Weather Forecast


Weather Talk: Weather that only happens here, also happens elsewhere

With 9 inches of old winter snow on the ground Sunday, March 4, thundershowers rolled in from the south producing pea- to marble-sized hail, along with thunder and lightning.

The next day, we were buried under half a foot of fresh snow. "Only in North Dakota," wrote everybody in North Dakota on Facebook. Across the river in Minnesota, people wrote, "Only in Minnesota."

Logically these statements cannot both be correct. But from a climatological point of view, both statements are fundamentally wrong, anyway.

Small hail falling from a weak thundershower over snowpack, followed quickly by another snowfall is classic late winter/early spring weather anywhere north of Texas. It happens from New England across the Midwest into the Mid-South and across the Great Plains and into the Rockies.

It doesn't happen every day, but it happens with regularity in many different places. Spring brings changeable weather.

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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