Tag Archives: Texas

This Week’s Tornado Quest Science Links & More For October 24 – November 1, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you have had a good start to your week. It’s been relatively tranquil across much of North America the past week and the tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific have been very serene. The season for tropical cyclones is winding down for North America. As we have seen with Hurricane Matthew, it only takes one to result in a tremendous amount of damage and hundreds of fatalities across several countries. As usual, there’s a plethora of topics to cover, so let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION/CAREERS

A very thought-provoking read on the state of math education in the USA…which is of particular important to anyone who plans on majoring in the atmospheric sciences.

Life for a new scientists just entering the field is more daunting than ever before.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE/SEISMOLOGY

A very good read on the recent upswing in Oklahoma earthquakes. “How The Oil And Gas Industry Awakened Oklahoma’s Sleeping Fault Lines.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

Solar energy is really taking off…and this is just the awesome beginning.

A study of 41,000 people has further solidified the irrevocable link between air quality (and a myriad of other environmental factors) and your physical health.

Across the globe, up to 300 million children live in conditions with air pollution up to six times over the limit of what is considered minimally safe air quality.

In urban areas, the growth of city trees has shown time and time again to improve air quality. The same can also be said for having indoor plants.

If we can recycle everything we use, including toothbrushes, cigarette butts, and all kinds of plastics that wind up in our oceans, why don’t we?

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Winter is on it’s way…and it’s not too early to review some winter weather safety tips that are geared toward travelers in automobiles. A winter weather safety kit is a must. If you need it, you’ll be glad you took the time to prepare. If you absolutely have to travel, know what to do to stay safe. Infographic courtesy of the National Weather Service.

winter-storm-safety

In your home, preparing for winter is very easy. These few tips will save you a lot of trouble and possibly your life. Infographic courtesy of the NYC National Weather Service.

cold-weather-tips-for-the-home

Will the polar vortex be a player this winter for the northern states of the USA? At least one source says, “Yes.”

Understanding why the public makes evacuation decisions in a hurricane scenario is as important as the evacuation order itself. “Why We Should Not Demonize Residents Who Refuse To Evacuate During Hurricanes.”

Some natural disaster events can be tied to climate change, but not all of them. Here’s why blaming all natural disasters on climate change is a recipe for disaster.

The Mediterranean region, already experiencing dry conditions, may be in for much worse in the decades to come.

There are several towns around the world that are grabbing climate change by the horns and courageously embracing changes that will be unavoidable to all of us…eventually. One of these towns is Greensburg, KS which was devastated by an EF-5 tornado in 2007 but is now one of the leading green communities in the USA.

Death Valley’s claim to having the world’s highest temperature reading could be put to death itself by renewed analysis.

Here’s a good read for my fellow weather geeks. “Sun-clouds-climate connection takes a beating from CERN.”

Take a look at a new way of evaluating damage to structures from tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.

Have you ever wondered what those red and blue lines on some weather maps mean? Here’s a nice overview on how to read a basic weather map.

When it dark at 3:00 PM on a winter’s day in the fabulous city of Stockholm, Sweden, creativity (and productivity) soar sky high! Yes, climate and human behavior have strong links.

Finally, if you’ve not seen “Before The Flood” on National Geographic, you’re in for quite a treat. It’s well worth the time to watch it in its entirety. For people who don’t understand the gravity of climate change and what our children, grandchildren, & future generations face, this documentary will put it into perspective.

THE VISCERAL UNDERBELLY

According to a new poll in Texas’ 21st congressional district, 45 percent of respondents said they are less likely to vote for Rep. Lamar Smith because he refused to investigate allegations that ExxonMobil knew about climate change in the ’70s and failed to disclose the threat to the public. To add insult to injury, Smith is (ironically) also the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee chair and is among the 34 percent of Congress members who deny climate change.

That’s a wrap for this post! See you good people next time!

Cheers!


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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

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For April 11 – 18, 2016

Greetings to one and all! I hope everyone’s having a good start to your week and, if spring is on the menu, the last bits of winter are rapidly fading away. For folks south of the equator, there’s a touch of autumn in the air. Regardless of where you live, I hope the weather is to your liking. This week’s post will be on the brief side due to several severe weather events & previous commitments. On that note, let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Many of us (including yours truly) are frequently the subject of histrionic rants from trolls. This past week was a perfect example when a certain individual unleashed a toddler’s temper tantrum of vitriol in an ad hominem attack as a response to a tweet I’d posted.

Twitter Troll Tweet 1 14 April 2016

Unfortunately, this particular tweeter didn’t take the issue directly to the publication and the article’s author in question and justified their action by preferring to, “kill the messenger” instead. The incident brings to mind a New Yorker article that is quite and enlightening read: “The Psychology Of Online Comments.” Oddly enough, said individual waited almost 48 hours after posting his tirade…and also deleted the tweet from his timeline. Funny that. 😉 What’s at stake for this individual, or any troll for that matter, is their online reputation…which is often irreparable when one let’s their emotions get the best of them as they hide behind the “anonymous” safety of a monitor.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

What does a space launch look like from space? Awesome!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Of the many environmental public health hazards, inhaling black carbon is perhaps one of the most underrated.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Apparently the folks at NASA have had their fill of anti-science climate change deniers. Haven’t we all. :-/

While on the topic of deniers, they swarmed well-known scientist Bill Nye’s Facebook page…and NASA showed up in short order to take them down a notch or two.

2016 could be well on its way to setting records world-wide for yet another hotter than normal year.

Before many small island nations are submerged by rising sea levels, they’ll dry out first.

A rather “spot-on” essay on five things only meteorologists really know.

This has been a long-time coming. “New Campaign Enlists Women In Boardrooms To Take Up Climate Issue.”

AccuWeather has decided to extend its highly controversial long-term 45 day forecasts to a whopping 90 days.

The folks at the National Weather Service in Amarillo, Texas, USA have put together a very nice info-graphic on the difference between a severe weather watch and warning.

Watch and Warning Info Graphic

ON THE (NOT SO) LIGHTER SIDE…

Asking random Swedes for their take on American climate change denial provides no surprising answers…unfortunately. :-/

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

Cheers!

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For January 12 – 19, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope the new year is off to a good start for all of you. So far this year, at least for most of North America, it’s been a relatively tranquil winter. El Nino is still a big player on a larger scale, many of its effects are yet to be seen. There’s plenty of good news on the renewables front with wind power in particular taking a lot of steam out of the fossil fuels.

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

TECHNOLOGY

Of interest to users of the Windows OS. “Windows 8, Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, and 10 (mostly) consigned to the dustbin of history.”

Sometimes going offline is the best way to spend your time. I take regular breaks from the “online” world and highly recommend them!

PHYSICS

This has the potential to be big in the world of physics. “Rumors are rippling through the science world that physicists may have detected gravitational waves, a key element of Einstein’s theory which if confirmed would be one of the biggest discoveries of our time.”

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Say “Hello” to the Titanosaur, a species that may be the largest dinosaur ever discovered.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A very nice primer on fracking…explained plain and simple.

This was inevitable, and completely justified. “Oklahoma Residents Sue Earthquake Companies Over Earthquake Damage.”

A look at an underrated health hazard. “Shock figures to reveal deadly toll of global air pollution.”

An interesting look at the geology/climate connection. “Growth rings on rocks give up North American climate secrets.”

Ah, the good old days…they weren’t really all that good.

There are only five countries than can be held responsible for up to sixty percent of the plastic pollution in our oceans.

Here’s some awesome renewables news. “Wind power supplied 97% of electricity needs of Scottish households in 2015.”

Even in an oil state like Texas, wind power is making it’s mark and setting records.

If you live in an urban environment and ever needed a reason to plant a tree or two (or a dozen), here’s your excuse.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A long-awaited upgrade will triple the forecasting computing power of the USA’s National Weather Service.

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on Hurricane Alex, a rare January, 2016 tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean.

Here’s an impressive view of Hurricane Alex from NASA.

Could the ongoing El Nino lead to a below average number of tornadoes across the USA for 2016?

Not so long ago, the ozone hole was the talk of the atmospheric sciences. What happened to it?

There’s a strong correlation between the recent record breaking floods and rains in the UK and climate change.

A list of ten climate related records that you don’t necessarily want to have broken.

JUST FOR FUN

As the saying goes, “When In Rome…” Or, in this case, my beloved Sweden in winter... 🙂

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a hearty “Welcome” to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For June 2 – 9, 2015

The southern plains of the contiguous USA are getting a well deserved respite from the recent heavy rains. They certainly busted the drought that had plagued the region for several years. But, as is often the case for that part of the country, it’s feast or famine (aka extremes) when it comes to weather. Unfortunately for California, the relentless drought has now become a way of life and residents are literally ripping up their water-guzzling lawns and lush flowerbeds for native (i.e. drought-tolerant) plants…which are what they should have planted in the first place. In terms of severe weather, an interesting fact that’s come to my attention is the number of tornadoes for Oklahoma in 2015. To date, there have been approximately seventy-seven tornadoes so far…and it’s still only early June. It will be interesting to see how the rest of summer and autumn (which has a slight uptick in severe weather events) turns out. In the tropics, a quieter year than normal is forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season…but it only takes one modest storm to make for a major disaster, especially in a densely populated area. The climate talks in Paris are just a few months away and that’s been a topic of great discussion as of late…but we’ll save that for another time.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Is there an attack on truth…and have we entered an age if willful ignorance? By some accounts, the answer is a resounding, “yes.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

The latest CoCoRaHS update is out. Since March, 2015, they’ve received a million reports from 17,000 stations…and every single one is important. CoCoRaHS is a great way to combine citizen science and your interest in weather.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

As time passes, the connection between fracking and Oklahoma earthquake frequency becomes more obvious. “Mounting Evidence Says Injection Wells Cause Oklahoma’s Earthquake Surge.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

World Oceans Day was observed this week. In light of that, here’s an optimistic view of the future of our planet.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s the latest US Drought Monitor map. Significant improvement for Oklahoma and Texas…and very little change for the hard hit western states.

The California drought is taking a heavy toll on western farmers to the tune of almost $3 billion in 2015 alone.

A case of too little, too late? “G7 Carbon Goal May Come Too Late, Scientists Say.”

Twenty-five views with a variety of powerful messages on our planet’s changing climate and future.

Check out this great storm chasing essay that not only has great photos, but a spot-on title. “For The Love Of The Storm: Chasing Isn’t All About Tornadoes.” Unfortunately, for many “extreme” storm chasers, a tornado is a means to an end.

The recent story about a hiatus in global warming was just that…a story. Wishful thinking for many who, for financial, legal, or political reasons, still fight scientific facts.

That’s a wrap for this post…see you next time!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For April 20 – 28, 2015

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

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

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

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

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

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

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

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

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

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

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

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

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FINALLY, THE QUIXOTIC

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

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

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For March 30 – April 6, 2015

The severe weather season has kicked into full swing across much of the great plains. So far there have been only a few events, but we’ve still the busiest and most active months ahead. Due to this week’s pending severe weather, this post will be shorter than usual. I’ve also addressed the current severe weather setup for this week in other posts.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION/PUBLIC SCIENCE POLICY

A very good…and most timely…read on the hard-hitting realities that exist whether we want to believe them or not. “Why Scientific Truth May Hurt.”

A though-provoking read on what the climate movement must learn from religion.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

The CoCoRaHS “Hail Week” runs from April 6 – 11. 2015. Learn how to measure and collect hail…and then report it when it does make an occasional visit to your location.

TECHNOLOGY

A nice article on my favorite search engine which, in the process of competing with Google has also tripled it’s growth.

PHYSICS

After a two-year hiatus, the Large Hadron Collider is back in action and more powerful than before.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

When it hits home, it hits harder. “Poll: Americans Starting to Worry About Climate Change Now That It Affects Their Lawns.”

No surprise here. The California drought is testing the limits of unfettered, unregulated, and endless growth.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a look at the latest US Drought Monitor. Conditions in California have remain steady as mandatory water rationing goes into effect. Extreme/exceptional conditions across Oklahoma and Texas actually worsened.

While on the topic of drought, the California drought saga continues.

This is a climactic “smoking gun” if there ever was one. “Thawing Permafrost Could Be The Worst Climate Threat You’ve Never Heard Of.”

Some good news from the National Weather Service. Impact-based warnings are becoming more commonplace across the nation.

A new technique in flood forecasting could prove beneficial for any populated area near a coastal area.

Emergency management officials are understandably concerned about the growing public complacency towards hurricane hazards.

Here’s a very nice graphic from the National Weather Service in Kansas City via the Oklahoma Mesonet that explains the recent changes to the Storm Prediction Center’s Convective Outlooks.

A very nice retrospective look back at the April 3-4, 1974 tornado Superoutbreak.

That’s a wrap for this post!

I’d also like to welcome my new followers! Glad you’re along!

Cheers!

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

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

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

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

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE 25 MARCH 2015 OKLAHOMA AND ARKANSAS SEVERE WEATHER EVENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Feb. 23 – March 5, 2015

This has been a very busy week for me with several important projects in the works, two media interviews, and last but not least, a potent March winter storm. Hence the short post for this week. Spring, and the severe weather that accompanies the seasonal changes on the Great Plains, is just around the corner. Along with that goes many long, long days for me. In lieu of my usual post, I’m sharing some severe weather safety information. It’s that time of year to prepare as the inevitable uptick in severe thunderstorm, hail, high winds, tornadoes, flash floods, and lightning events will take place.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION

Communicating science to a largely apathetic general public is often one of the most challenging communication dilemmas a scientist will face.

Not directly weather related, but a result of it. “Insurers pay out more on claims in storm-prone Oklahoma.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Many parts of the USA will be affected by climate change…and the “breadbasket” is no exception.

A very timely essay on the hazards of posting weather model forecast images in social media.

Here’s this week’s US Drought Monitor. Aside from minor improvement in Texas, extreme and exceptional drought conditions persist in several states.

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, and Lightning: Nature’s Most Violent Storms (PDF file)

Tornado Safety Rules from the Storm Prediction Center

Highway Overpasses As Tornado Shelters

The Online Tornado FAQ

Facts About Derechos

Flash Flooding: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

NOAA Weather Radio

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

National Weather Service Website Legend, Definitions, Safety, & Preparedness Info

Also, a quick reminder to always practice very strict due diligence when making choices on where you get potentially life-saving weather information for you and your loved ones. The best and most timely information (where seconds can literally mean life or death) will come from your local National Weather Service office, NOAA weather radio, and the broadcast meteorologists (local and/or national) of your choice. It will not come from weather hobbyists, storm chasers, etc. who, all too often, are fishing for Twitter followers, Facebook likes, and a great deal of attention for their social media. Having said that, I will re-emphasize what I have always said about my own online presence; Tornado Quest is not, has never been, and never will be a source for potentially life saving information. I may pass along severe weather watch and mesoscale discussion for the southern plains (I have a very high percentage of followers in this region) and may comment occasionally on a severe thunderstorm or tornado radar image I find intriguing in a scientific sense, but never in a warning mode or masquerading as a source of very important weather watch and/or warning information. You know who you prefer in your local or national television market in terms of broadcast meteorologists and should know how to get information from your local National Weather Service office via computer, cell phone, or NOAA weather radio. My opinions on who you get your weather information from are not popular with many hobbyists, but I stand firmly by everything I say.

And on that note, have a great day…see you next time!

Cheers!

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

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

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

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

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE VISCERAL CRETIN UNDERBELLY

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

Now, back to deciphering the technical difficulties.

Cheers!

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