Tornado Size and Intensity Estimates

The 05/31/2013 El Reno, OK tornado was given an Enhanced Fujita (EF)-5 rating and declared the widest tornado ever recorded at 2.6 miles wide. How do we get this information? I spent a lot of time in my M.S. program at Purdue being quizzed by my committee and other scientists about tornado size. It’s a…

Science Haikus (Scikus)

Too many ideas Floating around in my head I’ll haiku them all Flooding closes schools Way too much rain for the roads Culpeper County Weather is severe Maryland had damage surveys Five tornadoes here? Such fearmongering The media: “Derecho” We shall wait and see A moderate risk Centered on Indiana Prepare for the wind My…

The Business of Communication

I’m sitting at Ronald Reagan National Airport, waiting for my first work trip to start. I told my (then soon-to-be) supervisors during the interview process that I enjoy traveling, so my number came up for this trip…to Detroit. My more senior coworker went to Seattle earlier this month, and the other new guy went to…

STORM:CON, Naming Winter Storms, and Other Media Hype

A few months ago, The Weather Channel announced it would begin naming winter storms.  Today, it released a new winter storm severity index named STORM:CON.  The idea is similar to its summer TOR:CON, identifying tornado potential risk, although the latter is little more than an interpretation of the Storm Prediction Center’s severe weather outlook. The…

Formula for a Science Museum

This weekend, Matt and I went to the Science Center in Baltimore thanks to a nifty LivingSocial deal.  As Scientists(TM) and self-proclaimed nerds, we really enjoy playing around at museums.  We take somewhat different approaches to each exhibit, however: I read each posted sign or instruction (for hands-on exhibits), while Matt runs around touching things…