This has been another busy week in the tropical Atlantic with Hurricane Zeta making landfall on the Louisiana coast during the afternoon of 28 October 2020. This year has become an extraordinary year for tropical cyclones, wildfires, drought, and much more. With the changing of the seasons in the northern hemisphere, attention will shift to winter weather safety. We’ll touch on that topic with plenty of information this week and in the weeks to come. There are many other good stories to cover this week, so lets get started.
- The International Space Station has been a miraculous achievement for the countries involved. Unfortunately, it won’t last forever. What comes next?
- Our humble home that we call Earth is always in a state of change, and the magnetic poles are no exception. “Scientists in Japan Have Found a Detailed Record of the Earth’s Last Magnetic Reversal, 773,000 Years Ago.“
- Fact checkers are important in so many areas of our daily lives and science is no exception. Being human, individual and subjective biases can prove to be problematic. Those biases exist on all points of the socio-psychological and political spectrum. Fortunately, critical thinking can alleviate many roadblocks to the truth.
- Chances are that very similar scenarios will be found with our current global pandemic. History has a tendency to repeat itself. “Bad Weather and 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic.“
- The science behind face masks in the midst of our global pandemic is solid. Wearing face masks helps tremendously. In spite of solid evidence in favor of them, doubt still exists…which speaks volumes about the level of scientific literacy within the general public.
- We wouldn’t be having this discussion if the ‘powers that be’ were pro-science. “Next week, the US leaves the Paris Agreement. How do we get back in?“
- Considering the modus operandi of the past, this should come as no surprise. NOAA’s chief scientist has been sacked due to fear of sound climate science contained in 5th National Climate Assessment.
- This year has set many records including some of the worst wildfires that have ever taken place in some USA states. The link between wildfires and climate change is undeniable. Communicating the urgency of that irrevocable link is the big challenge for our polarized times.
- Dealing with a hurricane is bad enough, but when you live next to a fossil fuel refinery, there are significant added hazards.
- With autumn having settled in across the northern hemisphere, weather concerns for many areas turn to winter weather safety. NOAA has an excellent publication that covers one of the most underrated weather hazards. (12 page PDF file)
WINTER WEATHER AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is quickly winding down. Though tropical cyclone activity can still occur, statistically we’re entering the end of the season. 2020 will go down in the record books for many facets of an extraordinary year. Now, across much of the northern hemisphere, attention turns to winter weather hazards. The same preparedness plans and supplies that are helpful for tropical cyclones are beneficial to have for winter weather. NOAA has a very nice Winter Weather Safety website to help you get ready with plenty of helpful tips and information you may need.
This handy checklist from the American Red Cross will help you put together an emergency kit for a variety of weather scenarios. A kit like this is very helpful in a variety of other difficult scenarios from wildfires to blizzards to tornadoes and hurricanes.
I would be remiss to not remind folks to stick with trusted and reliable sources for your weather information. A NOAA weather radio is essential and should be as common in homes and workplaces as smoke detectors…regardless of where you live in the USA and its territories. Of course, broadcast meteorologists of your choice are often equipped with sources of important information that is specific to your locale. Here’s an excellent and concise video on spotting misinformation you might see online. Bottom line: use discretion very carefully and avoid hypesters, shills, and attention-seekers at all cost…and think before you click.
That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! If you’re on Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, let’s connect! As for the COVID-19 pandemic, sport a spiffy mask as often as you can, practice good hand-washing hygiene, mind your social distancing, stay safe, and stay healthy!
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