Monthly Archives: May, 2014

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For May 20 – 27, 2014

This is traditionally a very busy time for me with many projects calling for attention as well as some very active weather…so this will be a very abbreviated post. If time allows, I may add a few links later in the week.

Here are this week’s links for your consideration…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

After many decades in citizen science, I can tell you it’s anything but weird and wild…but it’s certainly in it’s golden age with unbridled curiosity…and nothing but good things can come from that.

Popular Science has a list of 5 apps for a very cool citizen science summer.

If you’re into astronomy and citizen science, your help is needed in evaluating images from the Spitzer space telescope.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Apparently, Dimetrodon is not a dinosaur. The child paleontologist in me is crushed.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Here’s a fascinating site from the USGS that shows the location of wind farms across the USA!

Across the Atlantic, Sweden is set to take the lead in Nordic wind power.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For the northern hemisphere, summer is on the doorstep. Summer heat kills more people every year that tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, et al. combined. Here’s some very important information on this “silent killer.”

The Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, like many regions, are taking a shellacking from an relentless drought.

NOAA’s Carbon Tracker is a fascinating tool. Here’s a look a the details.

A look at Europe’s next generation of weather satellites.

The World Meteorological Organization is taking action on storm surges which kill more people that tropical cyclone winds or earthquake-generated tsunamis.

NOAA has issued their outlook (not a forecast) for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. Near normal or below normal number of tropical cyclones are expected. The caveat is the simple fact that it takes only one intense hurricane (i.e. Andrew) to devastate a region and cause billions in damage.

We’re at the 30th anniversary of the devastating Memorial Day flood in Tulsa, OK…the deadliest natural disaster in the city’s history. Here’s a look back from the Tulsa World and the Tulsa Nat’l Weather Service. To date, it’s the deadliest natural disaster in Tulsa’s history with 14 fatalities.

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links May 13 – 20, 2014

Across North America, it’s been a rather tranquil week with a few scattered episodes of severe weather. This will be another abbreviated post for this week. I’ve also noticed some changes to the way WordPress works. If the changes aren’t reversed or aren’t temporary, I’ll move this weekly blog post to the Tornado Quest Tumblr blog. In the meantime, let’s get started on this week’s links…

GENERAL SCIENCE

Here’s a “must-read” on science terminology from meteorologist Dan Satterfield who passed along this essay written by astrophysicist Brian Koberlein.

TECHNOLOGY

The “digital revolution” is a major watershed event in the history of human technology. In spite of that, hazards exist especially in the area of privacy.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

Can you name more than one female scientist? Here’s a list of unsung heroines.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Check out this very cool citizen science project called “Drugs From Dirt” where you can help scientists find beneficial microbes lurking in your garden soil.

Heads up bird lovers! Your help is needed!

SCIENCE EDUCATION

The public servants of Oklahoma are at it again. Apparently the “hyperbole” of scientific truth is just too much. If this continues (and it likely will), the future looks bleak.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

What’s most amazing about this recent dinosaur discovery is the fact that the bones were discovered in the first place. Still, the size of this amazing animal is impressive.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Interesting info on a study of pollution sources between urban and rural Midwestern air.

Water is a precious resource. For the benefit of future generations, many complex issues need to be addressed.

How about some good news! Samso is the world’s first 100% renewable energy-powered island!

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

April 2014 tied 2010 for the hottest April on record according to a new NOAA report. Our humble planet is on track for its 6th warmest year to-date and the 350th month in a row of above average global temperatures.

With no relief in sight for the near future, 100% of CA is now experiencing severe to exceptional drought. As a result, wildfires have hit hard and fast.

The climate change denialist run under a self-delusional guise of “science” that brings into question any credibility (CV or otherwise) they might have…in spite of their credentials. I really don’t feel NASA et al. would put their reputations on the line for pseudoscience. Even though the consensus is solid, climate scientists can’t afford to turn their backs or become complacent.

Finally, today (May 20) marks the 1st anniversary of the Moore, OK EF-5 tornado. Here’s a fantastic timeline of all products (including social media) issued by the Norman, OK NWS during the event. A full overview of the event can be found here. The amazing recovery and rebuilding efforts are better covered elsewhere. One thing is certain…it’s heartening to see people put differences of all degrees aside and come to the aid of their fellow humans in the wake of an event of this magnitude.

If time and schedule allows, I’ll add a few more links this week. Until next time…

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For May 6 – 13, 2014

Another busy weather week across the Great Plains of the USA. We’ve had several rounds of severe weather, unfortunately the rains from the thunderstorms have brought little or no relief to drought ravaged areas that span from CA and NV to KS, OK, & TX. Speaking of severe weather, it’s true that the season has been rather “mild” compared to other years, but that’s no reason for us to let our guard down. Many significant severe weather days including events that made the history books have occurred on what most would have considered a “quiet” severe weather season.

As is the case this time of year, this will be an abbreviated post. If my schedule allows, I’ll add a few more links and post via Twitter the link to the updated blog.

Here are a few links for your consideration…

SCIENCE EDUCATION

The “state of the climate” has changed (pun intended) for Wyoming’s science education…and not in a good way. Addendum: Normally I am relatively apolitical in my posts, but this was too disturbing to not share with concerned, like-minded folks.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

I can’t speak highly enough of the mPING app from the Nat’l Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK. Unlike many weather apps, this has a very small download that won’t take up several tons of space on your phone, you can use it from any of the 50 states, no need to go outdoors, and your report helps important weather research.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Many seasonal allergy sufferers are unaware that the air we breathe indoors year round is often worse for our health than the outdoors.

According to the World Health Organization, cities in India are among the world’s most polluted.

In AZ, the world’s largest solar array is set to start cranking out power…which is awesome in every way!

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, as of 6 May 2014, almost half of the USA was experiencing drought conditions.

Interesting read on why some tree ring records haven’t tracked recent warming.

The weather has been histrionic across many plains states. Folks in Kansas know they’re no exception.

El Nino could be a big climate/weather story for 2014. Here’s a concise FAQ that explains what El Nino’s all about.

May 11, 2014 was the anniversary of the Waco, TX tornado…likely the deadliest tornado in TX history.

Rick Smith, the WCM of the Norman, OK NWS has written and interesting blog essay on recent responses to questions regarding where people would take shelter from a tornado. Some responses seem sane, others quite unsettling.

Harold Brooks of the Nat’l Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK has written and excellent essay on the data connection between tornadoes and climate change.

If you’ve not seen the National Climate Assessment website, check it out. State-of-the-art is an apt description. NOAA’s Climate Connection has a very nice concise overview.

This week’s troll magnet read: “Scientists Warn Of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt.

Good story from KOCO in Oklahoma City on the lackluster performance of “tornado sirens” in the life-saving warning process.

And that’s a wrap for this week!

Cheers!

 

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For April 29 – May 6, 2014

It’s been another busy weather week. While we’ve had a momentary respite in severe weather activity across North America, the fire weather has (literally) been out of control. In Oklahoma alone, thousands of acres have burned in the last few days, dozens of firefighters treated for heat-related illnesses, and one fatality. Thunderstorms are on the menu and, in spite of the risk of severe weather, most will be glad to get the rain even if it comes with a little hail. Emphasis on the word little.

Once again, a “full dance card” will be the MO until further notice. Ergo, this will be a shorter than usual post. This week’s links for your consideration…

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Contrary to popular internet rumor (even I foolishly took the bait momentarily), there is no “earthquake warning” for Oklahoma. The USGS merely said there is an increasing chance of another magnitude 5.0 or higher quake in the Sooner state. The main concern? Older masonry buildings.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

A sobering look at how long it takes for easily recycled items to decompose in the environment.

Minnesota has become quite the hot bed for solar energy.

Read about the world’s first island to be fully powered by wind and water.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The new National Climate Assessment website is up and running…and looking good. Check it out!

Better building codes could improve survivability rates in strong/violent tornadoes. The obvious challenge is the fact that your well-built home is only as sturdy as the poorly build homes that, once shredded, slam into it. The good news is that a quality storm shelter, even above ground, provides excellent protection.

2014 is off to a “slow” start in terms of number of tornadoes. But, this is only early May & we have many active severe weather months ahead.

Good read by meteorologist Dan Satterfield on the successful popularity of the NWS dual-pol radar data.

How climate change is making American’s favorite crop (in everything from fuel to toothpaste) more vulnerable.

While on the topic of climate change: The Top Ten Global Warming “Skeptic” Arguments Answered.

Record setting spring heat added to an ongoing drought has made Oklahoma a tinderbox.

THE QUIXOTIC

Science clearly has a very long way to go…*sigh*…A Lot of Americans Think The Spirit World Exists.

Americans are clearly unproductive when divided on many topics…and climate change, like most emotional vitriol…runs along party lines.

The prospect for severe weather across the plains states is calling…busy days ahead.

Cheers!

 

Toasty Temps Bring New #Weather Hazards #okwx #kswx #txwx

May is finally here which means the peak month for tornado activity has arrived. It just so happens that the computer model forecasts are hinting at a rather quiet period for the southern plains. In the meantime, we’ve got several days ahead with well above average temperatures which bring their own hazards. Our bodies are not yet acclimated to the heat. Even the most active and athletic individual can fall victim to heat related illnesses very quickly. I’d like to pass along some helpful information that’s beneficial to have on hand.

Ultra Violet Radiation Awareness: Protecting yourself from UV rays is very important, even in quite mild & cool weather.

Summer Weather Safety and Survival: The NWS Norman, OK has put together a very nice page with a wealth of safety information including a Heat Index page.

Heat: A Major Killer: The “visually spectacular” weather events make the rounds on media but heat, which lacks the “sensationalism” of a tornado outbreak or hurricane, kills far more people each year than violent weather events combined. This page from the NWS is very comprehensive and explains many of the advisories that are issued by your local NWS office.

I hope this information is helpful to you and, regardless of where you live, it helps you stay safe in the sizzling summer days ahead.

Cheers!

 

 

 

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