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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The first nine days of April were continuously below freezing and slightly colder than the same period in 1881 for the coldest April 1-9 on record. During the next five days, a modest warming trend has put the first 15 days of April into second place behind 1881.
Cold fronts and warm fronts will continue to do their thing. Spring is always a series of milestones and setbacks. But the elimination of snow cover in the Red River Valley, which is happening quickly this week, is the biggest milestone of all.
A video has been circulating on social networks lately illustrating the Coriolis effect, which is the effect of Earth's rotation on fluid dynamics and, specifically, what makes low-pressure systems rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
Today is the date of the average first 70-degree day of spring here in Fargo-Moorhead. This is different from the first day of spring with an average high of 70 degrees, which is May 16.
As winter loosens its grip on the Red River Valley this week, melt waters are starting to gather.
Spring, albeit a cool and wet version, is finally about to happen. The high, mid-April sun angle melts snow rapidly even on a cloudy day with temperatures in the 30s. Our snow will be virtually all gone with a couple of upcoming sunny days in the 40s.
In Fargo-Moorhead, the average date of the first 50-degree day of spring is March 14. We missed that one, and we are still waiting.
The timing of the ice thawing on area lakes is complicated and related to many things. This spring could be one of the latest, and possibly the absolute latest ice-out in recorded history on some lakes.
The first nine days of April were extraordinarily cold across the entire region of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Fargo-Moorhead was at the center of the anomaly, averaging 23 degrees below average per day.
Is our extended winter increasing the chance of a spring flood? This question has found its way into the weather office several times recently.