Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For March 23 – 30, 2019

Greetings everyone! Spring is in full swing across much of North American. March is a very histrionic month, especially for the USA. Seasonal changes can bring about wild swings in temperature, wind, precipitation types, and amounts. As usual, there are plenty of topics to cover this week…from dinosaurs to tornado climatology…so let’s get started.

  1. For my fellow dinosaur fans, here’s a fascinating look at what is most likely the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex remains ever discovered. The most startling revelation is the idea that these exceptionally large carnivores were actually larger than previously thought.
  2. The world’s climate zones are shifting…and that has serious ramifications for public health, food and water security, and local economies.
  3. Cyclone Idai has devastated several southern African countries. There is growing evidence that climate change is playing a part in making such storms more intense.
  4. The former UN high commissioner for human rights and special envoy for climate change speaks out on those who deny climate science. “Climate change denial is evil, says Mary Robinson.”
  5. This is a good example of irresponsible regression at its best. “EPA Science Panel Considering Guidelines That Upend Basic Air Pollution Science.”
  6. A billion people will be newly exposed to diseases like dengue fever as world temperatures rise due to climate change. According to the World Health Organization, mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world and carry diseases that cause millions of deaths every year.
  7. Studying the climate of Antarctica isn’t easy, but it’s very important. This new study shows the importance of a few intense storms in Antarctica and how they control snow fall amounts across the continent.
  8. The March 2019 floods across the plains states of the USA were devastating in so many ways. It’s estimated that approximately one million acres of USA cropland was covered by the floodwaters…and that has long-term deleterious ramifications for farmers and the vast amount of crops they produce annually.
  9. Tornadoes are well documented and studied widely across the USA. In Canada, where they have their fair share of tornadoes, efforts to study the frequency of tornadoes is ramping up. “When something happens that forecasters didn’t understand, like a tornado occurs with a storm they didn’t expect, having that data allows them to look at the relationships between the meteorology…and the tornadoes.”
  10. Speaking of tornadoes, here’s a very informative look at tornado occurrence and climatology across the USA and the rest of the planet.

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY AND PREPAREDNESS

One crucial element to being “severe weather savvy” is understanding the process of severe weather outlooks and local forecasts and warnings. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) will issue daily thunderstorm outlooks. The risk categories can run from ‘general’ thunderstorms to the very rare High Risk scenarios. Understanding what each risk category means is very important. Equally important is to remember than Marginal or Slight does not mean that storms will be ‘marginally’ or ‘slightly’ severe. Tornadoes have occurred on Marginal Risk days. The SPC has further information on risk categories at this page.

When a tornado warning is issued, those in it’s path are not always at their homes. Here’s an excellent infographic with safety information on what to do if you’re not in a sturdy, well-built frame house structure.

Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS

National Weather Service Homepage

Storm Prediction Center

National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center

NOAA Weather Radio

Interactive NOAA Weather Radio Coverage Map

Sky Watcher Cloud Chart: An excellent 2 page PDF file from NOAA and NASA on cloud types and and information on how clouds form.

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

Tornado Safety Rules from the Storm Prediction Center

Highway Overpasses As Tornado Shelters (Slide Presentation)

The Online Tornado FAQ

Facts About Derechos

American Red Cross Severe Weather Safety Information

Flash Flooding: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

Preparing Your Pets For Disasters And Emergencies

This excellent Emergency Kit checklist from the American Red Cross is very helpful in assisting you while you compile items for your kit. A kit like this should be available year round…there are many winter weather scenarios where the same items will come in handy.

Please keep in mind that ONLY your local National Weather Service office, NOAA Weather Radio, or reliable broadcast media are the BEST sources of important, timely, and potentially life-saving weather information, watches, and warnings! None of the links on this page should be used for life-&-death decisions or the protection of property!

That’s a wrap for this post I’d like to extend a very warm “Welcome” to my new followers in social media and a sincere “Thank You” for my long-time followers! Thanks to all of you for all the support and kind words!

Cheers!

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