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Weather adds variety to Q-C life

When people grow up in the Midwest, Christmas on the beach or Fourth of July in the snow somehow feels wrong.

As much as Quad-Citians complain about January frost or July humidity, most appreciate the change of seasons.

Sue Erickson, who grew up in the Quad-Cities, returned seven years ago after 10 years in the Southwest.

``The change of seasons is wonderful,'' Ms. Erickson of Bettendorf said. ``When we lived in San Diego, we couldn't wait for the rain just for a change of pace.''

Living in the Midwest provides a different kind of excitement for men and women who not only experience the weather, but also predict it.

Meteorologist Neil Kastor of WQAD-TV grew up in Princeton, Ill., and has tracked weather in the Quad-Cities for 16 years. He said the change of seasons adds variety to his job.

``I'm in this business because I was a weather geek as a kid,'' he said. ``I was attracted by all the changes.''

The biggest chore of the summer is predicting where and how much it's going to rain, Mr. Kastor said. In the winter, he has to determine whether it will rain or snow, and how much is expected.

Although winter weather prediction is a challenge for meteorologists, returning Quad-Citians may appreciate the Midwest climate more during the holidays than at any other time of year.

Ms. Erickson said she especially enjoyed the several inches of snow Christmas Eve because there never was snow in California.

``We missed the white Christmas when we went tree hunting in San Diego,'' she said. ``It wasn't even cold. I don't think we ever had to wear mittens. It just didn't feel like Christmas.''

However, snow can become tiresome by the time February or March arrives.

``I enjoy the Midwest, but I'll reserve my vacations for the South,'' Mr. Kastor said.

-- By Laura Oppenheimer (February 2, 1998)

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