etc can dry up so fast that they will actually disintegrate in prolonged exposure. The same effect will be had on the human body. In Michigan during the summer you will notice a damp feeling on your skin as humidity causes a thin layer of wetness. In Nevada, you must constantly drink water and apply lotion and sunscreen to avoid severe skin drying. I liken the difference by comparing frying in a pan of hot oil as opposed to being baked in an oven.
TemperatureRead more in Rural Living
Another major difference in the Midwest and south is the temperatures/seasons. Michigan experiences four seasons of varying degrees: freezing, cold, wet and wetter. While southern Nevada really has only two seasons: mild and baking. Michigan’s winter temperatures range from 30 degrees Fahrenheit to 18. Summer temperatures range from 84 degrees to 64, giving the area a 66 degree range annually on average. Nevada on the other hand has winter temps from 57 degrees to 34 and summer temps of 105 degrees to 76 giving the area a range of only 29 degrees differences between seasons. In the hottest months you can not leave items in your car or outside as they will melt! Music CD’s warp and cigarette lighters can explode.
In the desert, one’s biggest concerns are sunscreen, sunglasses, sandals and as little clothing as possible. Although some prefer to cover themselves from the sun as much as possible opting for long sleeves and hats. Only a light jacket is needed during the winter. In Michigan, one must worry about hats, scarves, snow boots, and gloves in order to protect oneself from the oft times bitter winter cold. In the summer, shorts and t-shirts suffice, however, headbands and hanker chiefs are often kept handy to wipe one’s brow of perspiration.
Michigan is known for its wide variety of summer flying armies of houseflies, bees, wasps and of course, the dreaded mosquito. Any prolonged amount of time outdoors is sure to require some sort of insect repellant. In heavily wooded areas where the insects can become very thick, some savvy Michiganders have resorted to wearing full screen protection. Insect bites from the above can result in Lyme disease (Ticks) and West Nile Virus (Mosquitos). The brown recluse Spider also thrives here and has been known to cause painful bites and allergic reactions. In Nevada, there are beetles, roaches and crickets. House flies and mosquitos are less common. Scorpions and Desert Brown spiders can sting and cause severe allergic reactions. Most homeowners in Nevada have their homes sprayed for any of these dangerous pests.
Southern Nevada is adorned with several species of Tropical Palm trees. These beautiful, tall trees can be deceiving in their beauty. Most are equipped with seriously sharp, jagged bark that looks like shark’s teeth. They thrive in desert climates and require almost no water. Michigan has several types of trees that are full and green like Evergreen, Oak and Maple. Most Nevadan residents do not have grass in theirs yards and prefer a desert landscape made up of rocks and smalls plants as this helps to preserve water. Caring for grass would be extremely difficult in such hot,dry temperatures. The common outdoor plants in the desert are Cactus, Yucca and Agave. These hardy plants require almost no water and are usually adorned with pointed tips or spikes. In Michigan, most any type of plant can survive down to freezing temperatures. Roses, tulips and marigolds bloom during Spring and Summer but die off in winter.
These five differences need to be known before relocating from one area to the other if one does not want to be shocked at the opposite landscapes. In the desert, the air is dry and often windy with extremely hot temperatures in the summer and cool in the winter. The Midwest is wet and humid and extremely cold in the winter. Be prepared either way for protective measures against nature. The lack of flying insects in Nevada makes it far more enjoyable to spend time outdoors than Michigan. Picnics are not infested by ants and outdoor barbeques are spent having fun instead of swatting at flies and whacking at blood sucking mosquitos.
In Michigan, residents enjoy a green landscape in the summer with colorful flowers but a gray, bleak sky in Winter. In Nevada, the few burst of color from flowers are present all year, yet they are set against a brown, sandy landscape. Residents in the Midwest have a roughly three-month window in which to enjoy the outdoors, provided it does not rain on their parade. The opposite is true in Nevada where the 3-month window is actually in the winter time to avoid the heat. It all boils down to who can stand the heat and who can stand the cold!
Published in: Rural Living