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 Just how bad is the weather in Waterdeep?
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underthumb
Acolyte

9 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2014 :  00:27:44  Show Profile Send underthumb a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
My reading of "The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier" seems to suggest that Waterdeep is a "subarctic" climate, with temperatures reaching as low as -40F and as high as 80F. That seems crazy cold. Is this right? If not, what temperatures should one use for Waterdeep?

I'm wondering about this because the book seems to put Waterdeep near a shift into a more temperate climate. Also, coastal cities tend to have less extreme temperatures than surrounding regions.

Mournblade
Master of Realmslore

USA
1287 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2014 :  15:35:55  Show Profile Send Mournblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed Greenwood has said that Waterdeep is at the equivalent of the 57th parallel. Look up the weather for the weather in I think Manitoba and that would be equivalent.

Weather however is not a function of parallel alone. With the arrangement of the continents one can argue warm currents might keep Waterdeep with weather more like Scotland. Scotland is not subartic because it is warmed by the Gulf Stream.

I have spent alot of time in Lochaber Scotland which is around the 57th parallel. The summers rarely got to 90 degrees, and the winters at Dec/Jan rarely hit below freezing.

The snowfall for Scotland in that region CAN begin in September and CAN go until May. On top of Ben Nevis there is snow in July but that is altitude related.

I have not read any novels where they really account for undue weather in Waterdeep. I am more likely to relate the weather of Waterdeep to a gulf stream warmed coastal city rather than a North American NW city.




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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5056 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2014 :  18:35:40  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mournblade is right; a warm current and winds both make Waterdeep more balmy than it would otherwise be. And Mount Waterdeep shelters much of the city from the direct force of storms blowing ashore.
However, these same "from sea to land" prevailing weather patterns make much of Waterdeep a damp, misty place when the full sun isn't beating down.
And things are definitely warming up, in Waterdeep's vicinity (i.e. the winters in the late 1200s DR and the first half of the 1300s DR were far more severe, with the harbor freezing up, etc., than they are now).
All of this comes from Ed, BTW, and being as he created the Realms and Waterdeep along with it...
love,
THO
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rangerstranger
Seeker

USA
54 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2014 :  20:12:16  Show Profile Send rangerstranger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unless the coriolis effect for some reason works differently in the realms I fail to see how Waterdeep and the rest of the Sword Coast would be kept warm by currents. It would in fact have a current flowing South from Neverwinter and Luskan much like how Vancouver, Juneau, Seattle and San Francisco have ocean currents flowing from Alaska. This same effect would keep the waters cool as far south as Baldur's Gate and Amn much like it is on west coast of the US.

Placing Waterdeep around the 57th parallel would definitely make it just as far North as Aberdeen,Scotland and nearly Juneau, Alaska. This is much further than I ever imagined Waterdeep to be.
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Tanthalas
Senior Scribe

Portugal
508 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2014 :  20:35:22  Show Profile Send Tanthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I imagine that Ed isn't a specialist in Meteorology (or maybe he is!). So yeah, the weather is very likely to function differently in the Realms.

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Kentinal
Great Reader

4686 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2014 :  21:17:32  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As I recall the globe is a little larger then Earth's, though gravitation the same (less dense) this before 4th Edition (two worlds melding).

quote:
Juneau, AK Weather Facts

The average warmest month is July.

The highest recorded temperature was 90F in 1975.

On average, the coolest month is January.

The lowest recorded temperature was -22F in 1972.

September is the average wettest month.


Source: http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USAK0116

The above link appears to indicate normal average low temperature is a 24 degrees the coldest month F, so yes some freezing but not nearly as bad as I where I live and I am at lest 10 degrees latitude nearer the equator.

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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2014 :  03:58:43  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the problem, rangerstranger, is that you're trying to compare the Sword Coast to the wrong real-world Earth "west coast." Ed's previous lore replies make it clear there's a Gulf Stream-like warm current, of the sort that warms southern England (so if you think of the west coast of Europe, rather than the west coast of the US and Canada . . .).
As far as I can tell, Ed "gets" meteorology as well or better than many TV weather meteorologists up here in Canada (where all the ones I watch ARE meteorologists, not mere pretty-face presenters).
None of this Waterdeep climate lore is new; Ed has explained this before.
BB
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rangerstranger
Seeker

USA
54 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2014 :  06:50:57  Show Profile Send rangerstranger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I understand all this comes from Ed but my point, that I failed to elaborate and drive home, was the fact that Waterdeep is along the coast would keep it warmer than if it were 100 miles inland. Also,that while calling the currents warm may be true when comparing them to the winter air temperature of Waterdeep, it does necessarily hold true for the coasts of the continents that are on the other side of the ocean (Trackless Sea??) (Maztica, or Returned-Abeir depending on timeline). This can be seen in the real world with the currents of Portugal and even Morocco being colder than the currents of the East coast United States.

Anyway, I'm just nitpicking here and trying to draw real world comparisons. But anyway, back to the OP, yeah Waterdeep seems to be a pretty cold place. Especially during Winter.

Edited by - rangerstranger on 09 May 2014 06:52:58
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2014 :  15:29:41  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah. Sorry. Misunderstood you.
What I remember most from hearing Ed talk and watching him DM Realms play sessions at GenCon was that the harbor was so often shrouded in fog (an impression a reader of the printed products, aside from the novel MISTSHORE, might not get).
BB
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

768 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2014 :  21:39:28  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a topic that interests the hells out of me. If I were a climate scientist I'd want to run computer models to see exactly how the weather and climate would shake down in the different parts of Faerun. It'd be interesting to see how differently the simulated weather and the written weather would differ.
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hashimashadoo
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1150 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2014 :  18:59:29  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I happen to live in south west England, almost right where the gulf stream hits the country, though I'm just under a mile from the coast rather than smack bang on it like Waterdeep, I doubt that makes a difference.

Though we occasionally get frost overnight in winter, snow is an extreme rarity. If you don't count the blizzard that coated all of England pure white a couple years back, we haven't seen significant snowfall since the early 1940s.

Our weather throughout the year is very changeable, though frequently windy, especially in any upland areas (and these don't have to have that much of an elevation to be considered upland). Our summer and autumn (fall) are generally warm and sunny, interspersed with relatively heavy rain showers, and electrical storms common after long periods of warm, dry weather.

The air off the sea keeps us cool during the summer (though it's difficult to grow anything that isn't sheltered from the salt carried by the wind) and warmer than most in the winter.

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Thrasymachus
Learned Scribe

195 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2014 :  16:44:17  Show Profile Send Thrasymachus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Somewhat related...
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.asp?x=fr/weather


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