Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For March 4 – 11, 2014

Across much of the Northern Hemisphere, the signs of spring and warmer weather are slowly making themselves known. There will be a few more blasts of winter weather left, but the overall trend is toward warmer temperatures and more hours of sunlight. For many, spring also brings the threat of severe weather. If you’ve not taken the proper preparedness steps, this would be a good time to do so. First and foremost, if you don’t have a NOAA weather radio, purchase the best one you can afford as soon as possible. This is your first line of defense in severe weather preparedness and the best source of potentially life-saving warnings. For details on that, see my previous post.

Here’s a look at a few select items for your consideration…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Are you into citizen science? Join the new Citizen Science Association and help promote the benefits of citizen science!

It’s March Madness for CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network)…an awesome citizen science project that anyone in the USA or Canada can take part in regardless of where you live or the time of year.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCES

Solar storms can wreak havoc on certain parts of our infrastructure. Fortunately, our Earth can help fight back.

A new Cosmos just started. And if Carl Sagan knew, I’m sure he’d approve.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Say hello to Torvosaurus gurneyiRecently discovered, it could be the largest carnivorous predator from the late Jurassic discovered to date in Europe.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A very interesting piece from Popular Science with the details on where the plastic goes.

As an avid recycler, I’m painfully aware of the “pains and joys of recycling.”

Fascinating read on the connection between sustainability and social behavior.

National Groundwater Awareness Week runs from March 9 – 15, 2014. Here are more details from USGS.

Are you aware of how much water you use during a “typical” day? Few of us do…and we pay for it environmentally and financially.

Living in a large metro area as I do, I’m well aware of the love/hate relationship we have with our urban freeways.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

In a warming climate, recent research indicates heavy rainfall events could be on the upswing.

Will there be an El Nino for 2014? Current outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center put the odds at 50/50.

Several National Weather Service offices will begin using Impact Based Warnings in spring 2014.

Thanks to a recent cold snap, Lake Michigan reached an ice cover record.

Climate change, according to recent research, can be felt to the deepest reaches of the Earth’s oceans.

Could extreme weather be a ‘silver lining’ for climate action? It is if it raises the issue of climate change to the highest political levels.

People are freaking out about all the temperature swings with cold snaps one week with sleet or snow followed by a week of mild temps and warm sunshine. Chillax…it’s spring…and it’s normal.

Interesting read: NOAA National Weather Service Meteorologist Twitter Use Shows That All Government Employees Are Communicators.

The National Weather Service was to receive new supercomputers for forecasting. Sadly, that hasn’t come to pass…and the USA is falling behind other nations forecasting tools at a rapid pace.

Last but not least, the Tornado FAQ from the Storm Prediction Center. This is a must-read if you live anywhere tornadoes occur.

OUR VARIABLE WORLD IN GENERAL…

At last…someone took the words right out of my mouth. “Why Daylight Saving Time Is Pointless.”

From Mother Jones: “Five Infuriating Examples of Facts Making People Dumber.” ~ Number 5 is the gem for me. :-/

There are many reasons Scandinavia’s Lapland is a very special place…and here’s some eye candy to prove it.

Yes, the California drought is bad. Bad enough that some are flushing rational thought down the drain.

Finally, a sobering first-person account of the May, 2014 tornado events in Oklahoma.

I’ve received several comments regarding my previous post on the Norman, OK National Weather Service’s Facebook Tornado Drill. Thank you for your interest. My intention is to bring attention to the obvious fact that much of social media, specifically Facebook, is a very poor way of getting important severe weather warning information. It may be a good way to obtain various forecast products in the days leading up to severe weather but when seconds count…it fails miserably.

Have a great week everybody!

Cheers!

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