Tag Archives: snow

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Jan. 25 – Feb. 1, 2016

Happy February everyone! The first month of 2016 has come and gone in a flash. Before we know it, summer heat will be settling in over the Northern Hemisphere. In the meantime, January has been very active weather-wise for parts of North America and the UK. Both regions have experienced significant storms with hurricane force winds, blinding rains, devastating floods, and potentially deadly blizzard conditions. Let’s hope that February will be better behaved but, as is always the case, nature has the better hand and the money is always on the house. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

Critical thinking and the scientific method are the key ingredients of sorting through the rubbish of conspiracy mindsets from proven facts.

So sad that in the 21st Century, this kind of retrograde mentality is not only being taken seriously, but flourishing with disturbing frequency.

TECHNOLOGY

Understandably so, Americans from across the political spectrum have become increasingly outraged and outspoken as they have learned more about growing surveillance by governments and corporations.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Could you outrun a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex? Even if you could, I would advice against it. 😉

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

NASA’s Opportunity rover has gone above and beyond the call of duty by now purring smoothly into it’s 12th year of exploration.

This week marked the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. NASA marks the anniversary with a pledge to travel to Mars.

Can’t wait to see this finally in action! “Mirror on the Cosmos: NASA’s Next Big Telescope Takes Shape.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

Wind and sunshine could power most of the United States by 2030 without raising electricity prices.

I’m really hoping that this comes to fruition. “By 2030, Renewables Will Be The World’s Primary Power Source.”

Huge hurricane resistant wind power turbines? Sounds like a sound idea to me!

A very sound idea! Denmark is preparing for climate change by building parks that can transform into ponds during heavy rainfall events.

Speaking of Denmark, the beautiful city of Copenhagen is set to divest from fossil fuels.

A sobering read on the increasing amounts of mercury found in rain water over the central and western parts of the USA.

It should come as no surprise that most of the earth’s pollution is created by only a small percentage of polluters.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Many of us, including yours truly, love snow…but is it safe to eat?

An interesting read on the recent USA snowstorm and it’s connection to climate change.

A good climate read. “Study Finds Slim Odds Of Record Heat, But Not As Slim As Reported.”

Using data going back centuries, climate scientists have found that modern-day European summers are the warmest since the height of the Roman empire. For all practical purposed, this will mean a new way of life.

In spite of recent rains and modest improvements, drought conditions persist in parts of California and Oregon where some reservoirs remain well below half of their capacity.

Capture 1

This one day view of our Earth from a satellite is spectacular and a “must see.”

THE QUIXOTIC

Well said! “I hope that by showing how eye-wateringly unlikely some alleged conspiracies are, some people will reconsider their anti-science beliefs.”
Burying one’s head in the sand may feel good for the moment, but it’s not a courageous way to face scientific facts for which there is indisputable evidence.
And that’s a wrap for this post!
I’d like to extend a warm welcome and “Hello” to all my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!
Cheers!
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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For January 18 – 25, 2016

For much of the eastern USA, it’s been a very interesting week. A major snowstorm with blizzard conditions effected many states from the Mid-Mississippi valley to the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern states. When the going gets rough, you might as well have fun! On that note, let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Good news for citizen science folks into weather! The free mPING weather app is now global! Your important reports help with weather research. Check out the details here!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Astronomers are checking into the possibility of a “planet nine” in our solar system.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Do the safety impacts of using ice during a winter storm outweigh the negative long-term environmental impacts?

Scientists say that plastic may best define our current period within the Anthropocene. I’m inclined to agree.

The air quality of the UK has, as of late, taken on lethal proportions.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A spot on read on the climate change denier’s histrionics that rear their sophomoric heads during events like the USA’s recent snow event.

Based on NOAA and NASA data, 2015 was the hottest year on record. Will 2016 follow suit?

Millions of people across the USA are dealing with the aftermath of a massive snowstorm. Just how do all of those snowflakes form?

El Nino may bring welcome rains to drought plagued California, but it’s a mere drop in the bucket.

With the recent snowstorm/blizzard fresh in the minds (and everything else) of millions of folks in the eastern USA, I’d like to once again pass along some winter weather safety information that I hope you’ll find helpful.

Last but not least, some friendly advice. Always rely on trusted and official sources of weather information year round regardless of where you live. Obviously this includes NOAA’s National Weather Service but also should include the national an/or local broadcast meteorologists of your choice. It would behoove you to avoid the social media fear mongers, “hypesters”, and armchair meteorologists (often referred to as media-rologists since the growth of their social media is more important than timely and accurate information). The squeaky wheels get the grease and, unfortunately, it all too often isn’t official weather sources of potentially life-saving information. My opinion on this isn’t popular for the obvious reasons, but I stand by every word and feel it is very sound.

On that note, that’s a wrap for this post! A hearty “Welcome” to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun and flattered that you’ve chosen to follow me.

Cheers!

 

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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 More For Feb. 16 – 23, 2015

As of this post, several southern states in the USA have been given a stout taste of winter with all the frozen precipitation trimmings. Many folks, especially those living in the northeast, can’t wait for a taste of spring. Personally speaking, I’m relishing every minute of winter I can get. Soon enough, the brutal great plains summer heat will set in and we’ll be begging for a shot of cool air. As for the inevitable changes that occur and induce an increase in severe thunderstorm activity, they will be here soon enough. Once again I’d like to remind folks to prepare now for the coming uptick in severe weather season. The last thing you want to have happen is realize that you didn’t prepare a “safe place” as a tornadic supercell bears down on your town…or neighborhood. Last but not least, the amount of news concerning climate change has been on the increase as more and more research data confirms that planet Earth’s climate is indeed not what it used to be. On the hopeful side, there are some bright lights in sustainability and renewable energy news.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

From the archives, a disconcerting read on data brokers and what they know about you.

SUSTAINABILITY/RENEWABLES

Would be nice to see this come to fruition. “The Dutch Windwheel is not only a silent wind turbine – it’s also an incredible circular apartment building.”

Here’s some good news on the renewables front…in 2015, more than 10 percent of the electricity used in Texas came from wind turbines.

A very informative read on the indicators for measuring the sustainability of cities.

I’d gladly give one of these a test run! “Rollable solar charger provides portable green energy wherever you go.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Yet another potentially volatile scenario indicating the strong link between our climate and biosphere.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Many folks, especially in the northeastern USA states, have had their fill of snow. Back in February, 2010, for a brief period all 50 states had snow somewhere within their state lines.

Clouds have a secret language all their own. Learn to “read” it fluently, and you’ll be leagues ahead of 99.9% of the world’s population.

The term “polar vortex” has been tossed about a great deal as of late. Here’s a basic explanation of what it really is.

NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center has their global analysis for January, 2015…and save for the eastern part of the USA, it was a warm month worldwide.

Speaking of a warm January, 2015 started off in global climate warmth where 2014 left off.

An interesting read on how tree rings can give scientists a look at climates past.

The hazards of winter weather aren’t just limited to slick roads. Here’s some good information from the CDC on winter weather safety.

As is the case with hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, etc., winter weather events can tally up a staggering toll in the billions.

A picture (in this case…a word cloud) is worth a thousand words…and gives insight into the chasm between climate science and climate science denial.

From DeSmog Blog: “With the news of Willie Soon’s fossil-fuel-funded career featured on the front page of The New York Times on Sunday, there’s no time like the present to take a look at all of Soon’s friends in the anti-science climate denial echo chamber.” While we’re hot on the trail, it appears that malfeasance “pal review” has been the modus operandi amongst deniers for years.

Many storm chasers like to brag about chasing “extreme” weather…but Antarctica would give all of them a run for their money.

Hurricane hunters that have no qualms about flying through a category 5 hurricane would never dream of flying through a supercell blasting across the Oklahoma prairie. Here’s why.

That’s a wrap for this post…

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Jan. 26 – Feb. 2, 2015

This past week across North American has been active, not only in weather, but in robust discussions of how the “blizzard of 2015” should have been handled. To say that the opinions expressed (particularly the ones critical of the National Weather Service) were as powerful as the blizzard itself is a vast understatement. The chasm between the general public and forecasters isn’t going to narrow anytime soon. As we’ll see in a few links below, the rift between a certain demographic (unfamiliar with the methodology of science) and scientists (including citizen scientists) is as strong as ever. Taking into consideration the current political divisiveness which includes not at little anti-science hyperbole, we haven’t heard the end of this yet.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Here’s a very thought-provoking article with a scientist who’s near the top of my “most admired” list…the inimitable E.O. Wilson.

Here are three articles on the division between the general public and science.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

I was thrilled to take part in the first #CitSciChat, sponsored by SciStarter on Twitter. Caren Cooper has a very nice recap. Be sure to join us again on February 25th!

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Thank you Verizon! Customers can now opt out of ID tracking. For those of us who are privacy conscious, this is good news.

Smart Keyboard Gets A Charge Out Of You.” I’d gladly give one of these a spin!

A spot-on essay. “Don’t Be On Social Just To Be On Social.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

The connection between population, environmental science, and climate is laying the groundwork for challenges that have no easy solutions.

Why do zebras have stripes? Believe it or not, temperature plays a part.

Oklahoma, you are slowly but surely getting on the right track! The Sooner state now ranks fourth nationally in wind power.

Some good news on the solar front. Thousands of U.S. schools are running on solar.

I’d love to see this spread far and wide. “Spain reveals plans for first ever public street light system powered by wind and sun.”

It would behoove us, for the benefit of future generations, to mind the problematic challenge of “drowning in plastic.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

How do snowflakes form? Is it true that no two snowflakes are alike? Here’s a good essay with answers.

Speaking of snow, many folks considered the January, 2015 blizzard to be a underachiever.” To the contrary, it was anything but that. Still, the fallout was strong and widespread.

Are you interested in becoming a Skywarn spotter but can’t attend a National Weather Service spotter training session? The National Weather Service in Norman, OK will have three free online webinars during February and March. Though the focus may be geared towards parts of Oklahoma and Texas, there will be valuable information that is absolutely essential to know before taking on the responsibility of community service.

The preliminary agenda for this year’s ChaserCon is now online…and it’s a great lineup!

While ozone is beneficial in the upper atmosphere, at ground level it can cause serious health problems. Oddly enough, thunderstorms aren’t helping.

Nice video, but “microburst” is the correct meteorological term and they’re not that rare.

I can’t wait to see the data from NASA’s new SMAP observatory which will measure soil moisture just beneath ground level.

A very cool read from Climate Central. “Climate Calculator Lets You Create A New World.”

Climactic rivalry? “The U.S. Is A Country Divided By Seasons And Warming.”

The urban heat island effect is nothing new to this urbanite as heat waves are becoming more prominent in urban areas.

A geological connection to climate change. Iceland is rising as its glaciers melt.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map has changed very, very little from last week as the relentless drought continues for many areas…CA, NV, OK, & TX in particular.

THE VISCERAL UNDERBELLY

As a veteran target for the “Serengeti Strategy,” I can attest to the validity of this essay…which I’m passing along for the benefit of others who are victims. Bullying and intimidation isn’t segregated to the schoolyard. It’s alive and well in the “adult” world.

Egads…and just when I thought the “chemtrail” conspiratists took the cake, I (misguidedly) came across this.

Ending on a more positive note…I’d like to pass along a quick reminder that Tornado Quest is not only on WordPress, but also on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. You can easily find links to all of these social media sites on the Tornado Quest About Me page! Also, I’d like to send a sincere “thank you” to all my followers. Each and every one of you are appreciated and never taken for granted. Social media, from my perspective, has never been about numbers, shilling, or a popularity contest. It truly is a perfect example of quality over quantity.

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Jan. 19 – 26, 2015

There’s been a wide variety of topics across many fields of science that have been of interest to many folks this past week. As is often the case as of late, most center on climate issues. A few encouraging stories on the renewable energy front have also been of great interest. As for the current winter across North America, much of the TX panhandle and NM saw significant snowfall as did much of the northeastern states from PA and NY into New England during a powerful storm that could put its mark into the record books. Due to some previous commitments and a bit of workload related to the ongoing blizzard in the northeastern states, this week’s post will be a bit on the brief side.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re riding out the big northeastern blizzard, you can help the National Severe Storms Laboratory with weather research by reporting snow, wind, etc. via the mPING app!

While you’re out in the snow, you may want to measure how deep it is. The folks at the National Weather Service in Norman, OK have put together a quick tutorial on how to measure snow correctly.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A “spot-on” read with some psychology, physiology, and social media blended to make a very valid point. It’s no wonder that, for those of us who see the glass as half full, the sarcastic snarks in social media are so repulsive.

A very interesting look (in images) of “The Emerging Global Web.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Amateur astronomers have made some significant contributions to science…including discovering comets.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY/RENEWABLES

Here’s some good news on the renewables front. A large area will soon open for wind power in New England.

An interesting read on having a lawn that is greener in every sense of the word.

Check out these fantastic aerial images of our humble home. They do put things in perspective.

This gives “Bean Town” a whole new meaning! “Boston’s Got Gas As Methane Seeps From City.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Are you following the Twitter account of your local National Weather Service office? If not, here’s a complete list for the USA.

Not necessarily atmospheric science, but an interesting look at how Colorado keeps 9,000 miles of highway clear of snow.

East Antarctica’s largest glacier is melting…and that’s a lot of ice. A lot. Up north in Greenland, two lakes beneath the ice have disappeared.

A fascinating look at some weather history. If you think it’s bad getting through a blizzard in the 21st Century, reconsider what the folks in New York City suffered with in 1888.

Finally, in regards to the ongoing blizzard, here’s a great essay by Greg Laden. “The Great Blizzard of 2015: Fair To Say It Is AGW Amplified.”

Last but definitely not least, here’s some very important winter weather safety information for you folks who are dealing with this week’s massive snowstorm.

Stay warm and safe folks!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Dec. 29, 2014 – Jan. 6, 2015

By now, most of you have had your fill of “new year wishes” but bear with me and allow me to indulge in one more. To all my loyal followers…old and new…I’d like to wish you a great 2015. In spite of the fact that New Year’s Eve is one of the most overblown “holidays” of the year, let’s learn what we can from our mistakes and/or miscalculations in 2014 and look to the future. It’s my sincere hope that lady luck flies in close to all of us on each perilous mission we take. This year will also be a pivotal one in terms of climate change, sustainable lifestyles, renewable sources of energy, space exploration, and so much more.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’ve got the means, you can take part in the world’s biggest high altitude balloon flight.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Deleting yourself from the internet grid isn’t easy, but here are some tips on how to get started.

When a Google search isn’t enough, there are alternatives.

If you’re browsing in private mode, it may not be as private as you think.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A 3.9 billion year old meteorite from Mars is giving insight into that planet’s history.

How would this rate on the Enhanced Fujita Scale? The Hubble telescope has peered into the depths of our Milky Way galaxy and discovered a point where an eruption drove gases outwards at 2 million miles per hour.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Being a sustainability optimist, I can’t help but share this good essay. “9 Reasons Not To Be Depressed About The Planet.”

Dont’ toss that dried up Christmas tree in the trash. Here are four ways to recycle your tree for wildlife.

Speaking of Christmas, how is it possible to recycle Christmas lights?

Any good news is always welcome on the environmental science front. Here are ten reasons to be encouraged that environmental progress was made in 2014.

On the downside, the news regarding sea levels isn’t good.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

From the fine folks at NCAR/UCAR, a look back at their top ten stories of 2014.

Most of us have always heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Here’s an interesting look at a new perspective on snowflake formation.

As the final data from 2014 comes in, it’s looking more and more likely that last year was the warmest ever for our planet. The Japanese Meteorological Agency has solid data.

The Guardian has their take on the last best chance to reach an agreement on cutting carbon emissions.

Good tips on how to become a climate change activist.

Here’s a “spot-on” read…”18 Scientists And What They Actually Think About Climate Change.”

Sir David Attenborough: Climate change threatens humanity – but those in power deny it. Why? It’s easier (and more profitable) that way.

Not even the Pope is immune to the rants of climate change denialists.

Why isn’t Greenland…green? It’s partially climate, partially geology.

Finally, 2014 will go down as the year Oklahoma had the fewest tornadoes since official records began in 1950. Considering the brutal beatings from tornadoes the Sooner state has taken in the last 15 years, who in their right mind would complain?

That’s a wrap for this post…

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links For Dec. 8 – 15, 2014

It’s no secret that the big weather news this week was the storm system that brought a great deal of rainfall to the west coast and specifically to the drought ravaged parts of California. While this may have helped take the edge off the ongoing drought, it’s only temporary. In fact, in the long-term, it’s unlikely that much benefit will be seen from this event. There’s plenty more to take a look at, so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Just a reminder of the amazing free mPING app that you can get for iOS or Android. Whether its snow, hail, or high winds, you can send in a report to the National Severe Storms Laboratory and help weather research! The mPING app, unlike many other weather apps, has a very small footprint…so it won’t gobble up a ton of space in your mobile device.

Can citizen scientists lead the way in exciting new research? You bet they can.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY/RECYCLING

Check out one of the most novel ideas for recycling used Christmas trees I’ve seen to date.

If plastic doesn’t have a recycling number, what should you do with it?

Aside from not taking it for granted, what did Americans learn this year from not being able to drink their water?

An interesting infographic on which countries are the most energy efficient.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A recent Met Office study indicates heatwaves are likely “every other year” by 2030’s.

Here’s the latest State Of The Climate report from NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center. It was a chilly November for the contiguous USA, but that was a global exception.

Six thought-provoking charts on the future of climate change.

A good read on the inextricable link between our atmosphere and biosphere.

A climate change denier ≠ skeptic. In fact, nothing could be further from truth in labeling. Hence, many scientists are encouraging journalists to stop referring to deniers as skeptics.

There’s a great deal of media coverage in the aftermath of the latest UN Climate Summit. Here’s a concise overview. Unfortunately, what was agreed upon has little teeth.

Oklahoma is known for tornadoes in the spring, but December? No month is immune. Oklahoma County recorded it’s first December tornado on 12/14/14. Tulsa County has experienced December tornadoes in 1975 (Dec. 5th) and two on Christmas Eve 1982 (Dec. 24).

Speaking of tornadoes, ustornadoes.com has compiled a “top ten” list of tornado videos of 2014. Please note that this is not an endorsement of storm chasing, “extreme” or otherwise, and the inevitable dangers chasers/spotters will encounter.

Interesting read from NASA on research into thunderstorm gamma rays.

What are your chances of a white Christmas in the contiguous USA? In my neck of the woods, slim to none.

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

Some Helpful Winter Weather Safety Info

In light of the impending winter storm that will impact several southern states and the Mid-Atlantic, I’d like to pass along some winter weather safety information. Many of you may already have this information at hand but for those who don’t, I’d recommend bookmarking it for future reference.

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

National Weather Service Winter Weather Safety and Awareness

Winter Storms: The Deceptive Killers (12 page PDF file)

What You Need To Know When The Power Goes Out

As a veteran of several devastating ice storms in Oklahoma, I can assure you that the aftermath is neither pretty or easily tolerable. For many of you, there’s less than twelve to eighteen hours (at most) left to prepare. As they say for an approaching hurricane, “all necessary preparations should be rushed to completion.” There’s no reason to panic, that will get you nowhere, but you’re running out of time. If your area is impacted by a significant ice storm, be prepared for power outages. Keep very close tabs on your local National Weather Service office via their website or NOAA weather radio as well as local broadcast meteorologists for the latest information. As for social media (and this is only my own opinion) be quite selective with the information you take in. Stick with your local weather service office and reliable media and avoid the ‘rumor mill’ or online amateurs waving their arms about to garner attention. Yes, there are plenty of meteorology buffs, including yours truly, who enjoy sharing information, but we should not be looked upon as official sources of information that involve the protection or safety of lives and property. I may share something I find interesting, but it’s only from a purely scientific  viewpoint and should never be taken as a “warning” of any sort. That’s what reliable media/broadcast meteorologists and National Weather Service office are for. Yes, I’ve gotten onto a bit of a soapbox here, but this is something I feel very strongly about, especially in life threatening situations…and I feel my opinions are very valid for good reason.

Now for a quick note that’s on the lighter side…while you’re weathering this winter storm, download the National Severe Storm Laboratory’s mPING app and report the kind of precipitation and weather you’re getting. Your report goes into helping research meteorologists verify what they’re seeing on radar. If nothing else, it’ll give you something to take your mind off the potential winter weather hazards and you’ll be contributing to weather research. You don’t have to go outside to send in a mPING report…you can do it from the safety and comfort inside of your home or place of work.

Alright…you’ve got yourself set for this winter storm, right? Good. Take some mental notes while it’s in progress. Events like this don’t happen often…which is good. Stay safe, stay warm, and stay informed.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For Feb. 4 – 11, 2013

Much of North America may be getting a short-term respite from the extreme cold, but not before a major winter weather event with all the trimmings takes a shot at many southern states in the USA that are not accustomed to this kind of weather. As it stands now, winter weather advisories and/or warnings extend from Texas into New England. Most worrisome is the potential ice storm and it’s effects across parts of Alabama, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. Folks in these areas should rush to completion any preparations they need to make and prepare for the possibility of loosing power for several days.

Let’s take a look at this weeks links…

GENERAL SCIENCE

Communicating science to the general public can be a very daunting task, but it’s an important talent to refine.

The challenges of communicating science include publications. Choosing the right title can make or break an article.

From a variety of disciplines, take a look at some of the best science visualizations of the year.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Check out this cool citizen science project that requires only a simple camera and an eye for landscape.

Read about  five easy ways to become a freelance scientist…who, contrary to popular opinion, can offer a great deal to the professionals.

TECHNOLOGY

If you’re a fan of Google, it looks like they’ve got a full dance card of goodies on tap.

Can Big Brother peek into your home? You bet they can.

Part technology (the tools used) and part social science (a study of bullying and trolls in the online world) in this interesting read: Outing A Pseudonymous Blogger.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Dimetrodon, a carnivorous dinosaur that walked on land between 298 million and 272 million years ago, was the first terrestrial vertebrate to develop serrated teeth.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

This should be a ‘no-brainer’ for contractors, roofing companies, and home owners alike…white roofs are better than green roofs and anything is better than black.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A (belated) Happy Birthday to the National Weather Service which was established on February 9, 1870.

Here’s some interesting info from the folks at the National Severe Storms Laboratory on FACETs and it’s fantastic potential for public safety.

Here’s a look at preliminary tornado statistics for 2013 from the Storm Prediction Center.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2013 was among the top ten warmest years since modern records began in 1850.

Speaking of 2013, here’s a nice 8 minute video with commentary showing our planet in all its atmospheric glory.

There’s nothing in the United States, or the world for that matter, like the Oklahoma Mesonet. Here’s a nice article from a Oklahoma newspaper about the OK Mesonet’s 20th anniversary

If you’ve not read about NOAA’s Hazardous Weather Testbed in Norman, OK, check it out here.

CA is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in the state’s history. If this current trend continues, they’ll get worse and last longer.

Trade winds are having an effect on climate change. Here’s an interesting read on another piece of the climate puzzle.

Like some more pieces to the climate puzzle? Read about the cascade of uncertainty in climate projections.

Greenland’s changing climate is a key player in the study of our atmosphere.

If it’s so cold, why do we hear so much about climate change and global warming? Because we need to observe the climate on our planet as a whole, not just what’s going on in one’s backyard.

While on the topic of cold, many folks are ready for spring. The earlier, the better. But, that may not be what you really should hope for.

Few people often agree on the best weather forecast models. Here’s an interesting take on a recent evaluation.

And that’s a wrap for this week!

Cheers!

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