There’s a lot of factors to consider if thinking about moving to Austin, Texas. One factor to heavily consider if moving to Austin is right for you is the Texan heat and how hot Texas can get. It’s a different level of appreciation when visiting here for a weekend getaway vs living here for years.
Texas Heat is Real
It is HOT and humid. And if you are from the north, nope, it’s not like where I am from (Michigan), where we complain for a couple of weeks of a heat warning in the 90-98 degree range. We are talking about months of at a minimum of 100 degrees.
At night, it doesn’t cool down either, it feels muggy and unbreathable. If I were to compare it to Sydney, Australia with their dry heat, it’s so bad because the humidity levels are a lot higher than I thought it was to be. In Sydney, it was doable at 100 degrees because it wasn’t humid on most days. Here in Austin, it basically feels like wherever you are outside in Texas, you are standing in front of the sun, and you feel like your body is disintegrating along the way, if not instantly.
Or at least, that’s how I feel. I absolutely hate being outdoors here, I can’t even enjoy it during the long summer months. I would wait until night time to go out for a run because I couldn’t stand how hot it was during the day. I thought after a year or two I’d “adapt” and “get used to it” but nope.
Californians Love the Texan Heat
My friend from LA doesn’t mind the heat here at all and that is precisely one of the many reasons why Californians are moving here. My boyfriend is someone who gets heated up pretty quickly – his body temperature is naturally on the high end 24/7. For him, it’s not that he doesn’t like it, it’s just that he doesn’t mind it, but he would rather be in a cooler state so he wouldn’t be sweating all the time from just standing outside.
Let’s talk more about the weather here in Texas, shall we?
Think About Everyday Routine in Texas Heat
The worst part of it all, in my opinion, is driving to work and coming home from work. As you know, Texas is HUGE. Which means, everything else is at large. Austin is basically a huge suburb with a suburb mentality even near downtown. So, that means everyone has a car or a truck and that is how most Austinites get from one place to another. A recent Texas A&M study said the city has the 10th worst traffic in the United States and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Let me paint the picture for you – and it doesn’t matter if you have high-quality cotton or leather seats in your car. It’s 8am and it’s hot outside but the sun isn’t directly hitting you yet. You open your car door and a whiff of humidity just attacks you, and then you try to sit in your car which feels like you were somehow in a sauna for three hours.
As you are turning out to the main road on your way to work and max blasting that A/C, the discomfort of feeling like you’ll get sick from the A/C blasting chills from the sudden temperature difference is crappy. You finally get to your work destination and maybe lucky enough to be parked in a parking garage which shades your car from the sun. And if you’re not, you grab your sunshade out, hoping it’ll do its job.
Fast forward, your shift is over and you walk out from your building and the sun is at its peak still until 7pm, and you have to sit in the longest traffic norm for Texas with your A/C blasting in your face because the sun is striking so hot against your car. Repeat again for the next days until you ever leave Texas.
Alright, some may say my description is dramatic, but that is legit how I feel and it sums up my experience while living here in Austin. Folks who are from California or used to a more tropical climate loves it here, and there are little to none complaints from them.
Austin is Dog-friendly at Restaurants
While I am on a roll about the Texan weather here, I wanted to point out that one of the attractions for a lot of people who move here is how dog friendly the whole entire city is – for example, most bars and restaurants that have outdoor seatings welcome dogs and even provide individual water bowls for your pets.
At first, like everyone else, I thought it was so cool and so cute to find a city that is really open to having your pets be by your side everywhere. And the pets’ cuteness is a great distraction when you want to zone out a little bit from the conversation at the table (haha). But when we are in the long summer months, I just see all the dogs panting a lot with their tongues out because it’s so freaking hot. A lot of folks here also have winter dogs with double coats such as huskies, and I just feel a bit bad to see that sometimes.
My boyfriend and I agreed that if we’re to ever get a double-coated dog, we would definitely have to live in the north, somewhere where the breed of the dog is naturally acclimated to the weather.
Austin Weather in the Winter
The upside to Texan weather is the short few months of “winter” isn’t winter. It’s like Sydney, Australia, or California where you might get a little bit of snow once a year, but you never have to pull out from your closet mittens, hat, scarves, down puffer coat, heattech apparel and snow boots. Heck, you would only own them if you travel frequently to Colorado to go skiing or snowboarding. So yes, you can have nice breezes, but it’s short-term.
There are pros and cons to every city and for me – this con of Texas’ sweltering heat just isn’t something that’s tolerable for me in the long-term, nevertheless the short-term.
TLDR – If you are from the south already or from California, this kind of weather won’t phase you and it’ll be “normal”. If you are from the north and used to four seasons a year, it’ll take some time to adapt, or you might not like it at all, like me.