A Tornado Conundrum
The media has a nagging double standard when it comes to airing tornado video. It's good for ratings and clicks, but are we encouraging people to drive into raging storms - in search of video clips that may cost them their lives?
In light of the 2013 El Reno EF-5 that killed several tornado researchers, including veteran Tim Samaras, many storm chasers have backed off, not as willing to risk life and limb.
Kory Hartman heads up Severe Studios, a network of professionally trained spotters and chasers. "They all have at least 2-3 years of National Weather Service spotter training" he explained. No, you can't fix stupid, but live tornado footage - from trained professionals on the scene - serves a purpose: "It provides critical confirmation - it gets people to take action" Hartman said.
Warm, dry weather spills over into Saturday morning but a slow-moving front sparks numerous
T-storms from Saturday afternoon into Tuesday of next week. The front stalls nearby, repeated rounds of storms may spark localized flooding in some towns. Yes, lake water levels may rise a little more.
In today's blog: 80s and ice on Lake Superior, and global CO2 levels pass the 400 ppm milestone.
* image above is a Doppler radar velocity field showing the enormous EF-5 tornado that hit El Reno, Oklahoma on May 31, 2013, killing at least one amateur storm chaser and 3 tornado research veterans, including Tim Samaras. The red dots are locations of storm spotters relative to the tornado vortex.
* Here is a G-rated version of the tornado video clip from North Dakota, courtesy of GMA and Yahoo News.
Tropical Pattern East of Rockies. While a stubborn bubble of Canadian high pressure keeps much of New England cooler than average, an expanding dome of hot, humidified air sparks numerous T-storms from Montana and the Upper Midwest into the Ohio Valley and Southeast. Locally heavy rains are likely along the Gulf Coast. Dark green-shaded areas show a probability of precipitation greater than 60%. Source: NOAA.
Researchers Turn To Drones To Gather Hurricane Information. Because drones can capture real-time data that Hurricane Hunter aircraft can't. Here's an excerpt of a great article from AP and Longview's News-Journal: "...Hurricane hunter aircraft typically don’t fly below 5,000 feet and can’t descend below 1,500 feet, and real-time radar doesn’t provide information about the thermodynamics at work inside a storm’s cloudy core. Canisters stuffed with electronics dropped from the planes transmit data about a storm’s pressure, temperature, winds and moisture as they fall to the ocean, but they remain airborne for only a few minutes. The kind of drone that Cione plans to launch from the hurricane hunters will spend hours descending slowly, cruising on the air currents spinning through a storm, possibly even orbiting a hurricane’s eyewall..."
File photo credit: "In this 1889 file photograph, people stand atop houses among ruins after disastrous flooding in Johnstown, Pa. Facts, figures and anecdotes about the Johnstown flood in Pennsylvania, which killed 2,209 people 125 years ago, gave the Red Cross its first international response effort and helped set a precedent for American liability law." Photo: Uncredited, AP
On the other hand...
State of the Internet: Still Growing but More Mobile Than Ever. Mary Meeker has a few interesting observations about mobile trends in this New York Times article; here's an excerpt: "...People are media junkies, sharing articles via social media and tapping into streaming services. Apps are replacing linear TV channels as the way to consume video, with Americans aged 16 to 34 watching just 41 percent of their TV live, she said. Google’s YouTube is also booming with consumers. “They are increasingly loving short-form video,” she said. “Consumers even love ads.” And 22 percent of video watching globally is done on mobile devices..." (image above: blazevideo.com).
What the Meeker Report Doesn't Say: An Internet Tsunami is Coming. Moore's Law apparently applies to the Internet too. Will it reinvent and prove resilient over the long haul? Please don't take amazon.com away from me. Here's a link to the story at inc.com.
Graphic credit above: "The location and April average CO2 levels measured at 12 World Meteorological Organization monitoring stations around the globe." Data: World Meteorological Organization.
Obama To Offer Rules To Sharply Curb Power Plants' Carbon Emissions. The New York Times has an update; here's the introduction: "President Obama will use his executive authority to propose a global warming regulation that would cut carbon pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent and pave the way for the creation of state cap-and-trade programs without having to go through a reluctant Congress, according to people familiar with the rule. The proposed regulation, written by the Environmental Protection Agency and set to be unveiled Monday by Mr. Obama at the White House, would be the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change and could become one of the defining elements of Mr. Obama’s legacy..."
File photo above: "Trees turning red in forests that have been attacked by the mountain pine beetles in Montana, July 7, 2011. Some scientists are increasingly worried that as the warming accelerates, trees themselves could become climate change victims on a massive scale." (Josh Haner/The New York Times).
File photo: Rick Rycroft, AP.
Scott: “Well, I’m not a scientist. But I can tell you what we’ve accomplished. We put a lot of effort into making sure that we take care of our natural treasures – the Everglades, making sure water flows south, any flooding around our coast. So we’re doing the right thing.”
Question (asked by citizen-activist): So do you believe in the man-made influence on climate change?
Scott: “Nice seeing you guys.”
Bill Maher Responds to Pat Sajak. Here's a clip from an online rebuke of Pat Sajak's moronic tweet last week - courtesy of HBO and Mediaite: "...Maher found it ironic how Sajak’s show is basically about pieces of a puzzle pointing to one obvious answer, but “when that happens with scientific consensus, he wants to take another spin.” He told Sajak when his grandchildren solve the puzzle that is climate change, it’ll read, “Granddad was an idiot.”