Tag Archives: lightning safety

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For May 1 – 8. 2017 #HurricaneStrong

Hurricane Preparedness Week #HurricaneStrong has started for the USA. This week’s focus will be on preparing for these powerful storms. If you live in a hurricane prone region, now is the time to prepare. There are numerous websites from the National Weather Service, the American Red Cross, and FEMA that have helpful information.

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


With the current USA’s Environmental Protection Agency now out of the climate science business, here are some good resources to keep yourself informed.

Here’s some very good renewables news. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a new wind turbine was installed every two and a half hours in the United States during the first quarter of 2017.

Arbor Day may only officially be celebrated once a year, but in reality every day can be arbor day.

In spite of improvements in many countries, air pollution still is a substantial public health issue round the world with developing countries having the most troubles.

The contentious atmosphere (no pun intended) surrounding the current presidential administration, the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues with nefarious overtones.


It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week in the USA from May 7 – 13, 2017. Now is the time to get prepared if you live in a hurricane prone region. The National Weather Service has a comprehensive hurricane preparedness website with all the information you need. On Twitter, you can also follow @NWS along the #hurricanePrep #HurricaneStrong & #ItOnlyTakesOne hashtags for more information.

Here’s a very nice infographic from the National Weather Service with a plethora of information on the WSR-88D weather radars that are an invaluable part of the forecasting and warning process.

NOAA has a very useful tool you can use to find out how climate change will affect your neighborhood.

Taking into consideration the recent changes in the Antarctic ice shelves, a major break could be imminent.

A slower rise in global temperatures from 1998 to 2012 has been hailed by climate change denialists as proof that Earth’s climate isn’t changing and future projections are irrelevant. In fact, new data show that the “hiatus” has no impact on long-term climate change projections.

Big changes in the broadcast meteorology field with the minority finally becoming the majority. Broadcast meteorologists are coming to the inevitable conclusion that they’re not only the only scientists their viewers will ever see on television, but that climate change is now a part of the essential information they must convey to their viewers.

The recent drought in California may be linked to a newly identified climate pattern.

This past week marked the eighteen anniversary of the 3 May 1999 Kansas and Oklahoma tornado outbreak, the largest outbreak to date in the history of Oklahoma. The National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK has a comprehensive retrospective with a wealth of information. And yes, it can and will happen again.

This past week also marked the tenth anniversary of the Greensburg, KS EF-5 tornado. Thanks to fast and effective warnings from the Dodge City, KS National Weather Service and good coverage by broadcast meteorologists, many people had plenty of warning. A few decades ago, a tornado of this magnitude would have resulted in dozens of fatalities.

We’ve not heard the last of this for a long, long time. “New York Times Wants To Offer Diverse Opinions. But On Climate, Facts Are Facts.”

Finally, some helpful lightning safety information courtesy the National Weather Service office in Burlington, VT. Every year approximately thirty people are killed and hundreds injured in the USA alone from lightning. Most if not all of these deaths and injuries are avoidable.

That’s a wrap for this post…see you next time!


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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For June 16 – 24, 2015

With the arrival of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, the summer heat has arrived over much of the southern contiguous USA with a vengeance. In mid to late June, we’re already dealing with triple digit heat indices. It’s probably safe to say that the severe weather season, with a few exceptions, is a done deal for the traditional tornado alley. Oddly enough, the epicenter of severe weather shifted to the northern plains, Great Lakes, and south-central Canada unusually early this year. The Pope’s message on climate and the environment has been big news…and should be. While not perfect, it’s a step in the right direction.

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


If you’ve never watched This Week In Science, be sure to check out their YouTube channel. Dr. Kiki Sanford and company have a plethora of cool science topics every week. I’ve watched TWIS for years and highly recommend it to anyone of all ages who has an interest in anything and everything science.


Oklahoma is on a pace to break its earthquake records of years past. Shake, frack, and roll.


New NASA data shows the world’s largest underground aquifers, which are a source of fresh water for hundreds of millions of people, are being depleted at alarming rates.
As an avid recycler, I’ve learned to avoid plastic as much as possible. It’s not easy, but we all have to deal with it…often involuntarily.
Here are six good reasons to either avoid or recycle plastic as much as possible.
A “tip-of-the-hat” to Mom’s Clean Air Force for their recent Father’s Day article, “Five Ways Dad’s Can Fight For Clean Air.”Speaking of clean air, the pollution in Chile has been so bad as of late that a “pollution emergency” was declared in Santiago.


This week is Lightning Safety Week in the USA. Here’s some “bookmark-worthy” safety information from the National Weather Service.

The latest US Drought Monitor map shows the drastic reduction in drought conditions for the southern plains. Unfortunately, conditions for California have been static.

Summer has arrived with a vengeance across the south and southern plains states. Climate Central takes a look at how summers since 1970 have compared to one another.

The Pope’s recent encyclical on the climate and environment has stirred many reactions…including some who find it a bitter pill to swallow.

While the Pope’s encyclical was a good start, Lawrence M. Krauss adeptly points out its shortcomings.

Economics and climatology may seem strange bedfellows, but there is a connection.

Here’s a very thought-provoking read on the complexities and problems in ranking climate data and statistics. “Is Second Place Really First Loser?”

A bizarre National Weather Service restructuring program has been shelved (for the time being) and in its place is something beneficial and life-saving…NWS severe weather communication.

That’s a wrap for this post!


This week in social media: Tornado Quest on About Me


Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For March 9 – 16, 2015

With the spring severe weather season around the atmospheric corner, many states are having ‘severe weather awareness’ weeks or events in order to raise public awareness. It may seem ironic after a long winter (at least for the eastern half of the contiguous USA) and spring storms may seem like they’re years away. Unfortunately, they’re not. One of the primary hazards is lightning. Much to the surprise of many, lightning is second only to flash floods in weather related deaths. I’ve included several lightning safety links in this post and hope you’ll find some good information to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Due to time constraints and a very busy schedule, I’ve included a few links this week that didn’t make it into post from the past two previous weeks. Some are from sources that I don’t usually use or have never shared before. Their inclusion in this post is merely to share an opposing opinion, information, and/or make a point…and in no way conveys any degree of endorsement.

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


Google it taking a new view of web site rankings that, overall, is much welcomed. As expected, there’s a backlash that’s quite amusing to observe. Other viewpoints take a different stance.


I couldn’t have said it better myself. “One thing is certain: if our educational system does not honestly and explicitly promote the central tenet of science—that nothing is sacred—then we encourage myth and prejudice to endure.”


Every so often a good primer on citizen science comes along…and this is a good one.

In March and September, 2015, you have a cool opportunity to help measure how our night skies are changing.


Most everyone’s shower wastes a lot of water and energy. Here’s a good read with tips to help you save water and money.

Making your home greener on a budget is easier than you think.

This can’t come to fruition soon enough. “Wind could power a third of America’s electricity by 2015.”


The Oklahoma “quakegate” plot thickens. “Under pressure? Do emails tell of earthquake information sharing or state, industry interference?”

Here’s a nice look at Tonga’s newly formed volcanic island. Time to update your world maps.


A concise overview of recent decisions the IPCC made about its future.

Some climate scientists on both sides of the spectrum are concerned that, “investigations on both sides of the debate tread on the academic freedom of researchers everywhere.” I concur…in spite of my own opinions which are in agreement with the vast majority of climate scientists.

Spin doctors contribute nothing beneficial to the public, but manufacture a great deal of nefarious noise where everyone who disagrees is guilty until they prove themselves innocent.

While on that topic, here’s an interesting look back at what climate change deniers said of the IPCC twenty years ago.

Climate change is giving the term “Baked Alaska” a whole new meaning.

How Many Tornadoes Has Your City Seen Since 1950? The answer may surprise you.

As for the coming severe weather season, here’s an interesting read on an experimental tornado forecasting technique.

Boston set a record with 108.6 inches of snow this year…to date. If you do the math, that’s nine feet (and change) of snow!


Lightning safety information from the National Weather Service. Top notch info.

An excellent 20 page PDF file from the National Weather Service: “Thunderstorms, Lightning, Tornadoes…Nature’s Most Violent Storms

Personal lightning safety information links from the National Lightning Safety Institute.

NCAA lightning safety information specifically geared towards outdoor sporting events.

Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors website.


Being a native Oklahoman has its perks…and drawbacks. You’re naturally inclined to have a sense of humor about your state, being an “Okie,” and the never-ending jokes. I only wish this were a joke.

And on that note, that’s a wrap for this post. I’d like to welcome my new followers…glad you’re along for the fun! I’m in this for the long haul and, having just had my 6th anniversary on Twitter, my 17th anniversary of Tornado Quest being online, and my 33rd anniversary of being a storm chaser, am more than a little excited to be working on some nice stuff for weather and science buffs from all walks of life. We are just getting started!


Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For June 25 – July 6, 2014

Aside from a few episodes of severe weather, the formation of Hurricane Arthur kicks off the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. Summer is settling in over much of North America and hopefully it won’t be as brutal as recent summers. Even if it is cooler, drought conditions still plague many states from CA to OK & TX. Thanks to Arthur and the Independence Day holiday, I’m running a few days behind on this post but, considering the way good stories are posted to various sites, I may change the post date of Gee-O-Science links to the weekend. We all know how crazy the weekdays can become with an overwhelming blizzard of news…science based or otherwise.

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


Check out this very cool list from Caren Cooper of recent science publications that relied on citizen science!

Another cool piece from Caren Cooper on Thomas Jefferson’s legacy of inspiring a nation of citizen scientists.


Can studying human behavior in the wake of natural disasters help us in the future?


An interesting and very timely segment on this week’s Science Friday on the hazards, shills, and sock puppets so prevalent in social media.

Science Friday had a fascinating segment this week…”The Web Of Doubt.”  A slick website, professional demeanor, & trollish ego dripping with confidence doesn’t beget a benevolent individual or organization. Caveat emptor.


There’s an increasingly strong link between the recent increase in Oklahoma earthquakes and fracking.

Take a gander at these jaw-dropping images of the world’s deepest cave.


A novel idea. Turning waste food into biogas.

For cities that get a lot of sunlight, white roofs offer potential benefits to occupants and local climate.

After a slow start to the mosquito “season,” recent floods across parts of the US may induce a drastic increase in mosquito population.


Check out this very cool lightning detection site with worldwide maps.

You’re familiar with the heat index. Do you know about the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature and how using it can keep you safe & healthy in the summer heat?

Here’s another spot-on blog post from the inimitable Chuck Doswell. I love how he never beats around the bush.

What really annoys scientists about the climate change debate? Aside from slander, libel, and sophomoric vitriol we (and I) know all too well…a lot.

Here’s a no-frills look at climate change science in a simple table.

Hurricane Arthur was the big weather headline of this week. Tornadoes and waterspouts are a frequent hazard of tropical cyclones as they make landfall. Here’s a very good FAQ from NOAA on hurricanes & tornadoes.

The ongoing Oklahoma drought is bringing back memories of the 1930’s Dust Bowl.

Hurricane Arthur was not only the “debut” of the Atlantic hurricane season, but helped debut a new storm surge map.

When it comes to lightning safety, the “lightning crouch” will make no difference. The key to survival is not placing yourself (by design or accident) in a scenario where you can get struck.  Simply put, if you can hear thunder, you’re in danger.

Speaking of lightning safety, it’s not out of the question that dozens could be killed at an outdoor sports venue by lightning.

Finishing our links on lightning, here’s an interesting look at USA lightning fatality statistics from 1959 – 2013 (3 page PDF file).

Last but not least, a very thought-provoking essay: “When Beliefs And Facts Collide.”

That’s a wrap for this week!



Gee-O-Science Links For July 15 -21, 2013

Summer has a firm grip on much of North America. There have been several rounds of severe weather across the northern plains of the USA & the south-central provinces of Canada. From a climate standpoint, it’s the time of year for their “severe weather season” and it will last a few more weeks. As usual, there are a plethora of science links to enjoy, so let’s get started…


Interesting take on the scientific peer review process and it’s limitations.


Home of the strange: “The web’s weirdest places” ~ Truly idiosyncratic places…

Does weather affect website traffic and search engine performance?

A very interesting and timely essay from the Electronic Frontier Foundation regarding online privacy.


Fellow fans of the Tyrannosaurus Rex can rest easy. Our favorite carnivore’s reputation is left intact with recent evidence.

A interdisciplinary article…evolution is having trouble keeping up with climate change.


Increasing amounts of plastic debris in our oceans is having a detrimental effect on many aspects of ocean life.


Oklahoma’s OETA has put together an excellent episode of “Stateline” on the National Weather Center!

Check out the new experimental National Weather Service User Defined Area Forecast!

Data from the National Climactic Data Center shows what a histrionic month June, 2013 was for the contiguous 48 U.S. states.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that air pollution can be held responsible for up to 2 million fatalities per year.

When it’s hot, it’s not just the heat. Ozone is a significant health threat to millions worldwide (and many major U.S. cities).

When summer temperatures soar, pets need special attention. Here’s some great info on helping your pets keep their cool.

If you live in Oregon or Washington state and it seems the nights are warmer, it’s not your imagination.

Why does hot weather cause power outages? The answer is surprisingly simple.

With the loss of many natural buffers, the number of people at risk from hurricanes could double.

Farmers in the U.S. view climate change as just another weather challenge.

Interesting read on how “brown oceans” fuel hurricanes.

Speaking of hurricanes, the Dept. of Homeland Security is taking an interest in predicting hurricanes.

The sequester’s worrisome impacts on hurricane hunters is a potentially dangerous shortcoming.

Here’s an example of an exclusive club that you really don’t want to join. Trust me.

In a rapidly changing Arctic climate, the U.S is playing catchup…and currently has no surface-based Navy ships that are capable of navigating the icy waters.

A bill mandating that NOAA ignore climatology is blasting through legislation with little or no attention. Lawmakers/public elected servants are woefully ignorant of the fact that NOAA’s primary purpose is far more diverse than short-term forecasts.


Take a look at several dozen stunning libraries from all over the world.


This is a new feature that I’m going to give a try. Occasionally, I do come across items that I’ve been particularly pleased with in terms of quality, durability, value for the investment, and overall usefulness. But first a quick note: This is purely subjective in nature and I am in no way being compensated by these companies. Also, this will not always be a monthly parts of the Tornado Quest “Gee-O-Science” links post & will only be used when I feel it’s appropriate. I’d like to start off with a recommendation for Kestrel Meters. For over 12 years, I’ve used a variety of their meters and have yet to be disappointed. They offer a variety of meters that are perfect for storm spotters/chasers, atmospheric field research operations, hiking/nature outings, recreational activities of all kinds, HVAC technicians, and so much more. Highly recommended!

And that’s a wrap! Have a great week everyone and if you’re sweltering in the summer heat, take it easy out there.


Lightning Safety, A Few New Links, & A Heat Wave That’s Here To Stay

To say that things in my world have been a bit on the busy side is a vast understatement. Fortunately, a lot of good things have been happening. One thing of particular note is some help I’ll be getting on expanding Tornado Quest’s social media presence on a variety of platforms…starting with Twitter, of course. I’m looking forward to it a great deal. Finding the right blend of branding and being an advocate for science education and the scientific method is tough, but it’s looking promising. Stay tuned.

While perusing some info on lightening safety (after all this is Lightning Safety Week), I came across two great videos…take a look…

Beyond Thunder Dumb: When Lightening Strikes…

Lightning: The Impacts On People

While one is a more light-hearted look at lightning safety, it still has good info. Both are worth watching.

I’ve added a few new links to the Tornado Quest Links page. This will serve as my main website links page until I’m able to change webhosts and redesign Tornado Quest.

I also came across a really interesting read regarding heat waves and climate change. Very solid scientific writing by folks who are real scientists.

As usual, critical thinking, reasoning, and the scientific method will discreetly trump theocratic-political polemics.

Carry on…& cheers!


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