Tornado Quest Top Science Links For December 25, 2020 – January 1, 2021 #science #weather #meteorology #tornado #weathersafety #wintersafety #windchill #climate #climatechange #environment #pollution #astronomy #health #education

The year of 2020 will go down in history as a watershed event for the planet Earth, the planet’s climate, and an insidious virus that led to the worse health crises in a century. There were several weather and climate events that will be landmark events as well. Many substantial winter weather events have taken place across North America and Europe as winter dominates the Northern Hemisphere. We’ll explore more on winter weather safety with plenty of information for the next several weeks. Please note that effective 1 January 2021, I will only post the top science links rather than pick ten. Quite often there are not enough quality stories to pass along and, like other media outlets, they present top stories but don’t go to the trouble of finding a specific number each week. This change allows me to share only the best with you. Let me also take a moment and wish all of you a happy and healthy 2021 and let you know how much I appreciate all of the support so many of you have given me over the past year. All of you are deeply appreciated. Having said that, lets get started.

WINTER WEATHER SAFETY AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

With cooler temperature, snow, ice storms, et al. having settled in across much of the northern hemisphere, folks attention appropriately turns to winter weather hazards. The same preparedness plans and supplies that are helpful for tropical cyclones, tornadoes, flooding, etc. 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 NOAA winter weather page has a myriad of links beneficial to organizations such as public services, schools, organizations, etc.

NOAA also has an excellent printable publication that covers winter weather safety which is one of the most underrated weather hazards. (12 page PDF file)

The handy checklist below 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.

Graphic courtesy American Red Cross

The hazards of wind chill should never be underestimated. A few simple steps of layering clothing can make a big difference. Even in full sun, wind chill can be a health hazard in temperatures as warm as 40F.

Infographic courtesy NWS Mobile, Alabama

Misinformation and disinformation is running rampant across social media platforms of all kinds as of late. 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.

Graphic courtesy NOAA/NWS

Social media is a very useful tool that can be misused for misinformation, disinformation, and hype. While this infographic is geared towards, winter weather, it certainly applies to all kinds of weather year round.

Infographic courtesy NWS Fort Worth, Texas

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome and Happy New Year to my 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! Here’s to a happier and healthier 2021!

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