Tag Archives: radar

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!


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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 April 20 – 28, 2015

After several days of active severe weather, the contiguous 48 USA states get a bit of a respite. For the most part, it will be welcome. There’s still plenty of time left to get your emergency kit for home or work in order…and this quiet period is a good time to make sure everything is in check. May is the most active tornado month (from a climatological standpoint) for North America…so we’ve still many weeks of severe weather potential ahead. With the recent spate of severe weather and several crucial deadlines garnering my time and energy, I’ve had to carefully delegate my time…ergo the brevity of this post.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Food for thought. “Can We Trust Scientists Self-Control?” In general, yes.

An excellent essay that hits the spot in “Inoculating Against Science Denial.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A “must-read” for anyone who is online from Ghostery (which I can’t recommend highly enough). Trolls…aka online bullies…don’t just live for the change to make sophomoric comments, some lust for private data too.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

A very comprehensive list of about one hundred books that cover a wide spectrum on the history of science.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The recent devastating Nepal earthquake was, by some accounts, a “nightmare waiting to happen.”

This doesn’t surprise me at all. We’re so good at causing earthquakes, the U.S. Geological Survey wants to start forecasting them.

Oklahomans feel far more earthquakes than Californians do…and the reason isn’t a surprise. Shake, frack, and roll.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

This is the kind of good news I love seeing. “Like Shale Oil, Solar Power Is Shaking Up Global Energy.”

This is Air Quality Awareness Week. For many folks (depending on their local climate patterns) with health issues, this is far more important than even severe weather awareness.

2015 could be a very rough year for wildfires across the contiguous USA…and California in particular.

Our dependency on Amazon rainforests is much greater than we are aware of.

Some surprising survey results of American’s opinions on regulating CO2 and renewable energy research.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Nice overview of the current California drought and its connection to climate change.

California’s drought isn’t the end of the world, but it will change the lifestyles of people who are affected by it. Welcome to a new and permanent way of life.

Are recent extremes in weather events tied to climate change? Some studies say, “yes.”

It’s been almost a decade (October, 2005) since a major (Category 3 or stronger) hurricane has made landfall in the USA. How much longer will our luck hold out?

I couldn’t have said it better myself. “Climate change eats away at the foundation of virtually every issue Americans worry most about today: the economy, national security, good jobs and public health.”

Could seasonal tornado forecasts be on the horizon? If this is feasible, it will be interesting to see how well it works over the long term.

There’s quite a storm brewing over the National Weather Service in Birmingham, AL installing a television studio. Personally, I welcome the concept and think it’s a cracking idea!

Can doppler radar detect birds? Absolutely. It can also detect smoke from wildfires, insects, bats…and much more!

Ft Worth TX NWS GraphicA very informative graphic from the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, TX explaining why an impressive velocity couplet on radar doesn’t mean “wedge.” A long-lasting cyclic supercell moved across central TX on 26 April 2015 and produced all modes of severe weather including large hail, tornadoes, and flash flooding. Damage surveys revealed all the tornadoes that occurred were of EF-0 intensity. Evaluation of real-time storm chaser reports also reveal 1) the difficulty in accurately deciphering what chasers are seeing with only lightning to illuminate the storm and 2) the hazards for the general public of getting your warning information from unofficial (non NWS and media outlet) weather information sources.

Ft Worth TX NWS Graphic2Yes, it was a remarkable supercell with impressive fluid dynamics and behavior, but rather normal in the number of and intensity of tornadoes.

FINALLY, THE QUIXOTIC

Can you put a price on the opinion of Pope Francis? Apparently some delusional opportunists think so…which is a shame. Unethical also comes to mind.

And on that note, this is a wrap! See you good folks next time!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For March 23 – 30, 2015

To say that the severe weather season for the contiguous USA got started with a “bang” is a vast understatement. Nature pulled a fast one on us. What appeared as a potentially big (literally) hail day with a Moderate and Enhanced Risk for parts of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma turned out to be an event with all modes of severe weather occurring. At the bottom of this post will be sites with up-to-date information relevant to the event. Is this an omen as to what the rest of the severe weather season will bring? Not likely, but then again, nature always has the better hand and the ace up the sleeve. We’ll have to wait and find out. As for preparedness, it’s best to be prepared for emergencies even if one doesn’t occur. There’s plenty of other interesting topics for this week, so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A very telling read about scientists studying journalists that cover science.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Once again Twitter shows off its third-rate milquetoast attitude towards trolls and bullying.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

The scorch marks left by our rovers are Mars quickly fade as the red planet reclaims traces of our presence.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

As a former HVAC technician, I can vouch for the validity of this infographic on the dangers of indoor air pollution.

A new study shows the extent that humankind has tailored the Earth’s landscapes to our own devices at the expense of the rest of the natural world.

The current California drought isn’t helping the already problematic air quality issues.

Did you take part in Earth Hour on 28 March 2015? I did…and didn’t miss anything I thought I might.

Here’s some awesome renewables news from the Lone Star state! Georgetown, Texas will get all of its power from solar and wind. They should win an award. Now, who’s next?

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s the latest US Drought Monitor. Unfortunately, little to no change from last week. This past week’s rainfall in the southern plains didn’t fall on the parts of Oklahoma and Texas that need it the most.

Interesting new study based in part on NASA satellite data has shows an increase in large, well-organized thunderstorms is behind increased rainfall in the wettest tropical regions.

A very thought-provoking read on the media’s response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

It’s our responsibility to leave a health planet for our children, grandchildren, and the many generations to follow. “Tackling Climate Change ~ For Our Kids.”

Antarctica may have seen a recent high temperature record. 63.5F may not be blistering hot, but it’s toasty for that continent.

Speaking of Antarctica, it’s ice shelves are not in the best of shape.

THE 25 MARCH 2015 OKLAHOMA AND ARKANSAS SEVERE WEATHER EVENT

First, some handy safety tips from AAA on what to do if you’re driving and find yourself caught in a storm. Ideally, the best thing to do is not wind up in that kind of bind in the first place!

Summary pages of the 25 March 2015 severe weather events from the Tulsa, Norman, Springfield, and Little Rock National Weather Service offices. Much of this information is preliminary and updates will be added often.

Here’s an excellent video by broadcast meteorologist George Flickinger of Tulsa’s KJRH discussing the Sand Springs, OK tornado and how the silly myths (rivers and/or hills protecting a town or city) were blown away by this storm.

Nice radar images from the Tulsa NWS of the Sand Springs, OK tornado.

An impressive gallery of images from the Tulsa World of the Sand Springs, OK tornado damage.

An excellent must-read for anyone who really wants to understand the dynamics of severe weather: “The Science Behind The Oklahoma And Arkansas Tornadoes Of March 25, 2015.”

As time allows, I may add a few more links with further information regarding this event.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d also like to extend a hearty welcome to my new followers…very glad you’re along for the fun!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More: Sept. 7 – 14, 2014

To date, a rather tranquil weather week across most of North America save for some snowy weather in parts of Alberta, Canada and the northern plains of the contiguous USA. As for the tropics, Hurricanes Edouard and Odile are front and center.

Due to time limitations, this post is a bit on the brief side. I’ve several projects with deadlines that have given me a full dance card.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

In our contemporary socio-political climate, being a scientist is difficult enough to make some give up.

TECHNOLOGY

Here are some very handy tips on keeping your data safe while traveling…or even going about your daily routine.

Firefox has had a few changes recently. Here’s some more info. It’s my browser of choice that I can’t recommend highly enough.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Finally! “Citizen Science” is now in the Oxford English Dictionary!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Sweden is now recycling up to 99% of their garbage.

Can moisture from clouds be channeled back to earth to be used for drinkable H2O and electricity generation? It’s worth a try.

Do you really need to rinse your recyclables? Actually, yes you do. Anything is better than sending them to the local landfill.

Can a house handle the Wisconsin winter and use less energy than a hair dryer to stay war? Check it out.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

After viewing this video, I can’t help but wonder if the individual in question (1) knew there was an approaching tornado and (2) realized just how close they were to being seriously injured or killed. Check out this close encounter.

Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, some studies hint at an improvement in the Earth’s ozone layer.  While the ozone layer news is good, that doesn’t negate the importance of ongoing climate change.

NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center has a review of the climate events of August and summer of 2014.

Here’s a concise overview of NOAA’s new radar upgrade called SAILS which will help improve forecasts and warnings.

Weather satellites do more than just take pretty pictures of clouds.

Many of us talk about the dangers of heat and cars until we’re blue in the face. “If You Need Scientific Proof Never To Leave Your Dog In The Car, Here It Is

Finally, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new social media followers. I’m glad you’re along! Also, special thanks to the many folks who have re-tweeted or mentioned me this past week. I appreciate your kindness a great deal.

Have a great week everyone…

Cheers!

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

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

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

TECHNOLOGY

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

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

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

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

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

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

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

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A LOOK AT THE OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS IN SCIENCE…

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

Have a great week…

Cheers!

Updated 15 July 2014: Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For July 6 – 13, 2014

It’s been another busy weather week across North America with everything from tornadoes in Canada to a visit from Hurricane Arthur to the NC coast. Arthur peaked at Category 2 intensity, but the damage seemed minimal compared to what could have occurred.

Before getting to this week’s links, the Tornado Quest Twitter account (@TornadoQuest) was either the victim of a malicious (and illegal) cyber-attack or an unexplainable “glitch” in the Twitter cyber-sphere. Sometime in the early morning hours of Saturday, 12 July 2014, hundreds of accounts that I was following (some I’d followed for several years) were unfollowed. If you’ve been unfollowed, it was not intentional, you will be followed back, and please accept my apologies. I have some people who are quite good at computer forensics (think of Sherlock Holmes for technology…locating and tracking down people) looking into the matter. Again, my sincere apologies and I appreciate those of you who have expressed concern and patience.  Also, this week’s blog will be very short. As time allows, I’ll likely add a few links this week.

Update: 15 July 2014. Thanks to some help from folks who know much more about internet “glitches,” the situation with the Tornado Quest Twitter account seems to have been solved. We’re going to monitor this for quite some time. Again, my apologies if you were mistakenly unfollowed during this “cyber-mess.” 

Without any further delay, lets dive right into this week’s links…

GENERAL SCIENCE

A spot-on article by Chris Mooney worth revisiting: Neil deGrasse Tyson on “Cosmos,” How Science Got Cool, and Why He Doesn’t Debate Deniers. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability science requires the freedom to observe and understand our planet. Indeed it does.

A zero-energy house of the future could be lurking in your neighborhood. Our cities desperately need more of these.

Some good news on the sustainability front: Global Solar Module Prices Just Reached A Record Low.

NASA will soon be using  a high-flying laser altimeter to check out summer sea ice…and more.

Groundwater levels across Texas have been declining for decades. Some contributing factors have finally been identified.

Helsinki is taking a bold step with plans on having a car-free city within ten years.

The ongoing great plains drought and a poor KS wheat harvest are bound to have a domino effect that will be felt far outside of the wheat belt.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

I’m often asked, “What makes a thunderstorm severe?” The answer is quite simple, but frequently misunderstood. And no, heavy rain and frequent lightning don’t make for a severe thunderstorm.

Interesting read on west Antarctica ice sheet research and why it’s so important to climate change research.

Looking into the past is often very productive in getting a glimpse into the future. Greenland melt may have pushed sea level six meters higher in the past.

A thought provoking read on two challenges regarding climate change. 1) How bad will it get and 2) how to combat the changes.

To date, 2014 has been relatively quiet for tornado activity. There are several months (including a normally active autumn) left in the year…so don’t let your guard down.

I’ve gotten a few inquiries regarding El Nino and it’s relation to ENSO. Here’s a good primer from NOAA.

NOAA”s new storm surge maps helped USA east coast residents prepare better for Hurricane Arthur.

An interesting take on the “urban heat island effect” that we urbanites are so familiar with.

Much of the eastern 2/3 of the contiguous 48 states will get an unseasonably nice cool down for mid July. Polar-vortex? Yes? No? Maybe?

Northern Sweden is sizzling in summer temps to 83F…the hottest it’s been in 90 years.

I rarely endorse specific products, but have to give a “tip-0f-the-hat” to RadarScope. If you’re on the go, or mobile, it’s top notch in terms of data…including a host of new dual-pol products.

THE VISCERAL CRETIN UNDERBELLY

Don’t look now…but those with too much time and too little civility and intelligence have discovered yet another way to reach an all-time new low.

Now, back to deciphering the technical difficulties.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For April 29 – May 6, 2014

It’s been another busy weather week. While we’ve had a momentary respite in severe weather activity across North America, the fire weather has (literally) been out of control. In Oklahoma alone, thousands of acres have burned in the last few days, dozens of firefighters treated for heat-related illnesses, and one fatality. Thunderstorms are on the menu and, in spite of the risk of severe weather, most will be glad to get the rain even if it comes with a little hail. Emphasis on the word little.

Once again, a “full dance card” will be the MO until further notice. Ergo, this will be a shorter than usual post. This week’s links for your consideration…

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Contrary to popular internet rumor (even I foolishly took the bait momentarily), there is no “earthquake warning” for Oklahoma. The USGS merely said there is an increasing chance of another magnitude 5.0 or higher quake in the Sooner state. The main concern? Older masonry buildings.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

A sobering look at how long it takes for easily recycled items to decompose in the environment.

Minnesota has become quite the hot bed for solar energy.

Read about the world’s first island to be fully powered by wind and water.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The new National Climate Assessment website is up and running…and looking good. Check it out!

Better building codes could improve survivability rates in strong/violent tornadoes. The obvious challenge is the fact that your well-built home is only as sturdy as the poorly build homes that, once shredded, slam into it. The good news is that a quality storm shelter, even above ground, provides excellent protection.

2014 is off to a “slow” start in terms of number of tornadoes. But, this is only early May & we have many active severe weather months ahead.

Good read by meteorologist Dan Satterfield on the successful popularity of the NWS dual-pol radar data.

How climate change is making American’s favorite crop (in everything from fuel to toothpaste) more vulnerable.

While on the topic of climate change: The Top Ten Global Warming “Skeptic” Arguments Answered.

Record setting spring heat added to an ongoing drought has made Oklahoma a tinderbox.

THE QUIXOTIC

Science clearly has a very long way to go…*sigh*…A Lot of Americans Think The Spirit World Exists.

Americans are clearly unproductive when divided on many topics…and climate change, like most emotional vitriol…runs along party lines.

The prospect for severe weather across the plains states is calling…busy days ahead.

Cheers!

 

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For March 11 – 18, 2014

Running a day late in posting this weeks Gee-O-Science links due to a full dance card. Eventually, someone will invent a 36 hour day…and I will fill each extra hour exponentially until a 48 hour day is invented. Now, back to biz…

Spring is finally making it’s presence knows across much of the Northern Hemisphere. While the occasional cool spell will linger for several more weeks, a few severe weather episodes have occurred across the Great Plains of the USA. What will the spring of 2014 bring across tornado-prone areas of North America? Much too early to tell and a great deal of speculation can’t be trusted. The best policy is to have a proper emergency preparedness plan in place and keep tabs on your local forecasts several days in advance. Having said that, let’s get on with this weeks links…

GENERAL SCIENCE

Neil deGrasse Tyson is hosting a new “Cosmos” series and gives his thoughts on how science got cool & why he doesn’t debate deniers.

What is a naturalist? The answer to that question can be as varied as the subjects studied.

A very cool list: “Twelve Amazing Women Who Totally Rocked At Science.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Major world-wide brands take on a variety of important progressive topics. Is climate change a “hands-off” topic?

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Are you involved in CoCoRaHS? Even if you’re not, check out the USA National Phenology Network and, as a citizen scientist, document how animals and plants respond to local weather conditions.

Yes, you too could find a planet…or something else equally important! No Ph.D required! Citizen science FTW!

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES

As odd as it may sound, seismic activity can be accompanied by “lightning beneath our feet.”

A drone has filmed a volcano eruption from a bird’s-eye view. This is a little to close for comfort!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Is the USA’s EPA running out of time to craft carbon emissions standards for industrial polluters beyond power plants?

Interesting read by the Capital Weather Gang: The Misplaced  Emphasis On Extreme Weather In Environmental Threat Communication.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES

NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center has released their State Of The Climate report for February, 2014.

For RadarScope users, here’s an important essay on identifying non-precipitation echoes.

El Nino is making the rounds of atmospheric discussion topics as of late. Bob Henson of NCAR/UCAR writes on the challenges of forecasting El Nino development.

This week marks the 89th anniversary of the Tri-State tornado…the single deadliest tornado event in US history.

The Norman, OK NWS office has put together a nice video on the advanced spotter training topic of severe thunderstorm ingredients.

NOAA has designated March 16-22 as Flood Safety Awareness Week. Here’s some very important and potentially life saving information on the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” campaign.

While on the topic of flooding, the American Red Cross has a new flood safety app!

Here’s some promising research being done at the Univ. of AL/Huntsville on lightning prediction.

Some things never change. In spite of years of mounting evidence, the vitriolic consternation over climate change continues.

Recent Gallup poll indicates that “A Steady 57% in U.S. Blame Humans For Global Warming.”

Here’s a “spot on” must-read essay that addresses one of the most annoying facets of social media and the attention-hungry “social-media-rologists” (whom I would never confuse with citizen scientists).

And that’s a wrap for this week…

Remember, this is Flood Safety Awareness Week. Also, if you’ve not done so, get your emergency preparedness kit in order and buy a good NOAA weather radio ASAP. Your life may depend on it.

Cheers!

National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Technical Investigation of Joplin, MO Tornado (492 page PDF File) #mowx

There’s no doubt that the Joplin, MO tornado of 22 May 2011 was a watershed event in 21st century USA weather history. A triple digit death toll had not been seen in the USA since 1953. Since then, spotter networks, improvements in radar and warning technology had reduced the overall death tolls dramatically. In light of the 3 May 1999 Bridge Creek/Moore/OKC tornado, much speculation was generated about the potential death tolls that could result from a violent, long-track EF-4 or EF-5 moving through a large metropolitan area such as Dallas/Ft. Worth. Many people, including yours truly, assumed it would take a direct hit for a triple digit death toll to occur in contemporary society. Only then, the death tolls could possibly top 100 or more. The Joplin, MO event was a dramatic wake up call that it didn’t take a large metropolitan area suffering a direct hit from a violent tornado for a 100+ fatality death toll to occur. The Joplin metro has a population of roughly 50,000 yet had a death toll of 161 from a violent EF-5 that moved through the city during a late Sunday afternoon.

The NIST has released a technical investigation of the Joplin tornado event. While rather technical, I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the atmospheric or earth sciences. A word of caution; this is a large 492 page PDF file. The download time, depending on your internet connection and computer, may take some time. Regardless, it’s a worthwhile read with a wealth of information.

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