Weather Forecast


Weather Talk: A February cold snap is akin to an August heat wave

Another round of cold weather is headed our way early this week.

An exasperated cold weather hater asked why we are still getting cold weather this late in the winter. After all, he pointed out, the daily average highs are rising day by day.

Actually, the fact that the average highs are in the 20s now, whereas they were in the teens a few weeks ago, does not suggest that the weather should be warming up. Rather, it suggests that the historical frequency of cold or subzero weather is lower in late February.

In other words, it can still get very cold in February and even March, but those really bitter cold spells do not happen as often as in January.

It's the same in summer. The weather is usually past its hottest when school starts in late August, but the occasional late August, early September heat wave does happen.

John Wheeler

John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.

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