Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For May 11 – 18, 2019

Greetings everyone! Whether it’s spring or autumn in your location, I hope the weather is to your liking. There’s a plethora of topics to cover this week along with severe weather preparedness information, so let’s get started.

  1. Can Venus and Mars help us to learn about our own planet? Absolutely. Here’s how.
  2. Public policy and elections can have a good or detrimental effect on how a country deals with climate change. In current events, that’s what is taking place in Australia.
  3. Plastic has been beneficial in so many ways, yet it is one of the most damaging materials to our environment. Here’s a good read on how plastic pollution, including micro-plastics, is posing a threat to the health of humans and our planets.
  4. Here’s another unsettling read on our plastic affects our environment…and ultimately our health. “Plastic pollution harms the bacteria that help produce the oxygen we breathe.”
  5. We should plant as many trees as possible for a number of reasons. When it comes to climate change, the situation becomes more complex. “Climate change may make trees live fast and die young.”
  6. In a world of pessimism, here’s a refreshing and optimistic outlook. “Climate change is an emergency we can solve.”
  7. This Mississippi River has always had a tempestuous reputation. When climate change is brought into the equation, the matter gets even more complicated.
  8. A.I. technology has been getting a lot of press as of late. Here’s an interesting read on how it’s being used with severe weather.
  9. We may be at the climatological peak of the tornado activity across North America, but the Atlantic hurricane season is rapidly approaching. Here’s an interesting read on how seismic records may help meteorologists understand if hurricanes have gotten stronger or more frequent.
  10. Speaking of hurricanes, the USA’s Preparedness Week just wrapped up for the Atlantic hurricane season. Here’s a comprehensive review that will help you prepare for the tropical cyclone you hope never happens.
Satellite image courtesy NOAA


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

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

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
Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS

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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