Tag Archives: thunderstorm

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…

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

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.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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.

2017winterreview_miami_en_title_lg

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.”

c53aixlwcaadv9o-jpg-large

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.

month_drought

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)

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

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.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest’s Science Week In Review For January 13 – 23, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope you’re having a good start to the week and the weather is being kind to you no matter where you are. We’ve just had a three day round of severe weather in the southeastern states of the USA including a High Risk on 22 January 2017. A High Risk is very rare, and even more so in January which is a month that’s not known for severe weather or tornadoes. Unfortunately, there’s a considerable amount of damage from Mississippi to Georgia with a number of fatalities. Simultaneously, the northeastern states dealt with a ‘nor’easter’ and California had an unusual amount of rain. It eased the drought conditions that have plagued that state for years, but won’t help much on the long run. This week’s review was delayed several days by the severe weather events and other projects. My next review will be published this Saturday, 28 January 2017. There’s quite a bit to go over this week, so let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Who will lead NOAA and, ultimately the National Weather Service, during the Trump administration? This is something to watch very, very carefully.

Due to the lack of American lawmakers who have a sound scientific literacy, it has become increasingly important that scientists become more involved in the political process.

SCIENCE EDUCATION/CRITICAL THINKING

Pseudoscience is as rampant as ever in our modern day culture and, due to the proliferation of social media, is now more easily distributed to an unwary general public. To put it more succinctly…”This means that just because something catches our attention, or is easy to remember, it does not mean it is useful for understanding a new thing we want to learn.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Check out this very cool citizen science project that anyone can take part in. The awesome folks at Science Friday have a nice overview of how folks just like you can help out in year-long bird counts.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

How we process information (and where we get it) has much to do with how we interpret the validity of news…and decide on its validity…even if it’s fake and/or of dubious integrity.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A very cool astronomy read on how the universe could contain ten time more galaxies than previously thought.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Is the USA state of Wyoming trying to outlaw clean energy? If so, they’re cutting off their nose to spite their face.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent read on severe weather High Risks and associated tornadoes that puts this past week’s severe weather into a historical perspective.

Speaking of tornadoes, is it really that cold inside a tornado? A new study on the tornado vortex says it is cold…very cold.

Since satellite monitoring of sea ice began in the 1970’s, the area of oceans covered by sea ice is at an all time low. Chances are good it’s the lowest it has been for many a millennia.

global-sea-ice-extent-2016The dark burgundy colored line in this NSIDC data graph represents sea ice in 2016. Note how it is far below other lines going back to 1978. Also note that the red line on the far left, representing 2017 to date, is even lower than 2016.

While on the subject of sea ice, take a few minutes and watch this fascinating and well produced video on climate change and its effects on glaciers in Alaska, USA.

Here’s a very good and thought-provoking read from meteorologist Brad Panovich. “It’s Time We Move On From A 0% & 100% Climate Change Debate.”

In case you missed it, “At the exact hour when the presidency transferred hands, the Obama administration’s climate and energy web pages became some of the first casualties of the new Trump administration.”

If the new presidential administration ignores climate change, China is more than willing to step up to the plate and become the world’s leader in climate science.

From a global perspective, some are of the opinion that we’ve almost lost any chance to stave off the effects of climate change. Personally speaking, I’m more optimistic, but we’ve no time to waste on getting the job started…and not letting any one industry or government…get in the way of science.

Fortunately, scientists are reminding citizens of the USA that science has been and always will be a major cornerstone of a civilized, intelligent, educated, and technologically advanced society.

WEATHER SAFETY

Here’s a great read from the American Red Cross on safety travel tips for cold weather conditions.

In light of the recent severe weather events and tornadoes, here’s a quick reminder from the National Weather Service on the difference between a Tornado Watch & a Tornado Warning.

difference-between-tornado-watch-and-warning.

Last but not least, some good news. NOAA’s new GOES-16 satellite is fully functional and is sending back some amazing high-resolution images of the Earth. This is truly a watershed event in the atmospheric sciences!

That’s a wrap for this review! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! Have a great week everybody…see you Saturday!

Cheers!


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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For October 10 – 17, 2016

Greetings to everyone! I hope you’re all having a great start to  your week and the weather where you live is being kind to you. The big weather story this week is the ongoing flooding in parts of the southeastern USA, North Carolina in particular, that resulted from Hurricane Matthew. In climate science, substantial progress has been made with dozens of countries agreeing on pacts that will have a dramatic impact on the quality of life for every one of us. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION/SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

A nice overview of the challenge of communicating science to the general public.

A fascinating take on the gender differences that are often perpetuated within the sciences. “Metaphorically Speaking, Men Are Expected To Be Struck By Genius, Women To Nurture It.”

A chilling segment broadcast on Science Friday on 14 October 2016 on the ‘dangers’ involved in scientific research.

A very thought-provoking essay and overview of four new books that, “one way or another, our planet is wilder and weirder than the rules we are used to would predict.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES/RECYCLING

Ozone is beneficial in the upper levels of our atmosphere. The opposite is true at ground level where humans and other life forms exist. While many effects of ozone are understood, more are being researched and, as our planet warms, concern is growing about the public health and environmental impacts of this toxic substance.

A unique solution to a renewable energy challenge. “Scotland region will be 100% powered by kites within a decade.”

You’d think that in this day and age, irresponsibility like this wouldn’t be an issue, but it is. “British Households Fail To Recycle A ‘Staggering’ 16 Million Plastic Bottles A Day.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Ever wonder what it’s like to ride along with hurricane hunters? It’s not for the faint of heart. This video gives you an inside view.

If there’s a good chance of La Nina for North American in the coming months, how will it affect the coming winter?

Are you a storm chaser or have a particular interest in severe weather and tornadoes? Here’s a good read that should spearhead some of your own research into tornado genesis. “Wind Patterns In Lowest Layers Of Supercell Storms Key To Predicting Tornadoes.”

Simply put, this headline is spot on. “If Congress Invests In Seasonal Weather Forecast Research, Everybody Wins.”

Ever feel dismayed about overwhelming evidence on climate change? There’s no need to. Here’s a good viewpoint on how to “make lemonade out of climate change.”

Here’s an excellent Q & A from the Union Of Concerned Scientists regarding drought conditions that plague over 40% of the USA.

This is perhaps the biggest climate change news in quite some time. Over 190 countries have agreed to limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the battle to combat climate change. It’s a very important step that is vital to the world we live in today…and for future generations.

A startling look at the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti with photos and maps.

ONE IMPORTANT LAST MESSAGE…

Please show your support & wear Orange this Wednesday.

UNITY DAY: Together against bullying — united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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!


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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For May 16 – 24. 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you have had a good and productive week since we last visited…and here’s to another good week ahead. Speaking of the week ahead, there are several days of severe weather potential across North America on the menu so, as is par for the course, this post will be on the brief side. There are plenty of other topics to touch on this round, so let’s get started.

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

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Here’s some very cool news for my fellow dinosaur buffs. A new species of horned dinosaur has been discovered in the USA state of Utah.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

The legacy you leave behind for future generations is of utmost importance. “Don’t Be Eco-Friendly Just To Do A Good Deed…Make It Your Mark.”

While on the topic of being eco-friendly, many people are compliant at home but do a stellar backsliding job when in the workplace.

Very impressive…Portugal is finding a way to power itself with renewable energy for several days at a time.

The cost of storing renewable energy sources (i.e. solar) has reached a new all-time low.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Recent tornado events in the USA’s central and southern plains…and the resulting “extreme” storm chasing videos have once again proved to us that, in spite of deaths in recent years, storm chasers are stopping at nothing for superficial fame.

Speaking of storm chasing, it takes years of diligent forecasting experience and a dedicated intellect to obtain this kind of spectacular (and exceptionally rare) supercell thunderstorm imagery.

Scientist Bill Nye explains why he’s willing to take on the ostriches. “Why I Choose To Challenge Climate Change Deniers.”

Unfortunately, there’s a 99% chance that 2016 will be a record breaking year for global temperatures.

Recent and abrupt changes in the Atlantic Ocean may have been naturally occurring and not related to climate change.

The El Niño phenomenon that fueled endless weird weather, hot months this past year is on the downswing. If the latest NOAA data is any indicator, La Niña is liquored up and ready to rage.

As hurricane season approaches for the Atlantic basin, it’s very important to identify and have access to reliable sources of valid (and potentially life-saving) information.

Capture 2

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

Folks in my ancestral homeland are celebrating the arrival of the summer midnight sun! Njuta av din sommar och har en stor tid!

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

Cheers!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Nov. 1 – Nov. 8, 2015

Overall, it’s been a relatively quiet weather week across most of North America. A taste of autumn severe weather activity on Thursday, November 5 was one of the few highlights. Much of the southern states received beneficial rainfall. Unfortunately for the western states, the ongoing drought has stayed the course.  Due to several ongoing projects, this week’s post will be brief.

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

TECHNOLOGY/PRIVACY

Clicking that “Do Not Track” box may do you no good after all.

The next time a new “flavor-of-the-month” app rears its head and the developer describes it as a “game changer,” think twice about installing it. Chances are they’re playing a “game” with your private data.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

An under-reported story. Indonesia’s devastating (and deadly) forest fires are man-made.

Here’s some very encouraging renewables news. Sweden is aiming to be the world’s first country free of fossil fuels by 2050!

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Tornadoes in North America aren’t limited to the spring months. In fact, the autumn is historically noted as a very active severe weather season.

Explaining Extreme Events of 2014 from a Climate Perspective” is a fascinating read published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

The lasting legacy of climate change will be heat.” Indeed, a true statement as the long-term affects of climate change become more clearly defined with increasing research.

An interesting read on paleoclimatology research. Tree rings are being used to get a retrospective of Europe’s climate going back 2,000 years.

Quite often, the process is as important as the content when conveying knowledge. “How To Explain Climate Change To Teens.”

A mixed bag of results, many disconcerting yet some encouraging, in this Pew Research Center overview of global concern about climate change.

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

Cheers!

 

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest on Twitter

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Aug. 5 – 12, 2015

Greetings to all. I hope your summer (for my Northern Hemisphere followers) is going well and you’re handling the heat as well as possible. It may be the middle of August, but with the amount of daylight decreasing daily along with lowering “average” high temperatures, there are hints that autumn is just around the corner. In fact, for the N. Hemisphere, the meteorological autumn starts on September 1st. Nothing magical happens at the stroke of midnight on September 1st, it’s simply an easier way to “compartmentalize” the months of the year for statistical climatological purposes. The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is literally on the doorstep. From this week until late September, the probabilities of Atlantic tropical cyclone formation increase dramatically. For the time being, a combination of dry air over the Atlantic along with wind shear (strong winds increasing in speed and direction with height) are not allowing any storms to organize. This will only be a temporary setup and the current calm scenario can and will change. For those who live in areas vulnerable to Atlantic tropical cyclones, this is an excellent time to make sure your emergency preparedness kits and plans are in place. Are you ready?

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A very nice essay on a phenomenon that is one of the biggest irritants of my online experience (aka…adverts & pop-ups). “The Ethics Of Modern Web Ad-Blocking.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

How many American’s are vulnerable to earthquakes? The numbers are surprisingly high.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

How about some awesome renewables news. “The US Wind Energy Boom Couldn’t Come At A Better Time.”

This has to be seen to be believed. “Millions Of ‘Shade Balls” Protect LA’s Water During Drought.” Naturally my first question is, “Are these plastic spheres recyclable and/or reusable?”

This article’s focus is on the UK, but it applies to countless large metro areas around the world.

Why is the USA turning to renewable energy? When it comes to even strictly economics, the answer is obvious.

A desert is a desert is a desert, right? Truth be known, there are several kinds of deserts with vastly different ecosystems.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An excellent read that puts to the trash bin a common misconception. “Corrected Sunspot History Suggests Climate Change Not Due to Natural Solar Trends.”

You’ve probably seen this before, but there’s no time like the present to add this to your bookmarks. NWS Heat Safety Tips.

NOAA is quite confident that this year will be a relatively quiet hurricane season for the tropical Atlantic. But, the caveat is the fact that it only takes one land-falling hurricane to make it seem otherwise.

I can think of far worse places to live than Minneapolis, but by some accounts, the Twin Cities is rated as least desirable in climate ranking. When climate change is added to the equation, cities all across North America will be vastly different from they are now.

If climate change wasn’t bad enough, four of the worst insect pests known to the human species will thrive…unfortunately.

Central and eastern Europe has been roasting in a recent heat wave that can hold its own to anything seen in the USA’s southern plains.

Check out this amazing new series of maps from NOAA. This is the kind of site you can spend far too much time looking at…even if you’re not a weather geek.

This dashcam video from Taiwan is a perfect example of how ANY vehicle can be swept away by even the most modest tornadoes. IMHO, judging by the speed of water vapor in the vortex, the type of debris lofted, and behavior of buildings and vegetation, I’d rate this tornado no stronger than a robust EF-1 or a very weak EF-2…ergo…NO vehicle is safe in ANY tornado.

A bit of weather and engineering…ever wonder how a skyscraper stays intact during a typhoon/hurricane…or any high wind storm for that matter? Me too.

And that’s a wrap for this post! Here’s a hearty “welcome”  to my new followers. I’m glad you’re along for the fun. 🙂

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Twitter.

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 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!

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 May 19 – 26, 2015

Multiple rounds of severe weather and flash flooding have made for a long and busy week for weather folks, from National Weather Service meteorologists, to broadcast meteorologists, and Skywarn spotters such as yours truly. Documenting the aftermath of storms, data as well as damage, is very time consuming as well…hence the (once again) brief post this week.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

An amazing graphic. “The Trillion Fold Increase In Computing Power, Visualized.”

An interesting read that many should take note of. “Five Things You Should Never Share On Social Media.”

The internet is an incredible place with a wealth of information and beneficial social networking. It’s also fertile ground for the visceral underbelly. Instances of nefarious behavior such as this are one of many reasons Tornado Quest has a very thorough Social Media Policy.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Citizen science is incredibly amazing since it can make most anyone a scientist.

Some citizen science and atmospheric science in this article. “Weathernews Inc Acquires Weathermob To Build The Future Of Crowdsourced Forecasts.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Our planet Earth has its own flag…and it’s quite a beauty!

If a proposed ban against a ban isn’t an example of dysfunctional Sooner state government, I don’t know what is. Like some more earthquakes, Oklahoma?

How do you keep wind turbines turning? The key is in careful spacing.

Here’s a very handy and informative guide to recycling household items.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

In consideration of the ongoing and dangerous flash flooding in much of the plains states, here’s the link to NOAA’s Turn Around, Don’t Drown flood safety website.

Latest US Drought Monitor shows significant drought improvement over portions of Oklahoma and Texas, but the status quo continues for California and Nevada.

Here’s some very nice “drone” video of tornado damage done in Broken Arrow, OK on 16 May 2015.

How does climate change stack up against other worst case scenarios? Take a look and consider the alternatives.

Couldn’t have written this better myself. “As Pope Francis prepares to deliver a powerful message on climate change, deniers are beginning to realize they haven’t got a prayer.

The impacts of El Nino are felt worldwide…and some areas suffer more than others.

That’s a wrap for this post!

I’d like to extend a sincere “welcome” to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the ride. Tornado Quest can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. Once again…glad you’re here! Stick around…we’re here for the long haul.  🙂

Cheers!

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