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.
- Member for
- 4 years 3 weeks
Hail is a phenomenon of summer thunderstorms. There is a certain irony is this. That large hailstones sometimes form in thunderstorms during very hot and humid weather can seem, at a first glance, counterintuitive.
As the weather grows warmer, so does the chance of heavy thunderstorms. Many people associate high humidity with a higher chance of big storms, and there is some truth to that association. But humidity can be misleading.
Although weather ranks very high on lists of causes of property damage in the United States, including things like flooding, hail and frozen water pipes, it hardly shows up on lists of causes of death.
Cirrus clouds are the clouds with feathery tails. They are very high clouds, usually 20,000 to 30,000 feet above the ground, where the temperature is well-below freezing.
Lightning is the most underestimated danger from thunderstorms. Powerful wind, large hail, torrential rainfall and tornadoes all present obvious, tangible dangers. Lightning, however, is so commonplace and so quick that the danger can be overlooked.
A lot of the knowledge we have of Earth's climate of the past few thousand years has been discovered by looking at ice cores through a microscope.
The weather is often windy in the Red River Valley. Our winters are known for severe blizzards and wind-blown snow. Spring and fall days are often very windy. Even a few summer days can be unpleasantly windy.
Because they are in the sky, I suppose, people often call the weather center to inquire about UFOs they have seen.
The first half of May has been warm and dry, relative to average. Although the airport thermometer has officially recorded three mornings below freezing (May 2, 10 and 11), the average daily mean temperature is running about 3 degrees warmer than average.
Is our warming climate affecting the threat of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms? From the political sides of this debate, this question can be quickly and easily answered either "Yes!" or "No!" In the real world, the answer is a lot trickier.