It’s been an active weather week across much of North America since we last visited. A substantial winter storm made impacts from the central plains to the northeastern USA states. A rare, but not unheard of, tornado in Alabama caused substantial damage and resulted in the first tornado fatality of 2021. As for winter, we’ve still many more weeks of cold conditions and any potential hazards that go with the weather at this time of year. Speaking of winter weather, we’ll explore more on winter weather safety with plenty of information for the next several weeks. There’s several interesting stories to review, so let’s get started.
- Unfortunately, interloping bots with nothing more than nefarious intentions have been roaming Twitter for years spreading misinformation and disinformation with reckless abandon. “Twitter Bots Are a Major Source of Climate Disinformation.“
- It’s a relief that the USA is rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. Here’s a concise overview of what that means for the USA.
- Speaking of the Paris Climate Agreement, we also have many climate policy details for the USA that you may have missed or were not widely reported on in media.
- A new research study shows that the amount of global ice loss is accelerating at an alarming rate. It’s also exceeding the worst-case scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
- Good science is always open to changes and reevaluation. Perhaps it’s time we reexamine long held opinions regarding the USA’s tornado activity & populations that are more vulnerable. Long standing opinions and viewpoints are often hard to change, but good science is always in a constant state of flux.
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.
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.
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.
That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome 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!
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