Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For November 19 – 26, 2018

Greetings everyone! There’s some badly needed good news today…and that is NASA’s successful landing of the InSight lander on the planet Mars! The latest USA government climate change report is out and the California wildfires are still very much in the news…so let’s get started.

Image courtesy NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

For the last time for the 2018 season, I’m sharing the Hurricane Preparedness link. The Atlantic tropical cyclone season is winding down. Regardless of the month, it’s never to early or late to prepare. In fact, preparing in the “off-season” is a great idea. Items you need will be easier to obtain. Many of these supplies are also useful in severe weather and/or winter storm conditions.

A Hurricane Preparedness Primer

A quick note: Any advertising you see on this blog is from WordPress and not me. Hopefully within the next year, funding will be available to make some substantial changes and that will no longer be a necessary annoyance. I do apologize for any inconvenience.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to send a “Welcome” to my new followers in social media and a “Thank You” for my long-time followers! It’s great fun having all of you along! If you’re on the social media sites listed below, pay me a visit!


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Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links Week In Review For August 6 – 13, 2018

Greetings to one and all! If you’re dealing with summer, I hope you’re keeping your cool. We’ve got several more weeks of warm weather ahead and many of my colleagues are ready for a cool-down. Here are this week’s top links…including a revised look at this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook.


This is a habit that I’ve been actively involved in for over thirty-five years. I highly recommend it! “Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You’ll Ever Have Time To Read.”


With climate change comes public health hazards. The spread of diseases from ticks, mosquitoes, and flies will increase exponentially globally.

We can only hope that this will catch on in other countries…the sooner the better. New Zealand will ban single-use plastic bags over the next year.


This is very good news for areas prone to Atlantic basin tropical cyclones. “NOAA Forecasters Lower Atlantic Hurricane Season Prediction. Regardless, the National Hurricane Center still encourages people to prepare in spite of the outlook. It only takes one storm…and that one storm could be a major disaster.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows approximately 30.2% of the USA and 76.7 million people experiencing some level of drought conditions.

U.S. Drought Monitor

A new report from the government of Puerto Rico claims a Hurricane Maria death toll of over 1,400 people. As is often the case in disasters of this magnitude, an exact death toll may never be known.

The critical nature of recent data on climate change may induce a sense of submission. The truth is that giving up is the last thing humanity can afford to do. Now is the time to be more proactive than ever.

The dangers of summer heat are highly underrated. Here’s an excellent overview of just five of the effects of these horrendous heat waves that much of the Northern Hemisphere has been dealing with in recent weeks.


The majority of United States citizens feel it is essential for the USA to remain a global leader in space exploration…however…”majorities say monitoring climate or tracking asteroids should be a top NASA priority; only 13% say the same of putting astronauts on the moon.” I couldn’t agree more.

The politics behind California’s wildfires is not pretty. It certainly doesn’t help the people who are suffering in ways most of us can’t comprehend. Not surprisingly, some powers-that-be prefer to point fingers of blame rather than take responsible and rational actions to help Americans they’re sworn to protect.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media and a big “thank you” to my long-time followers. It’s great to have you along!


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Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For March 5 – 12, 2018

Greetings everyone! For many of you, winter is holding on with a firm grip. Much of the northeastern USA has taken a beating lately from repeated rounds of snow, wind, and generally very unpleasant weather. For those folks, spring can’t arrive soon enough. As for the rest of us, it’s a mixed bag. A few severe weather episodes have occurred in the southern part of North America…and there will be much more to come. There’s plenty to go over this week, so let’s get started.

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


Contrary to popular opinion, university scientists are indeed interested in teaching. From personal experience, all of my university professors were keenly devoted to conveying knowledge.

Print books are still hard to beat. In spite of the convenience of mobile devices, holding the printed page in your hands has a special feel to the words and images within the covers. As a voracious reader, print will always be my personal preference.

Interesting perspective that is somewhat unsettling. Many people don’t understand science (bad), yet want their children to take an interest in it (very good).


Here’s a handy climate-friendly car guide that might help you choose a model that has a smaller carbon footprint than what most of us are driving.

Smart phones have been an amazing addition to technology. But sometimes, we all can go a bit overboard in how we use them. Here’s a thought provoking read on breaking your phone addiction.

As the saying goes, “A lie will circle the globe before the truth has a chance to cross the street.” Fake news, whether from nefarious interlopers or hyperbole/adrenaline junkies, is at an epidemic level…with no end in sight.


Here’s a very cool citizen science read. “Citizen Science Birding Data Passes Scientific Muster.”


There’s an unavoidable connection between trees and climate change. By some accounts, trees are in trouble. “New evidence shows that the climate is shifting so quickly, it’s putting many of the world’s trees in jeopardy.”

With the temptations of computer games and binge watching television, kids are often inside when they could be exploring some amazing facets of our natural world. Here are five reasons why kids need to spend more time with nature.


Are you aware of the different types of tornadoes? Not all tornadoes or vortexes are associated with supercell thunderstorms. he most important thing to remember is that each of these carries its own hazards…regardless of how benign it may appear.

Infographic courtesty NOAA/NWS

Here’s the latest State Of The Climate report from NOAA for February 2018. The main takeaway…above normal temperatures and dry to drought conditions for much of the USA. The report also covers the winter of 2017-2018. The maps below show the departure from normal for temperature and precipitation.

Maps courtesy NOAA

Thundersnow is a spectacular event to witness. Here in Oklahoma, robust snowstorms are often laced with lightning. Here’s an excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on the science behind thundersnow.

Here’s a very nice video that’s concise and aimed at the layperson who may not understand the technicalities of climate change and it’s connection to extreme weather events. “Climate Change Made Hurricane Harvey Wetter. Here’s How We Know.”

One sobering reminder of the impact of climate change is the number of billion dollar disasters that are increasing with stunning frequency.

Conveying climate change information to the general public can be an occupational hazard for broadcast meteorologists, In spite of the challenges, many are successfully passing on important information that, for their own good, the public needs to know.

If each spring in the Northern Hemisphere looks a bit warmer with each passing year, it’s not your imagination.

Up to 41 million Americans may live in flood zones…and millions of them may not even know about it.

Here’s an excellent read on the priceless value that weather satellites provide to meteorologists and the challenges that come with the technology.


This is one of those scenarios that reveals the true inefficiency of bureaucracy that so infuriates an INTJ personality like me. “The U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board has not met in at least six months, and some of its members say it’s being sidelined to avoid getting in the way of agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s anti-regulatory agenda.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to send a warm welcome to my new followers in social media…I’m glad you’re along for the fun. For my followers who have been with me through thick and thin, I appreciate every one of you. Your loyalty is not taken for granted.


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Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For August 8 – 16, 2017

Greetings everyone! It’s been a busy weather and science news week with a story on virtually any topic from A to Z. Recent severe weather events, including the 6 August 2017 Tulsa, OK tornado have kept me busy & delayed this post by one day. So…without further delay, let’s get started.

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



This isn’t strictly limited to science education, but is applicable to everyone…regardless of your occupation. “9 Super Successful People Share Their Reading Habits.” As a voracious reader, I can attest to the validity of the information within the article.


If you’re into weather and citizen science, one way you can contribute is taking part in the mPING crowdsourcing project. Whether using a desktop or mobile device, you can contribute valuable data year round to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) to help weather research. The mobile app is free and available for iOS or Android.


Regardless of where you live and what hazards you may be susceptible to, an emergency kit is essential to any home or workplace. They’re easier to put together than you think too!


Conveying science to the general public is a daunting challenge. The answer to this challenge is in using less “jargon” and explaining the basic facts.


An interesting look at how the solar energy industry will handle the 21 August 2017 solar eclipse.


What does the USA’s National Weather Service do? More than you can imagine. Here’s a great overview of a government agency that quite often saves lives in addition to putting together your local forecast.

Here’s the latest US Drought Monitor. Dry conditions continue to worsen across the north central states.

Graphic courtesy @DroughtCenter

NOAA has just released an updated 2017 Atlantic hurricane season outlook. There are some substantial changes from the outlook in May. Remember, an outlook is not a forecast. The bottom line, a more active season is now expected.

Graphic courtesy National Weather Service Caribou, Maine

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report reiterates what many of us have suspected the past few months. 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of record keeping.


The State Of The Climate map below shows a startling increase in global surface temperatures. From the report, “Aided by the strong El Niño early in the year, the 2016 annual global surface temperature observed record warmth for a third consecutive year, with the 2016 annual global surface temperature surpassing the previous record of 2015.”

Graphic courtesy NOAA National Center For Environmental Information

Climate Central has an excellent read on the recent data on 2016 being a record year for global climate change.

As global temperature trends rise, are we willing to face the role current generations play in the lives of future ones and how climate change will affect their world?

A new analysis with data from NASA shows the vast El Niño weather pattern of 2014–16 caused tropical forests to produce approximately 3 billion tons of carbon. That’s equivalent to nearly 20% of the emissions produced during the same period by making cement and burning fossil fuels.

If you think that heat waves in cities across the USA are longer than in years past, you’d be correct. Extended streaks of heat, most likely in urban areas due to the heat island effect, are becoming more common.

Climate change deniers had a field day with a recent SNAFU within a New York Times story.

After 30 years, the challenge of dealing with the Earth’s ozone problem still remains very elusive.

New Orleans is once again dealing with floods. This city, which largely rests below sea level, will continue to have flooding problems until either a proper infrastructure is in place, or the city no longer exists.

After the Tulsa tornado of 6 August 2017, there was quite an unnecessary backlash and reaction to the “tornado sirens” not being sounded in the city of Tulsa. This was the correct decision. Here’s an infographic on the basis of what these archaic toys are meant for. Opinions vary on the usefulness of these sirens, but they have many faults and are (at best) Cold War era technology that is, at best, minimally useful. My sound advice: forget sirens even exist. There are far more effective means of getting potential life-saving weather warnings.

Graphic courtesy National Weather Service Tulsa, Oklahoma


This should come as no surprise to those of us in Oklahoma who are familiar with our former attorney general’s proclivities. “Scott Pruitt Brushes Off ‘So-Called Settled Science’ On Conservative Radio Show.” Keep in mind that this individual is now the head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency. He also doesn’t want to “politicize science,” but due to the nature of our rapidly changing society, that can’t be done.

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 ride!



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Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 18 – 25, 2016

Greetings to everyone! It’s been quite a mild winter for much of North America. While some locations have had their fair share of snow and cold temperatures, many locations (including my own) have had very warm winter conditions. Many flowering trees are in full bloom, weeds and early spring flowers are showing their presence, and those unfortunate souls who deal with seasonal allergies are quite miserable. Many high temperature records across the USA have been broken, some of which have stood for the good part of a century. Meanwhile, Australians have had a recent heat wave with lethal temperatures in some locations of 110-115F. This week, there are more than enough science/public policy reads to partake of. For the near term, this is going to be the dominant trend among the scientific community. Scientists from all areas of study have traditionally endeavored to remain apolitical. Those days are gone and, with the war on science gathering steam, it’s time we fight fire with fire. On that note, let’s get started…

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


A very thought provoking read that well established what many of us already know…science is an international/global endeavor and it’s time for scientists to stand up to all detractors.

The war for science in the USA is more than a minor difference of opinion. It’s become an all out threat to the USA and, eventually, the entire globe.

While the war on science wages, university officials have very legitimate concerns over scientific research funding that may…or may not…disappear. It’s presence may depend on whether or not it fits within the current presidential administrations agenda.

Ensuring scientific integrity during a time with the anti-science sentiment is at an all time high, will be increasingly difficult in spite of any progress.

Former Oklahoma Attorney General and newly sworn-in head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt’s emails are starting to surface…and they speak for themselves.

The constituents of congressional climate deniers are getting a well-deserved rude awakening at recent town halls. I suppose denying global warming is one way members of Congress are attempting in vain to keep the heat off.

Red states in the USA are giving a small degree of notice to climate change…but only with names that are, at best, watered down euphemisms.

The choice for the current USA’s presidential science advisor is William Happer…and he’s quite interesting to say the least.


An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Nine Tips For Communicating Science To People Who Are Not Scientists.”


This is a very thought provoking read that will have you thinking twice about taking your mobile device aboard an international commercial airline flight. Obviously, in spite of the power behind the USA’s Constitution, there are times where our fourth and fifth amendments rights are null and void.

While on the topic of privacy and security, here’s an excellent read on how to encrypt your online life in short order. “Pro Tip: if you insist on enabling thumbprint identification for convenience’s sake, and are ever arrested, immediately power off your phone. When the authorities turn your phone back on, they won’t be able to unlock it without your password. The fifth amendment (against self-incrimination) allows you to keep your password secret. But a court can compel you to unlock your phone with your thumbprint.”

Now that you’ve done your best to protect your privacy and security, here’s a good read on having grace in social media.


A fascinating physics read. “Time Crystals – How Scientists Created A New State Of Matter.”


Here’s some excellent wind power news for the USA. Wind briefly powered more than 50 percent of electric demand on 12 February 2017 for the first time on any North American power grid.

Norway is making major headway in switching over to electric-powered vehicles (EV) and could be one hundred percent EV in as little as eight years.

The sight of four million solar panels from space is quite a sight…and one we can hope will spread across the globe.


Once upon a time, even Benjamin Franklin, lightning rods, and the UK were locked in political sabre rattling over…lightning rods.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows 13.8% of the contiguous USA in drought conditions with intensification noted in the south, mid-Atlantic, and New England.


Forecasting winter weather events is one of the most daunting challenges that a meteorologist can face. This message from the Twin Cities, MN National Weather Service does an excellent job of explaining to a largely un-weatherwise public the difficulties of doing their job and dealing with a cantankerous segment of the public.



In the 21st century, people are still taking this kind of pseudoscience seriously. Sad but true.

That’s a wrap for this post! As usual, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! We’ve got some wild times ahead, so hang on.



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This Week’s Tornado Quest Science Links & More For October 24 – November 1, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you have had a good start to your week. It’s been relatively tranquil across much of North America the past week and the tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific have been very serene. The season for tropical cyclones is winding down for North America. As we have seen with Hurricane Matthew, it only takes one to result in a tremendous amount of damage and hundreds of fatalities across several countries. As usual, there’s a plethora of topics to cover, so let’s get started.

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


A very thought-provoking read on the state of math education in the USA…which is of particular important to anyone who plans on majoring in the atmospheric sciences.

Life for a new scientists just entering the field is more daunting than ever before.


A very good read on the recent upswing in Oklahoma earthquakes. “How The Oil And Gas Industry Awakened Oklahoma’s Sleeping Fault Lines.”


Solar energy is really taking off…and this is just the awesome beginning.

A study of 41,000 people has further solidified the irrevocable link between air quality (and a myriad of other environmental factors) and your physical health.

Across the globe, up to 300 million children live in conditions with air pollution up to six times over the limit of what is considered minimally safe air quality.

In urban areas, the growth of city trees has shown time and time again to improve air quality. The same can also be said for having indoor plants.

If we can recycle everything we use, including toothbrushes, cigarette butts, and all kinds of plastics that wind up in our oceans, why don’t we?


Winter is on it’s way…and it’s not too early to review some winter weather safety tips that are geared toward travelers in automobiles. A winter weather safety kit is a must. If you need it, you’ll be glad you took the time to prepare. If you absolutely have to travel, know what to do to stay safe. Infographic courtesy of the National Weather Service.


In your home, preparing for winter is very easy. These few tips will save you a lot of trouble and possibly your life. Infographic courtesy of the NYC National Weather Service.


Will the polar vortex be a player this winter for the northern states of the USA? At least one source says, “Yes.”

Understanding why the public makes evacuation decisions in a hurricane scenario is as important as the evacuation order itself. “Why We Should Not Demonize Residents Who Refuse To Evacuate During Hurricanes.”

Some natural disaster events can be tied to climate change, but not all of them. Here’s why blaming all natural disasters on climate change is a recipe for disaster.

The Mediterranean region, already experiencing dry conditions, may be in for much worse in the decades to come.

There are several towns around the world that are grabbing climate change by the horns and courageously embracing changes that will be unavoidable to all of us…eventually. One of these towns is Greensburg, KS which was devastated by an EF-5 tornado in 2007 but is now one of the leading green communities in the USA.

Death Valley’s claim to having the world’s highest temperature reading could be put to death itself by renewed analysis.

Here’s a good read for my fellow weather geeks. “Sun-clouds-climate connection takes a beating from CERN.”

Take a look at a new way of evaluating damage to structures from tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.

Have you ever wondered what those red and blue lines on some weather maps mean? Here’s a nice overview on how to read a basic weather map.

When it dark at 3:00 PM on a winter’s day in the fabulous city of Stockholm, Sweden, creativity (and productivity) soar sky high! Yes, climate and human behavior have strong links.

Finally, if you’ve not seen “Before The Flood” on National Geographic, you’re in for quite a treat. It’s well worth the time to watch it in its entirety. For people who don’t understand the gravity of climate change and what our children, grandchildren, & future generations face, this documentary will put it into perspective.


According to a new poll in Texas’ 21st congressional district, 45 percent of respondents said they are less likely to vote for Rep. Lamar Smith because he refused to investigate allegations that ExxonMobil knew about climate change in the ’70s and failed to disclose the threat to the public. To add insult to injury, Smith is (ironically) also the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee chair and is among the 34 percent of Congress members who deny climate change.

That’s a wrap for this post! See you good people next time!


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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 29 – September 6, 2016

Greetings to one and all! It’s been quite a week for the tropical Atlantic and Pacific with several hurricanes, some reaching major intensity, taking the stage front and center. Hurricane Hermine made landfall in the Florida panhandle as a Category 1 storm and was the first hurricane to hit the “Sunshine State” since 2005. As of this post, Hermine is off the northeast coast of the USA and still poses a threat in spite of having lost its tropical characteristics. In the Pacific, hurricanes Madeline and Lester took swipes at Hawaii and gave us a reminder than those chain of islands are very vulnerable to even the most intense tropical cyclones. This post will be on the brief side since the past week has been exceptionally busy with hurricanes and multi-tasking previous commitments and media requests. As usual, there are many good reads on climate change as well as other dimensions of the atmospheric sciences…so let’s get started.

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


Meet the woman who first identified the greenhouse effect in 1856.


An excellent read for those of us who communicate science to the non-scientists. “12 Tips For Scientists Writing For The General Public.”

Yes, art and science can co-exist…and even bolster the scientific mind. From personal experience (I’m an electric bass player) I can say from personal experience that this does work.


We’ve just gotten a good look at Jupiter’s north pole…and it’s unlike anything we’ve yet encountered in our own solar system.


This is indeed an amazing and exciting discovery! “Live Thrived On Young Earth. Scientists Discover 3.7 Billion-Year-Old Fossils.”


Just after 7:00 AM CDT on 3 September 2016, several midwestern states were shaken by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter near Pawnee, OK. Damage was reported across a wide area of north-central Oklahoma. This earthquake tied the 5.6 OK earthquake of November, 2011 for the strongest in the Sooner states history. Understandably so, Oklahoma ordered fossil fuel wells shut down after the earthquake. After a relatively quiet period of seismic activity, it’s no accident that the record quake was tied. The question Oklahoma residents must ask themselves now it, “When will another substantial earthquake occur…and will it be an even bigger one?”

Here’s a seismograph from the Leonard, OK station of the earthquake.

OK Earthquake Seismograph 3 September 2016

While on the topic of Oklahoma earthquakes, here’s a good story from NPR on fossil fuel production and it’s relation to the sudden recent increase in seismic activity.


If there was ever a good reason for creating a drought hardy yard and garden, this is it.

Wind power is really taking off in the USA and is now the number two country in the world in installed wind capacity (after China) and number one in wind electricity generated!

The long-term implications of this are irrevocable. “Natural Gas Is Passing Coal As A Source Of CO2 Emissions In The USA.”

The irrevocable link between our air quality and our health. “Air Pollution Is Sending Tiny Magnetic Particles Into Your Brain.”


For sixty years, atmospheric scientists have watched a steady wind pattern in the stratosphere faithfully repeating like clockwork every two years. Without warning and for the first time it’s changed direction.

Here’s a very nice visualization of hurricanes that will help you easily understand the anatomy of these amazing storms.

What were hurricane hunters studying when they flew into Hurricane Hermine? Read this to find out! “Capturing The Genesis Of A Hurricane.”

In the northwest Pacific ocean, which happens to be the world’s hotspot for tropical cyclone activity, a new study reveals the land-falling typhoons have become more intense.

In spite of the cynics, it’s good news that the USA and China have formally committed to the Paris Climate Accord.

They took the words right out of my mouth…

  • For climate activists, the growing trend of climate change denialism in recent years isn’t just frustrating—it’s alarming. We know that the longer we wait to shift our energy sources and increase the efficiency with which we utilize the energy we produce, the more jarring the shift will be. Despite the powerful message that world leaders have sent by coming together in Paris to agree to limit warming to 2 degrees, currently national and global plans are not enough to make that a reality.”

Having said that, here’s the rest of the article on how to effectively communicate with a denier.

That’s a wrap for this post!



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