SocraticGadfly: Dear California Dum Fuqs moving to Austin

June 13, 2022

Dear California Dum Fuqs moving to Austin

A year ago, you tech neoliberal types spiked the cost of a new house there to more than $600K. Perhaps not as bad as the Bay Area, but I venture worse than Sacramento. And, in your lust for a state with no state income tax, you ignored that in a metropolitan area, you can pay $2.50 or so per $100 valuation in city, county, school board, hospital district and other special tax district property taxes.

Well, beyond that, feast your eyes on this:

Yeah, you may say, you've been to Sacramento, so you know what a 100-plus day is.

Know what? There's this thing in Texas, from the Hill Country eastward, and especially from I-35 eastward, called "humidity." Go visit Weather Underground's Austin page, where I got that screenshot from. You'll see that, even at a 102-degree high, the relative humidity is still near 30 percent.

And, in California, besides the truly dry heat of Palm Springs and Death Valley, I've been to Redding when it was 110 or so. But, you know what? The humidity there was below 20 percent, even though not in a desert. (That's part of why you have all those summer wildfires.)

So, per a heat index chart, lets do, say 102 at 33 percent versus 112 at 16 percent. The Austin heat index is 108 and Redding's is 112. So, pretty close.

But, those aren't the only factors. AccuWeather's "real feel" takes into account other things, like wind speed and sun angle. Sun angle is not just time of day, but latitude. Austin is a full 10 degrees of latitude further south than Redding. Eight degrees further south than the Bay Area. The sun is close to overhead from late morning through mid-afternoon.

And, this applies to you Southland folks moving to Tex-ass, too. Sure, the Inland Empire area also gets hot at times, but not like the actual desert, and, it also has no humidity in the summer. And, LA is four degrees of latitude further north than Austin.

Also, notice that it doesn't cool down a lot at night and the humidity goes way back up.

"Congrats" for coming here and burning through electricity on a Texas-exceptionalist electric grid not connected to the rest of the nation that's barely winterized and really not at all summerized.

(Update, July 2: Outside energy experts warned again about grid and supply concerns a couple of days ago, even as ERCOT again said, "move along, nothing to look at.")

But wait, that's not all. Due to the geography of the Hill Country, freeway type highways running straight in any direction once you're west of the Mopac don't exist. The Mopac, at least on some of my years-ago visits to Austin, at times could be worse than 35. (It was usually the other way around, though.) Sounds almost like the Bay Area you left, doesn't it? It's not quite that bad, but it can be as bad as Dallas or Houston, and all you folks moving there are just making it worse.

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