Archive for June 2013

Introduction

Welcome to the re-launch of UntamedSkies.com! This new and improved website now includes multimedia and interactive features, such as the Incident Map Room and this Hazardous Weather Blog. This re-launch comes within one month of the devastating EF-5 tornado that tore through Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013, which killed 24 people and injured hundreds more. This event was followed by another EF-5 tornado near El Reno, Oklahoma among a cluster of severe storms on May 31, 2013 that caused several other tornadoes and flash flooding, all of which killed 22 people, including the well-respected scientists and storm chasers, Tim Samaras, his son Paul, and Carl Young.

Just today, the NOAA National Climatic Data Center announced that in the year 2012, extreme weather and climate events caused over $110 billion in damage, consisting of 11 disasters that cost over $1 billion each, including Hurricane Sandy and the central U.S. drought and associated wildfires. Since records began in 1980, the year 2012 ranks as the second-costliest year to 2005 and as the year with the second-most number of billion-dollar events, behind 2011.

It is clear that hazardous weather has become an increasing issue of concern for the safety and security of the citizens of the United States, where approximately 640 fatalities per year (based on a 10-yr average) and an economic cost of $485 billion per year are blamed on the weather. Hazardous weather events also occupy a significant portion of the national and local media attention, and a day does not go by without weather being discussed among the general population via social media. While all this attention to weather issues may raise awareness and inspire people to seek further education about weather preparedness and safety, the flurry of online information can make it difficult for those outside of the meteorology community to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources.

This “Hazardous Weather Blog” will collect and interpret the latest news articles, weather data, research papers, and other noteworthy blogs in concise entries so that decision makers, emergency managers, first responders, and concerned citizens can get the facts about hazardous weather events while also learning about the most important developments in the field of meteorology. The content of this blog is not meant to cover all hazardous weather events in real-time. Rather, the periodic entries will be limited to high-impact and important events that would be of interest to a wide audience, with the purpose of bringing together the meteorology and decision-making communities. Important issues concerning the intersections of the four Mission Areas of UntamedSkies.com (scientific research, weather forecasting, management & training, and public policy) will be featured as well. Entries will be categorized by hazard type and/or the four Mission Areas.

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