Tornado Quest Science Links and Much, Much, More for August 10 – 17, 2014

To say this past week has been a busy one for the Pacific tropical cyclone season is almost a vast understatement. For those of us who enjoy watching weather events around the world unfold, there hasn’t been a shortage of tropical storms and hurricanes to keep us occupied. On the flip side, the Atlantic season has been quiet thanks to a significant amount of dry Saharan air from Africa that is hindering formation of tropical cyclones that could threaten the US eastern coast, Gulf region, or the Caribbean. For the lower 48, the latest look back at July from the National Climactic Data Center is out and it was indeed an unusually cool month for much of the plains states while western states dealt with drought conditions and wildfires. With several writing projects on hand, I’ve got a full dance card…so this weeks post will be a bit on the brief side.

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


A very thought-provoking read on the uncertainty that is inherent in science.

Most contemporary “science” documentaries are a faint copy of anything remotely educational.

A fascinating look into the writings of Issac Newton from Cambridge University.


Fireflies (aka lightning bugs) and citizen science are a perfect match.

If you love weather and want to get involved in citizen science, CoCoRaHS is a great place to start.

The Smithsonian Museum needs citizen science volunteers for a massive digitization project.


Here’s the full NCDC overview of the US climate for July, 2014. As you can see, it was an unusual month for much of the country.

In case you missed this, I’m re-posting the link regarding changes to the Storm Prediction Center’s severe weather outlooks. If you live in an area prone to severe weather, this applies to you and is important information that you need to familiarize yourself with.

An interesting look (with reference information) on changes in western USA precipitation patterns.

Speaking of western USA precipitation, could dust ease the relentless California drought?

Forest in Europe (and likely many other regions) are showing the effects of climate change.

This is the 45th anniversary of Hurricane Camille…a rare Category 5 tropical cyclone that made landfall on the central Gulf coast. Here’s a detailed overview and a stunning photo gallery from NOAA of Camille’s aftermath.


Earlier this week, I posted this article. Being optimistic in sustainability topics comes naturally to me as I’m excited by and very enthused at the prospects. Perhaps the article could have been written or worded differently, but I’m merely passing along information that I hope my followers will find of interest or value. One individual associated with a university took exception to the way the article was written. I’ve no problem with that, but the rebuttal was aimed at me and not the site or its author…both of whom are 100% responsible for the content…content over which I have no control. This is the case with 99% of the information that most of us share in social media. Said individual is entitled to his/her opinion, but the professional and tactful recourse would have been to contact the original creators of the article. This is a classic case of “kill the messenger.”  I try my absolute best to share articles and information that will convey information to the widest audience possible. I also try my best to keep an upbeat online demeanor but you and I well know how challenging that can be. Regardless of our “mood-of-the-day,” one thing I’ve learned from many successful social media people is branding. Not everyone is the life-of-the-party online, but some forethought and manners can go a long way. Also, our online reputation is something to be closely guarded and protected.  It says a lot about you, your friends, and everyone’s employer. Finally, while not the last word, a caveat I recommend to many…and often. I Do No Argue On The Internet.

Now that we’ve gotten that singularly unattractive business out of the way…I hope all of you have a great week and plenty of things to smile about. Life is good…and very short…it ain’t a crime to be good to yourself!




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