Tag Archives: social science

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For May 31 – June 7, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope that all of you are having a great week and, if it’s warm where you live, you’re preparing for the onslaught of summer heat. Here in the USA’s Great Plains, we’ll be flirting with 90F in many locations this week. Summer is fraught with its own hazards and the heat that goes with it is an underrated hazard. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SOCIAL SCIENCE

An interesting read that challenges traditional opinions. “Our Level Of Wisdom Varies Depending On The Situation.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A fascinating look at the weather on another planet as astronomers explore the complex atmosphere of the planet Jupiter.

Astronomers have known for some time that our universe is expanding. New research shows it’s expanding at a faster rate than previously believed.

All life on Earth and the atoms in our bodies were created in the furnace of now-long-dead stars.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Scientists working in the Gulf of Mexico have found that contaminants (aka ‘Dirty Blizzard’) from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill lingered in the subsurface water for months after oil on the surface had been swept up or dispersed.

Plastic bag bans may like a good idea, but is it truly good for the environment?

Living in a sustainable manner sounds good, but many are not quite sure what “living sustainably” means.

A combination of operational meteorology and renewable energy sources that can benefit in a “win/win” situation.

You go Norway! This Scandinavian country has just become the world’s first country to commit to zero deforestation.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES

A stark reminder on the dangers of lightning…which is a clear and present danger even in the most “benign” of thunderstorms. If you can hear thunder, even just a distant rumble, you’re in danger of being struck.

These houses, by design and construction, handle hurricanes better than traditional design homes.

A thorough read on what’s causing the recent deadly floods in France and Germany. Unfortunately, it’s something they may have to get used to.

A good read from Climate Central on how the recent increase in Alaska wildfires is worsening global warming.

An interesting look at the trials and tribulations of riding along on a Great Plains storm chasing tour. Welcome to Oklahoma!

Yes, temperatures in the mid 80’s Fahrenheit are quite warm in Sweden. Here in Oklahoma, we should be so lucky.

I had to do a double take when I read this story’s title whilst thinking, “Surely you jest!” “Arabic Weather Term ‘Haboob’ is apparently troubling for some Texans.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers here on WordPress & my other social media outlets. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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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 Oct. 25 – Nov. 1, 2015

It’s been a relatively quiet week across much of North America the past week. Heavy rains, partially due to the remnants of Hurricane Patricia, caused dramatic and deadly flash flooding in parts of Texas. The only good part of the rains were the fact that it put a dent into an ongoing drought that’s existed for several weeks across parts of the south-central states. For those of us who dealt with the “daylight saving time” change on November 1st, remember to not only check your smoke detector & carbon monoxide detectors, but the batteries in your NOAA weather radio. Just like the other detectors, someday it could save your life.

Due to a “full dance card,” this week’s post will be brief. In fact, due to some very cool projects (many involving Tornado Quest), this week’s post will once again be on the brief side.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

“All aspects of meteorology are based upon a world-wide 24-hour clock called Zulu time (Z), more commonly called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)” Here’s how to convert UTC/Zulu to your local time. Speaking of which, this nonsense of turning clocks back and forth twice a year is, in the 21st Century, just that…nonsense.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

The history of science, and medicine in particular, has fascinated me for years. Here’s a somewhat grisly look at surgical-related illustrations from the 19th century.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

“Can Civil Comments Kill The Internet Troll?” It’s worth a try…but the last thing one should ever do is give in to nefarious interlopers.

There’s a perfectly good and rational reason the iOS Siri’s voice is female.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

A sobering write-up on the trials and tribulations of adult friendship.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The water woes of the western USA states have taken on an unfortunate, yet inevitable, social taboo dimension.

Floridians are having quite a row over keeping the state frack-free. It would be in their best interest to stay that way.

Air pollution has been placed in the top ten health risks faced by human beings globally. Delhi has the, “dubious accolade of being regularly cited as the most polluted city in the world.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The United States may be in the middle of a “hurricane drought,” but it would behoove folks in hurricane prone regions to not become complacent

Hurricane Patricia was one of the most powerful hurricanes in the eastern Pacific since records have been kept. Compared to other hurricanes of equal intensity, why did Patricia kill so few people?

Did the USA’s Dust Bowl come to an end in the 1940’s? Absolutely not.

Some very nice work by Phil Plait. “If Global Warming Is A Hoax…

THE QUIXOTIC

A gem of cynical climate change denialism from one of Oklahoma’s largest newspapers. “We’re Sure To Hear Plenty About Climate Change In The Weeks Ahead.”

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. Glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest on Twitter

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!

Tornado Quest on Tumblr

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

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 More For Oct. 19 – 26, 2014

It’s been a relatively quiet weather week across most of North America and the contiguous United States. That’s a good thing since the National Weather Association was holding their annual meeting in Salt Lake City. Many thanks to the folks in attendance who were tweeting during seminars. There was a lot of very thought provoking information being shared.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Very nice essay. Citizen Science: An Idea Whose Time Has Come.

Science Friday has a very cool citizen science project called #ObserveEverything…trees, leaves, clouds, insects, and more.

Looking for some fun citizen science projects for Halloween? Check these out…trick or treat!

SOCIAL SCIENCE

Very interesting survey on what Americans fear most. No surprise on the “Disaster” list that “tornado/hurricane” are at the top.

ASTRONOMY

If you missed this week’s partial solar eclipse, here are some fantastic images you’re likely to enjoy.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE S/SUSTAINABILITY

Here’s some very good news on the renewable front. Wind Power Blows Away Coal And Gas In Nordic Countries.

New study pinpoints major sources of air pollutants from oil and gas operations in Utah.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here is NOAA’s Global Analysis State Of The Climate Report for September, 2014 from the National Climactic Data Center. It’s a very detailed document, but a very worthy read that’s worth your time. No spoilers here save for this graphic of Selected Significant Climate Anomalies and Events for September, 2014.

And speaking of the State Of The Climate Report, here’s a nice concise overview of the NOAA National Climactic Data Center report.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows very little change from last week. Hopefully, some rains across parts of OK & TX will help next week’s report.

Europe is bolstering their weather data with a new generation of weather satellites.

Damage in Bermuda from Hurricane Gonzalo is estimated to start at $200 million.

Ever wonder how a National Weather Service office is arranged? Here’s a look at six offices, equally effective but with unique layouts.

Here is some very important information. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center is revising their Convective Outlooks (the information they post on their site when severe weather is possible) and it’s very important you familiarize yourself with the new changes…especially if you live in a region where severe weather and/or tornadoes are a common element of your climate.

Apparently, the National Weather Association is implementing a “digital seal” for those considered a “trusted source of weather content.”  Time will tell if this is a concept that will work. My concern is the “carnival barker” storm chasers/Twitter mediarologists will find their way through the loopholes and, in the name of driving followers to their Twitter accounts, likes/follows to Facebook, blogs, click-baiting, etc., and fear-mongering, will continue. After observing the behavioral patterns of these hypesters for years, it’s very easy to see their reason for an online presence. And it has nothing to do with atmospheric science or “saving lives.”

And on that note…that’s a wrap for this week!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links For Aug. 31 – Sept. 7, 2014

For those of us who dwell in the Northern Hemisphere, meteorological autumn has finally arrived. It won’t be long before some of you will see leaves start to turn vibrant colors as the plant life prepares for another winter. For those of us in the southern plains, don’t grab that cardigan just yet. We’ve several weeks of very warm to hot weather left. When the heat does finally retire, autumn days on the plains can often be the most pleasant weather days of the year with crisp mornings and pleasantly tepid daytime temperatures. As for the rest of the year between the ice storms, blizzards, sauna-like humidity mixed with searing triple digit summer heat and the good ‘ol tornado season with all the severe thunderstorm trimmings, a certain degree of hearty intestinal fortitude is called for.

And for my followers south of the equator, may spring show its colors for you.

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

TECHNOLOGY/PRIVACY/SOCIAL MEDIA

The “cloud” can be a great place to back up important data. It also requires vigilance regarding security that is the responsibility of the user.

Interesting read on online anonymity. Will it be the only kind we have?

Sad, but true. “Study: Young women with sexy social media photos seen as less competent.”

An often asked question: “Why does Twitter feel so angry?” If trolls and the confrontational ilk were void of the safety and anonymity of their monitors to hide behind, this wouldn’t exist.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Nice read on how citizen scientists are helping climate change scientists. Specifically in the relation to bird behavior and climate change.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE/PHYSICS

What time is it in the universe? Well, that depends.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

An amazing image of a swirling 1-kilometre-high tornado of gas emerging from the lava pouring out of a fissure on Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Farmers in Texas, County, Oklahoma may use a tremendous amount of water, but they’ve taking some admirable steps towards water conservation.

You can never have too much good news on the sustainability front. “UK Offshore Wind Installations Forecast To Soar.”

Happy 50th anniversary to the Wilderness Act…one of the best ideas to come out of the US of A.

What makes wildfires so distinctive compared to other “natural” fires?

This will be interesting to watch. “New York Times Adds Climate Editor After Slashing Environmental Coverage.”

The Gulf of Maine has become the poster child for global warming in the USA.

Taking the road less traveled could help reduce air pollution.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The drought in the southwestern USA may be around for a while and become a way of life rather than an anomaly. Yes, climate change is playing a major role.

This site from NOAA is on of many that’s an  excellent for one-stop-shopping for all things related to peer-reviewed resources for  managing climate-related risks and opportunities.

This month’s U.N. climate summit is an important event that should be of interest to anyone concerned with the future of our fragile, humble home.

Should climate scientists get involved when their research has social implications? Absolutely. The trick is knowing how.

Is Arctic ice recovering? The to-the-point answer is, “No!”

Read about some pretty exciting new technology that meteorologists will be using on hurricane forecasts.

Meteorological vs. astronomical seasons: Which is more useful? The former. Absolutely. For our everyday world here in planet Earth, it has more immediate multidisciplinary effects.

THE QUIXOTIC

There’s a myth that, as a native Okie, I’ve heard all my life. “You can’t build a house in Oklahoma with a basement.” Rubbish. Yes you can.

That’s a wrap for this week!

Cheers!

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