Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Good Links for Weather Reading

I have seen a lot of good posts lately and I thought I would share a few of them with you.

J.B. Elliott of always interests me with his writing about weather and geography. He has recently started to "spotlight" interesting places and topics such as Clines Corners, New Mexico, an early 1900's US Weather Bureau office, the real meaning of Memorial Day, and Scrougeout, Alabama.

Throughout this spring, Alabama has seen more than its share of stormy weather. ABC 33/40 meteorologist James Spann posted these pictures I took in Huntsville on May 15. Check out this post by Meteorologist Brian Carcione of the NWS Huntsville which shows that the NWS Huntsville County Warning Area experienced 23 confirmed tornadoes in a 40 day span. These occurred during six events between March 28 and May 6. Meteorologist Andy Kula of the NWS Huntsville mentioned a really good tool on the NSSTC Collaborative Weather Blog. It is software called Severe Plot, written by John Hart, a lead forecaster at the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). There is an online version of this software that is very useful for viewing storm data. It can be found here.

On May 19, 2009, portions of North Alabama experienced low temperatures in the upper 30's and low 40's for the final time until autumn.

On May 23, 2009 an unnamed storm made landfall on the Alabama Gulf Coast. It wasn't officially referred to as a tropical storm or depression by the NHC, but Meteorologist Stu Ostro makes a good case that it should have been. Regardless, it caused sustained tropical storm force wind and flooding on Dauphin Island. Scott McClellan, of Dauphin Island, shared these pictures with ABC 33/40 Meteorologist James Spann. Meteorologist Jason Simpson noted that the Birmingham NWS confirmed that an EF0 tornado was actually spawned by the storm. James Spann took these pictures of the beautiful weather the following day at Orange Beach in Baldwin County, Alabama.

We have recently passed several historic tornado anniversaries. I will mention only two of the many here. Fourteen years ago on May 18, 1995 Limestone and Madison counties in North Alabama experienced an F4 tornado, commonly referred to as the "Anderson Hills Tornado". Daniel Lamb of the NSSTC Weather Blog takes a look back at the event here. One year ago on May 25, 2008, an EF5 tornado struck Parkersburg, Iowa. Jeff Wilcox of takes a look back here.

Tornado action has been relatively quiet so far this year on the Plains. That is unfortunate for the team of meteorologists who are working on the Vortex 2 project. This project is billed as, "the largest and most ambitious effort ever made to understand tornadoes." Mississippi State meteorology student Nikki-Dee Ray did capture a tornado on May 13 and posted about it on her blog.

Dan Satterfield often shares impressive images and thought-provoking material on his blog. One of my favorite sets of images lately was of the Saturn V Moon Rocket at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This link includes a cool time lapse of the sunset in Huntsville on May 20, 2009.

Huntsville is also home of two of my favorite "voices" on different ends of the anthropogenic global warming debate. Satterfield had an interesting post on Sunday May 24 in which he discussed the public's perception of science and climate change. Dr. Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville posted his views on "Why America Does Not Care About Global Warming". Among other things, he cites "a Rasmussen Reports poll which showed only 1/3 of American voters now believe global warming is caused by humans." The debate rages on.....

I hope there was someting on this post that you clicked on and found interesting. It is pretty cool to be a weather geek in 2009. There is so much information out there that no one could possibly find more than a tiny fraction of it. It sure is fun trying. You can probably tell that I don't watch much television.


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