John Wheeler: There was not much wind in January

Last month had the lowest average wind speed for any January of the past 25 years.

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FARGO — The average wind speed as measured at by the automatic wind sensor at Hector International Airport for the month of January was 9.8 mph. According to Meteorologist Vince Godon of the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, this is the lowest average wind speed for any January of the past 25 years. The lack of wind during January was caused by the same deep temperature inversion that helped make so many foggy days during the month.

This temperature inversion is a layer of air near the snow-covered ground that is colder than the air just above. Temperature inversions are common, especially when there is snow on the ground, but the overall weather pattern this January allowed the inversion to be stronger and deeper. There were many days with much stronger wind, and also warmer temperatures, hundreds of feet above us. We missed out on a lot of warm temperatures aloft, but we also had much less wind chill.

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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