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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There continues to be only a low risk of spring snowmelt flooding this year. Not only does the snowpack contain well below average moisture across the Red River Basin, but soil moisture conditions are considerably drier than average. Rainfall last year, April through November, was anywhere from 2 to 7 inches lower than average. The one element that could present a problem is that the frost depth is substantial. One week ago the frost depth in Fargo was measured at 39 inches. This is largely due to the light covering of snow this winter.
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.
We live in a cold climate, and we love to talk about the weather.
Last summer brought severe drought conditions to parts of central and western North Dakota. Although the Red River Valley was certainly drier than average last summer and fall, it was not anywhere near dry enough to be called a drought.
Most of the world converted to Celsius decades ago, but the people of the United States stubbornly refused to change. Now, we Americans are on a different scale for temperature than most people of the world.
"At what temperature is cold weather considered 'arctic?' " This very good question came into the weather office this week. Actually, there is no temperature consideration at all.
You may have observed recently that our city streets have started turning wet and slushy during even the coldest of days.
On this day in 1899, the temperature in Fargo-Moorhead rose to 6 degrees following 11 consecutive days of continuous subzero weather.
The coldest temperature officially measured for Fargo-Moorhead this winter so far is 24 below zero. Although this is the coldest since the winter of 2013-14, it is above our long-term average for coldest temperatures in a winter season.
Drought conditions are increasing throughout much of the southern U.S.