Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For June 1 – 8, 2019

Greetings everyone! It’s been an active week across much of North America with flooding, severe weather, and summer heat affecting many areas. May 2019 will go in the record books for tornado activity and flooding across several states. The beginning of June also brings the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. There are plenty of other topics to cover and severe weather preparedness tips, so let’s get started.

  1. May 2019 will go in the weather history books as a record month for tornado activity across the USA. Here’s a detailed look back with a plethora of fascinating data.
  2. Ongoing floods in the USA’s Great Plains are not just affecting homeowners. “Midwest farmers take to Twitter to document flood disaster.”
  3. As floods have devastated the Great Plains, heat waves have been taking place in much of the southeastern USA. This is one of many clear signals of how important urgent climate action is. Since the 1960s, U.S. cities have experienced more frequent and longer periods of extreme heat…and the death toll from this heat has been rising.
  4. The official beginning of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season commenced on June 1st. Let’s revisit this years Atlantic hurricane outlook from NOAA.
  5. With the arrival of the Atlantic hurricane season, here’s a primer on hurricane preparedness from NOAA with several links to other information sources.
  6. Microplastic have proven to be problematic world-wide and have been discovered in some very remote areas. Some say it’s time for producers of this particular type of plastic pollution to be held accountable.
  7. Recycling is an exceptionally important part of taking care of our planet. Often it can be a confusing task. As it becomes more of a widespread practice, some folks are developing ways to make it easier for you and me.
  8. Communication style is key in coming to a consensus or when conversing with skeptics. As many of us know, conversation with a climate change skeptic/denialist is often like talking to a brick wall. So how do you talk with such a person?
  9. Speaking of climate change denialism, this story has given them plenty of fodder to get their dander up in recent days. But is there any validation to the headline?
  10. The usual trend seen in observing the universe is to note how galaxies are expanding and moving away from our own Milky Way galaxy. Here’s an interesting read on one galaxy that’s moving towards us.


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 radio 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

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
Infographic courtesy NWS Norman, OK

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. One of the most onerous and dangerous behaviors during severe weather is the practice of “sheltering’ under an overpass. Under no circumstances should anyone engage in this life-threatening activity.

Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS

One of the most onerous and dangerous behaviors during severe weather is the practice of “sheltering’ under an overpass. Under no circumstances should anyone engage in this life-threatening activity.

Infographic courtesy NWS Norman, OK

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 very 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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