Category Archives: Meteorology & Much More

What Does A Particularly Dangerous Situation Tornado Watch mean? #alwx #mswx #flwx

The new Tornado Watch for parts of AL, FL, & a small part of MS is a Particularly Dangerous  Situation (PDS) Tornado Watch. Many folks are not quite sure what that means. From the NOAA Storm Prediction Center’s FAQ, here’s the definition…

2.7 I noticed the wording “THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION” in some of your watches. What does this mean? What is the criteria for a PDS watch?
The “Particularly Dangerous Situation” wording is used in Tornado Watches for rare situations when long-lived intense tornadoes are likely. This enhanced wording may also accompany Severe Thunderstorm Watches for widespread significant severe events, usually produced by exceptionally intense derechos. PDS watches are issued, when in the opinion of the forecaster, the likelihood of significant events is boosted by very volatile atmospheric conditions. Usually this decision is based on a number of atmospheric clues and parameters, so the decision to issue a PDS watch is subjective with no hard criteria. However, the SPC goal is to have 3 out of every 4 PDS Tornado Watches verifying with multiple intense tornadoes. PDS watches are most often issued with a High risk in Day 1 Convective Outlooks.”

All watches, regardless of whether they’re the “typical’ Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch, are something you should watch very carefully, but when a PDS watch is issued, a very active severe weather episode is expected with large hail, strong damaging straight line winds, strong to violent (EF-2+) tornadoes and, last but not least, flash flooding along with dangerous lightning are expected. Considering this PDS Tornado Watch is going into the overnight hours, make sure you have at least three ways of receiving warnings, your NOAA weather radio has fresh batteries and is set on standby, your shelter precautions are in place, and you stay very weather aware by following official sources of potentially life saving information. At night, tornadoes are often difficult to impossible to see…so if you’re in a warning, please take shelter immediately. Lastly, follow @NWSSPC, @NWSBirmingham, @NWSMobile, @NWSTallahassee on Twitter and the broadcast meteorologists/media outlets of your choice.

Stay weather aware and stay safe!

 

 

Hurricane Season Has Gone Full Throttle.

To say that the Atlantic and Pacific tropical cyclone season has revved up is a vast understatement. As of this post (30 August 2016) portions of Florida are under a Hurricane Watch as Tropical Depression Nine is expected to strengthen to tropical storm status before landfall on the western Florida coast. In the Pacific, the big island of Hawaii is under a hurricane warning as Madeline approaches from the east with another hurricane, Lester, on its heels.  Whether you’re expecting deteriorating weather conditions or live in a hurricane prone region, I’d like to pass along some safety information that I hope you’ll find helpful.

Ready.gov ~  “This page explains what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area. It also provides tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.”

From NOAA, FEMA, & the American Red Cross ~ Tropical Cyclones: A Preparedness Guide (12 page PDF file)

NOAA Weather Radio ~ Regardless of where you live, these should be as common in every residence as smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.

Wireless Emergency Alerts ~ Available as text messages on your mobile phone.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown ~ Flood safety information. Each year, more deaths result from flooding than any other thunderstorm related hazard.

From FEMA ~ Emergency Supply List (2 page PDF file)

The National Hurricane Center and related accounts are on Twitter…these are “must follows” and, in addition to your local National Weather Service office and the local media outlets of your choice, will offer you the most timely and potentially life-saving information.

Finally, two concise infographics covering where to get hurricane information and preparing your hurricane supplies.

Hurricane Info Hurricane Supplies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d like to add a cautionary note that this list is not comprehensive and none of these links on this site (or any other NON-OFFICIAL site  or blog) should be used for the protection of life and/or property. It is also not comprehensive as there are many local broadcast meteorologists across the USA that offer you valuable information. Information from meteorologists also changes by the hour…often by the minute…so it’s imperative to constantly stay abreast of the latest information. With knowledge being power, you’re empowering yourself to help keep you and your loved ones safe and sound.

I hope this list is of help to those who need the information. At the very least, it’s a starting place where you can bookmark many of these links for future reference.

Stay safe and good luck!

 

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For April 4 – 11, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you are having a great start to the week and the weather is good, if not interesting, in your neck of the woods. The North American severe weather season has gotten into full swing with several days already having had all modes of severe weather occur. There’s plenty of climate change stories in the news as well with over 120 nations ready to sign the UN accord on climate change. On that note, let’s get started.

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A job well done! Watch the SpaceX land it’s rocket on a floating pad in full 4K resolution!

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

This NASA researcher claims ionized air molecules may help predict earthquakes in advance.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Many people play the romanticist view of mid 19th century United Kingdom, and England in particular, as an era of chivalrous gentlemen & alluringly coquettish women. Nothing could be further from the truth in this retrospective of a London-based sewage disaster.

A recent study suggests that the Earth’s soils could store tremendous amounts of greenhouse gasses.

For my fellow musicians. “The Eco Guide To Guitars.”

Even in the 21st century with a plethora of information available, there’s uncertainly and doubt in being an environmentalist.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

National Hurricane Preparedness Week may not be until May, but it’s never too soon to prepare. The National Hurricane Center’s preparedness website has everything you need to know.

A good read on the inexorable climate/weather/public health link and how climate change can harm your health.

An interesting concept that has it benefits…and inevitable drawbacks. Forecasting tornadoes in the long-term.

Speaking of forecasting, here’s an interesting read on Panasonic’s claim of having created the world’s best weather model.

There are many facets of climate change that are very clear-cut while others are more vague.

A good read from Climate Central. “Climate change is a major threat to human health, with extreme heat likely to kill 27,000 Americans annually by 2100, according to a report released by the White House.”

Slow but steady progress as over 120 nations will sign the UN’s accord to fight global warming.

El Niños and La Niñas are particularly difficult to predict at this time of year, so exactly what happens remains to be seen.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. If you’d like more information, please see the links below.

Cheers!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Tornado Quest Science Links For February 15 – 22, 2016

Greetings all! I hope everyone’s having a great week. The weather across much of North America has been relatively tranquil this week with unseasonably warm temperatures across much of the southern plains. As of today (22 February 2016) a busy severe weather day is on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday (23 & 24 February 2016) from Texas to the east coast states. Speaking of severe weather, all across the United States the National Weather Service offices are holding Skywarn spotting training classes. If you’re interested in severe weather and contributing to your community, I’d strongly recommend you take one of these courses and spend two (if not more) seasons as an “intern” with a seasoned spotter. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Fortunately, the United States citizenry has a satisfactory of support for science.

In spite of the optimism expressed in the previous link, there’s still putrid bounty of anxiety and antagonism towards science within the US of A.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Sweden, you are amazing in every way! “Sweden To Go Carbon Neutral By 2045.”

Some great tips here! “17 Sustainable Ways To Be A Better Person To Yourself And To Others.”

Four billion people are facing a life-threatening water shortage…and no, the USA is not exempt.

Very interesting, and not surprising, infographic on the world’s most polluted cities.

You know the air in parts of China is bad when ventilation “corridors” are being built so people don’t have to breathe the outdoor air.

Of great interest to many here in Oklahoma. “Does Living Near An Oil Or Natural Gas Well Affect Your Drinking Water?”

Another read for folks in Oklahoma who are constantly barraged with shake, frack, and roll. “Sierra Club Sues Over Oil Company Earthquakes.”

Climate change + drought = a continent-wide volatile scenario. “Mother Africa On Fire.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Interesting interactive chart showing temperature trends for over 3,100 cities in 2015.

The UK’s Met Office habit of naming storms is likely little more than misguided hype.

Some nice videos of climate scientists briefly discussing climate change.

A very important read from Climate Central. “What Scalia’s Death Means For Climate Change.” Like it or not, climate change has become as much a foreign & domestic policy issue as much as it is science.

A good read by Chris Mooney on where our Earth’s the most vulnerable regions to big swings in climate.

Two years ago, a large, inexplicable hot patch of water appeared in the Pacific Ocean, and stayed right through the seasons—until now. Referred to as “the Blob,” it’s gone away, taken by El Niño. Will it return?

Speaking of El Niño, it has passed its peak strength but impacts will continue according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

 My fellow lightning aficionados will enjoy this read. Lightning-produced ozone has been detected…and this could be important to air quality assessment and prediction in the future.

The University of Miami just opened a new research facility that, by creating a “hurricane in a box,” can help us prepare for dangerous and potentially cataclysmic storms.

An amazing view of ice shattering like plates of glass on North American’s Lake Superior.

THE QUIXOTIC

“Hairy Panic,” a fast growing tumbleweed with a name straight out of a third-rate horror flick rolls into an Australian city.

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

Cheers!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Social Media & Online Safety Links

I’d first like to thank all the folks who stopped by my Tuesday stream. It was great seeing so many new faces as well as old friends. Early in the stream, we chatted about the very important topic of online safety. I’d intended to post the link to a Mashable article about protecting your online reputation, but for some technical reason FriendLife won’t let me re-post the link because I’d posted it some months earlier. So, in lieu of that, I’ve added the Mashable Online Reputation link along with one more article…

Protecting Your Online Reputation: 4 Things You Need To Know

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Social Media

Even after using the internet since 1995,  I still have to give myself the periodic “refresher course” in online safety. As the internet and world wide web grows to gigantic proportions, the security and safety risks also reach a fever pitch. It’s my hope that these two links will be of help to those of you who are interested.

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by my FriendLife stream…see you again soon!

Cheers!

 

 

Winter Weather Safety Information

Over the next few days, a significant winter storm will be effecting many states from AR & TX eastward into the Mid-Atlantic coast and possibly New England. For your convenience, I’d like to pass along some information that I hope will be helpful to the folks involved.

For the latest forecasts, advisories, winter weather watches and warnings, check out the National Weather Service website.

From NOAA’s National Weather Service, here’s important winter weather safety information.

In addition, follow reliable broadcast meteorologists (national & local) of your choice & avoid the fear mongers and hypesters if possible.

Good luck and stay safe!

 

 

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Dec. 29, 2015 – Jan 4, 2015

First and foremost, I’d like to wish all of my followers and readers a very Happy New Year! I hope the coming year brings you a wealth of new knowledge, good health, and a plethora of good times!

There’s a lot to be optimistic about in the coming year. In spite of ongoing obstacles, I’ve a strong intuitive sense that the best is yet to come for our generation and future ones.

This week’s post will have a few retrospective links taking a look back at various science stories of 2015…so on that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

From the American Association For The Advancement Of Science, a nice look back at their “best of 2015” science stories.

It’s hard to believe in 2016 that this is still and issue, but sadly it is. “Gender Equality In Science Will Require A Cultural Shift.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter has a new policy to ban hateful conduct, specifically terrorist groups.

A very disconcerting privacy and security read. “Recently Bought A Windows Computer? Microsoft Probably Had Your Encryption Key.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Nice read on the Hubble telescope viewing the merger of two galaxies.

A fascinating retrospective. “‘Forgotten’ 19th Century Images of Eclipses, Stars, & Planets Found.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The “Quakegate” saga continues. Oklahoma State Rep on oil companies and earthquakes: “No one is taking this issue seriously.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

In spite of some negatives, there were many positive environmental events during 2015.

A spectacular array of the top fifteen images of Earth from NASA taken during 2015.

More amazing NASA imagery of reading the English alphabet from space.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Hurricane Patricia is Climate Central’s image of the year. Considering the intensity of Patricia, it’s a sound choice!

A nice retrospective from Climate Central of their picks for the seven most interesting climate findings of 2015.

From Climate Reality, their take on the top climate moments of 2015.

Will 2016 be as warm as 2015? If the trend continues, the chances are good it will be as warm if not warmer.

A very thought-provoking read on four myths about how to deal with climate change.

El Nino may be responsible for havoc in some locations, but the folks in California see a positive side.

From Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a nice read on satellite vs. “ground” temperature readings.

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

For my fellow silent film fanatics…”The Most Risque Moments In Silent Cinema.”

And that’s a wrap for this post! See you folks next time!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Sept. 16 – 23, 2015

There’s a touch of autumn in the air across much of North America. In fact, I’ve even seen some photographs in my Twitter feed of trees showing off some very nice colors. September is also Emergency Preparedness Month. Here’s a very nice link from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Add this info to your arsenal of bookmarks for a plethora of preparedness info that will help you get in shape for the things we hope won’t happen.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

There’s quite an “ad-block-alypse” going on as of late in regards to ad-blocking add-ons and/or software.

For iOS users…a nice read on the ad blockers that won’t make your browser seem like molasses running uphill.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

This is a “must-see” astronomy event that’s coming this Sunday: The first “Super Moon” Eclipse in thirty-two years is this Sunday, 27 September 2015.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Paleontology isn’t the glamorous “Jurassic Park” fun and games most people think it is. In fact, most paleontologists work in very challenging conditions…and this is no exception.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

A very telling read that most Oklahoman’s (including your’s truly) can relate to. “How One US State Went From Two Earthquakes A Year To 585.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

A very cool read on five things that people generally don’t consider recyclable.

Yes, it’s alright to buy water in plastic bottles for emergencies. Just make sure you follow proper precautions for water purity and safety. In life-threatening emergencies, there’s not always time to be green. Caveat: This is my personal opinion and the people who would disagree probably live in areas that are not subject to the horrors we see almost every year in Tornado Alley.

The inexorable link between health and climate is clearly explained in this article on air pollution and it’s deadly effects.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The much ballyhooed global warming “pause” may have occurred, but it’s no spearheading “game changer” and will have little to no significance regarding the overwhelming trend of climate change.

The AP Stylebook has just made a major faux pas that makes no sense at all.

Climate change denialists are now resorting to tactics used by the tobacco industry to discredit medical evidence on the harmful effects of smoking.

El Nino and La Nina will exacerbate (and threaten tens of millions) with coastal hazards across entire Pacific.

Public relations food for thought. “Should We Do Away With Percent Chance Of Rain And Just Use Words?” The greatest problem/challenge for NWS and broadcast meteorologists is dispelling the common myths that run rampant.

Last but not least, a reminder for National Preparedness Month that NOAA has a very nice site with a plethora of preparedness information. Check it out…and prepare now before it’s too late.

THE QUIXOTIC

Not sure what to make of this, but it’s “no-new-news” to my fellow “Quake-lahomans.”

As Oklahoma tallies up more earthquakes by the dozens…the “quakegate” continues…

On the brighter side, two last bits of business…

  • I’d like to send a very warm welcome and “hello” to my new followers on social media. I’m glad you folks are along for the fun. The best is yet to come and I’m in this for the long haul.
  • Coming soon, I’ll be hosting weather and science “hangouts” on FriendLife. Dates and times will be posted on Tornado Quest’s Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress social media outlets. I look forward to chatting with many of you!

That’s a wrap for this post! See you good folks soon!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Sept. 2 – 9, 2015

For much of the contiguous USA plains states, summer heat has been holding on with a vengeance. Fortunately, there are changes underway as we speak and before long, autumn will “show its colors” (no pun intended). It’s also common for an uptick in severe weather to occur across Tornado Alley during the fall months. In the tropical cyclone realm, the Pacific has been very busy this year. The Atlantic has been relatively well-behaved in spite of some noble attempts at hurricane formation. Considering the alternative, I don’t really think anyone in hurricane prone regions is complaining. The downside is the fact that it’s been a decade since a significant hurricane made landfall in the USA. Complacency can breed carelessness. Therefore, this is a good time for us to remind ourselves that September is National Preparedness Month. The theme for 2015 is “Don’t Wait, Communicate” and the time to prepare for natural disasters of all kinds is now…when things are quiet…and you have the time and presence of mind to make calm, rational decisions. Those who have prepared ahead of time and experienced a disaster have told me many times that the time, effort, and resources used to “prep” were well worth it and, in some cases, life saving “preventative medicine.” It doesn’t matter where you live, even if the annual weather events are rather uneventful. Everyone is vulnerable.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION/STEM

If you have a daughter interested in a science career, have her check out the Women In STEM career videos from GotScience.org.

Check out this nice infographic on how essential earth and space science is to all of us. It involves saving lives…every day.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Many people have serious privacy concerns over Windows 10. To add insult to injury, concerns are now raised over Windows 7 and 8.

If you’re concerned about online security, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self-Defense information. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

A very interesting and telling read from the Pew Research Center. “Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015.”

I very, very rarely recommend apps (especially weather apps) since the quality and accuracy of data is so unpredictable. But, in addition to the apps that you feel serve you best, I’d add the American Red Cross app. It’s very customizable and highly informative.

If, like me, you’re a user of many Apple products, here’s a quick overview of the September 9, 2015 Apple product event. For weather folks (including storm chasers), the new and larger iPad Pro would be an excellent addition in the field for radar products and/or model runs…and any improvement on iPhone processor and camera capabilities is a “must have.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project just in time for autumn. Kids, parents, and teachers can learn the “hows and whys” of leaves changing color during fall.

Speaking of plant-based citizen science for kids, here’s an excellent resource from Project BudBurst for K-4 educators.

Caren Cooper has written and excellent essay on the importance of the role citizen science plays in our children’s science education.

This is a project that should be taking place across North America. “European Citizens Measure Air Pollution With Their Smartphones.”

GEOLOGIC SCIENCE

What is Geologic time? A very, very, very long time.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

The recent wildfires in the northwest USA have done more than burn vegetation, they’ve endangered wildlife.

Yes, school recycling competitions are for real…and I’d like to see more of these everywhere.

Just follow the money. “Back to School: “Frackademia” Alive and Well at U.S. Universities, Says New Report.”

An interesting read on the irrevocable climate-biosphere link and how crucial food chain bacteria is altered by climate change.

A UK study that would without a doubt be valid worldwide. Trees in urban areas are valuable in dispersing air pollution (and improve the quality of the air you and I breathe).

Awesome is an understatement! “The Netherlands plans to have a 100% wind-powered railway system by 2018.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

This past week was the 115th anniversary of the deadliest weather disaster in the history of the USA: the 1900 Galveston, TX hurricane. There’s no exact death toll, but varying estimates range from a very, very conservative 6,000 to as high as 10,000. If you’ve not read “Issac’s Storm,” you should. It’s an excellent account of events and even an enlightening glimpse into the history of the science of early forecasting.

A very nice side-by-side comparison of 1997 and 2015 El Ninos from Climate Central.

While on the topic of El Nino, here’s a great resource for kids, parents, and teachers that has everything you ever wanted to know about this climate phenomenon and more.

According to new research, droughts and heat waves are happening simultaneously with much greater frequency than in the past.

An interesting read on how climate change would mean the death of one world and the birth of another.

If you live in the western contiguous 48 USA and thought August was hot, you were right. It was well above average in temperatures.

Many of us, including your’s truly, have watched The Weather Channel since it first aired in 1982. There are some big changes on tap and, personally speaking, I think they’re beneficial in the long-term.

“Cherry-picking” research is common among climate change denialists. In spite of the overwhelming worldwide consensus, research of dubious integrity continues.

QUIXOTIC HUMOR

If there was ever a country that has a fascinating cornucopia of dialects, it’s the USA. “Welcome To The United Slang Of America.”

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm “welcome” to my new followers. Glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest on Instagram

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 19 – 26, 2015

Perhaps the biggest news this week is the tropical cyclone activity in both the Pacific and Atlantic. We’re coming into the statistical “peak” of activity, so expect to hear quite a bit about one, and possibly more, storms in progress. Most eyes in North America are on Erika which, as of this post, is at tropical storm strength and expected to not intensify until sometime during the coming weekend. There are too many “cons” in the mix at the current time. While Erika bears watching, there’s no need for panic, falling victim to hyperbole, or taking anything seriously that’s spread by fear mongers…especially in the social media arena. Perhaps the best message behind the formation of Erika, and other tropical cyclones round the world, is the importance of having an emergency preparedness kit at the ready. Ready.gov has a great place to start with the basics. From there, you can move on to tailor your kit for your specific needs. The time to prepare is now…not when the National Hurricane Center is telling everyone in dire straits that any emergency preparedness actions should be rushed to completion. That’s a nice way of saying, “You’re out of time…and luck.”

With the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina upon us, much of this week’s post will mostly focus on that event.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

In order to get girls more interested in computer science (or any science field for that matter), the classrooms need to be less “geeky” i.e. more gender neutral.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A very nice Citizen Science Essay on the power of the crowd.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Of the many long-term dimensions of climate change, the increasing risk of wildfires is one of the most daunting.

When firefighters speak out on climate change, it would behoove us to listen up very carefully.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE/HURRICANE KATRINA

If you thought July, 2015 was hot, you were right. Based on NOAA data, it was the warmest month ever for our humble home.

Among many fields of science, it’s time for the health care industry to raise its voice on climate change.

A very telling read on climate change “skepticism” if you will…”Here’s What Happens When You Try To Replicate Climate Contrarian Papers.”

California isn’t the only state plagued by an ongoing drought. Much of Europe has been plagued by drought and heat waves as of late.

It’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the central USA Gulf Coast. Here’s just one of many essays that ask an essential question. “What have we learned?”

An excellent overview from NASA on the scientific advancements in the last ten years and their relation to Hurricane Katrina.

From a public policy perspective, what has changed since Hurricane Katrina?

A retrospective on Hurricane Katrina from the National Weather Service offices in New Orleans, LA & Mobile, AL.

Here’s a very comprehensive Tropical Cyclone Report from the National Hurricane Center on Katrina. (43 page PDF file)

Is the coastline of the USA becoming more vulnerable to land-falling hurricanes? Absolutely…and it’s getting worse year by year.

Last, but not least, a very good read for anyone, especially storm chasers and/or “social mediarologists” seeking fame & followers by giving your storm images away for free. “Why Giving Permission Is Costing You A Small Fortune…” I see this happening online countless times during the year, with an alarming uptick in frequency during the height of the storm chasing frenzy. The very basis for this essay is also the reason why I stopped posting any images from my storm chasing expeditions back in 1998…and have no plans on sharing any in the future.

And on that note, that’s a wrap for this week! Here’s a hearty “welcome” to any and all new followers! Glad you’re along!

Cheers!

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