Tag Archives: spring

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 25 – March 4, 2017

Greetings everyone and Happy Meteorological Spring to my friends and followers in the Northern Hemisphere. For many, it’s been an exceptionally warm winter and spring is already throttling up. In the USA, Skywarn spotter classes are ongoing as of this post. Check with your local National Weather Service office to see if there’s a class scheduled near you. And, as has been the case for the last few weeks, science and public policy have been front and center…so let’s get started.

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


Wind and solar power are gaining major ground in countries across the globe. Considering that change is often difficult, how will the status quo adapt?

Cities around the globe smarten up & go green as 2/3 of world population will live in urban areas by 2030.

Air pollution isn’t just a minor irritation, it’s a major health hazard with lethal implications. Here’s an excellent read on how to deal with and/or avoid potentially deadly poor air quality.

Before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed in the USA, environmental conditions were in a sorry state. It would behoove us to keep that in mind and fight against the threat of retrograding into a new dark age.

While on the topic of air pollution, other countries besides the USA have their share of air quality issues. The problem for USA citizens is their noxious air travels round the globe and eventually reaches us.

Here’s another sobering look at environmental conditions in the USA in the pre-EPA days.


A new earthquake outlook for 2017 highlights Oklahoma and California as the hot-spots for quake activity…so we’ve been warned.


If it seems like spring has come early this year for much of the Northern Hemisphere, you’re not imagining things.

The new GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back amazing high-resolution images!

For the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of meteorological spring occurred on 1 March 2017. Here’s a look back at an unusually warm winter from Climate Central.


Sea surface temperatures and weather/climate are inextricably linked. From the National Weather Service in New Orleans, LA, “The Gulf has remained warm this winter, generally 2-7F above avg now. Pic from the NOAA View Global Data Explorer.”


For the state of California, it was famine to feast in terms of rainfall. Here’s a look at the “atmospheric rivers” that kept the state dry, then inundated it with dangerous flooding conditions.

Speaking of drought, here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for March, 2017. In spite of recent rains, drought conditions persist or increase across many areas of the plains and southern states.


Though the focus of this article is on the recent heat wave in parts of Australia, it applies to other continents as well. “Climate Scientists Say Likelihood Of Extreme Summers Surging Due To Global Warming.”

What do citizens of the USA think about climate change? This interesting read provides some maps and links to answer that question.

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-1_22_48-pmPercentage of adults, by state, who think global warming is happening. Yale Program on Climate Change Communication | George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication

An Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula has set a heat record at a balmy 63.5° Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius) according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Severe Weather Safety Link Of The Week: With the severe weather season well underway across the USA, here’s a very comprehensive yet concise overview of severe weather and it’s hazards from the National Weather Service. “Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, And Lightning. Natures Most Violent Storms.” (20 page PDF file)


NOAA is about to take a bit hit from the Trump administration, specifically their satellite division. This is ugly…and it will only get worse. Nefariously draconian comes to mind (considering that much of the life-saving data you benefit from comes from the portion of NOAA that’s under the gun), but that would be to politely generous.

Four Ways NOAA Benefits Your Life Today.” This is a “must-read” by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on the irreplaceable benefits that NOAA and the National Weather Service provide to USA citizens.

Do scientists really lose credibility when they become political? Absolutely not. We need all the scientists involved in the current political climate as possible.

Fighting fire with fire is the only way to deal with the building hostilities toward the scientific community.

Things are bad indeed. “Responding to attacks on scientific expertise and threats to public funding, the growing protest of American scientists might also suggest something about the perceived direness of the state of the world under Trump: If the scientists are organizing, then things must be really bad.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stopped collecting important climate and environmental data. No data = no science = no progress.


A Norwegian news site is on to an excellent way to deal with trolls and/or people who have a “knee-jerk” reaction to a headline and leave hostile and threatening comments. Make them read and article or essay and answer questions about it before they’re allowed to comment. There’s nothing like a little mature, critical thinking to take the place of sophomoric rants.

This disconcerting privacy read will make you think twice about carrying a mobile device in and out of the USA. In case you’re wondering, your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights don’t apply.

Your privacy in the safety of your own home is also a hazard. Chances are, you are your own worst security risk.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to send out a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. We’re in interesting times…so hang on…lots more fun to come.



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Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For March 18 – 25, 2914

Spring has “officially” arrived in the Northern Hemisphere. From now until late June, the days will get longer. Along with the extra hours of sunlight, those of us in the tornado prone areas of North America will once again face the annual increase in severe weather events. What will this season bring? That’s the million dollar question. Most speculation should be taken with a grain of salt. While most of the USA saw a below average number of tornadoes in 2013, specific areas of the plains (central and eastern OK in particular) took a brutal beating from several rounds of severe weather…many of which were watershed events of historic importance. So…what will the coming severe weather season have in store? We’ll have to see…the best way for you to deal with nature’s tantrums is to have a good preparedness plan in place and when those storms send a few fast balls your way, be prepared to hit every pitch out of the park.

On that note, here are some links for your consideration…


If you need info from FEMA, including flood maps, this site should be of  good assistance.

This is Tsunamis Awareness week. NOAA’s Coastal Service Center has some very useful safety information.

A little science history blended with geology. A very interesting look back at the history of geological maps.


Spring not only brings a change in weather for the Northern Hemisphere, but new citizen science projects.


This should come as a surprise to no one. Trees near Chernobyl have barely decomposed since the 1986 nuclear disaster.

It’s a bit early for Air Quality Awareness Week, but never really too early to be mindful of air quality safety info.


In case you missed it, here’s NOAA’s 2014 spring climate outlook.

Speaking of spring, here’s a fun read (with a cool map) on tornadoes and spring. No, it’s not a forecast, just an interesting look at one of the Earth’s most contrary phenomenon.

Here’s a fascinating read from NOAA…the NWS Service Assessment of the May 2013 OK tornadoes (63 page PDF file).

An interesting paleoclimatology read on how wind-borne dust affected climates of the past.

Considering a career in the atmospheric sciences or know someone who is? Here’s some good read on a career in meteorology from the World Meteorological Organization.

Starting March 25, 2014, several National Weather Service offices (including Tulsa and Norman) will begin using Impact Based Warnings. After almost two years of watching the effectiveness of Impact Based Warnings, I’m not a little enthused that more NWS offices will start including additional very important information when a warning is issued.

According to some studies, Americans are concerned about climate change but see no danger in the near future.

A good read by Phil Plait: AAAS “What We Know” About Global Warming Campaign.

And that’s a wrap! Have a great week everybody!






State Of The #Climate For February 2014 from @NOAANCDC

NOAA’s monthly State Of The Climate Report has been issued for February, 2014. It’s a very mixed bag with a wide variety of weather events that took place over the USA. February is traditionally a very transitional month across North America with large-scale winter weather events on the heels of regional severe weather outbreaks not uncommon. I’ll let the report speak for itself, but there are a few items that caught my attention:

  • Contiguous USA drought conditions improved only slightly in parts of OK, TX, CA and several other states remain under “exceptional” drought conditions.
  • AK had its 8th warmest winter on record. During February, it was not uncommon for many stations across KS, OK, TX and neighboring states to be 20F – 30F colder that many stations in central AK.
  • Thanks to long-term cold snaps, the Great Lakes had their 2nd largest ice cover on record by early March.
  • Though severe weather events did occur, they were comparatively low impact events and were located primarily in the southern states.

As is often the case, I have sometimes remind people who take a lukewarm passing interest in weather that a report such as this is only a small snapshot of weather events over a short time span and may or may not reflect long-term climate change events. The longer record are kept, the more likely they are to be broken. Considering we live at the bottom of an ocean of air which is a very dynamic and ever-changing fluid, monthly extremes are to be expected. Long-term record over many years, decades, and even centuries are another matter.

Here’s to an interesting March…and if you’ve not done your preparedness for the coming severe weather season, please do so as soon as possible.


Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For March 4 – 11, 2014

Across much of the Northern Hemisphere, the signs of spring and warmer weather are slowly making themselves known. There will be a few more blasts of winter weather left, but the overall trend is toward warmer temperatures and more hours of sunlight. For many, spring also brings the threat of severe weather. If you’ve not taken the proper preparedness steps, this would be a good time to do so. First and foremost, if you don’t have a NOAA weather radio, purchase the best one you can afford as soon as possible. This is your first line of defense in severe weather preparedness and the best source of potentially life-saving warnings. For details on that, see my previous post.

Here’s a look at a few select items for your consideration…


Are you into citizen science? Join the new Citizen Science Association and help promote the benefits of citizen science!

It’s March Madness for CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network)…an awesome citizen science project that anyone in the USA or Canada can take part in regardless of where you live or the time of year.


Solar storms can wreak havoc on certain parts of our infrastructure. Fortunately, our Earth can help fight back.

A new Cosmos just started. And if Carl Sagan knew, I’m sure he’d approve.


Say hello to Torvosaurus gurneyiRecently discovered, it could be the largest carnivorous predator from the late Jurassic discovered to date in Europe.


A very interesting piece from Popular Science with the details on where the plastic goes.

As an avid recycler, I’m painfully aware of the “pains and joys of recycling.”

Fascinating read on the connection between sustainability and social behavior.

National Groundwater Awareness Week runs from March 9 – 15, 2014. Here are more details from USGS.

Are you aware of how much water you use during a “typical” day? Few of us do…and we pay for it environmentally and financially.

Living in a large metro area as I do, I’m well aware of the love/hate relationship we have with our urban freeways.


In a warming climate, recent research indicates heavy rainfall events could be on the upswing.

Will there be an El Nino for 2014? Current outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center put the odds at 50/50.

Several National Weather Service offices will begin using Impact Based Warnings in spring 2014.

Thanks to a recent cold snap, Lake Michigan reached an ice cover record.

Climate change, according to recent research, can be felt to the deepest reaches of the Earth’s oceans.

Could extreme weather be a ‘silver lining’ for climate action? It is if it raises the issue of climate change to the highest political levels.

People are freaking out about all the temperature swings with cold snaps one week with sleet or snow followed by a week of mild temps and warm sunshine. Chillax…it’s spring…and it’s normal.

Interesting read: NOAA National Weather Service Meteorologist Twitter Use Shows That All Government Employees Are Communicators.

The National Weather Service was to receive new supercomputers for forecasting. Sadly, that hasn’t come to pass…and the USA is falling behind other nations forecasting tools at a rapid pace.

Last but not least, the Tornado FAQ from the Storm Prediction Center. This is a must-read if you live anywhere tornadoes occur.


At last…someone took the words right out of my mouth. “Why Daylight Saving Time Is Pointless.”

From Mother Jones: “Five Infuriating Examples of Facts Making People Dumber.” ~ Number 5 is the gem for me. :-/

There are many reasons Scandinavia’s Lapland is a very special place…and here’s some eye candy to prove it.

Yes, the California drought is bad. Bad enough that some are flushing rational thought down the drain.

Finally, a sobering first-person account of the May, 2014 tornado events in Oklahoma.

I’ve received several comments regarding my previous post on the Norman, OK National Weather Service’s Facebook Tornado Drill. Thank you for your interest. My intention is to bring attention to the obvious fact that much of social media, specifically Facebook, is a very poor way of getting important severe weather warning information. It may be a good way to obtain various forecast products in the days leading up to severe weather but when seconds count…it fails miserably.

Have a great week everybody!


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