Tornado Quest Top Science Links For January 8 – 15, 2021 #science #weather #meteorology #polarvortex #weathersafety #wintersafety #windchill #flooding #climate #climatechange #astronomy #criticalthinking

The winter weather over the contiguous USA has been rather tranquil as of late save for a second round of snow for central Texas. Not unheard of, but still rather unusual. Speaking of winter weather, we’ll explore more on winter weather safety with plenty of information for the next several weeks. I’d also like to take a moment and share my hopes for the year of 2021 to be a better one for all of us 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.

Graphic courtesy NOAA

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

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, Tumblr, or Instagram, 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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