Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For January 23 – 28, 2017

Greetings and salutations one and all! I hope the weather is being good to you wherever you are. There’s a lot to cover this week…and considering recent current events, there’s more than the usual amount of science and public policy topics to cover. Like it or not, the climate of the country is changing in more than one way. We’ve challenging times ahead.

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


Taking into consideration the inevitability that the next four years in the USA will be challenging for science, many scientists are now planning to run for public office.

From any rational viewpoint, a disturbing event that is unfolding daily. Any way you slice it, facts aren’t political. “What We Actually Lose When The USDA and EPA Can’t Talk To The Public.” (Updated)

Is there more than one way for the USA to pull out of the Paris climate agreement? Unfortunately, yes.

Still in its formative stages, the March For Science is slowly gaining momentum…and will likely be the next big march in Washington, D.C. The organizers have a website and Twitter account where you can stay up-to-date on details.

Starting with only a few texts between friends, “500 Women Scientists” has grown to 14,000 strong and counting.


A very interesting privacy and security read. “Firefox, Chrome start calling HTTP connections insecure.”


Environmental disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf Of Mexico oil spill take a heavy toll on the biosphere…and mental health of people who have to deal with the immediate effects and long-term aftermath.

The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency has an uncertain future. To get an idea of how filthy it was before its formation, take a look back at America’s environmental state before 1970.

Here’s some good news on the renewable/wind energy front. The USA’s largest offshore wind farm is coming to Long Island.

And some more good news…the Irish parliament has voted to take on the task of divesting from fossil fuels.


NOAA recently tweeted a page that has been a good source of information on global warming…and it’s probably one of the best FAQ sites on the topic you’ll find online. There’s a plethora of references too…and those are gems for further research.

In recent decades, flooding in the northern countries of Europe has more than doubled.

The latest Drought Monitor shows that for the first time since March, 2011, exceptional drought conditions are not affecting the USA population.

Highlights: Drought conditions have eased a great deal across much of California.


Extreme Drought conditions (red shading) have spread rapidly in parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma.


If you’ve ever wondered how a well done tornado path survey is written up by a National Weather Service office, the survey of the Albany, GA tornado of 22 January 2017 by the Tallahassee, FL NWS is a good example. The vast majority of path surveys done by the NWS are exceptionally detailed studies.

And that’s a wrap for this post! As always, I’d like to send a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have you along for the fun. 🙂



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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 29 – August 5, 2016

Greetings to everyone! I hope the weather’s being good to you no matter where you live. The most responses this week have come from the article on the current “hurricane drought” in the USA. Complacency could breed a nightmare scenario. There’s plenty of other interesting topics to explore out there, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this weeks links…


A nice essay on how anyone (yes, that includes you) can be a part of citizen science. It’s easy, often costs little to nothing, and covers a myriad of interests.


This has been a long time coming. The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally realized that jet aircraft exhaust is not good for our planet.

A sobering graphic that shows the almost unbelievable growth of garbage dumps across the United States in the past century.

Here’s some good renewables news! The world’s largest floating wind farm is set to open in 2021 off the coast of California.


2015 was without a doubt the warmest year on record for Earth. Here’s a look at the ten most startling facts about yet another record year for climate change.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released a 300-page State Of The Climate report documenting the historic warmth of 2015 as well as scores of other aspects of last year’s climate.

The hefty report, State of the Climate in 2015, was produced by more than 450 scientists from 62 countries around the world — more than any previous edition.

What this amazing video of a lightning bold obliterating a telephone pole…then watch it again in slow motion.

Check out these amazing images. “180,000 forgotten photos reveal the future of Greenland’s ice.”

The USA hasn’t seen landfall from a hurricane since 2015. That could induce complacency…and a potentially deadly scenario. It’s only a matter of time before this “hurricane drought” and our luck runs out.

Being an atmospheric scientist and studying climate often involves working in extreme weather conditions. Do you think you’ve got what it takes? Check this out.

Thanks to climate change, a new public health hazard can’t be ignored. “Hot and humid summer weather across the U.S. brings with it the rise of the mosquito season, and this year the threat of the Zika virus makes that more than a minor nuisance.”

The “fingerprints” of climate change can be found on every corner of the globe.

A very thought-provoking essay on a infrequently discussed but irrevocable climate and global economies link.

NBC’s new storm chasing vehicles sporting doppler radars are quite interesting…and more likely a gimmick than of scientific value.


Senator Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) granddaughter gets science and wants to know why, unlike 64 percent of the American population which have climate change concerns, Inhofe does not understand the science.

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!



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

Greetings everyone! If it’s hot in your location, I hope you’re keeping cool and comfortable. Here in the southern plains of the USA, we’ve got quite a heat wave thanks to a large dome of high pressure that’s parked itself over the region. Buckle up and enjoy the ride, this is going nowhere soon. Recent trends show much of the severe weather activity is occurring in the northern plains which is the climatological norm. Before we begin, I’d like to extend a hearty “Welcome” to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! There’s plenty of interesting reads in many areas, so let’s get started.

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


NASA is racing to finish a new Mars rover, and the mission just got a launch and land date. The new rover will leave Earth by August 2020, and in February of 2021, it will hit the surface of the Red Planet to search for signs of life.

In this research project, the thick clouds that cover Venus are no hindrance to exploring the surface of the planet.


A bizarre yet fascinating look at what happens when lava swallows a tree.

An interesting read on how some San Andreas fault earthquakes in the western USA can be triggered by the gravitational forces of the sun and Earth’s moon.


Here’s some good renewables news. The largest offshore wind farm in the USA could be coming soon to New York, if the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) approves the project as expected.

This is only bound to get worse. The largest freshwater lake in Florida, USA is covered in a scum of blue-green algae which is also traveling down nearby waterways and out to the coastline. Unfortunately, Florida’s current governor has done nothing in the past to prevent this environmental mess.


A big “Congratulations” to Jim Cantore who’s celebrating thirty years at The Weather Channel!

An excellent read that’s worth a re-post. “Meteorologists shouldn’t just ‘stick to the weather,’ they should openly discuss climate change.”

Is climate change truly here to stay? Yes…and here’s a list of seven (of many more) reasons why.

The true power of many becoming one can be invaluable. “Thirty-One Top Scientific Societies Speak With One Voice On Global Climate Change.”

Are the potential health dangers of climate change enough to make the public sit up and take notice? By some accounts, the answer is in the affirmative.

In order to reach climate goals & the 2°C (3.6°F) threshold, new technology is needed ASAP.

Unfortunately, billion dollar weather and climate disasters are becoming more commonplace…and it’s not because of inflation.

For those of us who live in large urban areas, this is no surprise. USA cities are becoming dangerously hot during our scorching summers.

You’ve probably been enjoying this year’s El Niño without realizing it. If your weather as of late has been pleasurable, hopefully you enjoyed it while it lasted.

Have you ever wondered how a NOAA National Weather Service office layout is setup? Here’s some fine examples.

Why are Swedes happy about a 25C “heatwave?” Simple…those kind of temperatures are rare in Scandinavia…even in the middle of summer.

Thanks a wrap for this post!



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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For May 24 – 31, 2016

Greetings to one and all! I’m glad you stopped by. If you’re celebrating Memorial Day in the USA, I hope you had a nice holiday weekend. This past week has been a busy one across the USA’s Great Plains with repeated rounds of severe weather, hence the fact that this post, like most others this time of year, is on the brief side. On that note, let’s get started.

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


A very thought provoking read on gender inequality within the science community. Family or science: women shouldn’t have to choose.


By some accounts, Facebook “may” be a good source of news, but for potentially life-saving severe weather information, Twitter slaughters Facebook hands down.

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if content is appropriate for social media. If you have any reason for uncertainty, here are five questions to ask yourself before clicking that “post” button.


The concept of biodegradable plastics may sound good, but the devil’s in the details.

Here’s some very good renewable energy news. “The World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm Will Be Operational Next Year.

An excellent read on a decade-long study that shows how air pollution contributes to the frequency of heart disease.


Only time will tell but for now, preliminary NOAA data hints at a near “normal” 2016 Atlantic hurricane season.

Got air conditioning? Another NOAA seasonal outlook doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the summer ahead.

A very cool read on NASA scientists and research into creating digital hurricanes.

Given the chance, kids can ask good questions regarding climate change.

Interesting read on meteorologists taking note of climate change and how it’s affecting weather.

Yahoos will be yahoos and haters gonna hate. This article has blessed me with more hilarious ad hominin sophomoric vitriol from storm chasers than any other Twitter post this month. “Are ‘Tornado Selfies’ selfish and tactless?”  The toddler tantrums leveled at me as of  late are absolutely precious.


In case you missed the recent “sweatergate” incident, here it is in all it’s glory.

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!



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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For May 26 – June 2, 2015

Many of you who live outside of the southern plains of the contiguous USA may be wondering why all the news coverage of flooding (particularly in Oklahoma and Texas) is taking place. To say that we’ve had more than our share of drought-busting rains is a vast understatement. The good side is we’ve gotten several lakes that have been well below normal for years back to or over their usual level. Many agricultural interests got some badly needed relief. On the sad, and even tragic side, several lives have been lost including a Claremore, OK firefighter who drowned while trying to rescue people who were trapped in a building that was in danger of flooding. Several other Oklahoma first responders had close calls and nearly lost their lives saving people who (to be direct and to-the-point) did stupid and dangerous things…like driving a large four-wheel drive vehicle through water of an unknown depth. Those of us in the know who have seen the after effects of deadly floods (which I have) could talk to a good portion of the public until we’re blue in the face about the dangers of flash floods, but it’s all too often for naught. Everyone thinks their vehicle can handle the water. Everyone thinks their driving skills can overcome the forces of nature. Everyone thinks that drowning fatalities only happen to “other” people. The sad truth is 1. Flash Flooding is the largest weather related killer and outranks yearly the number of people killed by tornadoes, hurricanes, heat, cold, lightning, et. al combined and 2. YOU are just as vulnerable to death by drowning regardless of what kind of vehicle you’re driving. If you’re interested in staying alive, read this and take it to heart…and seriously. Now, on to our regular business.

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


I’m absolutely gobsmacked that in 2015 this is still an issue. “Bias Against Women In Science Persists, Even In Egalitarian Societies.”


This can’t happen soon enough…and with merciless vengeance. Twitter trolls, your days are numbered. The Department of Justice is about to drop the hammer…on you.


From personal experience, I’ve no doubt this is true. “Seeing Awe-Inspiring Natural Sights Makes You A Better Person.”


Fascinating read on new evidence on the origins of life.

There’s a new branch on the human family tree. Anthropologists say they’ve found a new human ancestor.


A new study finds little known earthquake and tsunami hazards are lurking offshore of Southern California.


Cooperation is imperative to dealing with drought conditions. “Watersheds don’t obey the political boundaries of multi-state, multi-country resources.”

In the midst of an unprecedented California drought, residents of San Diego are ripping up their water-guzzling lawns.

As the world’s population grows, the quest to quench an ever-growing thirsty planet is an increasingly daunting task.

It would be great to see these go worldwide. “World’s first Ocean Cleanup Array will start removing plastic from the seas in 2016.”

Snow may be fun while it’s fresh…but the melting piles that are still melting are vile in every way possible.


The Atlantic hurricane season has officially started. Here’s an excellent overview of storm names, the seasonal outlook, and forecast products.

Complacency regarding the hurricane threat can lead to potentially lethal consequences. For many vulnerable regions of the USA, luck will run out…eventually. Regardless of how ambivalent one may be, now is the time to prepare…and the Red Cross has an excellent Hurricane Safety Checklist. (1 page PDF file)

Contrary to popular opinion, tropical storms are not the “drought-busters” that people want to believe they are.

This op-ed is simultaneously ignorant of the National Weather Service warning procedure, the atmospheric fluid dynamics of tornadogenisis, and fawningly sycophantic. Oddly enough, that’s about all it does achieve.

And before I close out this post one more reminder on flash flooding…TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!

Food for thought regarding climate change in the future. “Can A 4C Earth Support 10 Billion People?

An interesting read on research linking a warming Arctic and its potential connections to extremes in weather events.

A very interesting and telling look at eight maps that reveal American’s incoherent opinions of climate change.


The plot thickens in the fracking/earthquake connection as academic integrity is threatened in Oklahoma. “Did Oklahoma’s richest man try to get Oklahoma Geological Survey scientists dismissed?”

For some, wind farms are an eyesore and aesthetics always outweigh environmental benefits…ergo, the perfect reason to abolish them from the face of the planet. Right.

That’s a wrap for this post!


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Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For May 20 – 27, 2014

This is traditionally a very busy time for me with many projects calling for attention as well as some very active weather…so this will be a very abbreviated post. If time allows, I may add a few links later in the week.

Here are this week’s links for your consideration…


After many decades in citizen science, I can tell you it’s anything but weird and wild…but it’s certainly in it’s golden age with unbridled curiosity…and nothing but good things can come from that.

Popular Science has a list of 5 apps for a very cool citizen science summer.

If you’re into astronomy and citizen science, your help is needed in evaluating images from the Spitzer space telescope.


Apparently, Dimetrodon is not a dinosaur. The child paleontologist in me is crushed.


Here’s a fascinating site from the USGS that shows the location of wind farms across the USA!

Across the Atlantic, Sweden is set to take the lead in Nordic wind power.


For the northern hemisphere, summer is on the doorstep. Summer heat kills more people every year that tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, et al. combined. Here’s some very important information on this “silent killer.”

The Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, like many regions, are taking a shellacking from an relentless drought.

NOAA’s Carbon Tracker is a fascinating tool. Here’s a look a the details.

A look at Europe’s next generation of weather satellites.

The World Meteorological Organization is taking action on storm surges which kill more people that tropical cyclone winds or earthquake-generated tsunamis.

NOAA has issued their outlook (not a forecast) for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. Near normal or below normal number of tropical cyclones are expected. The caveat is the simple fact that it takes only one intense hurricane (i.e. Andrew) to devastate a region and cause billions in damage.

We’re at the 30th anniversary of the devastating Memorial Day flood in Tulsa, OK…the deadliest natural disaster in the city’s history. Here’s a look back from the Tulsa World and the Tulsa Nat’l Weather Service. To date, it’s the deadliest natural disaster in Tulsa’s history with 14 fatalities.

That’s a wrap for this post!


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