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STEVE'S "WILD" WORLD OF WEATHER...


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. Only one person takes climatology to a level like this. He even has a lifetime achievement award from the National Weather Service for his devotion to data and science. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found regularly right here on TSwails.com. Take it away Steve!


Warm Starts To November And Winter?

I had 3 consecutive days with 70 degree readings for the Nov. 1-3rd period, 2 of them were records. This was the first time this has happened in my 63 years of recording data. I had found 9 other years with 2 days of 70's from the 1st-3rd. I checked to see what type of winter followed. Of those 9 years, 6 had winters with normal to below normal temperatures.

Dust In The Evening Air

From Oct. 18th - Oct. 23rd, that period of warm, windy and dry weather, I observed dust in the air at my 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. weather observations. I have never seen that before in all of my years of weather observing. The cause was probably from harvesting, dusty gravel roads and the grass/field fires tied to dry weather. It was noticed again on the evening of the 31st. After the rain, it was no longer observed.

Not Many Migrating Birds So Far

I have not seen the usual large flocks of robins and blackbirds coming through this fall. I usually see flocks of robins of 2 or 3 dozen at a time, but this year, it's 6 or 8 individuals. As for the blackbirds, it's usually 50 or more you would see at any time but this year it's about half of that number. No one has seen any geese flying south yet and we have had some cold weather and they had snow up north of us, already. It's a bit of a mystery?


Woolly Bear Update

I now have 72 woolly bear reports, the most in several years. Of that number 61 of them have 4 brown bands, 4 had 2, 3 had 3, 3 had 5 and 1 had 6 brown bands. It has been my experience over the past 45 years that if you have 4 brown bands or less, the winter temperatures will be normal to below normal.

An Old Country Almanac For The Week Of November 10-16th


The week of Nov. 10-16th usually sees 2 days with measurable precipitation but it can range from 0 days to 6 days. The chance of seeing 1" or more of rain during anyone of those days is just 8%. The days with the highest probability of seeing any snow is the 11th and 13th. There are usually 2 clear days, 1 partly cloudy day, 4 cloudy days and 4 windy days.


Nov. 10th - The moon is just above Mars this evening. On this day in 1998, a very intense low pressure system crossed the state setting an all-time record for the lowest barometer reading, 28.54" at Spencer and Estherville. Most stations across the state had 50 mph wind gusts with Oelwein topping off at 70 mph.

Nov. 11th - the moon is below Mars this evening. "Bad weather on November 11th forecasts an open winter." On this day in 1940 the "Armistice Day Blizzard".

Nov. 12th - today is the traditional start to Indian Summer. Look for cooler temperatures, wind and a chance of precipitation.

Nov. 13th - On this day in 1999, Glenwood set the all-time November record temperature with a high of 85 degrees.

Nov. 14th - "When skunks are real fat, we'll have a long winter coming." Look for colder temperatures, wind and some precipitation. On this day in 1959, LeMars got down to a -24.

Nov. 15th - "When ducks stand on one leg, expect cold weather." On this day in 1960, an F2 tornado moved N.E. through Manchester to near Greeley damaging about 50 homes.

Nov. 16th - Last Quarter Moon. "If it rains during an east wind, it will continue a full day." Look for variable temperatures, wind and a chance of precipitation.

Storm Of The Week

On Nov. 14, 1928, at 4:30 p.m., a violent F3 tornado, 200 yards wide traveled N.E. from 8 miles south of Vinton to near Manchester. It was on the ground for 45 miles. Damage to farm property in Benton County totaled $50,000 with 7 persons injured. In Linn County, the losses were $50,000, mostly near Center Point. Buchanan County saw $30,000 in damages. Delaware County had 1 death near Silver Creek when a woman was killed by flying debris as she ran from the barn. The damage in that county totaled $70,000. Only downburst damage was reported at Manchester.


And that's a wrap for this edition. On the "wild" side of weather, I'm Steve Gottschalk.

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