Greetings to everyone! All across most of North American, spring is in full swing much earlier than usual. The severe weather season has also kicked into gear and the peak of the season (by climate data) is still well over two months away. There’s plenty to cover this week, so let’s get started.
For your consideration, here are this week’s links…
SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY
This week’s severe weather safety link is the Tornado Safety page from the Storm Prediction Center’s Roger Edwards. The page starts out with a very appropriate and true warning: There is no such thing as guaranteed safety inside a tornado. Freak accidents happen; and the most violent tornadoes can level and blow away almost any house and its occupants. Extremely violent EF5 tornadoes are very rare, though. Most tornadoes are actually much weaker and can be survived using these safety ideas.
A up-to-date list of citizen science projects is always available from the folks at SciStarter. The City Nature Challenge is just one of many taking place in several USA cities. I’ve been a long-time participant in the CoCoRaHS rain, hail, and snow network. By participating, you will provide meteorologists with valuable precipitation measurements. The CoCoRaHS network also has a free app where you can send in your daily reports…even if you don’t get any precipitation at all!
For those of you familiar with the Scandinavian countries, it should come as no surprise that the World Health Organization (WHO) says that Stockholm is one of the cleanest capital cities on the planet.
The recent snowstorm in the northeastern parts of the USA has brought more than snow. The usual cries of “foul” are not going unnoticed. Unfortunately, they’re not coming from a segment of the population that understands the daunting task of forecasting winter weather. Here are some badly needed answers from those who know.
- Meteorologist Dan Satterfield has a nice piece on the importance of communicating uncertainty and how that is just as important as a good forecast.
- Dr. Marshall Shepherd also has an excellent article on this ongoing firestorm. “If You Think Meteorologists ‘Lied’ About The Blizzard, You Weren’t Paying Attention.”
Now that spring has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has put together their Spring 2017 Outlook and these two maps that hint at a warmer-than-usual spring for much of the contiguous USA. As for precipitation, there are equal chances (EC) that much of the country experiencing drought will or will not get any relief.
For #WorldMetDay on 23 March 2017, the World Meteorological Organization has new cloud identification charts!
Weather satellites are as essential to the atmospheric sciences as x-rays and CT scans are to the medical profession. Science Friday recently spoke with some folks from NOAA on the current and future nature of weather satellites. Do weather satellites need a repairman? What does the future hold for NOAA’s satellites?
For those who have taken part in a NWS Skywarn storm spotting course, you’ll find some valuable information in this video from storm chaser Skip Talbot called “Storm Spotting Secrets.” Please pay attention to the caution at the beginning of the video. This is NOT a replacement for a NWS Skywarn spotter training course. After having been a storm chaser since March, 1982, I can honestly say that almost every storm environment is different, nature always has the upper hand, and what will get you in trouble is either (1.) the danger that blindsides you that you never see coming or (2.) pushing the safety envelope in order to have more “extreme” videos and/or photographs. Many supercell thunderstorms can intensify at an almost incomprehensible rate and you may not have time to react in a safe and rational matter.
SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY
Good for them. Let’s hope the more join the ranks. “In Challenge To Trump, 17 Republicans Join Fight Against Global Warming.”
A sobering read about the current state of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affairs. “A Guide To The EPA Data Under Threat By The Trump Administration.”
The recent proposed “skinny budget” is a very real threat to the EPA, NOAA, NASA, and more. It also potentially puts the general public at risk.
Speaking of budget, if the current USA presidential administration cuts climate science funding, the ramifications could severely hurt the UK’s climate scientists ability to do research. With NOAA in the crosshairs, this isn’t a matter to be taken lightly. Ginned up hype? Contrary to some who are on the defensive, no…this isn’t.
Although science funding makes up only about 1% of the annual USA’s federal budget, much of the future of climate science research funding is in jeopardy.
A very intriguing read. The USA’s new defense secretary cites climate change as a national security issue.
Unfortunate yet somehow not surprising. “Financial officials from the world’s biggest economies have dropped from a joint statement any mention of financing action on climate change, reportedly following pressure from the US and Saudi Arabia.”
This is one of those headlines that leaves you a bit gobsmacked. “Climate Change Denier Jim Inhofe Says EPA Is ‘Brainwashing’ Out Children.”
That’s a wrap for this week! I’d like to extend a sincere welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun.
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