Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For December 17 – 24, 2018

Happy Holiday greetings and Merry Christmas to all! If you’re celebrating the holidays, I hope the season is going well for you. For those traveling, take it easy out there…and prepare for delays…even in the best conditions. For this post, we’ll take a look back at 2018 and a look ahead at 2019. Finally, I’ve also included the Winter Weather Safety tips and hope that some of you find the information helpful. Let’s get started…

WINTER WEATHER SAFETY

With winter weather firmly entrenched across the Northern Hemisphere, it’s never too late to review winter weather safety information. These links will help you get started.

National Weather Service Homepage

Winter Weather Safety and Awareness

Winter Storms: The Deceptive Killers

National Weather Service Wind Chill Chart

National Weather Service Printable PDF Wind Chill Chart

NOAA Weather Radio

Interactive NOAA Weather Radio Coverage Map

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

Preparing Your Pets For Disasters And Emergencies

Dressing for winter weather is simple, but very important. Several warm layers will keep you much warmer than one very thick layer.

Infographic courtesy NOAA

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

That’s a wrap for this post! If you’re celebrating the holiday season, I hope it’s going well. Also, I’d like to send a warm “Welcome” to my new followers in social media and a “Thank You” for my long-time followers! Thank you so much for all the support and kind words this past year. Your friendship and loyalty is appreciated a great deal! You can also visit me at the other social media links below!

Cheers!

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

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Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For November 5 – 12, 2018

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather has been to your liking regardless of where you live. It’s been a tranquil November in the tropical Atlantic, but there’s still a possibility for development until late November and early December. The big news is the ongoing wildfires in California which, as of this post, have killed over two dozen people. We’ll look at those fires, plus many other topics. Let’s get started.

Photo credit: NASA

Last but not least, I’m continuing to share the Hurricane Preparedness link. Regardless of the month, it’s never to early or late to prepare. There is an area of interest as of 11 November 2018 in the Caribbean that bears watching. Tropical or subtropical cyclones in November are not unheard of…so best be prepared even if there’s a bit of a chill in the wind at your location.

A Hurricane Preparedness Primer

For those of you who live in hurricane prone regions, this page will give you a starting point on preparedness. This link will be posted each week until the end of the Atlantic tropical cyclone season. If you’ve not prepared for a tropical cyclone, it’s not too late in the season. You an also prepare for next year any month of the year. We’ve a few more weeks left for tropical cyclone formation. Substantial hurricanes and tropical storms have occurred in November…and will occur again. Also, here’s a reminder on how to manage the plethora of social media outlets during the tropical cyclone season. This is also applicable to any weather event year round; winter weather, severe weather, etc.

Infographic courtesy NWS Wakefield, Virginia, USA

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 Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Facebook, so am I…let’s connect!

Cheers!

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

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Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For October 8 – 15, 2018

Greetings to one and all! This has been an exceptional weather and climate week in every way. Hurricane Michael proved to be a devastating event in terms of damage…the scope of which we are just beginning to grasp the extent of less than a week after it is 10 October 2018 landfall on the Florida panhandle. In meteorological terms, it will rank as one of the top ten most powerful hurricanes to affect the USA. From very modest beginnings as a diffuse low pressure center on 2 October 2018, it grew into a cluster of thunderstorms east of Central America. Hurricane Michael then took advantage of optimal atmospheric conditions and unseasonably warm Gulf of Mexico water temperatures to intensify to a hurricane that was a high-end Category 4 storm. The latest IPCC UN climate report also got a considerable amount of attention and is certainly a subject that needs to be addressed immediately.

Hurricane Michael as a high-end Category 4 storm shortly before landfall on the Florida panhandle on 10 October 2018.

Hurricane Michael’s Eye Viewed From The International Space Station By NASA Goddard Space Flight Center From Greenbelt, MD, USA

A Hurricane Preparedness Primer

For those of you who live in hurricane prone regions, this page will give you a starting point on preparedness. This link will be posted each week until the end of the Atlantic tropical cyclone season. If you’ve not prepared for a tropical cyclone, it’s not too late in the season. We’ve several more weeks left for tropical cyclone formation. Major hurricanes have occurred in October and November…and will occur again. Also, here’s a reminder on how to manage the plethora of social media outlets during the tropical cyclone season.

Infographic courtesty National Weather Service, Wakefield, Virginia, USA

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to send a welcome to my new followers in social media and thank everyone who follows me! I’m glad you’re along for the fun! Also, a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for my long-time followers. I appreciate all of you. If you’re on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Facebook, you’ll find links to my accounts on those social media outlets below.

Until next time…stay safe and keep and eye on the weather.

Cheers!

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

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

 

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Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For June 5 – 12, 2017

Greetings to one and all! For those of us in North American, summer is in full swing with sizzling temperatures expected for the next several days. Summer heat is a highly underrated weather hazard and I’ve got some outstanding information from the National Weather Service in this week’s post. As for severe weather, it’s going to be a very quiet period for much of the Great Plains the next few days. Overall, May 2017 was quieter than usual across the contiguous USA with the number of tornadoes, high wind, and hail reports being below normal. And, of course, the big news of the past few days has been the USA’s decision to discontinue commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Fortunately, at the state and local level, there’s a groundswell gathering momentum that will hold to the commitment and do the right thing. There’s plenty to go over, so let’s begin.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re looking for a way to help out weather research with crowdsourcing citizen science, the mPING project is for you. The free app is easy to use and you can send reports year round for a variety of weather conditions.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

We’ve just observed World Oceans Day. Considering that approximately 75% of the surface of the earth is covered by water, it behooves us all to have a thorough understanding of how our oceans work and how important they are to our forms of life.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a look back at severe weather activity in the USA for May, 2017. Of note are two events recorded in Oklahoma…a 104mph non-tornadic gust reported at the Walters, OK Oklahoma Mesonet station and a 4.25″ hailstone that was documented in Okfuskee County, OK. The number of tornadoes nationwide was 290…only slightly higher than the statistical average of 276. Overall, it was a below normal month in severe weather activity.

Infographic courtesty NOAA Storm Prediction Center

This week marks the anniversary of the June 8, 1974 Great Plains tornado outbreak. While not one of the larger outbreaks of recent years, long-time residents remember this event well. The Tulsa, OK metro was hit by three tornadoes with up to EF-3 damage in some areas. The deadliest tornado was the Drumright, OK EF-4 which killed fourteen people along a thirty mile long path. Here’s a overview of the events across several great plains states.

This is also the anniversary of the Barneveld, Wisconsin EF-5 tornado. The Milwaukee, WI National Weather Service has a comprehensive overview.

Here’s a look at the dangers of sea level rise in the USA according to new data from NOAA.

Many American residents who don’t have a good understanding of hour weather and climate work are prime targets for climate change denialists who prey on their lack of earth science knowledge.

While on the topic of the American public, Dr. Marshall Shepherd has written and excellent essay on fifteen suggestions for broadcast meteorologists on conveying weather information to their viewers.

Flooding in the USA kills more people annually than tornadoes, lightning, high winds, and hurricanes combined. It would behoove those of us in America to take the threat of climate change induced flooding very, very seriously.

Summer heat is settling in across much of North America. By observing heat safety tips, heat illnesses and deaths can be prevented.

Infographic courtesy NOAA

PUBLIC POLICY

One of the most thought-provoking articles I’ve read as of late. The subtitle says it all and it right on the mark. “For too long, liberals have been treating climate change as a third or fourth tier issue. As the US exits the Paris Climate Accord, it’s time for liberals to re-evaluate an issue that subsumes all others.”

In some form of media, climate change denial, both scientific and political, is nurtured in a variety of ways. Most of it goes unchallenged. It’s time to change that and call the denialists out. This will also require some introspection on the part of those of us who accept the overwhelming evidence of climate change science.

A disturbingly unsettling read on six ways budget cuts will hamper NOAA’s weather forecasting capabilities. Yes, this will affect you in more ways than you can imagine.

As of this post, thirteen states in the USA are continuing on with their commitment to the Paris Agreement. Let’s hope that in short order many other states join their ranks.

While on the topic of dedication to commitment, here’s another good read from Climate Central on how the USA can hold to its promise for the Paris Agreement.

Asking public officials if they “believe” in climate change is the wrong way to attempt an initiation of a productive dialogue.

Last but not least, is there a way that individual Americans can still follow the Paris Climate Agreement? Absolutely. Here’s how.

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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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…

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

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.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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!

Cheers!


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

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Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For April 16 – 23, 2017

Greetings to one and all…and a belated Happy Earth Day! While every day should be Earth day, this is the one of the few days during the year that global consciousness on the current state and fragile future of our humble home can be brought to the forefront of public consciousness. To be practical, this is the only home our species and the thousands of other species will ever know. It would behoove is to be good stewards and take a keen interest in the welfare of this amazing orb whirling round our sun. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. Abuse it and, well…there are unpleasant ramifications.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

If you thought bad air quality was a moderate health hazard, thing again. It’s much worse.

Many areas of the USA and Canada that are prone to wildfires have residents that are forced into learning how to live with this annual hazard.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest State Of The Climate report from NOAA is out. Here’s a look at the climate conditions and events for March, 2017.

Visual aids are fantastic for conveying information. The impact can be substantial. This graphic that puts global warming into an easily comprehensible perspective is particularly startling.

Antarctic ice melt, previously thought to be progressing but rather slowly, is now much worse and widespread than we thought.

Conveying the importance of climate change to the general public is a never-ending and daunting task. “Why Humans Are So Bad At Thinking About Climate Change.”

From the Royal Meteorological Society, “An international coalition of 33 meteorological and climate societies and institutions have released a Collective Global Climate Statement to coincide with Earth Day on 22nd April, which this year is focused on environmental and climate literacy. The Statement was initiated and coordinated by the Royal Meteorological Society.”

In spite of its frequency, lightning it one of the most enigmatic atmospheric phenomenons. Here’s a fascinating look at some of the forms it can take. Sprites, often seen above strong/severe supercell thunderstorms, are my personal favorite.

Atmospheric aerosols are an essential element of our weather and air quality. Sunlight is responsible for chemical reactions in our lower atmosphere…the atmosphere we live in and breathe.

Some Twitter chatter from those steeped in hyperbole has been carelessly using the word “outbreak” as of late in reference to potential severe weather. What exactly is a tornado outbreak? (Paper courtesy Rick Smith, WCM for NWS Norman, OK.)

Speaking of severe weather and tornadoes, here’s a nice retrospective from US Tornadoes of all the tornado warnings issued in the USA since 2008.

For some people, anxiety and/or phobias regarding weather, specifically severe weather, are a real challenge to their everyday quality of life and no laughing matter. Fortunately, there are resources available to help anyone why suffers with this challenge…and when you live in Tornado Alley, it can be especially stressful.

Infographic courtesy National Weather Service: Norman, OK

Heat is one of the most underrated weather related hazards and is often fatal. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people with no access to air conditioning or forced to work out of doors in heat that is getting worse year by year and is potentially lethal.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

The March For Science brought out scientists and those concerned with science in over 500 cities across six continents. Though the March For Science is a success and brought the current anti-science mindset to the public consciousness, we’ve a long, long hard battle ahead…and the march was just the first step.

The new funding crunch on scientific research has the potential to induce desperate measures that could lead to very dangerous and sloppy science.

As of mid April, 2017, NOAA was still without a new administrator who will oversee climate research, weather forecasting, ocean protection and a $5.6 billion budget.

Support for the worldwide March For Science isn’t unanimous. It’s important to hear both sides and the reasons why some will march, and some, while sympathetic to the cause, will not be taking part.

Scott Pruitt, the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator says the USA should abandon the Paris Climate Agreement. “Pruitt’s statement puts him at odds with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive of ExxonMobil, who said during his confirmation hearing that it was important for the U.S. to “maintain its seat at the table.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. Interesting times are ahead and I’m glad you’re along for the wild ride.

Cheers!

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Severe Weather Safety Links To Keep You And Your Family Safe. #WeatherReady (Updated 7 April 2017)

For Monday, April 3, 2017, the Storm Prediction Center is forecasting numerous severe storms across parts of several southern states. The climatological peak of activity isn’t until May…so we’ve several more weeks of active severe weather episodes that may, or may not, materialize. Regardless, best to be prepared. I hope these links are of assistance to you.

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY AND PREPAREDNESS

SEVERE WEATHER INFORMATION

One caveat about this category. The two links for the SPC and NWS are excellent sources and the starting point for everyone’s information. As for local broadcast meteorologists, I can only suggest that you watch those which are to your liking…which is extremely subjective…and therefore in the interest of fairness and objectivity, I have no recommendations.

INFOGRAPHICS

From the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), a concise explanation of risk categories. (Graphic courtesy SPC)

Do you know the difference between a WATCH and a WARNING? (Graphic courtesy NWS Amarillo, TX)

When a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued, there is specific criteria that a thunderstorm must meet to be considered severe. You should be aware of those criteria and recognize them if you see them and what safety precautions to take. (Graphic courtesy NWS Birmingham, AL)

Your mobile device can save your life. Make sure your phones, tablets, et al. are charged at all times. (Graphic courtesy NOAA)

CITIZEN SCIENCE: CONTRIBUTING TO DATA BASES AND RESEARCH DURING/AFTER THE STORM

  • CoCoRaHS: “”Volunteers working together to measure precipitation across the nations.”
  • mPING: “Weather radars cannot “see” at the ground, so mPING reports are used by the NOAA National Weather Service to fine-tune their forecasts. NSSL uses the data in a variety of ways, including to develop new radar and forecasting technologies and techniques.”

Last but not least on the list of links is one that I know pertains to not a few people…a phobia of thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning and thunder. It may be no consolation, but I have two bits of encouragement for anyone who suffers with these challenges.

  1. The first three (thunderstorms, tornadoes, and lightning) are obvious hazards, but thunder is harmless. It’s merely the air reacting to the sudden heating caused by the extremely hot lightning bolt. If you’ve ever experienced a static electric shock and heard a small “pop” sound, it’s basically the same thing, only on a larger scale. So let the thunder roar. It is what causes the thunder that you need to be wary of.
  2. Consider where you live or will be during a severe thunderstorm. The chances of the very spot you are in getting the worst of the storm are actually rather small. Let’s say you live in a 2,000 square foot home and a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for your area. The odds of the highest winds, largest hail, and perhaps flash flooding blasting the structure you’re in is quite small. On a map, you’re a mere speck that is barely seen without a magnifying glass. Let’s take it up a notch a bit an consider tornadoes. In spite of what you see on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, the local or national news, etc., tornadoes are an exceptionally rare event. Most tornadoes are also in the EF-0 or EF-1 category with maximum winds of perhaps 110 m.p.h. at peak intensity. Most frame homes and commercial buildings will easily sustain a direct hit from a tornado of this strength. Yes, it’ll leave a mess but if you read the safety rules above and take proper precautions, you’ll be fine. Scared? Yes. That’s normal. Our limbic system in our brain (aka fight or flight) is a wonderful part of hundreds of millions of years of evolution that has evolved to give us adrenaline, increased heart rate and respiration, and a host of other reactions that are there for our benefit. Bottom line: have a disaster/severe weather preparedness kit assembled and at-the-ready year round, know what to do in a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning, avoid any lightning dangers, don’t drive or go into flash flooding areas, keep abreast of weather updates with a NOAA weather radio, your mobile device, and/or the broadcast meteorologists of your choice, and you’ll be just fine. Knowledge is power…and you’ll feel more powerful and less fearful with an increased knowledge of storms and what to do when a watch and warning is issued for your location.

Finally…one last word…

Please keep in mind that only NOAA weather radio, your local National Weather Service office, or reliable media are the best sources of important, timely, and potentially life-saving weather information, watches, and warnings! None of the links on this page should be used for life-&-death decisions or the protection of property!

Stay weather aware…and stay safe!

Cheers!

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