Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Warm winter weather and the migraine brain

The weather here has been unseasonably mild since late fall. Granted, things never get all that cold here in my part of Georgia, but we almost always have a handful of icy or snowy days in the midst of winter.

So far we’ve had a week or so here and there when the temperatures have dipped into the 20s (that’s FREEZING by our Southern standards), but for the most part the temperatures have been even warmer than usual.

The poor plants and flowers are confused beyond belief. Flowering, crawling ground cover we planted last spring didn’t actually blossom until after Christmas. Outside our house, daffodils are peeking out of the earth all sunny and yellow even though it’s not nearly time for them to show. Rather than being dry and washed-out brown, the grass is nearly spring-green and bright. Last night I was taking the garbage out at the bookshop and I swear to you I heard crickets. Crickets in January.


The outside plants and animals aren’t the only confused ones. My brain hasn’t been very good at regulating itself with all these changes. Top that off with a long, rainy drive to and from warm and humid New Orleans last week and you have one migraine brain that is pretty hard to keep happy. Some of my friends who are very sensitive to barometric pressure have been having a hard time of it too. One of my booksellers will have a stuffy head one day, a runny nose the next, a bad headache by the weekend.

Have you noticed if this unseasonably warm “winter” has played with your migraine brain? How have you been coping?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • felicia1974
    2 years ago

    Australia has had a terrible summer facing 40 degree days on one day and 21 the next. Experiencing weekly migraines different and harder to Cope with and once that temp goes up I lock myself in the house out of fear of another attack

  • rlc25e
    2 years ago

    Here in ohio we never claim stable weather but this winter has kicked my butt… Or head more accurately. From high of 20 to 60 then right back I the teens. The fast bounce is havoc on my migraine brain and my sinuses.

  • taralane
    7 years ago

    This year the unseasonable weather changes have been very hard on me. Also food triggers. With the two together I have been spending most of the winter in bed, or exhausted from the previous migraine. I usually get my migraines before the storms hit, but when they come one after the other with not much time in-between, I get them every day, and then I just have to wait them out because I cannot take a triptan more than once a week if I want it to keep working. I don’t have many medical options left for my really severe migraines, and I don’t know what is going to set them off, so I have to be very careful with the meds that are still working. That means tolerating a lot of pain on a daily basis, and spending a lot of time with ice on my head, and the whole thing exhausts me. Dealing with chronic pain, day in day out, is mostly exhausting. Tomorrow I am going on a hike, and I hope I make it on time. It starts early, is a short hike, but I don’t do well early in the morning. I am determined to try and do this so I hope it goes well. No storms around so barring any other problems I should be OK. I never know however. At 2am, something can hit – and that is so hard to explain to people last minute.

  • Tenille Binkley Horstkott
    7 years ago

    I know for me, I have more than noticed this unseasonablely “warm” winter. I live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, and in the last five years the barometric pressure has never stopped moving (higher than ever before and lower than ever before) and going from one extreme to the other (within hours sometimes instead of days or weeks) has only increased in years. I’d say the last 3 years not only has the pressure been crazy, but so has the temperature now.

    The most interesting thing is having those in my life who don’t necessary understand what I go through daily with my migraines, say to me, “oh, I had such a bad headache this afternoon, I can’t imagine what you are going through!” Ha. I just laugh to myself (afterwards) and sigh, you have no idea. My family/relatives that also suffer migraines like me have also been on the same page with me because of our unpredictable weather changes. As my mother (who also suffers) said to me just today, at least I know I am not the only one that feels this way or going through the same thing. It is a comfort, but it doesn’t make us feel happy, we just feel empathy for each other. And just hope that we both make it through today and hope tomorrow is better. Always wishing tomorrow to be better.

  • Keith Brenner
    7 years ago

    Tenille . I agree with what you say about temperature , barometer ,and the effect on your migraines . The weather patterns are really different , regardless what the nay sayers say. I never compare my headaches to migraines . I wish and pray there were answers for migraine sufferers. Just my rambling .

  • Tara Lane
    7 years ago

    I just moved from SoCal to Northern Cal, but in both places it has been the same – 4-5 migraines a week, non-stop. If it isn’t the barometric pressure, it is now the food I am ingesting, so I cannot win on any front. All of this has made me so tired. I want to get my own barometric pressure meter for the house so I can watch what is going on and know what my trigger points are up and down. I can feel it – usually before the storm hits, or goes, but just for my own information I want to know.

  • Ellen Pfeiffer Groller
    7 years ago

    Have you tried acupuncture?

  • cudagirl23
    7 years ago

    I’ve been noticing the change in temperatures just in the past few months has been so up and down, let alone the past years of barometric pressure going higher than before and the lowest low than EVER before, at least in the last 5-10 years. Prime example, when I was pregnant with my son four years ago, we thought that like my mother, being pregnant might bring me some relief from my migraines, as it did her, she had two daughters and both her pregnancies her migraines were gone – only to return after the birth. Me, I had migraines all through out the pregnancy AND nothing changed before and after. It was a constant bad migraines for me. Our thoughts were that 30 years ago the weather changes were never this severe therefore, that is why I suffered and she didn’t. Because, we are almost the same predictable migraines during these types of weather changes. I hope that one of two things happens, the weather changes settledown or research finds a way to control the way our brain reacts to it. One can only hope.

  • Ann Cosfol
    7 years ago

    My daughter and I are both suffering from uncontrollable migraines. She spent the weekend in the hospital and I was almost 2 weeks out of commission. I’m looking for triggers and I do think the crazy weather is part of it this year.

  • Hannah Thompson
    7 years ago

    I’m new to the Athens area, and all my family are over an hour away. I’m at the point of needing the ER a few times a year, and last night was one of them. I just don’t have anyone here to give me rides when things get bad. Does anyone know of a support group where people do this for one another in the Athens area?

  • Susan Allred Hunt
    7 years ago

    I’m glad to know I am not crazy! I have had the worst winter ever. The weather is my trigger and I have had a migraine since the beginning of Jan. My brain is so confused! I am on a prednisone taper and it is even having a tough time knocking out the headaches.

  • Danielle Howell
    7 years ago

    This winter has been worse than many that I can remember. I have had a continuous migraine for almost the entire winter. Living in Southern California everything is very dry right now so I am not sure if it is the dry weather or what it is…. I think even my neurologist is stumped at this point.

  • Raven McMurrin Yeltatzie
    7 years ago

    I just found this site – and this story. I live in NorCal and things are blooming like crazy. I don’t seem to have more allergies than normal, but horrible Migraines this winter. I have no idea why, but have wondered if the weather pattern has contributed. This makes me want a normal, cold winter more than ever! My head seems to feel better during the few rain storms we have had and I have wondered if the dryness of this season is one of the triggers, or is it the lack of low pressure.
    At any rate – this migraine site is now my friend and TOOL – thanks to all.

  • Wendy Lear
    7 years ago

    Weather this winter is driving me crazy! Barometric pressure changes hour to hour and my brain goes with it. Lots of headaches – lot of off-balance/dizzy days 🙁

  • rlc25e
    2 years ago

    I didnt even connect my dizzy off-balance with weather! Just thought it was migraine related. Will have to pay more attn. Have been two or three times worse with it this winter.

  • Kathy Spinks Shevlin
    7 years ago

    I’m in Northern Virginia and the barometer has been like a yo-yo all winter and my head has been yo-yoing with it! My neuro wanted me to keep a migraine log when I last saw him in early Dec… I stopped after 2 weeks. We hit at least 3 seasons every week – every pressure change starts something, whether it is the vertigo, the very sore scalp, or the migraine. When friends ask how I am doing, they find it hard to believe I’m having many more bad days then good…especially on what would be a beautiful day to them, but the pressure change for that beautiful day did my head in! And my 22 yr. old daughter 80 miles away is going through the exact same thing! Very frustrating!

  • Charlene Coker Ray
    7 years ago

    Left Georgia in December and came to Colorado and up 10,000 feet or more.
    Had eight in Jan. and already six in Feb. Will be in Georgia in March again soon and will see what happens.

  • Terri Fitzwater Preston
    7 years ago

    The weather has been crazy and one of my triggers is the barometric pressure. I had to actually get an emergency abort as the migraines were back to back totaling 3 weeks straight.

  • Lynnett Harvey
    7 years ago

    I have not had an issue with the weather and migraines UNTIL this winter. I thought I was going crazy!

  • Lila Clark Ueker
    7 years ago

    Yes this has been a bad winter for my head here in north iowa, there is no rhyme or reason for when I get a migraine.

  • Dominique Forti
    7 years ago

    Long drive equal migraine! whether I drive or not; cold icy equal migraine! change of weather equal migraine.

  • Gia Daniel
    7 years ago

    YES! And I get stutters and sometimes even convulsions with my migraines, and so this winter has been an absolute BEAR.

  • Poll