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Weather Talk: Early fall can still be summery

Early September is a transitional time of year. There is a little bit of summer and a little bit of fall in every forecast.

When cool air flows down from the north this time of year, it tends to be a bit cooler than a few weeks ago thanks to the fact that way up in the Arctic region, the nights are getting long and extremely cool. Meanwhile, south of here, summer heat and humidity continue in the southern United States with almost the intensity of midsummer. So when our weather comes from that direction, it can still be terribly warm and humid.

The biggest change this time of year is the solar angle and length of day. With less solar energy to heat air and evaporate water, there is less thermodynamic energy to create violent thunderstorms, so the storms that do form tend to be less severe than a few weeks ago. But on any given day, despite the calendar, a storm can still become dangerous.

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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