Weather spotters play an important role in the severe weather warning system. Since the 1970s, the National Weather Service (NWS) has trained citizens to collect, confirm, verify, or supplement radar and other data, thus, “serving as the nation’s first line of defense against severe weather.” Today, “SKYWARN,” is a volunteer program with over 350,000 trained spotters. The network includes police and fire personnel, 911 dispatchers, emergency management workers, public utility workers, and other concerned citizens.
Here are a few of the news stories from the weather and atmospheric sciences world that we've been following this week. Do you have a story we missed? Share it in the community!
As Hurricane Ida headed into the Gulf of Mexico, a team of scientists was monitoring a large pool of warm water that swirled directly in its path. An oceanographer from that team breaks down how the Loop Current helped turn Hurricane Ida into such a gigantic storm, and how he monitors the oceans in order to help with severe weather prediction.
From culture to technology, typhoons changed the course of history in Japan. At the time of Genghis Khan’s death in 1227, the Mongolian Empire stretched east to west from The Pacific to the Caspian Sea and from southern Russia to Tibet. In the next 30 odd years, Mongolian leaders expanded the empire in all directions, with periodic contractions back to the capital of Karakorum in order to decide on succession and crown a new great khan. When Kublai Khan consolidated his power in 1264, Japan was squarely in his sights. The only thing that could stop him? The weather.
If you could help get every American to take one preparedness action to protect themselves from extreme weather, what would it be?
Many weather safety experts would say taking the time to identify your safe place is the most essential preparedness activity. All the warnings and emergency kits and communication plans become less important if you don’t know where to go to stay safe. This is true for tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, lightning, tsunamis, rip currents, and every other natural hazard.