The University of Iowa

Weathering the weather

February 6th, 2014

By Siqi Wang for The Daily Iowan

Before I came to the United States, I hadn't experienced the freezing cold temperatures as I recently have at Iowa. When I go outside, I have to wear three tops, three trousers, and even very thick socks to make sure I stay warm. During my three and a half years here, I've gradually become comfortable with the severe weather conditions. But in China, the weather is completely different, so it's taken a lot to get used to Iowa.

Part of China is in the monsoon climate zone. Like the United States, there are four seasons during the year. In the winter, the temperature changes by 50 degrees depending on if you're in the north or the south, and the climate is cold and dry. In the summer, the temperature stays at a warm degree across the entire country, and it's hot and humid.

My hometown, Shaan Xi, is located in the northwestern region of China. It's a part of the warm-temperate zone. During the coldest month of the year, the temperature can be between 18 degrees and 32 degrees. I have not been to similar places like Shaan Xi in the United States.

Jilin, northern Xinjiang, and Liaoning are a part of the mid-temperate zone. The average temperature during the winter is between -18 degrees and 18 degrees and about 72 degrees in the summer. In my opinion, this region is similar to Iowa, which is extremely cold in the winter and extremely hot in the summer.

In the northeast part of China, such as Heilongjiang Province and inner Mongolia, the average temperature in the winter is below -18 degrees. From my experience, I think the climate in Michigan is very similar in temperature. I have been to East Lansing and Detroit in Michigan to visit my friends during winter break, and the temperature was a bit lower than Iowa. One time, my friend living in Michigan called to tell me it was snowing and two hours later, it was snowing in Iowa, too. I thought that was so strange.

Chengdu is a part of the subtropical zone. The average temperature in the winter is above 32 degrees. In the winter, the climate is humid and cold, and in the summer, it is dry and hot with little rain. Chengdu is the hometown of my grandmother. Living in a humid climate, the people there have very good skin and eat a lot of spicy dishes. Similar cities in China are Shanghai, Macau, and Guilin.

Cities like Los Angles and Miami are similar to Haikou and Sanya in China, where the average temperature in the winter is above 61 degrees. Most of the time it is sunny in these areas, and year-round, it feels like spring. Personally, I really enjoy the weather in these cities.

Last but not least Lhasa, a city in Tibet, is known as the highest place in the world and is called the City of Sunlight because there is around 3,000 hours of sunlight per year.

Although it is freezing cold in Iowa right now, I wouldn't change the wonderful experience I'm having here … but I do hope it stops snowing.