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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For August 15 – 29, 2016

Greetings all! I hope everyone’s having a great start to your week. Due to several previous time-consuming commitments I’ve had to delay publishing a post by one week. The tropical Atlantic has been very busy as of late with (as of 29 August 2016) one hurricane, two tropical depressions, and an interesting tropical wave near the Cabo Verde Islands. Two back-to-back hurricanes are also between North American and Hawaii. Ultimately, nature has the upper hand and will do things on its own time scale which is the primary reason for preparedness…regardless of whether an immediate threat is present…or not. Having said that, it would behoove us to keep tabs on the tropics…the peak of the season has arrived. On that note, let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are the links for this post…

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Do you use WhatsApp? I’d recommend you switch to Telegram. Here’s why.

All iPhone users need to get the latest iOS update immediately.

GENERAL SCIENCE

An eye-opening reminder as to why the maps we know and love offer a very distorted view of our humble home.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

There’s a solar eclipse treat on the menu next year for much of the USA and, understandably, many folks are not a little excited.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Summers in the U.S. bring more than just searing, dangerously hot days. When there’s little air circulation and the air becomes stagnant, high levels of air pollution and increases in the level of ozone are triggered by the hot temperatures. The resulting health consequences for millions of Americans is quite significant. The Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Dallas/Fort Worth metros have had at least two “Ozone Alert Days” so far this summer.

Speaking of sizzling summer days, setting in traffic in urban areas has certain air quality hazards. Here’s a good read on how you can reduce your exposure to pollutants.

Here’s some very good renewables news. Wind power is flourishing in the USA. In fact, the first offshore wind farm in the USA is nearing completion. Unfortunately, the comments section on the latter link is exceptionally cynical.

If wind power won’t work for you, check out solar. The price of solar is declining to all-time record lows.

A disconcerting environmental science/climate read. “This year’s melt season in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas started with a bang, with a record low maximum extent in March and relatively rapid ice loss through May. One NASA sea ice scientist describes this as ‘the new normal.'”

This is very exciting…not just for the USA, but the world in general. President Obama just quadrupled the size of a national marine monument off northwestern Hawaii. It’ll be twice the size of Texas!

Last but not least, the USA’s National Parks just celebrated their 100th anniversary. Here’s a spectacular VR trip through geologic time courtesy of NPR.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A concise overview of the recent deadly floods in Louisiana. By some accounts, the storm system responsible for the heavy rainfall was a “hurricane without the winds.”

This “no name” storm also dumped three times as much rain on Louisiana as Hurricane Katrina.

Here’s a very good read on the Louisiana flooding by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “5 Reasons Some Were Unaware Of One Of The Biggest Weather Disasters Since Sandy.”

On 24 August 2016, a localized outbreak of tornadoes occurred in parts of Indiana and Ohio. The Storm Prediction Center is now being raked over the coals for having “missed” a forecast. Did the SPC miss a forecast and, more importantly, does it matter? There’s been plenty of sophomoric “Monday morning quarterbacking” over this (the vast majority coming from amateur weather hobbyists) who think they are better qualified. I seriously doubt that. As with the hype over what was known as “Invest #99L,” nature always has the better hand and the ace up its sleeve. Dealing with a 3-D fluid that is in a constant state of change is difficult enough for day-to-day forecasting let alone a regional tornado outbreak that didn’t have all the parameters that would have given even the most seasoned forecasters a “heads up.” I can recall several instances this year alone where the SPC was absolutely spot-on in it’s forecast…but all it takes is one “miss” and the trolling begins.

A perfect example of how imagery is worth a thousand words. Take a look at the hottest weather ever visualized.

Can lightning be predicted in the same way forecasters predict precipitation?

An interesting, and irrevocable, climate science & economics connection. As our climate changes, our economies become more vulnerable. The time for economic adaptation is now.

Communities have traditionally prepared for natural disasters based on past events. Extreme weather events will now force communities to confront new climate patterns and prepare with a focus on the future.

An interesting read on the ocean-weather-climate link. “Pacific Sea Level Predicts Global Temperature Changes.”

The latest US Drought Monitor shows dry conditions persist in the western states while spreading in the southeast.

A spot-on read covering tactical capers of climate change denialists. This is anti-science mindsets at their best.

Speaking of climate change denialists, referring them as “skeptics” is disingenuous to the true meaning of skepticism.

THE QUIXOTIC

A spot 0n yet startling read by Lawrence M. Krauss. “Trump’s Anti-Science Campaign.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to give a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have new folks along with the old friends that have been a part of my online community for several years!

Cheers!

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

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

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

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

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 19 – 29, 2016

Greetings everybody! I hope everyone’s having a good week and, if you’re dealing with the heat wave covering a good portion of North America, you’re staying cool and comfortable. For much of the USA, drought conditions are spreading and even include many northeastern states. For folks into citizen science, there’s news regarding the mPING app. And, as usual, there’s plenty of climate data to keep up with…so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re using an older version of the mPING app, please update so your important weather reports will work with the updated database. If you’re not familiar with mPING, it’s a great way for citizen scientists to report weather events to the National Severe Storms Laboratory to help with their research. The mPING app is free, takes up very little space on your smart phone, and is available for both iOS and Android.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter finally dealt a blow to one if it’s most offensive users. Let’s hope this isn’t a one-time publicity stunt.

Twitter is also regrouping in an effort to attract new users in order to, “help people to understand that Twitter isn’t really a Facebook-like social network where you connect with friends and family (thank goodness for that!) nor a place where you have to show up and tweet every day.” For severe weather information, Twitter is “hands-down” the best social media platform to receive severe weather watch and warning information…so long as you follow official media and National Weather Service accounts.

Trolls are an ever-present irritant in the online world, but there are ways to soundly destroy them…and it’s not that difficult.

An incredible technology and aeronautical achievement has just been completed. A solar-powered aircraft had circled the globe!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

An excellent read on why we need to remember the Apollo moon landings.

The red spot storm on Jupiter has been observed for hundreds of years. The air in its thunderstorms boil at temperatures of of at least 2400°F (1300°C).

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Now that the DSCOVR satellite has been orbiting the Earth for over a year, its EPIC camera has finally captured enough images for a year-long time-lapse video of our home.

Thanks to climate change, wildfires in the USA have burned over 2.6 million acres so far this year…and there’s more to come.

California isn’t the only state in the US that is currently ravaged by drought. The northeastern states are in the grips of dry conditions as well.

A novel idea that’s worth looking into. If you’ve got an overabundance of CO2, get more giant trees.

For those who have the daunting task for forecasting flood events, climate change just changed the rules they must play by.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

We all need weather forecasts available on our mobile devices. The National Weather Service has you covered for your summer vacation…and year round.

Weather Ready Graphic

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Do You (Or Your Meteorologist) Understand What 40% Chance Of Rain Means?”

For the next three months (August, September, and October, 2016), NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s outlook is for above average temperatures for the contiguous forty-eight states and Alaska.

We’re only in late July and, according to data from NOAA and NASA, 2016 is already shaping up to be another record-breaking year for global temperatures.

With 2016 shaping up to be another record-breaking year for global temperatures, here’s an important look at many USA cities which are bound to set records of their own.

A new NASA-led study finds that almost one-fifth of the global warming that has occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records due to quirks in how global temperatures were recorded.

A very informative read on how climate models are accurately predicting ocean and global warming.

Part health, part weather…a good read on keeping the human body cool during a heat wave. Your life could depend on it.

While on the topic of heat and the human body, here’s a comprehensive list of seven misconceptions about heat and humidity. Chances are you believe in some of them.

An interesting map of the climate worries that are (most likely) in the USA’s public mind…state-by-state.

An interesting read on one of the more enigmatic lightning related phenomenons in meteorology: ball lightning.

Yet another media-hype unscientific term has infiltrated itself into mass media and the colloquial dictionary. Welcome to the “heat dome.”

Finally, a look at the best arguments that climate change denialists can devise. From the article, “These are the publishing climate scientists who argue that something other than humans is responsible for the majority of global warming, although their explanations are often contradictory and don’t withstand scientific scrutiny.” The flat-earth society is still alive and well.

That’s a wrap for this post!

One last note; due to ongoing commitments to many other projects, this blog post will now be published on Friday. I’d also like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! All of Tornado Quest’s social media links can be found below.

Cheers!

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

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

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

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

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Oct. 25 – Nov. 1, 2015

It’s been a relatively quiet week across much of North America the past week. Heavy rains, partially due to the remnants of Hurricane Patricia, caused dramatic and deadly flash flooding in parts of Texas. The only good part of the rains were the fact that it put a dent into an ongoing drought that’s existed for several weeks across parts of the south-central states. For those of us who dealt with the “daylight saving time” change on November 1st, remember to not only check your smoke detector & carbon monoxide detectors, but the batteries in your NOAA weather radio. Just like the other detectors, someday it could save your life.

Due to a “full dance card,” this week’s post will be brief. In fact, due to some very cool projects (many involving Tornado Quest), this week’s post will once again be on the brief side.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

“All aspects of meteorology are based upon a world-wide 24-hour clock called Zulu time (Z), more commonly called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)” Here’s how to convert UTC/Zulu to your local time. Speaking of which, this nonsense of turning clocks back and forth twice a year is, in the 21st Century, just that…nonsense.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

The history of science, and medicine in particular, has fascinated me for years. Here’s a somewhat grisly look at surgical-related illustrations from the 19th century.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

“Can Civil Comments Kill The Internet Troll?” It’s worth a try…but the last thing one should ever do is give in to nefarious interlopers.

There’s a perfectly good and rational reason the iOS Siri’s voice is female.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

A sobering write-up on the trials and tribulations of adult friendship.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The water woes of the western USA states have taken on an unfortunate, yet inevitable, social taboo dimension.

Floridians are having quite a row over keeping the state frack-free. It would be in their best interest to stay that way.

Air pollution has been placed in the top ten health risks faced by human beings globally. Delhi has the, “dubious accolade of being regularly cited as the most polluted city in the world.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The United States may be in the middle of a “hurricane drought,” but it would behoove folks in hurricane prone regions to not become complacent

Hurricane Patricia was one of the most powerful hurricanes in the eastern Pacific since records have been kept. Compared to other hurricanes of equal intensity, why did Patricia kill so few people?

Did the USA’s Dust Bowl come to an end in the 1940’s? Absolutely not.

Some very nice work by Phil Plait. “If Global Warming Is A Hoax…

THE QUIXOTIC

A gem of cynical climate change denialism from one of Oklahoma’s largest newspapers. “We’re Sure To Hear Plenty About Climate Change In The Weeks Ahead.”

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. Glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest on Twitter

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Oct. 14 – 25, 2015

There have been many big weather and climate relates stories this week but the one that was most dominant was Hurricane Patricia. There’s no doubt that Patricia was one for the record books, but the manner in which that was conveyed by mainstream media to the general public has brought about a great deal of discussion. The latest US Drought Monitor shows a startling increase in drought conditions from Texas into Mississippi as the western states drought has become the “status quo.” As for our climate, the latest State Of The Climate report has been issued and, to no one’s surprise, September 2015 was indeed warm…globally.

Shifting gears here a bit at Tornado Quest. Our weekly Science Links And More will now be posted on Sundays. As a result, and due to several other ongoing (but exciting) projects, this post will be on the brief side.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Fight For The Future is worth checking out, especially if you have concerns about privacy rights.

If you use the iOS operating system, there’s 184 new emojis to choose from…including a tornado!

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a list of six cool citizen science projects to help you monitor the environment around you.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Mars has a very unique climate…a bit like Earth’s, and simultaneously a bit “alien.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

No surprise here. In fact, this was quite inevitable. USGS study links earthquakes due to fracking as far back as the 1920’s.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report is out. One of the most startling (but sadly not unexpected) findings is that during September, 2015, record warmth was documented globally.

The public perception of climate change is finally beginning to change itself and concur with the overwhelming scientific evidence.

This week’s US Drought Monitor (20 October 2015) shows the rapid spread of drought conditions from central Texas into western Mississippi.

Hurricane Patricia was a truly remarkable event in the eastern Pacific. Here’s a very nice overview from NASA with some spectacular imagery.

Near the height of Patricia’s intensity, this is what the Category 5 hurricane looked like from a visible satellite viewpoint at 9:15AM (1415 UTC) on 23 October 2015.

Hurricane Patricia Vis Sat 1 23 Oct 2015 1415 UTC

Finally, a somewhat technical but interesting read on atmospheric chemistry and air pollution in China.

I’d like to send a hearty “welcome” to my new followers on social media! Glad you’re along for the fun! 😎

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest on Twitter

Tornado Quest Science Links and Much More for August 17 – 24, 2014

Summer heat has settled in across the central and southern plains this week bringing with it seasonably hot temperatures and dewpoints that make the atmosphere “air you wear.” In the tropics, the Pacific has still been active (Hurricane Marie is now a Category 5), but fortunately no land masses are currently threatened. The Atlantic has also remained quiet as of late save for Cristobal which has an erratic future that has spurred not a little hype.

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

TECHNOLOGY

Like it or not, Google Maps can track your every move. Fortunately, you can do something about that.

While on the topic of privacy, here are some good iOS privacy tips.

Regardless of what browser you use, you should be using privacy extensions. Here’s an overview of some of the best. I use many of these myself and can’t recommend them highly enough.

There are chances coming to your Twitter timeline that, in my opinion, are bound to be irritating.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project where you can help scientists identify cities at night and help increase our knowledge of light pollution.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Why does NASA study the ultraviolet sun? Solar weather and public health are just two of many reasons.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

The “cookie-cutter” nature of many new subdivisions and home owner associations are going legal over some residents attempts at installing solar energy equipment.

While on the topic of solar power, here’s a look at the top ten solar energy states in the US.

How about some good news. According to the EPA, progress is being made in reducing urban air toxics in the US.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Napa Valley region of California had the strongest earthquake since 1989 in the early morning hours of 24 August, 2014. If you felt it, here are three ways you can report your information.

With the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma taking a dramatic uptick  in recent years (with as many as 20 in one day), many folks have questions. Here’s a good OK Earthquake FAQ from the OK Geological Survey.

The ongoing drought in western states, California in particular, is potent enough to move mountains.

If you need information on Iceland’s #Bárðarbunga volcano, the Iceland Met Office has all the latest information you need.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For the latest on Cristobal, follow the National Hurricane Center at @NHC_Atlantic on Twitter or their website at this link. Of course, your local and/or national broadcast weather sources of your choice will have good info as well.

When it comes to weather and climate research, three radars are always better than one.

Here’s this week’s US Drought Monitor. Some relief for the southern plains, but much of California is still in the grips of a brutal drought.

The Climate Prediction Center’s drought outlook is out…and there’s no relief in sight for many western states.

The “hurricane hype” from “mediarologists and storm chasers is really nothing new, but a constant irritant that’s frequently seen during tornado warnings, blizzards, derechos, etc. What’s one to do? Remember, only heed warning information from your local National Weather Service office and the broadcast weather sources of your choice. The Weather Channel’s WX Geeks show addresses this in a recent episode. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Thanks to WX Geeks host Dr. Marshall Shepherd for posting all three parts on Twitter.

The heat island effect cooks US cities to the broiling point. Having been born and raised in a large metro area, I can attest to the validity of this.

Being a climate scientist isn’t easy in the current political climate (no pun intended) which tends to put a higher priority on short-term profits over long-term public health of current, and future, generations.

One of this week’s best links…”A Little Love For The Locals, Please?” Being a broadcast meteorologist isn’t the bright lights and glamour many assume it to be.

A LOOK AT THE OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS IN SCIENCE…

Sometimes, evidence based facts can induce vitriol of the worst kind. Teaching people how to think (aka critical thinking) and not what to think can be a most daunting task.

Have a great week…

Cheers!

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