Monthly Archives: May, 2018

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For May 21 – 28, 2018

Greetings to everyone! If you’re in the USA, I hope you get a chance to take a moment to remember those who, in serving our country, paid the ultimate sacrifice. We have a wild weather setup that’s ongoing as of this post for the Memorial Day holiday. Alberto, the first named tropical cyclone of the 2018 Atlantic season, is ready to make landfall on the Florida panhandle coast. We’ve also had catastrophic flash flooding in the Mid-Atlantic region, severe weather in the central plains with more forecast for today and tomorrow, an ongoing drought for much of the southwest, a heat wave that is bringing triple digit head indices as far north as Minnesota, and Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is still in the news. And…this is only the end of May.

There’s plenty to review this week, so let’s get started.

Summer heat is making an early appearance across much of the contiguous USA. Sad to say that there have been fatalities due to people leaving children in cars during hot days. These deaths are totally preventable and should never happen. Heat stroke and heat fatalities can occur in temperatures as low as 80F.

Infographic courtesty NOAA

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project that’s part history, part climatology. “Citizen Scientists Are Unearthing Climate Data From Old Ships’ Logs.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has been expanding as of late. Along with that is a new hazard, a toxic gas called “laze.”

Speaking of Kilauea expanding, a third lava flow has reached the ocean. This Hawaiian volcano has been very active since 3 May 2018.

In spite of the fact that we don’t hear about volcanoes often, they’re actually quite common around the globe. Here’s an excellent essay on 7 facts about volcanoes you should know.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

While the focus of this article is on protecting yourself from ticks this summer (see the Summer Weather Safety section for more info), there’s definitely an environment/climate connection.

We all know that clean air is essential for good health. Truth be known, clean air is also good for the economy.

Many of us had an idea that this was true, but reading this article still knocks the wind out of me. “Humans Just 0.01% Of All Life But Have Destroyed 83% Of Wild Mammals.”

The sheer mass of plastic pollution in our oceans is mind-boggling. In some images, these pieces of our lives take on the appearance of sea life.

Here’s a collection of more startling images of plastic pollution and wildlife. The National Geographic cover certainly hits the bullseye on this very disturbing scenario.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA issued their outlook for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane seasonThere are other outlooks as well from a variety of sources. They don’t all agree and variable are unavoidable. The most important factor to remember is these are outlooks, not forecasts.

While on the topic of hurricanes, here’s a fascinating study on 34 years of tropical cyclone eye location and size and it’s connection to other characteristics of these amazing storms.

New research on the connection of climate change and hurricanes indicates that these devastating tropical cyclones will become more intense in a myriad of ways in the coming decades.

The latest US Drought Portal has been issued. More specifically, the Drought Monitor shows some relief in the contiguous USA, but there’s no hint at long-term relief in sight for the hardest hit areas.

As of this post, the tornado “season” across the USA has been relatively tranquil with only three intense tornadoes documented. Considering the alternative, no one is complaining. Here’s an excellent read on why this year has seen less tornado activity compared to other years.

Meanwhile in Sweden, a recent heat wave brought not a little discomfort. Temperatures to 30C (86F) are rare in this part of the world. Wish I could say the same for Oklahoma. Additionally, heatwaves in many northern countries are becoming more common at a disturbingly frequent rate.

SUMMER WEATHER SAFETY

With the Memorial Day holiday having taken place in the USA, the “unofficial” start to summer has arrived. All across the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting longer…and the sun’s rays more intense. With that comes a variety of hazards and the links below cover heat safety and UV protection. As with all weather hazards, a few simple precautions can prevent a ton of trouble.

Heat: A Major Killer

Summer Weather Safety & Survival: The Heat Index

Ultra Violet (UV) Radiation Awareness & Safety Info

World Health Organization: UV & Sun Protection

That’s a wrap for this post! For those of you who are new followers, I’d like to send a sincere “Thank You” and “Welcome” your way. I’m glad you’re along for the fun. For the folks who have been around a while, I’m glad you’ve stuck around for the fun. You know better than anyone that we can never tell what’s around the corner in this joint. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

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Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For May 14 – 21, 2018

Greetings to one and all! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are. We’ve had some recent spells of severe weather in the USA, but the rest of May looks unusually quiet. Considering the alternative, I’m not complaining. Speaking of severe weather, here’s a quick reminder to check your NOAA weather radio as we navigate our way through the peak of the North American severe weather season and prepare for the beginning of the Atlantic tropical cyclone season.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Only time will tell if this works. “Twitter Changes Strategy In Battle Against Internet Trolls.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

At least the largest of these will fall in desolate areas. “Large boulders 2 metres across and weighing 10 tonnes could soon begin blasting out from Kilauea, the erupting volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.”

Kilauea is a major volcanic event. In spite of that, “the largest possible explosive event from Kilauea would still be tiny compared to other volcanoes around the world, from Krakatoa to Mount St. Helens to Vesuvius.”

Property damage isn’t the only victim of Kilauea’s activity. Public health is an ongoing issue that need more media coverage than property damage.

In retrospect, here’s a look at the 18 May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. (Article originally published in 2014.)

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Here’s an interesting read on combining renewable energy and collecting NOAA environmental data. “Adaptable And Driven By Renewable Energy, Saildrones Voyage Into Remote Waters.”

The challenges on how to handle plastic pollution are not easy to sort out. Here’s one perspective on how solutions could be worse than the current situation.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest US Drought Monitor is out. There’s little to no relief in sight for drought ravaged regions in the Extreme/Exceptional areas from the southwest into Oklahoma and Texas.

Sample of U.S. Drought Monitor

A wider perspective on the current USA drought conditions can be found at the US Drought Portal page.

The dismal snow pack in many western USA states isn’t a good sign for the summer heat and wildfires that often occur in this mountainous region.

There has been some discussion recently on the topic of heat bursts. They’re a common phenomenon, especially in the USA’s great plains. Here’s a good read on a fascinating weather event.

Hurricane Harvey was a powerful hurricane on its own. The record heat in the Gulf of Mexico just added more fuel to the fire. Unfortunately, this also means that tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin could pack more of a powerful punch than people in their path are capable of dealing with.

In a new report released on 17 May 2018, NOAA confirmed that April 2018 was the 400th consecutive month of warmer-than-average global temperatures. “The year-to-date (January-April) global temperature was the fifth warmest such period in the 139-year record.”

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/april-2018-global-significant-events-map.png

Infographic courtesy NOAA

New studies hint at climate change and its ramifications could be far worse than we anticipate.

PUBLIC POLICY

Becoming a politically engaged scientist has become less of an option and more of a requirement in today’s politically volatile climate.

The plot thickens as the train wreck continues. The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been engaged in some unscientific actions as of late…and that’s putting it politely.

An interesting tale of a USA government sea level rise report finally being released after charges of censorship. “Although National Park Service officials say the report was handled properly, the study’s lead author says the administrative review process has morphed from a “rubber stamp” into a tool for the government to suppress inconvenient science. “Censorship is a good word for that,” said Maria Caffrey, the University of Colorado, Boulder, researcher who led the study.” There’s no shortage of censorship and twisting facts when it comes to climate change denialists.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have you along for the fun. Stay safe and keep your eyes on the sky!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For May 7 – 14, 2018

Greetings everyone! In spite of the relatively quiet spring severe weather season in the USA, it’s a good idea to stay on our toes and not let complacency set in. All it takes is one regional outbreak to change the statistics for the year. Here’s an important reminder on the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning. More information can be found in the Weather Safety portion of this week’s post. There’s plenty of other topics to cover, so let’s get started.

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

You’ll find more information in the Weather Safety portion of this post.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

This study has some disconcerting findings regarding the spread of false information across social media. If anything, it drives home the point that you should always rely on official National Weather Service and broadcast meteorologists for weather information, severe weather in particular. “During disasters, active Twitter users are likely to spread falsehoods. That’s according to new research that examined false tweets from Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombing. Researchers found that 86 to 91 percent of active Twitter users spread misinformation, and that nearly as many did nothing to correct it.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The USA does have its share of volcanoes. Some like Kilauea are quite active. In spite of its menacing appearance, the red hot lava isn’t how most people die from a volcano. Take a look at how volcanoes kill people.

Here are some spectacular images of Kilauea along with an interesting perspective on what residents of Hawaii see and its contrast with the viewpoints of geoscientists. “Both geoscientists and native Hawaiians agree that Hawaii’s lava is special. But they have different ways of talking about why that is—and different ways of seeing the substance that defines their profession or gives them a home.”

The visual impact of Kilauea can’t be denied when you look at this selection of images that go back to 5 May 2018.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Wildfires alone carry their own potentially deadly threat, but the smoke can have very serious health consequences to some people miles away from the fires.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Can the sounds made by a tornado give a warning to a community? This novel idea in research seems to think so.

Here’s an interesting look at tornado activity and a state-by-state examination of distribution, monthly activity, etc. You’ll find some surprising data here

This is a nice piece with Rick Smith of NWS Norman, OK discussing the daunting challenges of forecasting weather in the world’s bullseye for tornado activity.

With the Atlantic hurricane season only weeks away, take a look at how supercomputers are revolutionizing one of the most daunting tasks a meteorologist can face…forecasting tropical cyclones.

The political bent of climate change and the contention that arises from it is quite absent in many other countries…except for the USA.

This may not be official White House policy, but the head of the USA’s Coast Guard isn’t afraid to discuss climate change. After all, rising sea levels are critical to their operations.

There’s been a lot of hyperbole as of late about air travel being a horrendous demon when it comes to CO2 emissions and it playing a major role in climate change. That makes for good headlines and, perhaps most oddly, some people swearing off air travel. The truth is that the real problem is what people do when they get where they’re going…even if they get there via a banana boat.

The latest State Of The Climate report for April 2018 is out…and one common thread is that is was quite dry in the plains and southwest and unusually cool for much of the contiguous USA.

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/april-2018-us-significant-events-map.png

WEATHER SAFETY

I’ve included again this week links regarding severe weather safety. This list is just a partial example of the information that is available to keep your loved ones and you safe as we are now well into the North American severe weather season. The peak of severe weather activity, including tornadoes, is well underway.

Tornadoes, Lightning, & Thunderstorms: Nature’s Most Violent Storms (PDF file)

Tornado Safety Rules from the Storm Prediction Center

Highway Overpasses As Tornado Shelters (Slide Presentation)

The Online Tornado FAQ

Facts About Derechos

American Red Cross Severe Weather Safety Information

Flash Flooding: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

NOAA Weather Radio

Interactive NOAA Weather Radio Coverage Map

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

The Weather Channel: Prepare Your Pets For Emergencies

Last but not least…if you missed any safety information during National Hurricane Preparedness Week you can catch up at this link from the National Weather Service.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a “Welcome” to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun. Much more to come so stick around.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For April 30 – May 7, 2018

Greetings everyone! It’s been an active severe weather week across much of the USA. Oddly enough, Oklahoma went the entire month of April without a single tornado. That came to an end in the first week  of May when multiple rounds of severe weather added several tornadoes to the count. We’re also just weeks away from the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season (June 1st) and May 6 – 12, 2018 is National Hurricane Preparedness week. Even though the peak of hurricane activity isn’t for several months, now it the time to prepare. Check out the link below in Weather Safety for more comprehensive information from the National Weather Service. As usual, there’s plenty to go over, so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Becoming a citizen scientist is easy (no Ph.D required) and gives you an opportunity to contribute valuable data year round. Check out “Easy Ways To Become A Citizen Scientist.” If you’re into weather, the CoCoRaHS network and the mPING project are two ways to collect valuable data for climate data banks and severe storm and radar research.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’re not to enthralled about the recent happenings with Facebook, there are plenty of good alternatives.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has been very active lately…and that has volcanologists very nervous.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC HEALTH

Ticks are always a hazard to humans with the ability to spread a myriad of life altering diseases. The USA’s Center For Disease Control (CDC) has expressed concern over the matter, but has been cautious in expressing a connection to climate change in this public health hazard.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A recent dust storm in India killed over 100 people. There were many weather elements involved, including violent thunderstorms with damaging straight line winds.

Part 2 of this essay should be very telling and not a little interesting. “The 1970’s Global Cooling Zombie Myth And The Tricks Some People Used To Keep It Alive: Part 1.”

One of the biggest challenges for our society to comprehend current CO2 levels is because when they were at current levels in the past, humans didn’t exist.

Arctic sea ice is already at record low levels. A recent spike in winter temperatures has happened on consecutive years is making a bad situation even worse.

Climate change means big health issues for those with seasonal allergies. Growing seasons are getting longer and that means a longer pollen season.

Residents of California are getting use to a new weather and climate norm that’s not a little troubling. “Turbulent California faces a future of parched croplands and then flooded townships. Climate scientists call such things whiplash events.”

This past week marked the 19th anniversary of the 3 May 1999 Kansas & Oklahoma tornado outbreak. It was the largest outbreak in the history of Oklahoma, had the 1st billion dollar tornado which was also the 1st time the NWS issued a Tornado Emergency, & had four OK tornadoes in progress simultaneously at the height of the event.

This is the wording used by the Norman, Oklahoma National Weather Service when they issued the first ever Tornado Emergency…the highest level of Tornado Warning that can be issued and is, according to the NWS, “An exceedingly rare tornado warning issued when there is a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from an imminent or ongoing tornado. This tornado warning is reserved for situations when a reliable source confirms a tornado, or there is clear radar evidence of the existence of a damaging tornado, such as the observation of debris.”

WEATHER SAFETY

I’ve included again this week links regarding severe weather safety. This list is just a partial example of the information that is available to keep your loved ones and you safe as we are now well into the North American severe weather season. The peak of severe weather activity, including tornadoes, has arrived.

Tornadoes, Lightning, & Thunderstorms: Nature’s Most Violent Storms (PDF file)

Tornado Safety Rules from the Storm Prediction Center

Highway Overpasses As Tornado Shelters (Slide Presentation)

The Online Tornado FAQ

Facts About Derechos

American Red Cross Severe Weather Safety Information

Flash Flooding: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

NOAA Weather Radio

Interactive NOAA Weather Radio Coverage Map

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

The Weather Channel: Prepare Your Pets For Emergencies

Good infographics with severe weather safety information that’s specific to tornadoes.

Once you’re in a structure, there are specific places you need to go for the best protection

Infographics courtesy NOAA & NWS Norman, OK

National Hurricane Preparedness week runs from May 6 – 12, 2018. The National Weather Service has an excellent hurricane preparedness page that covers most everything you need to know. The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) also has a very informative page.

Remember, your mobile device can be your best friend in a weather emergency, whether it’s a tornado or a hurricane.

 

THE QUIXOTIC

This writer visited a Flat Earth Convention (yes, there is such a thing) and learned a great deal about not only the group in question, but insight into certain dimensions of human behavior.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media and a hearty thanks to my long time followers. It’s nice to have all of you along for the fun.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

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