Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For April 22 – 29, 2014

The big news this week is focused on multiple rounds of severe weather across the plains into the southern states. Due to the ongoing severe weather as of this writing, this post will be shorter than usual…and many links focused on the recent severe thunderstorm and tornado events.


Two very helpful links from on making an emergency preparedness plan & building an emergency kit. Regardless of where you live and your local climate, these are things you should do. If you’d like to help the folks who have been affected by this weeks severe thunderstorms and deadly tornadoes, you can easily make an online donation to the American Red Cross. Every little bit helps.

If you have a NOAA weather radio and need codes for SAME programming, you can find codes for all 50 states and USA territories here.


An interesting read on sustainability and it’s relation to economics the world over: Think Globally To Cut Down Waste Locally

Mayflower, AR was heavily damaged by a tornado on 27 April 2014. Unfortunately, this town is no stranger to disaster especially after having endured the ExxonMobile tar sands pipeline spill in 2013.


The latest US Drought Monitor is out. Extreme to exceptional conditions persist across CA, CO, KS, NM, NV, OK, & TX.

Very interesting piece: A tornado’s cost: Living in a tornado alley.

There’s an increasing awareness of the link between climate change and public health.

Are climate scientists confusing the general public about climate change? One study thinks so.

The Storm Prediction Center has a new Local Storm Reports page with a variety of customization tools. Give it a test drive.

A gallery from Associated Press of tornado damage across parts of AL, AR, & MS.

The Tulsa National Weather Service has posted a preliminary damage survey of the Quapaw, OK tornado of 27 April 2014 which resulted in EF-2 damage and one fatality. It’s my understanding that no tornado warning was issued for this storm. Regardless, that’s no excuse for unfettered criticism of any National Weather Service office. Almost every Severe Thunderstorm Warning comes with a caveat that essentially states, “Severe thunderstorms can and/or will sometimes produce tornadoes without warning. Take shelter immediately if a tornado is spotted.”  For future reference, you should always keep in mind that, depending on the structure and environment of a severe thunderstorm, a tornado, no matter how small or brief, is always a possibility…and once that warning is issued, it is your responsibility to heed the warning and take proper safety precautions.


There are many countries that I would have expected such supernatural, conspiratorial nonsense from, but Sweden? This Swede is aghast at the scientific ignorance of many public servants. Then again, that’s nothing new.

And that’s a wrap for this week.




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Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links April 15 – 22, 2014

Spring is well underway across the Great Plains of the USA. So far, the severe weather activity has been rather quiet, but many active seasons have started out on a somewhat sedate note. As for the next few days, there’s disagreement amongst many computer models but it does appear that the latter part of this week could be active. The best way to deal with nature’s tantrums, of course, it to have an emergency preparedness plan in place. This would be a great time to also get yourself a NOAA weather radio.

Here are this week’s links for your consideration…


Happy Earth Day! (April 22, 2014) Check out these amazing images of our amazing planet.

Philosophy has always been one of my favorite subjects, the philosophy of science in particular. But is it becoming obsolete?


Here’s a great piece by Chris Mooney that confirms what we, the targets, already know. Internet trolls really are horrible people.


File this under “Are you kidding?” Oklahoma To Charge Homeowners Who Install Solar Panels.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies and this year seems particularly bad, here’s a possible explanation why your sinuses are going crazy.

The US Coast Guard is calling BP’s bluff on the “recovery” of the Gulf coast in the aftermath of the disastrous Deepwater Horizon debacle.

A challenging challenge. Going one week without producing any non-recyclable trash. Think you’re up to it?

Wildfires in the western USA are bigger and more frequent. Considering the ongoing drought, no relief’s in sight.


The Storm Prediction Center’s Local Storm Reports page has a new look with a host of new features.

The 2014 severe weather season’s been very quiet, especially when it comes to tornadoes. But don’t let that induce any degree of complacency.

March, 2014 was a chilly month across much of the contiguous USA. But from a global perspective, it was an outlier.

The latest USA Drought Monitor is out. Extreme and exceptional conditions persist across parts of CA. CO, KS, NM, NV, OK, & TX.

An El Nino may be on the way for 2014, but it’s not a 100% certainty.

Here’s an interesting read (with references) on climate change and it’s economic ramifications. Complacency amongst current generations will leave future ones with a very high cost.

Last, but certainly not least, the SPC is quite confident about the severe weather potential across the southern plains this weekend (April 26-27). While forecast details are bound to change, they’ve given us a “heads up” on what to expect. Considering the latest model data I’ve seen, this could be the first significant severe weather event of 2014. Having said that, you’ve been advised. Stay safe!

And that’s a wrap for this week!


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Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links for April 8 – 15, 2014

With the exception of a current short-term cool spell across the great plains, spring is settling in for the long haul. The severe weather season may seem to be off to a slow start, but there have been many active years with historical tornado/severe weather events that seemed “quiet” at the beginning. Time will tell…and while it’s quiet, it’s an excellent time to get an emergency preparedness plan in place if you haven’t done so already.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the severe weather season is very busy for me. For the time being, I’m having to limit each post to 10-15 links simply due to time constraints.

Let’s take a look at this week’s links…


The peer review process works exceptionally well in the sciences. In spite of that, some refinements are called for.


Why rare earth recycling (i.e. metals that make our high tech devices run) is rare and what we can do about it.


Neil Shubin’s “Your Inner Fish” is a great book that I highly recommend. Fortunately, it’s now a must-see series on PBS!

Why did the Tyrannosaurus rex not need long arms? With a stout neck and jaws that could rip through flesh and bone, who would?


April 9th was the 67th anniversary of the Woodward, OK tornado event, the deadliest tornado in OK state history and the 6th deadliest in USA history. Here are links from the Amarillo NWS & the Norman NWS.

The latest US Drought Monitor has been released. Extreme and/or exceptional drought conditions persist or have worsened for parts of CA, NV, CO, KS, OK, & TX.

March, 2014 was on the cool side across much of North America but globally the conditions were much different.

The World Meteorological Organization has a new update on potential El Nino conditions for 2014.

A very interesting read from NOAA on how paleoclimatology can tell us about drought conditions.

Should it come to fruition, this proposed new satellite could give us an improved understanding of the consequences of climate change.

Considering the data base of this study is based on a very short time scale and a very small land area, I’m very, very skeptical about its conclusions. Unfortunately, it also may perpetuate some long-standing myths that need to be extinguished.

The latest IPCC report on climate change is coming “under fire” but not for the reasons many wish for.

And that’s a wrap for this week. See you on the dryline!



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Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links for April 1- 8, 2014

This was a busy weather week across the contiguous 48 states. For the time being, the Great Plains are in a quiet spell for now, but it won’t last. Before we get to this week’s links, I’d like to thank the 200+ people who mentioned or re-tweeted me on Twitter. When possible, I like to thank everyone but with so many especially during severe weather events, it would be time consuming for me and blow up my followers Twitter feeds with dozens of tweets full of Twitter handles. So, for those who did RT/Mention me, a heartfelt “Thank You.” Also, due to several ongoing projects related to Tornado Quest and the severe weather season, it’s necessary for me to limit the number of links to 10-15 per week. As many of you well know, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day for all the priorities that come with our busy & harried lives.

On that note, here are some links for your consideration…


Science has an advantage over almost any other field in that it is self-correcting…or is it?

Science, like many other fields of study, has its own philosophy. What is it and should scientists care?

Particle Fever looks like a “must-see” movie!


Citizen scientists can revel in the fact that there are many apps for citizen science projects! To the list in the article, I’d also add the mPING app that helps the National Severe Storms Laboratory with research!

Citizen scientists not only help research, but can aid in keeping non-scientist-minded public servants on their toes.


Read about a very cool project where footprints of a dinosaur chase were digitally reconstructed.


If you’re an avid recycler like me, you are always on the lookout for things that can be recycled or up-cycled. Here’s a good read on 20 things we didn’t know could be recycled.

Stanford scientist unveils 50-state plan to transform U.S. to renewable energy.

This week, the federal government announced a record-breaking $5 billion settlement in a remarkable environmental case.


This past week marked the 40th anniversary of the 1974 Superoutbreak of tornadoes.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has taken a look at climate science coverage on cable news networks. Not surprisingly, the results range from lukewarm to ghastly.

Will the new IPCC report help climate action? It could, but some modifications could help.

Speaking of IPCC reports, could a streamlining aid in their conveying information to both scientists and non-scientists?

Take a look at climate change impacts in eight stark IPCC images.

No easy answer to this dilemma…but here’s an interesting view on why increasing funding of tornado research wouldn’t be a good idea.


I can’t embrace Swedes’ obsession with the hug.” Hey, this Swede has nothing against hugs, we’re just not naturally a demonstrative lot. 😉

And that’s a wrap for this week…


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Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links for March 25 – April 1, 2014

In spite of a blast of winter holding on to some northern plains states, spring has definitely sprung across much of North America. In fact, an active period of severe weather starts today across parts of OK and TX and will spread into the Mid-MS valley. Due to the severe weather potential, this will be an abbreviated post…but I’ve got some interesting links for your consideration…


As social media formats go, Twitter is probably the most effective and efficient. In spite of that, a surprising number of people quit. Why?

Like many other active Twitter accounts, there are precautions that need to be taken to avoid Twitter suspension.

People love Facebook for a myriad of reasons, including a news source. When it comes to potentially life-saving severe weather/tornado warnings, Facebook fails in a most spectacular manner.


Here’s some very cool citizen science to check out on a collaboration with Discover magazine and SciStarter!


A look back at the Alaska 9.2 earthquake on it’s 50th anniversary.


A sobering read on research that clarifies health costs of air pollution from agriculture.

What to do with those empty (and expensive) printer ink cartridges? Here’s some tips on recycling them.


A new NASA satellite will show some exciting new data on the future of precipitation imagery.

Whether you’re a weather buff or a gardener, here’s how to monitor soil moisture with National Climactic Data Center information.

The NIST has issued their final report on the Joplin, MO tornado of May 22, 2011. Hopefully construction practices and codes will be improved as a result.

A re-analysis of Hurricane Camille has been completed. Some wind speeds and pressure has been lowered, but it’s still the second strongest on record for the USA.

An interesting read about research into possible causes and continuation of the drought conditions that have plagued the western US states.


“In a legislative body with record levels of polarization, the science committee is even more polarized along partisan lines than the House as a whole.” Proof positive that public servants are quite often lacking in knowledge of the scientific method and critical thinking skills.

And that’s a wrap for this week. For those of you in areas that have a severe weather potential on tap, please follow (on Twitter) the Storm Prediction Center, your local National Weather Service office, and the broadcast meteorologists of your choice for the latest and most timely information on watches and warnings.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the final report on its technical investigation into the impacts of the May 22, 2011, tornado that struck Joplin, Mo.Read more at:
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the final report on its technical investigation into the impacts of the May 22, 2011, tornado that struck Joplin, Mo.Read more at:

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