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John Wheeler: We live in a place with a hostile climate

We cannot blame politics, Global Climate Change, or anything else.

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FARGO — The very strong winds this past Sunday over the Northern Plains, combined with the first big winter storm of the season now headed for parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota illustrates the fact that we live in a place with a hostile climate. Whenever this sort of active weather pattern hits our region, news reporters are often keen on asking their local, handy meteorologist the "Why?" question. Why is this bad weather happening?

From a reporter's perspective, this is a fair question. However, the answer is usually the same. We have bad weather here because we live in a place with a hostile, hard climate. We cannot blame politics, global climate change, or anything else for extreme winds and sudden changes in weather when we live where we live; it the middle of the continent, near the main storm track, where there is not very much to stop the wind from blowing around.

Related Topics: WEATHER
John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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All that is required is a subtle rising motion in the air or a subtle cooling of the air at cloud level.
The U.S. Drought Monitor has most of the Dakotas and Minnesota in a state ranging from "abnormally dry" to "moderate drought."
Such a forecast would be nearly impossible because wind over land is much more turbulent than wind over water.