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CONSIDER THE VALUE continues to be a leader in catching and forecasting the trends of our extreme weather pattern the past few weeks. It takes a great deal of commitment, passion, and knowledge to stay on top of the swings. Now that I'm no longer in television, this is my job and that's the reason I'm asking for a voluntary subscription fee of $12 dollars a year, one dollar a month to keep TSwails going. Together we can create one of the best, most unique, and reliable weather sites in the Midwest. Your contribution of 3 cents a day, allows me to stay free of the corporate world and pour my energy into doing what I do best, forecasting the weather! We hope you see the value and hard work that goes into the site everyday. Your support in any way is sincerely appreciated. Thanks and roll weather. To donate click on the secure green box below.

When I'm wondering about weather folklore and historical events this is the man I go to. With more than 50 years of statistical and observational research, he's the dude! When it comes to lunar cycles, woolly bear caterpillars, insects, bugs, and animals, he tracks them, records them, and establishes ties to weather patterns. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found every week right

here on Take it away Steve!


A record breaking cold spell held the state in it's grip from December 20-23, 1989 with a statewide average of -10.8 degrees for 4 day period. On the 21st nearly every location in the state dropped below -20. Some of the coldest readings were:

-27 at Ananmosa, LeMars and Mt Ayr.

-28 at Perry.

-29 at Audubon, Hawarden, Logan and Sibley.

-30 at Sioux Rapids.

-31 at Atlantic, Chariton and Guthrie Center.

The wind chill dipped to -78 at Sioux City on the 21st. (that scale is no longer used) During the afternoon, high temperatures at all locations remained below -10 degrees despite the abundant sunshine


It was during this cold spell that Iowa set it's all time highest barometric pressure with a reading of 31.18" at Sioux City on the 21st.

Nearly 100 years earlier on Dec. 21, 1891, unseasonably warm weather spawned strong thunderstorms from s.w. into central Iowa. Pea size hail was reported at Corning, Des Moines , Williams and Marshalltown. A brief tornado touched down in the western part of Marshalltown leaving a path of damage 3 miles long and injuring one person. It is just one of three tornadoes reported in Iowa during the month of December in it's entire history.


I did some research on the number of cloudy days during the month of December and found that we are seeing more cloudy days since 2000. From 1970-1999 the average was 16.5 days and since 2000 the average jumped to 17.8 days.


I went through 30 years of my weather data (1989-2018) and found that our cold spells were more likely to occur during the week of the First Quarter moon. The next best chance was during the week of the Full Moon.

I used my data base to see which day of the month had the most 0 degree temperatures. I found out that Christmas Eve Day had the most days with 19 out of 59 times followed by the 17th and the 20th with 14 times, then Christmas Day, the 30th and the 31st with 13 times.

I went through my records and found that we have only had measurable snow on Christmas Eve Day 15 times out of the past 59 years and measurable snow on Christmas Day just 14 times. The best chance for getting snow on Christmas Day was during the week of the Last Quarter moon of which it happens to be this year. That's a wrap for now. With all the weather that's fit to be wild, I'm Steve Gottschalk..


GIVE SANTA A BREAK! Christmas is less than a month away. Are you looking for something special for that hard to buy for person? Maybe you just want to treat yourself for being on the nice list! Well, here's an idea that can "give" any weather enthusiast a lifetime of pleasure. It's called WEATHER SCHOOL. What a person experiences and learns here will open up the world of forecasting for years of enjoyment to come. Consider giving the gift of weather. Better hurry, only 6 desks still open. You can get all the details below. is offering a very special and unique opportunity to learn first-hand the ins and outs of weather forecasting with one of the best meteorologists in the Midwest along with his team of expert meteorologists.

That’s right… You want to forecast right along with Terry Swails, well now you can. He’s teaching weather with TSwails newest program called WEATHER SCHOOL. The opening bell rings this January and you can be a member of the very first graduating class. The one-day forecasting seminar for weather enthusiasts will be held at his home in January. It’s not your typical run-of-the-mill school. There will be no tests, but Terry, Reb