Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For April 27 – May 4, 2019

Greetings to one and all! We’ve has quite a busy weather week across North America with severe weather events taking front and center. There’s a plethora of topics to cover this week from the challenges of carbon reduction, a review of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, and a retrospective on the 20th anniversary of the largest tornado outbreak in Oklahoma history. Speaking of severe weather, I’ve included plenty of severe weather safety and preparedness information that I hope you’ll find helpful. Let’s get started.

  1. All eyes are on you during a spectacular astronomical event. Then, out of nowhere, you get smacked in the face with a meteor traveling at 38,000 miles per hour. Nice.
  2. A very novel idea that has great potential. Here’s a board game that will help folks get serious about climate change.
  3. A sobering look at the amount of irreplaceable tree cover lost as of late. “These charts show just how much forest we’re losing every year.”
  4. Here’s an interesting read on new research that shows how droughts have been influenced by global warming for at least a century.
  5. Air quality in the USA isn’t just a problem in urban areas, it effects people from coast to coast…including everyone you know and love. “Four Out of 10 Americans Breathe Unhealthy Air.”
  6. Could global 5G wireless networks interfere with satellites use for crucial Earth observations? Many meteorologists are understandably worried that 5G transmissions could interfere with their data collection.
  7. This would not be the first time that our global food market has been dramatically affected by weather events. “Even if you don’t live in the Midwest, this spring’s floods could still impact you.”
  8. Speaking of global effects, this is a very thought provoking read on the challenges of reducing carbon emissions. “Model and manage the changing geopolitics of energy.”
  9. The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will not be forgotten anytime soon. With fifteen named storms, it was a very active year…here’s a comprehensive overview from the National Hurricane Center. It also marks a rare event…USA landfall of Category 5 Hurricane Michael…an intensity of hurricane that has only happened four times since records have been kept in USA history.
  10. Last but not least, let’s take a look back in USA weather history. May 3rd marked the 20th anniversary of the Great Plains Tornado Outbreak of 3-4 May 1999. This was the largest tornado outbreak in Oklahoma history with an (estimated) 80+ tornadoes occurring in the Norman and Tulsa National Weather Service county warning areas. Here’s a comprehensive look back from the NWS in Norman, OK which, shortly before 7:00 PM CDT issued the first ever Tornado Emergency.


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.

Testing your NOAA weather year round is one of the best ways to stay informed on weather conditions for your area regardless of the season. Many National Weather Service offices conduct weekly tests. It’s also a good idea to replace the batteries in your NOAA weather radio when you change batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.

Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS

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 works and how its progressed over the years.

Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS/SPC

When severe weather is anticipated, a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch will be issued. It’s very important to know the difference between a Watch and a Warning.

Infographic courtesy NWS Amarillo Texas

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

If a TORNADO WARNING is issued and you are in the warned area, there are good options and bad options for taking shelter. The choice can sometimes be a life-and-death decision. Bad options have killed countless people in recent years.

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

Preparing Your Pets For Disasters And Emergencies Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

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 sincere “Welcome” and thank you for being a part of the fun. For my long-time followers, your loyalty is deeply appreciated. Thanks so much for the support and kind words!


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