Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For September 18 – 25, 2020 #science #weather #meteorology #tornado #hurricane #hurricaneprep #hurricanesafety #disasterprep #climate #climatechange #environment #astronomy #prostatecancer

The past few days have been very busy across the North American continent. Western wildfires have sent large plumes of smoke thousands of miles from their point of origin as an unprecedented wildfire season continues. In the Atlantic tropical basin, a very busy hurricane season has been underway. Of course, there are several other good stories to cover this week including a good read on a shift in tornado occurrence patterns, so lets get started.

  • This is not a little disturbing. Unfortunately, this is a trend that has been growing globally. “Censored: Australian scientists say suppression of environment research is getting worse.”
  • The weather on other planets is always fascinating. In the case of Venus, the clouds are particularly toxic.
  • We not only deal with the variables in weather and climate, but space weather as well. Changes that occur on a regular basis with our Sun have significant effects on our daily lives. NASA and NOAA have compiled data on a new solar cycle and what we can expect here on Earth.
  • Astronomers face many challenges in doing research and looking into deep space from our planet. Here’s an excellent and concise overview of some of those challenges and proposed solutions.
  • Significant public health ramifications with this scenario. “Oregon’s air quality is so far beyond ‘hazardous’ that no one knows what it means for health.”
  • While on the topic of air quality, here’s an excellent read on the importance of indoor air quality which is especially important in the middle of a global pandemic. “Smoke and COVID-19 drove us inside — but the air in there wants to kill you.”
  • This is an essential read on climate and the immediate challenges that we face. “Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Critical.”
  • “Warming temperatures are driving Arctic greening.” This study is the first to measure vegetation changes spanning the entire Arctic tundra using Landsat data from NASA and the USGS.
  • Here’s yet another ‘new normal’ concerning the Arctic. “Arctic sea ice hits second-lowest level on record.”
  • Last but not least, an important read on shifting patterns in tornado occurrence across the USA. In recent years, there’s been a notable shift in tornado frequency from the traditional ‘Tornado Alley’ to the southern states. With that shift has come a significant increase in tornado related deaths.

HURRICANE AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

The Atlantic and central Pacific have become quite active with several tropical cyclones this year. In the central and eastern Pacific, several named storms have taken place. The Atlantic has been unusually active with, as of September 18th, twenty-two named storms having taken place so far in 2020 with several more weeks in the hurricane season left to go. NOAA has a great website to help you get ready with plenty of helpful tips and infographics to help you get the supplies 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. For folks living in regions prone to hurricanes, it’s not too late to assemble your kits for home and your place of work. A kit like this can also be helpful in a variety of other difficult scenarios from wildfires to blizzards to tornadoes.

Graphic courtesy American Red Cross

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. 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

SEPTEMBER IS PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!

Prostate cancer has touch my life and, as a result, changed my outlook on life forever. It’s not an ‘old man’s’ disease. Many men in their forties are diagnosed with prostate cancer. For men, it’s the second leading cause of death by cancer. My diagnosis came about as a result of a routine PSA test from my general practitioner. Regardless of your family history, race, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, etc., don’t think it can’t happen to you. If you’re a male over the age of 40, you should discuss getting your PSA tested with your doctor. The Prostate Cancer Foundation is an excellent website with further information. Make sure you educate yourself as much as possible about this disease. You may save your life or the life of a loved one.

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, please stay home if possible, practice good personal hygiene, mind your social distancing, sport a spiffy mask, stay safe, and stay healthy!

Cheers…Stay Healthy…and Good Luck!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2020 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Reads For December 6 – 13, 2019 #weather #climate #climatechange #environment #pollution #publichealth #wintersafety

Greetings once again to one and all! Here’s a more concise overview of my intro from the last few weeks. After a few months on hiatus for health reasons, I’ve decided to resume this weekly blog of my choice of top ten science reads from the past week. This will be published every Friday between 2:00pm and 3:00pm Central USA Time (2000 UTC to 2100 UTC). Coverage will be what my followers in social media are interested in and other topics that are of scientific importance; astronomy, weather and meteorology, climate and climate change, environmental science topics, the occasional quixotic read, and much, much more. On a personal note, I appreciate the many best wishes for a speedy recovery during my rehabilitation from prostate cancer surgery. To say it is a daunting challenge is an understatement. A medical situation such as this certainly has made me take pause and reevaluate the priorities in my life. On that note, let’s get started on this week’s reads.

Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS

That’s a wrap for this post! If you’re on Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, so is Tornado Quest. I’d like to thank so many of you again for all the thoughtful comments I’ve received over the past few weeks. As of this post, I’m still recovering well from surgery. Cancer does not have to be an automatic death sentence and I have no intention of giving up this fight and will accept nothing but absolute and total victory. If you’re a male over the age of 40, you should discuss getting your PSA tested with your doctor. The Prostate Cancer Foundation is only one of many reputable sites with further information.

Cheers…and Good Luck!

Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2019 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For June 8 – 15, 2019

Greetings to one and all! We’ve a plethora of topics to cover this week including hurricane preparation tips, so let’s get started.

  1. On the current path to climate change, large USA cities will be dealing with the daunting and potentially deadly aspects of heat waves.
  2. Since the middle of the 18th century, humans have been responsible for the extinction of almost 600 plant species.
  3. Will the risk of conflict between countries increase in a warming world? “How 11 experts spent 2 days trying to find consensus on climate and conflict.”
  4. Many of us are well aware of the devastating effects of drought. Here’s a sobering read on what may be in store for much of the planet in the years to come. “Creeping Toward Permanent Drought.”
  5. An exceptionally disconcerting read. “Temperatures leap 40 degrees above normal as the Arctic Ocean and Greenland ice sheet see record June melting.”
  6. At the other end of the precipitation spectrum, recent droughts across many USA states have been exceptionally devastating and records have been broken in several locations. Why is so much of the USA experiencing flooding right now?
  7. The dangers of mosquitoes are highly underrated and very common. People freak out about sharks, snakes, lions, tigers, and bears, etc…but none can come close to the lethal dangers of the mosquito. As our climate changes and warms, there’s a high likelihood that the potentially lethal Dengue Disease will spread across parts of the USA with the southern states being the most vulnerable.
  8. Here’s a very cool astronomy read. “Perfect Example of a Barred Spiral Galaxy, Seen Face On. This is What Our Milky Way Might Look Like.
  9. This should come as no surprise. Just a couple of hours spent outdoors weekly is good for your health. Don’t forget to look up and admire the clouds!
  10. Last but not least, the arrival of June brings the official beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. Here’s an excellent site that is a great starting point to help you prepare for the storm you hope never happens.

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY AND PREPAREDNESS

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.

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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 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.

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Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS
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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.

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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.

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Infographic courtesy NWS Norman, OK

Flash flooding is the number one killer related to severe thunderstorms. Here are some very important flash flood safety tips to remember.

Infographic courtesy NOAA

Perhaps the factor that leads to more flash flood deaths than anything else is underestimating the power of water.

Infographic courtesy NOAA

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

Ready.gov 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.

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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!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2019 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For March 2 – 9, 2019

Greetings to one and all! I hope that, for my friends and followers in the Northern Hemisphere, the meteorological spring is off to a good start for you. In the USA, spring got off to a tragic start with several strong to violent tornadoes occurring in the southeastern states. We’ll look at several links related to those tornadoes this week. I’ve also included links and infographics regarding severe weather preparedness. With severe weather events becoming more numerous, it’s that time of year to be very severe weather aware. There are several interesting topics to cover, so let’s get started.

  1. “It is dangerous to have national security analysis conform to politics.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. “Former Defense Leaders Warn White House It’s ‘Dangerous’ To Downplay Climate Change.”
  2. As the battle lines harden, the “weather wars” are taking on a new dimension and ferocity. “How the Weather Gets Weaponized in Climate Change Messaging.”
  3. In parts of the Northern Hemisphere, sea ice is at record low levels. “Arctic sea ice extent for February 2019 was the seventh lowest in the satellite record for the month, tying with 2015. So far this winter, sea ice extent has remained above the 2017 record low maximum.”
  4. We often hear about heatwaves when they occur over land masses, but understanding the importance of heat waves over oceans is equally important.
  5. Here’s an excellent essay from Dr. Marshall Shepherd and his take on the Alabama, Florida, and Georgia tornado outbreak. “Four Forecast And Messaging Takeaways From The Southern Tornado Outbreak.”
  6. Meteorologist Dan Satterfield has also written and excellent essay that touches on many ‘hot button’ topics…one of which is the fallacy that ‘tornado warning sirens’ are useful in saving lives. “Thoughts on the Lee County Alabama Tornado: Worthless Sirens and Unsafe Mobile Homes.”
  7. When meteorologists from the National Weather Service conduct damage surveys, they are faced with an exceptionally daunting task. Here’s a concise overview of how those surveys are done from the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama.
  8. The Capital Weather Gang has also written a thought provoking article on the recent tornadoes. Regardless of the technology available and warning network, tragedies such as this are inevitable. “A Great Forecast But A Deadly Tornado Tragedy In Alabama. What Went Wrong?”
  9. I wouldn’t go so far as to blame society, but there are some other valid points in the essay. People die in tornadoes due to a number of factors that are not addressed here…the most glaring void is the absence of the fact that in a violent (EF-4/EF-5) tornado, underground shelters are often the only safe places. “Nearly all tornadoes are survivable, so why are people still dying?”
  10. Placing the 3 March 2019 tornado outbreak in a historical perspective is essential to understanding tornado behavior, occurrence, and your personal risk.

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY AND PREPAREDNESS

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) will issue daily thunderstorm outlooks. The risk categories can run from ‘general’ thunderstorms to the very rare High Risk scenarios. Understanding what each risk category means is very important. Equally important is to remember than Marginal or Slight does not mean that storms will be ‘marginally’ or ‘slightly’ severe. Tornadoes have occurred on Marginal Risk days. The SPC has further information on risk categories at this page.

Infographic courtesy NOAA/NWS

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

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

Preparing Your Pets For Disasters And Emergencies

This excellent preparedness checklist from the American Red Cross can be used in a myriad of preparedness scenarios year round.

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 I’d like to extend a warm “Welcome” to my new followers in social media and a sincere “Thank You” for my long-time followers! Thanks to all of you for all the support and kind words. Your friendship and loyalty is appreciated a great deal!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2019 Tornado Quest, LLC