Tornado Quest Science Links Review For October 11 – 22, 2017

Greetings everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re having good weather wherever you are. Here across much of North America, we’re getting a touch of autumn…some areas are enjoying the spectacular fall foliage, others are still reeling from devastating hurricanes and wildfires. There’s plenty to look over this week, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

SCIENCE EDUCATION

The US state of New Mexico has reversed course (somewhat) on a recent public education issue with startling changes to proposed science standards. In the 21st century, it’s hard to believe that any of these changes were even proposed.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

One underrated hazard from natural disasters is the prevalence of PTSD which, all too often, can be permanently disabling.

A little social science combined with technology. “Our Toxic Smartphone Addiction.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

An excellent video summary from the BBC on why the California wildfires are so deadly.

There’s a definite connection between climate change and the California wildfires. Here’s what is know so far.

As of 20 October 2017, California wildfires have caused over one billion US dollars in damages.

This is an excellent perspective on the California wildfires. “Promoting the right kind of fire—and smarter development—is safer and more cost-effective than fighting a losing battle.”

While part of the recent California wildfires can be attributed to climate change and natural causes, humans must be willing to accept responsibility for our part.

Using plastics is almost unavoidable…and can be precarious. Here’s an excellent guide on what kinds of plastics to chose and which ones to avoid altogether.

Why are scientists so bad at recycling? Unfortunately, many laboratory scenarios have certain challenges…but zero waste can be achieved.

In Europe, the 2014 death toll from air pollution is estimated to have been as high as 500,000 early deaths.

The potential for wind energy worldwide is immense…and now’s the time to start harnessing this renewable source of clean energy.

A small town in the very Red state of Texas is the perfect example of what an American eco-friendly city of the future looks like.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been remarkable. 2017 became the first year in more than a century and only the fourth on record with 10 consecutive Atlantic storms reached hurricane strength.

Read how and why Ophelia was the strongest storm to hit Ireland in almost half a century.

An interesting read from Climate Central on the effect climate change is having on fall foliage.

The watch and waiting game for La Niña continues. “The October ENSO forecast says La Niña conditions are favored during the fall and winter 2017-18, but at press time the ocean-atmosphere system didn’t quite meet the criteria for a La Niña Advisory.”

Here’s a look at this week’s USA Drought Monitor. Here’s a detailed region-by-region look at current drought conditions.

The road to recovery for Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria is going to be a long one that will take years.

PUBLIC POLICY

No words to describe this continuation of the train wreck. “In announcing his abandonment of the Clean Power Plan, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt boasted, “The war on coal is over.” That means the war on children has begun.”

Here’s another “head scratcher” that isn’t really surprising. The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency has scrubbed their website of references to ‘climate change.’

This is an interestingly disconcerting development. “Trump Pics Weather Company Chief to Lead NOAA.”


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Tornado Quest Science Links In Review For October 4 – 11, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are. This has been another wild week across North America. As Hurricane Nate made landfall on the Gulf Coast, devastating wildfires in the western USA destroyed thousands of structures. Just for good measure, we’ve had a few episodes of severe weather in the Great Plains as well. There are plenty of other topics, including Earth Science Week, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION/CITIZEN SCIENCE

Earth Science Week is in progress! This year’s Earth Science Week is from October 8-14, 2017 and has the theme “Earth and Human Activity.”

The free mPING app is a great way for you to send a wide variety of weather information to the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Your report helps with weather research!

SOCIAL SCIENCE

After a natural disaster, dealing with the physical and psychological fatigue and PTSD can be overwhelming. Rest assured, if you’ve ever endured that, you’re not alone.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Here’s a good read on the daunting challenges that exist with recycling and dealing with litter.

Kicking our addiction to plastic is a crucial environmental issue. Up to one-third of all plastic packaging produced winds up in the oceans of our planet.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s the latest State Of The Climate report for January to September 2017 from NOAA. Among the findings…every state across the contiguous USA had above average temperatures for the first nine months of 2017.

Graphics courtesy NOAA

Recent temperatures have been sweltering in Australia. And yes, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) links it to climate change. Here is the full 29 page (PDF file) report from the Australia BoM.

Graphic courtesy Australia BoM

September 2017 was a very active time for the Atlantic hurricane season. “The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for September 2017 set a new record for any month over the North Atlantic basin.”

With climate change comes many facets of our atmosphere that will be quite different from the past. One of those will be air travel.

Many people in countries other than the USA take climate change very seriously. Why do Americans have such a cavalier attitude towards such a critical crisis?

Not all Americans take a careless attitude towards climate change. The US Defense Department takes it very, very seriously.

Interesting read on climate change and it’s connection to the recent and ongoing North American wildfires. “Droughts And Wildfires: How Global Warming Is Drying Up The North American Monsoon.”

The time for discussions regarding hurricanes and their effects on populated areas is now. “In A Time Of Hurricanes, We Must Talk About Environmental Conservation.”

Speaking of hurricanes, one of the USA’s most vulnerable cities, New Orleans, has a disastrous history of dealing with the inevitable flooding that so often comes with tropical cyclones.

The builders of this house say it can withstand a powerful tornado or hurricane. The real proof would be if one were actually exposed to EF-5 winds and the heavy debris field that would accompany such a tornado as it moved through a densely populated area.

While not all are weather-related, many of these amazing images are related to the changes of the seasons and the arrival of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

PUBLIC POLICY

A major setback for the USA’s environmental policy. “EPA Announces Repeal Of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule.”

THE AFTERMATH

Consider this is only one batch. Ripe with floodwaters (and accompanying bacteria, mold, etc.) from Hurricane Harvey…a bevy of vehicles stored in Texas. There are at least two more with just as many vehicles that were flooded.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun. We live in very interesting times and I’m glad we’re going through this together.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links Review For September 26 – October 4, 2017

Greetings everyone! For the time being, the tropical Atlantic is rather quiet, but a developing tropical depression could be our next tropical storm moving into the Gulf Of Mexico over the next few days. If it does develop, Nate would be its name. In other areas across the contiguous USA, drought conditions persist. As usual, there are plenty of other topics to touch on…so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

MEDIA/SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

Culling through the daily torrent of news can be overwhelming. If you’re not careful, climate change stories that are riddled with bad science can lead you astray.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Knowing where trash on beaches comes from is a good first start in getting it under control. Here’s a good read on a beach audit that reveals which brands are the worst offenders for plastic waste.

Trash on beaches is one thing…but microplastics in your drinking water is another. Recent studies analyzed 159 water samples from both tap water and bottled water in 14 countries and found that over 80% of all samples contained tiny plastic particles. In the USA alone, 94% of water samples contained plastic. Drink up!

A USA National Park ban on plastic bottles saved up to two million plastic bottles from being used and discarded every year. In spite of protests, the Trump administration revered this ban in August 2017.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Starting on October 2, 2017, the National Weather Service will begin simplifying their winter weather watch/warning information. Check out the video here for further details.

Graphic courtesy NOAA

The latest Drought Monitor is out for the USA. Currently, just under 12% of the USA is experiencing dry or drought conditions.

Graphic courtesy US Drought Monitor

Here’s an interesting, but rather technical, read for those wanting to further their knowledge of the complex world of tropical cyclones.

Could post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico be in a post-Hurricane Katrina scenario? Here are six reasons why that could happen.

Photographs that are worth a thousand words. Take a look at these startling images of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Florida, like many hurricane-prone areas of the world, is growing in urban sprawl and population…and that has the makings for a disaster.

The time to discuss climate change and it’s relation to hurricanes of recent years is now. To delay in the name of “recovery” is absurd.

Based on National Weather Service data, September 2017 was the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record. As of 4 October 2017, the current season has been the third most active Atlantic tropical season.

Graphics courtesty National Weather Service

If you’re a RadarScope app user, you may wonder what Vertically Integrated Liquid is all about. Here’s a good explanation on what that important part of radar data is all about.

PUBLIC POLICY

Finances and politics play a big part in attitudes toward climate science. “Most Americans want their government to do more to address climate change—as long as it doesn’t take a big toll on their pocketbooks, according to a new poll.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The human species is a very quixotic creature. Unfortunately, intelligence and critical thinking are often mutually exclusive. To find evidence of this, one only has to objectively view the variations of human behavior in social media.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. Glad to have you along for the fun!

Cheers!


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Tornado Quest Science Links Review For September 19 – 26, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are. We’ve just had the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and for some folks, a chill is in the air and foliage is changing to the traditional autumn colors. South of the equator, spring is in the air as their season begins to warm. The big weather story as of late has been the hurricane activity in the Atlantic…we’ll touch on that and a few other topics…so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

A surprising read for my fellow dinosaur enthusiasts. “Plant-eating dinosaurs usually found plenty to eat, but occasionally they went looking for a nutritional boost.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Unlike hurricanes, winter storms, or severe convective weather events, there is no reliable or easy way to predict a significant earthquake.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

Hurricanes often bring about or exacerbate bad environmental issues. Hurricane Maria and its effects on Puerto Rico are a good example.

In spite of many naysayers, clean energy is one way to circumnavigate aging and poorly maintained energy infrastructures in the wake of many natural disasters.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The weather forecasting done today is more accurate than ever but by some accounts, the public takes issue with that.

If you live in the USA and love summer, you’re probably enjoying the longer hot spells. Be warned, the details will prove that longer summers aren’t good.

Has the Atlantic hurricane season been active? Yes. Is it the worst hurricane season ever? Hardly. Not even close.

The recovery from Hurricane Maria will take months in Puerto Rico…which has not experienced a major hurricane for almost ninety years.

The current, and long-lasting, effects from Hurricane Maria can best be described as a humanitarian emergency for Puerto Rico.

Very well said in regards to Hurricane Maria. “To deny climate change is to procrastinate while the earth sinks; it is to deny a truth we have just lived.”

Here’s an exceptionally shocking collection of photos from Puerto Rico that will give you an idea of just how bad the current crisis is.

From Carbon Brief…Factcheck: Climate Models Have Not “Exaggerated” Global Warming.

Truth stranger than fiction. The USA’s EPA has tapped the Heartland Institute for “non-alarmist” climate “experts” for various purposes…similar to having the fox guard the henhouse.

PUBLIC POLICY

The train wreck continues. The unfortunate part is many folks on all points of the political spectrum have sincere and honest environmental concerns. “GOP Runs Roughshod Over Democratic, Environmental Safeguards.”

The current EPA’s Clean Power Plan is due for drastic changes…and nothing good can come of this.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For September 12 – 20, 2017

Greetings everyone. Running a day late due to recovery from a medical procedure and keeping tabs on two very potent hurricanes…hence the short post for this week. Obviously, the big stories this week are the tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and the central Mexican earthquake which (as of this post) has killed over 200 people. Tropical cyclones Jose and Maria have been front and center in terms of weather. We’re still in the “peak” of the Atlantic hurricane season, so there are potentially several active weeks ahead. Having said that, let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

This is an interesting, and disconcerting, read on where a surveyed segment of society gets their news online. Unfortunately, Twitter, which is more up-to-the-minute and accurate, isn’t at the top.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

The Cassini spacecraft will soon have its swan song with a spectacular plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Many areas in and around Houston, TX that were flooded by Hurricane Harvey have an extra hazard to the aftermath…toxic chemicals in the flood waters.

Hurricane Irma left behind an environmental and public health hazard that has a level of disgust all its own.

The recent wildfires in the western USA presented another hazard to those in their paths or downwind from the fires…smoke that can cause serious health problems.

Plastic fibers have been found in water samples from around the world. If that sounds bad, just wait until you find out what it can do to your body when you drink it.

Our changing climate is inevitably going to change our diets.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest information on Hurricane Maria and Tropical Storm Jose can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s website.

Here’s the latest State Of The Climate report. “The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for August 2017 was the third highest for the month of August in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880.”

Graphic courtesy NOAA

This week’s Drought Monitor shows a sustained drought maintaining its hold from the north central plains to the Pacific northwest.

Graphic courtesy US Drought Monitor

The long-term view of climate change is of the utmost importance. Future generations depend on it.

NOAA’s latest La Niña outlook is out.  “There is an increasing chance (~55-60%) of   during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18.” By some accounts, the southern half of the contiguous USA will be warmer than usual. It’s also important to keep in mind that this is only an outlook and NOT a forecast.

Here’s a spot-on read by Eric Holthaus. “Harvey, Irma, Maria: This Is The Hurricane Season Scientists Expected…And Feared. ”

Why don’t more broadcast meteorologists convey information and/or educational information to their viewers regarding climate change? “Part of the problem is that while TV meteorologists may not be climate-change deniers, too many are climate-change ignorers.” It may not be the broadcast meteorologists that have a say in this…but the corporate media powers-that-be.

The social and psychological effects of tropical cyclones (and other significant weather events) always give a sobering reminder of the power of nature.

An excellent post by meteorologist Dan Satterfield. “You And Your Congressman REALLY Need To Read This.”

Severe weather phobias are very real and, for countless people, a major source of stress and anxiety that takes a significant toll on their quality of life.

THE QUIXOTIC

Maybe it was a slow news day. “Newsweek Gives Cato Institute Climate Denier A Platform.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!


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Atlantic Hurricane Maria Reaches Category 5 Status: Update (7:58 pm CDT) 18 September 2017

Hurricane Maria has intensified rapidly. In the last 24 hours, Maria has gone from a tropical storm to a very dangerous Category 5 storm. Here are the current updates from the National Hurricane Center. 

Hurricane Maria Special Discussion Number 11NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL152017

800 PM AST Mon Sep 18 2017

This special advisory is being issued to increase the initial and forecast intensity of Maria.

Recent reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Maria continues to rapidly strengthen. The aircraft measured SFMR winds of 139 kt in the northwest eyewall and an estimated minimum pressure of 925 mb, based on dropsonde data.

Based on these observations, the initial intensity of Maria has been increased to 140 kt, making Maria a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Some additional strengthening is possible during the next 24 hours, but fluctuations in intensity are likely due to eyewall cycles and land interaction. No change was made to the previous track forecast, and the extremely dangerous core of Maria is expected to pass over Dominica within the next hour or two.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria will affect portions of the Leeward Islands and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands as an extremely dangerous major hurricane during the next couple of days, and hurricane warnings are in effect for many of these islands.

2. Maria is likely to affect Puerto Rico as an extremely dangerous major hurricane, and a hurricane warning has been issued for that island.

3. The potential for a life-threatening storm surge, accompanied by large and destructive waves, has increased for the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

4. Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides from heavy rainfall are expected across the Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 19/0000Z 15.3N 61.1W 140 KT 160 MPH

 12H 19/0600Z 15.7N 61.9W 145 KT 165 MPH

 24H 19/1800Z 16.5N 63.3W 145 KT 165 MPH

 36H 20/0600Z 17.3N 64.7W 140 KT 160 MPH

 48H 20/1800Z 18.2N 66.2W 130 KT 150 MPH

 72H 21/1800Z 20.0N 69.0W 125 KT 145 MPH

 96H 22/1800Z 22.0N 71.5W 120 KT 140 MPH

120H 23/1800Z 25.0N 73.0W 105 KT 120 MPH

Forecaster Brown

A recent satellite image shows Maria has unusually good symmetry in its structure which indicates a very powerful and well organized storm. 


For the latest updates on Hurricane Maria, follow the National Hurricane Center online and on Twitter

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For September 5 – 12, 2017

Greetings everyone! It’s been a wild weather week across the USA. This week’s post will be very, very short, but I hope to have everything back up to speed very soon after my surgery.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The environmental impacts from a hurricane such as Harvey are substantial. We’re just beginning to understand the short and long-term ramifications.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Being a part of the hurricane hunters may sound glamorous, but it’s a hazardous and strenuous task.

Hurricane Irma was bad enough, but it easily could have been much worse.

An important read that is an unavoidable topic…and if there was ever a time when it needs to be discussed, that time is now. “What We Know About The Climate Change-Hurricane Connection.”

Last but not least, an excellent Hurricane Safety resource page.

See you good people next time!

Cheers!

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For August 29 – September 5, 2017

Greetings everyone! I’m glad you stopped by. All eyes, at least for North America, are on Hurricane Irma. As of this post (5 September 2017), it is steadily intensifying and on a collision course with the northern Leeward Islands. There’s a lot of uncertainty as to its path five or six days from now, but this storm definitely bears watching. If you’re in need of hurricane preparedness information, I’ve got a fantastic link below that has just about all the information you need. Also, please stick with official information sources, especially in social media. That means following the National Hurricane Center and your local National Weather Service office. People have differing opinions and preferences on news media sources, so I’ll just take care of that by recommending you follows those of your personal preference. Many are quite good at what they do and are excellent at taking complex information and making it palatable to a public that is not familiar with the earth sciences. There are plenty of other topics to touch on, so let’s get a start.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent citizen science project anyone can participate in. Keep an eye out for Monarch butterflies!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Fascinating view of an ever-changing element of nature. “Laser-mapping technology makes visible the meanderings of Oregon’s Willamette River over the past 12,000 years.”

The environmental impacts of Hurricane Harvey won’t be fully known for some time. One thing’s for certain, it will be massive, long-lasting, and have substantial public health ramifications. For most flooding situations that involve large metropolitan areas and/or industrial markets, a “toxic soup” is left behind that won’t go away anytime soon.

Hurricane Harvey left behind a great deal of devastation in the Texas agriculture industry.

An excellent read from American Scientist. “Why Ecology Needs Natural History.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A spectacular image of Hurricane Irma in the late afternoon of 5 September 2017 when it was at Category 5 strength with 185 mph winds. 

If you’re looking for hurricane preparedness information, start here.

All over social media, there’s a cacophony of information, much of it misleading and full of hyperbole. Here’s a good guide to cutting through all the chaff and learning how to follow Hurricane Irma…or any other tropical cyclone.

The cost of Hurricane Harvey is unknown at this point (1 September 2017) but could well be one of the most costly natural disasters in USA history.

Before and after imagery of a natural disaster have a significant impact. These images of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are no exception.

Science Friday had an excellent segment on their 1 September 2017 broadcast covering Hurricane Harvey, the climate change connection, and the health hazards that will be more than plentiful in the storm’s aftermath.

A very thought provoking read on the truth about Hurricane Harvey and climate change is somewhere in the middle.

Another good read on Hurricane Harvey from meteorologist Dan Satterfield: “We Told You So!” Is Never Welcomed If You’re On The Receiving End.

Last but not least, an excellent read from the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Catastrophic Intensity: Why Is Hurricane Irma Gaining Strength So Quickly?”

While many areas dealt with the aftermath of Harvey, several western USA states broiled in unseasonably hot temperatures that also induced wildfires.

PUBLIC POLICY

The USA is second-to-none when it comes to forecasting weather. The challenges, especially when it comes to flooding, come after the storm and may never be resolved.

This is censorship at its best. “USA energy agency asked scientists to scrub references to climate change.”

Finally, some common sense that is badly needed in a global culture that is obsessed with acerbic politics. If you think the strife over climate change is bad, just take a look at how our everyday society has become polemically political.

And…that is a wrap for this post! Aside from this blog, Tornado Quest has plenty of other social media outlets with something for everyone.

Cheers…and ecce signum!

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Tornado Quest Top Science Links For August 22 – 29, 2017

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by. The obvious big story is Harvey. What first started out as a modest tropical disturbance became a Category 4 hurricane with unprecedented flooding and rainfall amounts for much of Texas and (potentially) Louisiana. As a result, this week’s post will be on the brief side…so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Solar energy is growing at an astoundingly successful rate. Unfortunately, many policymakers (aka politicians with ties to fossil fuel interests) are in denial. “If policymakers believe solar is growing more slowly than it actually is, they may be less likely to prioritize the kinds of research and development that will help better integrate renewables onto the grid, such as improving battery storage technology. This could lead us to continue relying on more carbon-intensive energy sources.”

There’s a glimmer of hope in the coral reef bleaching crisis. Some new data recently gathered indicated that some reefs may be able to weather the next change in ocean temperatures.

Rivers, like our atmosphere or land masses, are in a constant state of change. Here’s a fascinating look at the history of a Oregon, USA river over 12.000 years.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

This past week marks the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew…one of only three Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in USA history. The NWS Miami, FL has a comprehensive retrospective of that watershed event.

Satellite image courtesy NOAA

Hurricane Harvey has proven to be quite a devastating tropical cyclone. It was the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the USA since Charley impacted Florida in 2004 and the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall on the Texas coast since 1961. To say that Harvey is a disaster of epic proportions is almost an understatement. The latest information on Harvey can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s website. More important information can be found on FEMA”s website. As of this post, the situation in Texas and Louisiana is still ongoing as will continue to be a dire scenario for quite some time.

If you live in a hurricane prone region, it’s never too late to prepare for the storm you hope doesn’t come your way. While the weather is quiet (for now), prepare now. Many affected by Harvey were caught unaware and may be out of their homes for months or even years.

A NOAA weather radio should be as common in homes and workplaces as smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. When in a life-and-death weather related scenario, it’s the best way to receive severe weather information as it is issued by the National Weather Service.

Very heavy rainfalls from Harvey will plague much of southeastern Texas for quite some time. The aftermath will seem almost overwhelming in recovery efforts.

Indeed, Harvey has become a landmark weather event by becoming, “the most extreme rain event in US history.”

Here’s an excellent read that explains how Harvey went from a very modest cluster of thunderstorms to a monster storm that will be one for the records books.

While Harvey is still in progress, it’s time to gather data for research on its connection to climate change. Some claim it is too early or shouldn’t be done at all. I digress. Studying a weather phenomenon while it is in progress is essential to atmospheric science research. “How A Warmer Climate Helped Shape Harvey.”

Here’s a GOES-16 satellite image of Category 4 Hurricane Harvey less than four hours before official landfall on 25 August 2017.

The social science element in Harvey cannot be ignored. Natural disasters of this magnitude bring out a wide spectrum of human behaviors.

Forecasting flooding is as important as forecasting winds when dealing with a tropical cyclone like Harvey. This infographic explains how the NWS forecasts for those conditions.

Graphic courtesty NOAA’s West Gulf River Forecast Center

Climate change has allowed a Russian oil tanker to sail through the Arctic region without an icebreaker…and that’s not good.

I’ve been asked this question many times. Why is snow-white? It’s all about the light.

That’s a wrap for this post. I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have you along for the fun.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

 

Tornado Quest Top Science Links For August 15 – 22, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is to your liking in your location. The big storms across the United States this week has been the solar eclipse, the first significant one for almost a century. The tropical Atlantic has been somewhat more active as of late. The major concern at this date (22 August 2017) is the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey which could bring substantial rainfall totals to much of Texas and possibly Louisiana. There are plenty of other topics to touch on, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

The presence of the troll in social media is nothing new. The sad fact is most anyone can (during a momentary lapse of decorum) can become one.

PUBLIC HEALTH

There is a myriad of hazards from weather and climate conditions. Depending on the time of year and location, bugs can be an even greater hazard…many of which spread diseases for which there is no cure.

GENERAL SCIENCE/CRITICAL THINKING

Here’s an essay that’s quite good in reminding us of the fact that science, in its best form, is its harshest critic. It’s all part of how the scientific method works.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

After thousands of years, solar eclipses are still fascinating to scientists…and that’s a very good thing!

If you get the chance to watch another eclipse, please remember to take the necessary safety precautions.

If you missed the 21 August 2017 eclipse, don’t worry. There are several others in the coming years that will pass across North America.

Over the next 50 years, you can travel to a number of locations around the globe to witness an eclipse.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some good renewables news. “The increasing presence of wind and solar in the United States helped prevent the premature deaths of up to 12,700 people between 2007 and 2015.”

In consideration of the abundance of bad news, here are some amazingly beautiful images of our incredible home that will offer a visual respite.

 

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For months, several Atlantic hurricane season outlooks have stated that 2017 would be an active year. This still could come to fruition. The most important element to remember; regardless of how many storms form, it only takes one tropical cyclone landfall to make for a major disaster.

Here’s a look at tropical cyclone formation outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center from 23 August to 5 September 2017. An active period is anticipated in portions of both the Pacific and Atlantic.

Graphic courtesy Climate Prediction Center

In California, scientists are taking the reigns of climate research in their own hands. Considering the current hostilities toward climate research, this may be necessary for many other USA states.

It may be August, but for parts of Sweden, it’s time for a touch of snow.

Studying climates of the past (paleoclimatology) is important because it can give us glimpses into the climates of the future.

PUBLIC POLICY

Considering all parties involved, this should come as no surprise to those of us who live in Oklahoma. The Sooner State’s new Attorney General is opposed to the proposed Oklahoma wind farm that could be the largest in the United States.

Nothing good can come from this. “US president Donald Trump’s administration has disbanded a government advisory committee intended to help the country prepare for a changing climate.”

In spite of overwhelming scientific evidence and a global consensus, some of climate change’s most vulnerable victims are the most fervent skeptics of science.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. Glad you’re along for the fun. Tornado Quest covers a diverse range of topics including environmental issues, climate change, renewable energy sources, and much more. You’ll find much to enjoy, or provoke thought, with our accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Cheers!

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