Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For June 3 – 10, 2014

It’s been an active week across the plains for severe weather and badly needed rains. In spite of the number of severe weather events, tornadoes have been relatively far and few between. A frequent storm mode known as a Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) has often been the dominant storm mode. These generally bring a lot of heavy rains, frequent lightning, and damaging straight-line winds. They’re also notorious for traveling several hundreds of miles across the continent. In the past week, at least two MCS storms formed from individual supercells that morphed into a massive rain-maker with high winds…some traveling as far as initiation in eastern CO, across KS and OK, and eventually winding up in northern FL. In spite of the heavy rains that come with these systems, many drought ravaged states are still running a serious deficit of several inches. As is the case during this time of year, this will be shorter post…I’ve got a full dance card & no one has yet to have invented the 30 hour day.

Here are this week’s links for your consideration…

ASTRONOMY

Part of infant Earth survived moon’s shocking birth. You can read more here about the moon’s origins.

Check out these amazing Vine videos taken from the ISS.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

A high-five to Vermont for being the first US state to create a long-term climate plan.

With 300,000 mirrors, the world’s largest thermal solar plant is under construction in the Mojave.

Plastiglomerate…a new word to add to your geology glossary.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES

As I stated earlier in this post, many plains states are still in a serious rainfall deficit in spite of recent precipitation. Here’s a look at the latest US Drought Monitor. Yes, there’s some improvement (as of June 5) but we still have a long way to go.

Many of the storm systems that have traveled across several states have caused flooding. The American Red Cross has a very nice free app that has some great flood safety info.

A nice meteorological retrospective from the Tulsa NWS of the OK June 8, 1974 tornado outbreak which spearheaded my interest in all things weather. Had this outbreak taken place today, the amount of damage, injuries, and possibly fatalities would be much, much higher. It’s certainly a day I’ll never forget.

If you need to be convinced that standing under a tree is dangerous when lightning is present, this video should help out.

A very thought provoking read on the proliferation of amateur weather forecasting websites. I’ll try not to take sides, but my most honest advice to the general public is caveat emptor.

The designations of County Warning Areas (CWA) for the National Weather Service has always puzzled me and, often, makes little sense how they are set up. Here’s an example of a warning faux pas.

A very compelling video shared on Twitter from the Sacramento NWS: How hot does it get in a parked car? Watch this and find out. While tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, etc. get all the attention, heat kills more people annually than all the other weather dangers (including lightning) combined.

Good read on climate imbalance: Disparity in the quality of research by contrarian and mainstream climate scientists.

Finally, an optimistic view on seven reasons the US should succeed on climate change.

A sincere “Thank You” to all the awesome folks out there who have RT/Mentioned me on Twitter. I’d also like to extend a welcome to my new followers. Glad you’re along for the ride!

Have a great week everyone…and I’ll see you sooner than later…

Cheers!

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