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Weather Talk: Conditions ripe for an active Atlantic hurricane season

The Atlantic hurricane season continues to be an active one, with another tropical storm approaching the Gulf Coast this weekend. Nate is less of a storm than Harvey, Irma and Maria were. But Nate is also the 14th letter of the alphabet, which shows just how active the Atlantic has been this fall. Meanwhile, tropical storms in the Pacific Ocean have been few and far between this year. It usually works out this way. Hurricanes like weak upper level winds. Calm air aloft allows thunderstorms over warm, tropical water to organize into the massive storm system that is a hurricane. Strong upper level winds, however, interfere with large scale organization. Usually, when the upper-level winds are calm over the Atlantic, it is a lot windier over the Pacific, and vice-versa. This season, the conditions for hurricanes have been harder to come by in the Pacific Ocean.

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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