The volatility storm that has rocked the market could be just getting started if historical trends hold up.
Products that track market volatility took focus as the market endured its first meaningful pullback in two years. Exchange-traded products that bet against market tumult have gotten shellacked and some even have liquidated.
Seeing such behavior in February, though, isn't consistent with market patterns over the past few decades, according to DataTrek Research. The firm, in fact, found that the most popular fear gauge on Wall Street, CBOE's VIX volatility index, has only peaked once in February since its 1990 inception.
"U.S. equity market volatility is deeply informed by seasonality," DataTrek founder Nick Colas said in his daily note Wednesday.
The VIX spiked past 46 during a whipsaw trading day Tuesday before closing around 37. While many investors likely are hoping that the dizzying movements are the worst of the year, the calendar doesn't back that up.
That's because the measure has peaked for the year in February only once during its existence — interestingly, the only other time was during the market's early 2016 upset.
Most of the other peaks have been concentrated around August and October, which have 36 percent of the annual highs. Adding January brings that total to 50 percent.