Snow in Suzhou

Having a blog that has first page Google rankings for any number of keyword searches about Suzhou, I tend to get a lot of traffic from people looking for information about the place, generally because they’re living, visiting or moving here.

When questioned, I’m always quick to mention how cool a place Suzhou is for foreigners. There’s a massive expat community, and that has created a pretty substantial support structure for us folks from lands afar. Western supermarkets, restaurants, bars, and entertainment are all things that are rapidly growing in the city.

However, what the city gives in comforts it takes away with the damn weather. As long-time readers will attest, there is no shortage of posts on this blog full of me bitching about the climate here: Suzhou’s too hot, Suzhou’s too cold, Suzhou’s too gray, Suzhou’s too rainy.

Well, not until today did I ever think I could add “Suzhou’s too snowy” to the list – but here we are. It’s snowing in Suzhou.

suzhou-lat.jpgI dig geography, but I’m the first to admit that when it comes to anything more than pointing out places on a map, I’ve not a clue. Plate tectonics, sedimentary budgets, atmospheric flow – all lost on me. It was only in the last decade or so that I finally figured out which was longitude and which was latitude.

So, can someone please pop open the map displayed here, take a look at where Suzhou is in the scheme of things and sort me out on how the hell a place that is on the same damn line as Mexico and North Africa can have snow?

Ok, ok. I understand that Tibet, Yunnan and Nepal get snow, and they’re all roughly on the same LAT as Suzhou, but they’re some of the highest fucking places in the world. Suzhou, well, we’re below the damn water table for Christ’s sake.

What the hell is with Suzhou’s weather?

18 Responses

  1. Dude, I feel you.
    This whole area of China is whacked out, Shanghai included.
    I have yet to spend a summer in Nanjing, but from what I hear, being one of the ‘ovens’, it’s gonna suck.
    Gotta say, I was happy to see the snow though.

  2. Does it normally snow in Suzhou? It normally does not snow in ChengDu, but seems like it might soon. Some friends in Bahgdad said it snowed there the other day and it has not snowed there in a hundred years. It’s all Gore’s fault! 😉

  3. @Nick: You’re two for two in hunting down things for me in the net man. Thanks a load!

    @Jason: I saw enough of it back home the last few weeks – bring on the Spring, and let it stay more than a day or two before the furnace arrives.

    @Steve: I don’t think it’s “normal”, but it’s certainly not a first – a couple of the stock Suzhou postcards you can buy have photos of the gardens covered in the white stuff.

    Snow in Baghdad? Now that’s shocking. Damn you Al Gore, damn you straight to hell – which at this rate is looking to relocate somewhere near Churchill, MB.

  4. Just to make you feel better, Florida do get snow. And it does not only cause problems in Florida (just imagine those people driving in snow covered streets), it freezes oranges on trees, and makes orange price to go up in Canada. Las Vegas, of all places, got snow this year. Baghdad too.

  5. Send some of that snow my way. I can’t stand the weather in Shenzhen. We have decent weather (10-15C) for about two weeks a year. The rest of the time it’s either hot, too damn hot, or so freaking hot I want to shoot myself. I’m glad I’m going home next week for a little freezing weather.

  6. The truth behind the snow in Suzhou! Its not actually snow! It’s the result of most of the population of Suzhou not having showers or washing their hair in winter because they believe they will get sick. So those thick fluffy flakes are not actually snow, they are just large clumps of dandruff that blows off their heads on windy days. 6 million unwashed people equals a heavy snowfall. So don’t try catch the snow on your tongue

  7. k so when i first looked at the map and your question i thought that there is a cold air flow comming down from the northwest and it meets the damp air around the ocean. im now expert but i do watch the weather here at home and im assuming that the ait flow is simular. but what the hell i could be way off and its just a freak of nature thing.

  8. When I lived in Fuyang, which is not too far from Suzhou, it felt like it was cold enough to snow plenty of times, but it never did. The only thing we ever got was that cloudy, misty mixture that seemed to last all winter.

    It did snow for about an hour where I live now – Columbia, SC, USA. Everyone here was all happy because we hardly ever see any of the white stuff. Although, that is probably a good thing because I don’t think any one here can drive in it. 🙂

  9. Can’t believe a CANADIAN guy is moaning about how cold it is in SZ. Your country sits right on top of mine for god’s sake if you move either of them horizontally half a globe.
    Well, it must be real cold in SZ then. Snow is not very common in SZ though; on average, it snows for 20 minutes per year I would say. Snow flakes melt even before they hit the ground. I believe your place snows a lot more than SZ, so what makes you feel so cold then?
    But anyway just in case, I’ll take my super warm ‘All Blacks’ jacket with me…
    Put more clothes on, Ryan… 🙂

  10. @Tian: Haha… no doubt pretty much every part of Canada is colder than Suzhou if you just look at the mercury. However, what makes Suzhou so cold is that it is barely above the freezing point, houses have no insulation, and it wasn’t too long ago my heater was an air conditioner…

  11. Ryan: True mate! Your complaint and the ones that Northern Chinese have on Winter in SZ are of the same nature: it’s not the low temp, it’s the low temp indoor! But you’ll get used to it…:)

  12. @Ryan

    Yep thats exactly it, no freaking insulation and a total lack of real winter coats. I’m not looking forward to the start of Spring Festival. I working a screwed up government owned building where they don’t like to turn power onto the AC during holiday’s. Then the power blows if we pop a heater into a plug.

  13. I heard you guys were having some serious snow, arrrrrh, i’m missing out. Enjoy! You don’t see that often in SZ. And, keep warm!

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