Tag Archives: summer heat safety

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For June 5 – 12, 2017

Greetings to one and all! For those of us in North American, summer is in full swing with sizzling temperatures expected for the next several days. Summer heat is a highly underrated weather hazard and I’ve got some outstanding information from the National Weather Service in this week’s post. As for severe weather, it’s going to be a very quiet period for much of the Great Plains the next few days. Overall, May 2017 was quieter than usual across the contiguous USA with the number of tornadoes, high wind, and hail reports being below normal. And, of course, the big news of the past few days has been the USA’s decision to discontinue commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Fortunately, at the state and local level, there’s a groundswell gathering momentum that will hold to the commitment and do the right thing. There’s plenty to go over, so let’s begin.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re looking for a way to help out weather research with crowdsourcing citizen science, the mPING project is for you. The free app is easy to use and you can send reports year round for a variety of weather conditions.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

We’ve just observed World Oceans Day. Considering that approximately 75% of the surface of the earth is covered by water, it behooves us all to have a thorough understanding of how our oceans work and how important they are to our forms of life.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a look back at severe weather activity in the USA for May, 2017. Of note are two events recorded in Oklahoma…a 104mph non-tornadic gust reported at the Walters, OK Oklahoma Mesonet station and a 4.25″ hailstone that was documented in Okfuskee County, OK. The number of tornadoes nationwide was 290…only slightly higher than the statistical average of 276. Overall, it was a below normal month in severe weather activity.

Infographic courtesty NOAA Storm Prediction Center

This week marks the anniversary of the June 8, 1974 Great Plains tornado outbreak. While not one of the larger outbreaks of recent years, long-time residents remember this event well. The Tulsa, OK metro was hit by three tornadoes with up to EF-3 damage in some areas. The deadliest tornado was the Drumright, OK EF-4 which killed fourteen people along a thirty mile long path. Here’s a overview of the events across several great plains states.

This is also the anniversary of the Barneveld, Wisconsin EF-5 tornado. The Milwaukee, WI National Weather Service has a comprehensive overview.

Here’s a look at the dangers of sea level rise in the USA according to new data from NOAA.

Many American residents who don’t have a good understanding of hour weather and climate work are prime targets for climate change denialists who prey on their lack of earth science knowledge.

While on the topic of the American public, Dr. Marshall Shepherd has written and excellent essay on fifteen suggestions for broadcast meteorologists on conveying weather information to their viewers.

Flooding in the USA kills more people annually than tornadoes, lightning, high winds, and hurricanes combined. It would behoove those of us in America to take the threat of climate change induced flooding very, very seriously.

Summer heat is settling in across much of North America. By observing heat safety tips, heat illnesses and deaths can be prevented.

Infographic courtesy NOAA

PUBLIC POLICY

One of the most thought-provoking articles I’ve read as of late. The subtitle says it all and it right on the mark. “For too long, liberals have been treating climate change as a third or fourth tier issue. As the US exits the Paris Climate Accord, it’s time for liberals to re-evaluate an issue that subsumes all others.”

In some form of media, climate change denial, both scientific and political, is nurtured in a variety of ways. Most of it goes unchallenged. It’s time to change that and call the denialists out. This will also require some introspection on the part of those of us who accept the overwhelming evidence of climate change science.

A disturbingly unsettling read on six ways budget cuts will hamper NOAA’s weather forecasting capabilities. Yes, this will affect you in more ways than you can imagine.

As of this post, thirteen states in the USA are continuing on with their commitment to the Paris Agreement. Let’s hope that in short order many other states join their ranks.

While on the topic of dedication to commitment, here’s another good read from Climate Central on how the USA can hold to its promise for the Paris Agreement.

Asking public officials if they “believe” in climate change is the wrong way to attempt an initiation of a productive dialogue.

Last but not least, is there a way that individual Americans can still follow the Paris Climate Agreement? Absolutely. Here’s how.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to 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 June 14 – 22, 2016

Greetings to one and all! I’m glad you stopped by. This post will be on the brief side due to previous time-consuming commitments and today’s severe weather potential. I’ll post some safety information regarding severe weather in addition to summer heat safety tips. With summer settling in with a vengeance across much of North America, it’s time to take seriously the dangers of this underrated and silent killer. As usual, there’s a bit of environmental and astronomical news as well. On that note, let’s get started.

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

In July 2016, the Juno mission will take a look at Jupiter’s atmosphere and what lays below it.

A very cool video. “Mapping Laniakea, the Milky Way’s Cosmic Home.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A good climate read with this week’s best headline. “California’s Trees Are Thirstier Than A College Kid With A hangover.”

A very nice infographic that answers many questions about sea level rise.

Speaking of the sea, here’s a nice infographic on how deep the Earth’s oceans are in comparison to “above the ground” objects. Note: While 37,000 feet may be deep for our oceans, it’s the height of a very modest cumulonimbus thunderstorm. Supercell thunderstorms across Tornado Alley regularly reach heights of 50,000 – 60,000 feet.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

What would our humble planet be like with a global warming temperature increase of 1.5C? Very, very unpleasant.

Summer heat is a vastly underrated hazard…and killer. Here’s two excellent sources of safety information to keep your family, friends, and you safe.

Today’s (22 June 2016) severe weather outlook includes a possibility of a widespread damaging wind event aka “derecho” or MCS (Mesoscale Convective System) across parts of the lower Great Lakes region and the Ohio valley. What exactly is a derecho?

An interesting read on the irrevocable link between climate and health. “British scientists say they have developed a model that can predict outbreaks of zoonotic diseases — those such as Ebola and Zika that jump from animals to humans — based on changes in climate.”

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

If there was ever a reason to get your amateur (ham) radio license, this is it.

 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!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For July 15 – 22, 2015

If it’s sizzling hot with summer heat where you are, I hope you’ve been able to keep your cool. For much of North America, a ridge of high pressure (often referred to colloquially by storm chasers as the “death ridge”) has dominated much of the mid-summer weather. Temperatures in the mid to upper 90F combined with dew points in the 70’s has created a torrid sauna that only the most staunch fans of summer can love. For those (like yours truly) who prefer a more temperate summer, hang tight. In a matter of week’s the heat will pass swiftly and the seasons will change.

This week’s post, for the sake of dealing with a myriad of time constraints, will be rather brief. In fact, I may experiment with a more concise format for a period of time. Having had several in-depth conversations on the social psychology behind social media with people who, in a professional capacity, are engaged public relations has been very enlightening. In general, most people like you and me prefer to digest as much information in shorter segments rather than long-winded accounts. Having said that, let’s not waste any more time.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

As I explained in this week’s introduction, much evidence shows that brevity is key in social media success…i.e. the ideal Twitter tweet is between 70-100 characters.

A startling look at the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s fourth annual “Who Has Your Back” report on the tech sector’s customer privacy practices. Though this report is from May, 2014, all indications are that little (if anything has) changed.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

SciStarter and NASA are enlisting citizen scientists for a nationwide research project that will examine water availability and soil moisture conditions.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

NASA has released a new photograph of our humble home that is true to its description. Epic!

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The biggest news this week in weather and climate was NOAA’s latest State Of The Climate Report. The bottom line; 2014 was the warmest year on record for planet Earth.

The latest US Drought Monitor showed a great deal of improvement…except, of course, for the drought plagued western states. The newest report will be issued tomorrow and, in spite of recent California rains, will likely show little change.

In spite of a recent rebound, the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice continues.

Are heat advisories and/or excessive heat warnings “over-the-top hype” or are they beneficial to the public? Personally, I believe it’s the latter, but many strongly disagree.

Last but definitely not least is a “shout out” to “This Week In Science” (TWIS) with Kirsten Sanford, PhD, Justin Jackson, and Blair Bazdarich providing the web’s most entertaining and informative look into a wide spectrum of science topics. If you’ve not seen an episode, you should check it out.

That’s a wrap for this week’s post! I’d like to welcome my new followers…glad you’re along for the fun. Stick around folks, there are some very cool things in the works for Tornado Quest.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For July 5 – 15, 2015

Summer has settled in over the southern plains of the USA with the annual vengeance. With the exception of a recent rainy spell complete with flash flood warnings and plenty of fuel to fire a bumper crop of hungry, vindictive mosquitoes, heat indices have been brutal even without the air temperature reaching the century mark. It’s all part of life in this neck of the woods. Fire and ice. If you’re a native to the region like me, you know it takes a thick skin to “weather the weather.” With the severe weather season winding down overall, it is a perfect time for those of us into the atmospheric sciences to stretch our wings and explore different weather and climate vistas; tropical weather (sans tropical cyclones), global wind patterns, climate change, dual-pol doppler radar case studies, atmospheric chemistry, or the ever-present connection between weather, climate, and life forms of all kinds. There’s an almost endless and ever-changing continuum of fascinating atmospheric science topics for the taking and, if you dare step out of your comfort zone, a great deal of knowledge can be yours. As one of my meteorological mentors emphasized with me over 30 years ago, “Everything about the atmosphere and every science related to it is fascinating. If it isn’t, you’re just a one-trick-pony and need to find another interest.” If variety is the spice of life, it is exceptionally important in the sciences. On a more personal note; I’m temporarily back up to speed for the time being. Ongoing heath issues are the reason I’ve had to spread recent posts out several days apart. Friendly suggestion: never take good health for granted. Thanks for the words of encouragement and concern from followers and online friends. You know who you are…and I know who is on my side. Your support, regardless of whether is in-person or from thousands of miles away, is something I appreciate a great deal. Thank you!

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A fascinating, but rather technical, read on the limitations of statistics in scientific research.

“For women who aspire to the sciences, a sense of belonging is a powerful force in determining the path they take.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA/PRIVACY

An excellent essay covering anonymity online…which is becoming more difficult to maintain in lieu of convenience.

Some good news for fellow Firefox users…Mozilla is taking Flash down and hard.

PHYSICS

Here’s some awesome physics news on the building blocks of our universe. “World record: Most powerful high-energy particle beam for a neutrino experiment ever generated.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Ten years in the making, NASA’s New Horizons reached the pinnacle of a 3 billion mile voyage to Pluto. The images are amazing!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Smoke from recent Alaskan and Canadian wildfires has been taking a significant toll on contiguous USA air quality.

NASA captured from space the annual population of algae (the blue-green color of the phytoplankton) in the North Atlantic reaching towards its peak.

For seasonal allergy sufferers, the BBC takes a look at the science behind the summer pollen count in the UK.

Worse than allergies…new research shows approximately 9,500 people die every year in London from air pollution.

Both and environmental and atmospheric science essay where the title says it all. “The Oceans can’t take any more: Fundamental change in oceans predicted.”

Suger-coating the issue or avoiding being labeled “doom and gloom” won’t make the potential environmental disaster go away.

For decades, the fossil fuel industry (by some accounts) has been involved in a game of public deception that continues to this day.

Some great news on the renewables front. Kenya is building Africa’s biggest wind power farm to generate one fifth of its power needs.

Want more awesome renewables news? Denmark just generated 140 percent of its electrical needs from wind power.

Here’s even more good renewables news! The price of solar power has once again dropped to a new low!

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The National Weather Service recently implemented new graphics on their websites which will make it easier for you to interpret forecasts and how they will impact your day-to-day life.

The National Weather Service needs your feedback in another very important (and potentially life-saving) topic: Severe Weather Impact Graphics. These have, IMHO, been exceptionally effective in giving you important severe thunderstorm and tornado warning impact information that can be found nowhere else. Your local NWS office will issue these products over social media (specifically Twitter). You can also follow @NWSSevereTstorm and/or @NWSTornad0 on Twitter and get every severe thunderstorm warning and tornado warning issued for the USA. This example of a Tornado Warning from the National Weather Service in Tulsa, OK is a good example of a Severe Weather Impact Graphic.

NWS Tulsa Tornado WarningTake careful notice of the plethora of information you get in addition to the warning over your NOAA weather radio. Population, the area in square miles, number of public schools, hospitals, airports, etc. are included. The time the warning is valid til is also included as well as storm information regarding movement and hazards. Media meteorologists (whom you should follow…your personal favorites of your choice) are excellent at conveying this information to the public. Ultimately, your first line of defense in a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning scenario is knowledge and awareness of impacts to your and your loved ones…and that comes from the National Weather Service…and no one else…storm chasers and weather hobbyists in particular.

While on the topic of severe weather warnings and the use (and abuse) of social media to disseminate warning information, here’s a spot-on essay that shows just hot bad the deterioration, specifically with Twitter, has become with bots and “mediarologists” run amok.

The PECAN severe storm research project has been gathering some incredible data this spring across the Great Plains. I can’t wait to see the data presented at conferences!

Good advice. “Keep calm and stop obsessing over weekly changes in ENSO.”

As if the western USA drought wasn’t bad enough, an unusually hot summer is raising the misery index for many residents of Washington to Utah.

The heat has also been problematic in Europe as well. “Heat records all over: The Northern Hemisphere Is In Hot Water.”

“Which Advanced Country Has The Most Climate Sceptics?” No, it’s not the United States. Yes, some of the internet’s most notoriously hostile climate change denialists live there.

As of late, there’s been a rubbish story making the rounds that an “ice age” is imminent. Don’t believe it for a minute.

“Nobel Prize-Winning Scientists Call For Action To Minimize The Substantial Risks Of Climate Change.”

The IPCC is at a crossroads with many key points to consider. Here’s an excellent essay that provides the reader with a concise overview.

Why do people in the path of a hurricane ignore evacuation orders?

Speaking of storm safety, is this tornado photo an awesome childhood experience or reckless parenting? My main concern would be the lightning danger…which is always a potentially lethal killer in every thunderstorm.

Last but certainly not least, here’s some “bookmark worthy” summer heat safety tips from the NWS that will help keep you and your family safe from this underrated killer.

THE QUIXOTIC

Some people, in spite of being the beneficiaries of broadcast meteorologists, simply can’t wrap their heads around the importance of potentially life-saving information. Sadly, this is an all-too common behavioral phenomenon.

ON A BRIGHTER NOTE…

In our contemporary society where technology reigns 24/7…this could be just the ticket to de-stressing from our obsession with being plugged in.

Now dust off those coloring pencils and crayons…and de-stress! 🙂

Cheers!

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