Tag Archives: psychology

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For September 12 – 19, 2016

Greetings to one and all! I hope the weather is to your liking regardless of where you live. Autumn is beginning to make its presence known in parts of North America. As of this post, a very warm spell has settled over much of the southern and central Great Plains of the USA. It’s been a long, hot summer and I’m ready for some cool crisp mornings with a change in fall foliage color. The tropical Atlantic is rather active at this time. Fortunately, none of the systems that are being watched are a current threat to any land masses or populated areas. As usual, there’s plenty to cover, so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A very thought-provoking read where scientists answer twenty questions on the future of humanity.

Speaking of questions, here’s an excellent and very objective read by Lawrence Krauss on twenty questions for this year’s presidential candidates. “The net result? There is something here for everyone, because every view, no matter how inconsistent, is presented somewhere.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A very good Psychology Today article from 2014 on the nature of the online troll. Considering recent events, it’s a read worth revisiting.

Do you use WhatsApp? Be prepared to share (unwillingly) a great deal of your private information with Facebook. There’s an opt-out, but personally speaking. I’d recommend you change over to Telegram.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A look at an interesting concept of the possible climate of Mars past…and how it could have led to its present day appearance.

No, Cupid didn’t make the “heart” on Pluto. It was something else far more interesting.

Don’t mess with the Milky Way. “Kamikaze galaxy explodes after diving into the Milky Way.”

From the BBC…from auroras to galaxies… a nice collection of spectacular imagery.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

New scientific ways of monitoring and predicting the affects climate change have on our ecosystems are coming to fruition.

Ghost Forests” are on the increase thanks in no small part to climate change. Unfortunately, this is a trend that will be on the upswing for some time.

Driven by climate change, large masses of trees across the USA are succumbing to diseases, insects, droughts, and wildfires.

Check out this nice “gif” of the USA’s growing use of wind power. Take note that the South has a lot of catching up to do.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service (NWS) have a tough job with many daunting tasks and challenges. They need all the public and governmental support they can get. Your local National Weather Service office as well as other NWS social media accounts are the definitive source for all-important and potentially life-saving information.

An excellent comic that should put (temporarily) the kibosh on “the climate has always been changing” denier crowd.

Part climate science and part public policy in an interesting read on how climate adaptation can save money and improve the quality of life.

A very good climate read. “Why We Don’t Know If It Will Sunny Next Month But We Know It’ll Be Hot All Year.”

I could talk about this until I’m blue in the face. There is a distinctive difference in weather and climate. Hopefully, this short video will clear up the confusion.

Over a month after the devastating August, 2016 Louisiana floods, environmental and health concerns are growing along with anger among residents in the affected areas.

Flooding of low lying coastal areas in the USA due to sea level rise is no longer a theoretical concept.

And that’s a wrap up for this post! For my new followers in social media, I’d like to extend a warm welcome…I am quite active in other forms of social media and would really enjoy connecting and collaborating with other folks into the sciences.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links For May 9 – 16, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you have had a good start to your week. There have been multiple rounds of severe weather across North America in the past few days, unfortunately it also includes fatalities which occurred during tornadoes in Oklahoma. Due to reviews of recent severe weather events and the pending severe weather today across the Southern Plains, this post will be another brief one. Having said that, let’s get started.

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

SOCIAL SCIENCE

An interesting read on those “Eureka” moments that many of us have every so often.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out these amazing images from the Hubble telescope of the planet Mars.

Just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two spiral galaxies are alike.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A very important question for current and future generations. Can cities be sustainable?

In many of the world’s most polluted cities, driving bans or restrictions are becoming commonplace.

Since the Paris climate agreement, cities and companies have pledged to fight climate change. What’s next?

On the positive side, more cities are becoming greener with renewable energy sources soaring through the roof.

Details on the commitments of the U.S. and the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) on further climate action after the Paris Agreement.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Take a look at a very compelling climate change visualization that speaks volumes.

When studying the atmosphere, there’s more to it than the adrenaline rush of severe thunderstorms. Here’s an excellent read on the important study of the link between the Earth’s atmosphere and biodiversity.

A fascinating read on pinpointing the timing of when oxygen first appeared in the earth’s atmosphere.

2016 continues to break global temperature records with April being the seventh hot month in a row.

As the Atlantic hurricane season approaches, the National Hurricane Center has released it’s list of names for the 2016 Tropical Cyclone season.  Capture 1

THE QUIXOTIC

Somehow I strongly suspect that if the genders were switched, this wouldn’t have been an issue. “Reporter forced to cover up on live TV because her dress was too revealing.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm “Welcome” to my new followers in social media. Glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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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…

GENERAL SCIENCE

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.

TECHNOLOGY

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

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.

 SOCIAL SCIENCE

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.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

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.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 22 – 29, 2015

For much of North America, it’s been summer as usual. One notable exception is the ridge of high pressure that has parked itself over the southern plains and, for the time being, has no intentions of moving. With a rich supply of Gulf moisture, the dew points combined with temperatures in the upper 90’sF have created potentially dangerous heat indexes near or above 110F. In conditions like that, the body can easily be overcome by heat…even in people who are in the best of physical condition. As for the tropics, the Atlantic and eastern Pacific are quiet for the time being. But, it’s still very early in the hurricane season. We’re nowhere close to reaching the climatological peak. While the tropics are quiet, this is an excellent time to make sure your emergency kit is in order.

Here’s a big “thank you” to all the folks who’ve given me positive feedback about this blog and my decision (for the time being) to make it a more concise post. Like many of you, I’ve many simultaneous projects in progress, each with its own unique demands, requirements, and deadlines. On that note…

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson explain literally everything in the universe…and, in under 8 minutes!

BIOLOGICAL/MEDICAL SCIENCE

A fascinating read on a brutal fact of injuries suffered in the 22 May 2011 Joplin, MO tornado: Soil Dwelling Fungus Rode Joplin Tornado To Unexpected Human Home.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A very interesting and eye-opening look at many modes of social media and/or messaging from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. To no one’s surprise, many of the most popular items are to be trusted the least.

One of the most annoying facts of online culture is the tendency of website designers to block password managers. “Websites, Pleas Stop Blocking Password Managers. It’s 2015.” Trust me, if there’s anything that will induce me to not revisit your site, it’s the blocking of password managers.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

When the storm has passed and it becomes yesterday’s news, most of the populace assumed things are back the normal. If anything, the contrary to that delusion is the long-term truth. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, et al. all have the same brutal psychological effects on many of the people dealing with the aftermath.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Oklahoma has a new claim to fame…and it’s nothing to do with tornadoes. Shake, frack, and roll!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A very good read from the USGS: “How Much Water Is There On, In, And Above The Earth?” Interesting to note that, “The vast majority of water on the Earth’s surface, over 96 percent, is saline water in the oceans.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

This was quite a popular story this past week, but the phenomenon isn’t uncommon. In fact, bugs, bats, birds, smoke, cold fronts, outflow boundaries, etc. are easily picked up on doppler radar and, depending on the time of day and season, is quite commonly seen.

If you missed the Tornado Forecasting Workshop this spring with Rich Thompson, you can watch them on YouTube here.

Is asking “How much rain will it take to end the drought?” too simplistic? Quite often it is.

Tornadoes occur round the world on many continents. They’re no stranger to Sweden, but it’s very rare for the Lapland region to see tornadoes in a region this far north.

Finally, I’d like to welcome my new followers…I’m really glad you’re along for the fun. Tornado Quest covers a plethora of geoscience topics that will be of interest to many. We’re here for the long haul too…so stick around for some very cool things we have in the works.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For May 26 – June 2, 2015

Many of you who live outside of the southern plains of the contiguous USA may be wondering why all the news coverage of flooding (particularly in Oklahoma and Texas) is taking place. To say that we’ve had more than our share of drought-busting rains is a vast understatement. The good side is we’ve gotten several lakes that have been well below normal for years back to or over their usual level. Many agricultural interests got some badly needed relief. On the sad, and even tragic side, several lives have been lost including a Claremore, OK firefighter who drowned while trying to rescue people who were trapped in a building that was in danger of flooding. Several other Oklahoma first responders had close calls and nearly lost their lives saving people who (to be direct and to-the-point) did stupid and dangerous things…like driving a large four-wheel drive vehicle through water of an unknown depth. Those of us in the know who have seen the after effects of deadly floods (which I have) could talk to a good portion of the public until we’re blue in the face about the dangers of flash floods, but it’s all too often for naught. Everyone thinks their vehicle can handle the water. Everyone thinks their driving skills can overcome the forces of nature. Everyone thinks that drowning fatalities only happen to “other” people. The sad truth is 1. Flash Flooding is the largest weather related killer and outranks yearly the number of people killed by tornadoes, hurricanes, heat, cold, lightning, et. al combined and 2. YOU are just as vulnerable to death by drowning regardless of what kind of vehicle you’re driving. If you’re interested in staying alive, read this and take it to heart…and seriously. Now, on to our regular business.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

I’m absolutely gobsmacked that in 2015 this is still an issue. “Bias Against Women In Science Persists, Even In Egalitarian Societies.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

This can’t happen soon enough…and with merciless vengeance. Twitter trolls, your days are numbered. The Department of Justice is about to drop the hammer…on you.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

From personal experience, I’ve no doubt this is true. “Seeing Awe-Inspiring Natural Sights Makes You A Better Person.”

EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY/PALEONTOLOGY

Fascinating read on new evidence on the origins of life.

There’s a new branch on the human family tree. Anthropologists say they’ve found a new human ancestor.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

A new study finds little known earthquake and tsunami hazards are lurking offshore of Southern California.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Cooperation is imperative to dealing with drought conditions. “Watersheds don’t obey the political boundaries of multi-state, multi-country resources.”

In the midst of an unprecedented California drought, residents of San Diego are ripping up their water-guzzling lawns.

As the world’s population grows, the quest to quench an ever-growing thirsty planet is an increasingly daunting task.

It would be great to see these go worldwide. “World’s first Ocean Cleanup Array will start removing plastic from the seas in 2016.”

Snow may be fun while it’s fresh…but the melting piles that are still melting are vile in every way possible.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The Atlantic hurricane season has officially started. Here’s an excellent overview of storm names, the seasonal outlook, and forecast products.

Complacency regarding the hurricane threat can lead to potentially lethal consequences. For many vulnerable regions of the USA, luck will run out…eventually. Regardless of how ambivalent one may be, now is the time to prepare…and the Red Cross has an excellent Hurricane Safety Checklist. (1 page PDF file)

Contrary to popular opinion, tropical storms are not the “drought-busters” that people want to believe they are.

This op-ed is simultaneously ignorant of the National Weather Service warning procedure, the atmospheric fluid dynamics of tornadogenisis, and fawningly sycophantic. Oddly enough, that’s about all it does achieve.

And before I close out this post one more reminder on flash flooding…TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!

Food for thought regarding climate change in the future. “Can A 4C Earth Support 10 Billion People?

An interesting read on research linking a warming Arctic and its potential connections to extremes in weather events.

A very interesting and telling look at eight maps that reveal American’s incoherent opinions of climate change.

THE QUIXOTIC

The plot thickens in the fracking/earthquake connection as academic integrity is threatened in Oklahoma. “Did Oklahoma’s richest man try to get Oklahoma Geological Survey scientists dismissed?”

For some, wind farms are an eyesore and aesthetics always outweigh environmental benefits…ergo, the perfect reason to abolish them from the face of the planet. Right.

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For April 28 – May 5, 2015

After several days of respite from episodes of severe weather, an active week is underway with much of the Great Plains forecast to have multiple rounds of thunderstorms, some of which will be severe. Like many other posts for this time of year, this week will be somewhat brief. Between Skywarn spotting duties, storm chasing, and several writing projects, I’ve got a full dance card. Nevertheless, there are plenty of good science stories for our enjoyment.

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

TECHNOLOGY/PRIVACY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Mind the apps you download from Google Play…or iTunes for that matter. Many popular ones, without your permission, are collecting a great deal of private data. For you and me, it’s simply a matter of common sense when choosing apps.

Snarks, trolls, & nefarious interlopers run amok in social media. It can be tough enough for adults who are targets but for our youth, much of the anonymous abuse can be particularly brutal. “Young people think friends more at risk of cyberbullying.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Can Instagram be used by citizen scientists to track climate change? You bet! Here’s how.

Here’s a very cool segment on the Diane Rehm show: The Environmental Outlook: Citizen Scientists.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

The MESSENGER spacecraft exceeded all expectations before snapping one final image shortly before crashing into the surface of the planet Mercury.

An amazing look at the vastness of space…specifically within our own solar system.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Oklahoma earthquake and link to fracking gets more interesting by the week. Observing it from the perspective of a native Oklahoman, it’s like watching a slow motion train wreck.

Here’s a spectacular video from the United States Geological Survey of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano putting on quite a show.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Desperate times mean desperate measures. California is tapping into water reserves that are 20,000 years old to help take the edge off their brutal drought.

Tulsa has always had a problem with ozone for as far back as I can remember. As a result, it was no surprise that the former “oil capital” was ranked the 12th worst city in the USA for ozone levels.

A very good read! “The Next Step In Saving The Planet: E.O. Wilson And Sean Carroll In Conversation.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you have many reasons to hate pollen with a passion. Here’s another reason…it may mess with your weather.

Interesting essay with suggestions for dealing with disaster preparedness.

Speaking of disaster preparedness, the USA has been in somewhat of a hurricane “drought” for several years. It’s simply a matter of good luck that we’ve been this fortunate, but it won’t last forever.

Social science (sociology and psychology) and operational meteorology aren’t mutually exclusive. “Troubled Forecasters Seek Way To Improve Tornado Warnings.”

As glaciers in Antarctica retreat, the future results will not be pleasant to deal with.

A very nice interview with Heidi Cullen of Climate Central on the role of oceans in climate change.

An informative, and fun, infographic on five characteristics of science and/or climate change denial.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’ll be writing some posts with subjective analysis of this week’s severe weather setups for the Great Plains, Wednesday and Saturday in particular. If you’re in an area that will be under the gun for severe weather this week, remember to stay in touch with reliable media outlets of your choice, keep your NOAA weather radio handy, and follow your local National Weather Service office and the Storm Prediction Center for the latest severe weather information.

Cheers!

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

A belated happy spring to one and all! The vernal equinox took place on 20 March 2015 and (astronomically) ushered in spring for the Northern Hemisphere. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have a day with an equal number of hours of sunlight and darkness, here’s your chance. It only happens twice a year. For the time being, winter is still keeping a chill in the air over much of North America, but the warmth of spring is making itself felt in many other regions. Just a quick reminder that the spring severe weather season is upon us and before it gets too busy, now’s the time to prepare your emergency kit, have a plan of action at home or work, and reliable, official sources of severe weather warning information: a NOAA weather radio, a high-quality smart phone warning app, the broadcast meteorologists of your choice, and your local National Weather Service offices in social media. This will come in handy for many across the central USA plains this week as severe weather is forecast by the Storm Prediction Center. This post was delayed by one day so I could share some “up-to-date” information regarding the severe weather potential. I’ll also give a quick overview at the end of this post on what you can expect…and how to get the most timely weather information.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

A brilliant spot-on essay by Lawrence Krauss, who is one of many on my ‘most admired’ list. “Teaching Doubt.” “Informed doubt is the very essence of science.”

SOCIAL SCIENCE

A little sociology, psychology, and geographic demography wrapped into one very interesting read; How Different Groups Think About Scientific Issues.

Good news for introverts such as myself. We are winning quiet victories.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Citizen science FTW! Two new species of flowering plants have been discovered in South Africa.

Citizen scientists can pitch in on collecting climate data for this spring!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

NASA’s Messenger spacecraft is set to plunge to its death on April 30, 2015…but since 2011, Messenger has been doing some amazing work including capturing the most spectacular images of Mercury to date.

NASA tells Congress to take a hike. I couldn’t agree more.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

One of the many great things about paleontology is the ever-changing nature of its discoveries. And this newest one is not a little amazing.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Wind, like water, can sculpt the Earth’s landscapes in some amazing ways.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES/SUSTAINABILITY

A very good read on the connection between our urban biosphere and atmosphere. It’s also a good excuse for you to plant a tree!

As of late, the UK has been dealing with air pollution that warrants health warnings.

What smog-eating buildings lack in aesthetics is made up for in clean air.

Of note to seasonal allergy sufferers; Air pollutants could boost the potency of the very things that make you feel miserable.

Love to see this come to fruition. “Solar could meet CA energy demand 3 to 5 times over.”

Speaking of CA, solar plants produced 5% of the state’s electricity last year.

This gives a new meaning to “waste” not, want not. “This Public Bus Runs Entirely On Human Poop Converted Into Fuel.”

New roofs in France must be covered in plants or solar panels. I’ve no problem with that. Not only will it be a good renewables/sustainability move, anything…and I do mean anything…is more aesthetically appealing than a black tar and gravel roof.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Happy World Meteorological Day to all the atmospheric scientists, citizen scientists, and devoted weather hobbyists out there! Here’s a look at work the World Meteorological Organization is doing regarding climate change. “The WMO is working more broadly to better disseminate weather and climate information to those on the ground who need it to make informed decisions, including farmers, health workers and emergency managers.”

The latest State Of The Climate report has been released by NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center. The full report can be read here. A concise summary can be found here. Bottom line: global average temperatures for both February, 2015 and December, 2014 – February 2015 were above average across the board for land and sea surface temperatures. I highly recommend that those interested, regardless of your position, read the full report carefully.

This week’s US Drought Monitor shows a sliver of improvement, but otherwise the extreme/exceptional conditions persist from CA, NV, & OR to OK & TX.

As California’s drought worsens, a relief plan has been proposed. Water rationing may very well become a way of life while reserves of water up to 20,000 years old are being tapped. Desperate measures for desperate times indeed.

Arctic sea ice, which scientists knew was shrinking rapidly, has just hit a new low.

Merchants Of Doubt” will be showing in a few select cities. If you’re living in one where it will be showing, I’d take it in. There are plenty of folks who don’t think you should.

Waterspouts may appear graceful, benign, and even almost harmless, but they are as potentially deadly as any Great Plains tornado. Here’s an interesting video of a recent waterspout in Brazil.

Interesting concept that’s certainly worth a try. “Experimental Forecast Projects #Tornado Season.”

Intriguing read about weather’s second deadliest killer. “Morning is the time for powerful lightning.”

Here’s a very interesting read on severe weather and how it affects animal behavior.

The individual who compiled this data isn’t doing his reputation any favors. Besides, as the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” Regardless, here’s said individual’s take on the “dreariest” cities in the USA.

THE VISCERAL UNDERBELLY

This blatant violation of the 1st Amendment can only get worse from here. “Florida’s Climate Change Gag Order Claims Its First Victim.”

Someone please tell me this is a joke…right? “Solar eclipse: schoolchildren banned from watching on ‘religious and cultural’ grounds.”

THIS WEEK’S SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL…AND SOME HELPFUL HINTS

Updated 2:25 PM (1925 UTC) 24 March 2015: As of this post, an Elevated and Slight Risk of severe thunderstorms exists for Tuesday (from OK to MO) and Wednesday (TX northeast into IL/KY). As is always the case with Storm Prediction Center (SPC) severe weather outlooks, changes in status are inevitable. This video from the SPC will show you how severe weather forecasts are made. These forecasts are made by some of the top-notch atmospheric scientists in the USA and should be the primary severe weather outlooks you use. The SPC also issues all severe thunderstorm and tornado watches and mesoscale discussions (technical but informative products regarding the status of severe weather potential or ongoing storms). Now that we’ve covered that, here’s my subjective take on this week’s severe weather potential. The primary threats will be high winds and hail. Tornadoes will likely be far and few between if any are able to form. This isn’t the kind of “recipe” for a major severe weather outbreak, so there’s no reason to panic or worry unnecessarily. I’ll also spare you all the “geek-speak” that will no doubt flood social media and blogs since that is not the intended audience for this section of this post.

While you still have a day or so to prepare, look over your emergency kit to make sure it’s in order, your NOAA weather radio is function properly, follow the SPC, your local National Weather Service office, and the broadcast meteorologists of your choice on Twitter, and (if this applies to you) double-check your smart phone severe weather warning app. Though this only scratches the surface and I could go on for page after page on preparedness, it’s my intention to give you some helpful hints and give some peace of mind to those who tend to have strong feelings of anxiety or worry if and when severe weather is possible. One thing you can do that will most certainly alleviate any unnecessary discomfort on your part is to avoid the fear mongers, hype-sters, and over zealous “media-rologists.” It’s true that everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, freedom of speech, and (as long as TOS are observed) can run their own social media accounts as they wish. On the other hand, the public (and possibly law enforcement) won’t take kindly to someone screaming “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. You’re free to follow whomever you wish in social media, but caveat emptor please. Just as one would never go to a homeopathic hobbyist for a severe medical condition, one should exercise extreme caution regarding severe weather warnings. As for the information I share on any of the social media outlets from Tornado Quest, I only share severe thunderstorm or tornado watch information for the southern plains from the SPC once all the information is online. I also enjoy sharing mesoscale discussions relevant to Oklahoma and surrounding states to give folks a “behind the scenes” look into what SPC forecasters are thinking. This is merely for convenience since (1.) I have a high concentration of followers in the southern plains and (2.) I try my best to make folks aware of official sources of information. If I comment or post a radar image of a particularly strong or tornadic storm, it’s more from a scientific or weather geek perspective. I do not and never will post warning information. Under no circumstances should any of the information I share on Tornado Quest be used for the safety of life and/or property. If you’ve read this far, it’s become obvious that this portion of the post is less about this week’s severe weather potential than how you can best get reliable and timely warnings from the best responsible sources. I’ve addressed this issue for years and, not unexpectedly, my opinions aren’t popular…but I stand behind every word.

And on that note, I’d like to welcome my new followers…I appreciate all of you a great deal. Stay weather aware folks! See you next time!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For Sept. 14 – Oct. 1, 2014

Due to varying complicating factors which seem to creep up on us in life at the least opportune moments, I’m running a couple of weeks behind on weekly Tornado Quest Science Links posts. Add to that a personal illness…and things slow to a crawl and priorities change. Having said that, here’s a small selection of links for this post.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool meteorology citizen science project for Earth Science Week (Oct. 12 – 18, 2014) from NASA!

Just because winter’s coming to the Northern Hemisphere doesn’t mean it’s time to put your rain gauge in hibernation. CoCoRaHS needs citizen science weather observers year round!

MEDICAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC HEALTH

I saw this tweet on hand washing in my Twitter feed the other day. Flabbergasted. I can’t believe we still have to drum proper personal sanitation and hand-washing into people’s heads in the 21st Century.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

As social scientists well know, how a message is delivered is as important as it’s content. Here’s another good article in the same vein.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Sweden FTW!!! Read about the world’s first garment made entirely from recycled cotton.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

On Sept. 30, 2014, the HRRR forecast model officially went operational with NOAA. It’ been in use in an experimental stage for some time. I’ve enjoyed using it and think it will be a great asset.

If you’re keeping track of this year’s El Nino, histrionic is an apt understatement.

In a rush to rebuild after the tornado of May 20, 2013, many Moore, OK homes have been rebuilt with a lot left to desire.

The California drought is only getting worse with no sight of relief in sight.

Like to give yourself a nice refresher course on some meteorology and climate topics? Here’s a good place to start.

And that’s a wrap for this week. In addition to this WordPress blog, Tornado Quest can also be found on About MeTumblr and Instagram.

Have a great week…cheers! Continue reading →

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links April 15 – 22, 2014

Spring is well underway across the Great Plains of the USA. So far, the severe weather activity has been rather quiet, but many active seasons have started out on a somewhat sedate note. As for the next few days, there’s disagreement amongst many computer models but it does appear that the latter part of this week could be active. The best way to deal with nature’s tantrums, of course, it to have an emergency preparedness plan in place. This would be a great time to also get yourself a NOAA weather radio.

Here are this week’s links for your consideration…

GENERAL SCIENCE

Happy Earth Day! (April 22, 2014) Check out these amazing images of our amazing planet.

Philosophy has always been one of my favorite subjects, the philosophy of science in particular. But is it becoming obsolete?

SOCIAL SCIENCE

Here’s a great piece by Chris Mooney that confirms what we, the targets, already know. Internet trolls really are horrible people.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

File this under “Are you kidding?” Oklahoma To Charge Homeowners Who Install Solar Panels.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies and this year seems particularly bad, here’s a possible explanation why your sinuses are going crazy.

The US Coast Guard is calling BP’s bluff on the “recovery” of the Gulf coast in the aftermath of the disastrous Deepwater Horizon debacle.

A challenging challenge. Going one week without producing any non-recyclable trash. Think you’re up to it?

Wildfires in the western USA are bigger and more frequent. Considering the ongoing drought, no relief’s in sight.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The Storm Prediction Center’s Local Storm Reports page has a new look with a host of new features.

The 2014 severe weather season’s been very quiet, especially when it comes to tornadoes. But don’t let that induce any degree of complacency.

March, 2014 was a chilly month across much of the contiguous USA. But from a global perspective, it was an outlier.

The latest USA Drought Monitor is out. Extreme and exceptional conditions persist across parts of CA. CO, KS, NM, NV, OK, & TX.

An El Nino may be on the way for 2014, but it’s not a 100% certainty.

Here’s an interesting read (with references) on climate change and it’s economic ramifications. Complacency amongst current generations will leave future ones with a very high cost.

Last, but certainly not least, the SPC is quite confident about the severe weather potential across the southern plains this weekend (April 26-27). While forecast details are bound to change, they’ve given us a “heads up” on what to expect. Considering the latest model data I’ve seen, this could be the first significant severe weather event of 2014. Having said that, you’ve been advised. Stay safe!

And that’s a wrap for this week!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For Jan. 20 – 27, 2014

It’s been an active week in science news from many areas of study. Weather wise, a severe drought continues across parts of the contiguous USA from OK and TX westward to CA. As of this post, many southern states are taking a shellacking from a rare and robust winter storm. While it may look laughable, keep in mind that southern winter storms often have freezing rain (aka a  layer if ice) below just a couple of inches of snow…ergo, the gridlock that’s paralyzing many metro areas. As a veteran of many devastating ice storms in OK, I’ll take 18″ of powdery snow any day over 1/2″ of ice.

Let’s take a look at this week’s links…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Citizen scientists can not only gather data for scientists, but increase the quality of research.

Here’s a very nice interview with biologist Caren Cooper, “How Rise of Citizen Science Is Democratizing Research.”

Are you a teacher? Ever wonder if citizen science benefits your students? Good news…yes it does!

SOCIAL SCIENCE/EDUCATION

There’s something to be said for “snow days” and this article renews my belief in them.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Considering the tinderbox conditions that are plaguing much of the USA, here are some tips on conserving water.

I’m looking forward to some good info from a new journal from the American Geophysical Union called Earth’s Future.

The EU has taken on an ambitious quest to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The USA’s Grand Canyon is old…but new studies show it may have formed more recently than previously though.

Read how a virtual earthquake generator shows that Los Angeles would experience stronger-than-expected ground motions.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A new NASA satellite will be launched in February, 2014 and do something pretty amazing…measure precipitation from space.

Part climatology, part business: “Industry Awakens To Threat Of Climate Change

Was there a recent hiatus in global warming? Simply put, no.

Arctic sea ice is melting rapidly…freefall style.

If you’ve not seen this wind map, take a look and have fun interacting.

The big Superbowl game is coming soon. UCAR/NCAR takes a look at forecasting the big game: 1967 vs. 2014.

While a rare winter snow storm gives Dixie a southern shellacking, Alaska basked in record January warmth.

FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE

Considering the abundance of vitriol spreading from nefarious trolls that’s aimed at the scientific community, here are several items worth reading. Most of the titles speak for themselves.This is as much a sociological and/or psychological look into a certain element of human behavior as it is a documentation of a plethora of anti-science elements in media…both broadcast, print, or social media.  I’m offering for your consideration the following articles under the spirit of, “know thy enemy.”

I’ve been described as being “polite to a fault” by an evangelical Christian minister no less. Are scientists (both professional and citizen) too polite?

An insider’s story of the global attack on climate science.

Targets of climate hate mail rally to support one another.

Why conservatives can’t resist “snow trolling.”

Climate and vaccine deniers are the same: Beyond Persuasion.

As for the trolls…why we can’t ignore Twitter abuse: a guest post by a police officer.

Speaking of trolls, they are often two-faced. Critical of the trolling in person while anonymously engaging in the behavior behind the safety of their monitors. They often lead two lives.

Normally, I try to “tweet with a smile” but this is not often the best policy to adhere to for every single tweet or post…especially in an increasingly hostile social media environment. Your perceptions of the information I pass along are your responsibility regardless of whether you agree with me or not. Having said that, it’s my intention to leave the world a better place for our children and the many generations to follow. We owe it to them.

And on that note, it’s a wrap…

Cheers!

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