Tag Archives: katrina

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 26 – September 2, 2015

For all my followers in the Northern Hemisphere, I’d like to extend a “Happy Meteorological Autumn” to you. Nothing magically happens on September 1, December 1, etc…it’s simply an easy way to categorize climatological seasons. For many of us in North America, we won’t notice many changes for several more weeks. In fact, the most noticeable change for those of us in the Great Plains are the days with decreasing hours of daylight. That will continue until the Winter Solstice in late December when, once again, the days will slowly get longer in spite of many long winter days ahead. As for the tropical cyclone activity, the Atlantic has behaved quite well. Erika was forecast by many computer models to reach hurricane intensity and threaten Florida and possibly the eastern seaboard. Fortunately, that didn’t come to fruition. On the flip side, Fred ramped up quickly west of the African coast which prompted an unheard of Hurricane Warning for the Cape Verde Islands. The Pacific has been another story. Just this past week for the first time since records have been kept, three major category hurricanes were in progress at the same time and all three visible on the same satellite image. Quite the jaw-dropping sight!


vis sat hurricane

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


A disconcerting read on how an increasing number of wireless users are being tracked by “zombie cookies.”

Google Chrome users have a reason to celebrate. Auto-play Flash ads are now blocked in Chrome.


Fall into Phenology with this very cool citizen science project from Project BudBurst. With autumn just around the corner, now’s the time to get involved!

Here’s an intriguing European citizen science project where smart phone users can collect data on air pollution.


From the North American Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest, large wildfires are becoming increasingly common and more destructive.

Speaking of wildfires, in 2015 alone, more than 8 million acres across the USA have been consumed. That’s an area larger than the state of Maryland.

Wildfires in close proximity can be lethal, but so can the resulting smoke which can travel hundreds of miles.

I’ve read several disturbing stories about this and, unfortunately, it’s likely to only get worse. “Plastic In 99% Of Seabirds By 2050.”

Iceland, you’ve always rocked in my book…and this takes you up a few notches higher. “Iceland turned an old coal plant into a haven for artists and entrepreneurs.”

Pope Francis has courageously stepped up to the plate once again…this time he’s asking the rich and powerful to do their share on behalf of our humble home.

You don’t have to be rich and powerful to do something good. Here’s a good list of eleven tips for saving water…and money.


An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on why it’s easier to track a hurricane than predict its intensity.

This is a fascinating, but not surprising, study from NASA on the connection of vegetation and the urban heat island effect.

Upon close examination and after ten years, these satellite images from NOAA of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath are still startling.

A very interesting retrospective. One hundred sixty years of hurricanes in one infographic.

Finally, September is National Preparedness Month in the USA. The theme for 2015 is “Dont’ Wait, Communicate.” Check out www.ready.gov for details.

I’d like to extend a hearty “Welcome!” to my new followers…glad you’re along for the fun!

That’s a wrap for this post…the 200th post for me on this particular blog since April, 2009. I’m looking forward to the next 200…and much, much more!


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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…


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.


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


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.


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!


Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For August 12 – 19, 2015

As of this post, the tropical Atlantic just got interesting. The National Hurricane Center has just named an area of low pressure “Danny” which, as of today, is tropical storm forecast to reach hurricane status. The ongoing drought in the USA’s western states continues on a steady course. Any rain received will offer little help. We’ll take a quick look at those topics and more this week…so let’s get started.

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


Is there elegance in science? Indeed there is! From the microscopic to the atmospheric to the vastness of the cosmos, few other areas of study have such amazingly inimitable beauty as science.


A most disturbing privacy related read on the AT&T and NSA partnership.


The increase in popularity of citizen science is amazing and something that I strongly support and advocate. In spite of the good points, concerns do exists…especially with those who have an ax to grind. Objectivity is not only paramount, but good scientific ethics.


Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the social and psychological scars are still very deep, fresh, and won’t go away in spite of any rebuilding and infrastructure rejuvenation.


If you’ve not seen Google’s Earth View, you should check it out. It has a plethora of amazing satellite images from around the world.

Rain will be welcome in drought-ravaged California. What will happen when heavy rains arrive will be another story.

A not-so-good read for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. “Nitrogen dioxide air pollution increases allergenicity (aka potency) in ragweed pollen.”

An interesting recycling concept: taking old shoes and using them for an energy source.


Tropical cyclone Danny is currently at tropical storm status. According to the current National Hurricane Center forecasts, it should become a hurricane by Friday, August 20, 2015. Obviously, all of this is tentative and subject to change…so please follow the National Hurricane Center for the latest updates and forecast information.

Intriguing read on the relation of Amazon fire risk and its possible links to tropical cyclone/hurricane formation.

If you thought July, 2015 was hot in the USA, you were right. In fact, 2015 may well surpass 2014 as the hottest year on planet Earth since records have been kept.

An interesting read from Climate Central on the importance of the Antarctic ice sheets and their relation to sea level rise.

This week is the 46th anniversary of Hurricane Camille…one of only three Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in the USA. Here’s a fascinating National Hurricane Center report from September, 1969 on this major weather event. (64 page PDF file)

The Old Farmer’s almanac is indeed popular…but take any weather forecast contained in any issued with a very large grain of salt.

That’s a wrap for this post!

I’d like to extend a hearty “welcome” to my new followers. I’m really glad you’re along for the fun.


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