NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ. (22 Jan. 2015)




Oppy’s Eleven

Marathon Oppy

Blowing stuff up for science


When Nature Strikes … No, Really

Hyland, 2014 - Yellowstone Lightning

Absolutely fantastic: Via CNN and by way of KXTV comes video footage from one Bruce Hyland that must be seen to be believed.

Frames from video by Bruce Hyland

Bruce HylandUp close and personal, indeed. It should probably be noted that it should probably go without saying that actually seeking out such footage would be unwise.

Oh, right. Anyway, that said, it really is pretty cool.


Image credits: Bruce Hyland (top, middle), CNN (bottom).

Tornado Time

“By the grace of God almighty, and the pressures of the marketplace, the human race has civilized itself. It’s a miracle.

Roger Waters

Well, this isn’t good:

New Tornado AlleySome of the deadliest tornadoes have hit far east and south of Tornado Alley, which may be in part due to higher population density in some of these areas than in rural plains regions. After a rash of tornadoes killed more than 300 people in the Southern and Eastern U.S. in 2011, researchers questioned Tornado Alley’s traditional boundaries.

Data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show that severe tornadoes extend far beyond the plains, from the Midwest to the Deep South, according to a 2012 report from the research firm CoreLogic. Most of the Eastern half of the country is susceptible to tornado damage, with significant parts of 15 states facing extreme tornado risk.

Hall and Diehm

CoreLogic, as a point of reference, is the latest iteration of a growing real estate information enterprise. With an eye toward real estate, insurance, and development clientele, the firm concluded:

Record-breaking severe weather outbreaks and destruction, particularly in 2011, have
changed how insurers define high-risk areas beyond Tornado Alley and measure damage from all levels of storms. Insurers are now placing particular emphasis on improving their understanding of the geographic distribution and frequency of tornados and hail storms, which in turn provides a more accurate and complete analysis of risk potential. As more precise geospatial hazard risk modeling is used to fine tune this risk analysis, the way in which policies and rates are constructed will be affected.

Something about the private sector goes here. To the other, one can certainly see their interst; CoreLogic found “extreme tornado risk” in at least twenty-six states, and the company is not at all shy about its pitch to customers. Call it what you want, but it’s a starting point for … er … ah … well, some useful discussion, we might hope.