Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For April 6 – 13, 2019

Greetings to one and all! I hope the weather…be it spring or autumn…is to your liking. There was very big news this week in the astronomical sciences with the first imagery of a black hole captured for the first time. In retrospective, this past week was the 40th anniversary of the Red River tornado outbreak…one of the most devastating regional tornado outbreaks of the 20th century. There are plenty of other topics to cover…including Severe Weather Preparedness…so let’s get started.

  1. This is truly a watershed event in astronomical science. A black hole has been placed on imagery for the first time…and the detail is amazing.
  2. Check out just how scientists took that amazing image of a black hole.
  3. Single-use plastics are an ever-growing environmental problem worldwide. Here’s a look at the menace that drink bottles contribute to this pollution disaster.
  4. As the planet’s climate warms, diseases from mosquitoes (which pose more health hazards to humans than any other non-microscopic form of life) could spread to almost a billion people worldwide.
  5. A look at some very sobering data. “Three Charts That Show How Global Carbon Emissions Hit A Record High In 2018.”
  6. The glaciers in the European Alps are not immune to climate change. At the current rate of warming, they could disappear by the year 2100.
  7. For the northern most state in the USA, March 2019 was up to twenty degrees hotter than usual. Welcome to the new Alaska climate norm.
  8. The latest US Drought Monitor is out. For the most part, all 50 states are in relatively good shape.
  9. For those of us who live in the USA’s Great Plains, epic is a vast understatement! “Why The Great Plains Has Such Epic Weather!
  10. This past week marked the 40th anniversary of the Red River Tornado Outbreak…one of the most notable, watershed severe weather events in the history of the Great Plains. The outbreak included the devastating Wichita Falls F4 tornado which caused 42 fatalities and $400 million in 1979 dollars.


Here are some links and infographics that will provide a starting point for gathering online severe weather information. I hope you find plentiful information here that will help you become better prepared as we navigate one of the most volatile climactic seasons on our planet.

When severe weather is forecast, it is assigned a risk category. Hazards exist in all categories, hence it’s important to be aware of all of them. Note: tornadoes can and do occur even in Marginal Risk areas…and a Slight Risk does not mean that storms will be “slightly” severe.

Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS

After thunderstorms form, they are carefully observed with Doppler Radar. This infographic explains how this amazing technology has works and how its progressed over the years.

Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS/SPC

If a TORNADO WARNING is issued, it means you need to take cover immediately. Where you take cover can sometimes be a life-or-death situation.

Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS
Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS

Here are more links that will help you prepare and stay informed during the severe weather season.

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 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.

Infographic courtesy American Red Cross

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! To my new followers, I’d like to extend a very warm “Welcome” and thank you for being a part of the fun. For my long-time followers, here’s a sincere “Thank You!” I appreciate all of the support and kind words!


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