Weather Safety and Preparedness for Kids

After Kelly’s great blog about mental health and tropical cyclones, I thought it would be great to piggy back off this idea and discuss how to deal with anxiety and worries which kids may have about hazardous weather. Extreme, or even just abnormal, weather can be a cause of anxiety in kids of all ages. Children are often fearful of the unknown, and having questions about weather phenomena, particularly those which seem scary due to seeing footage on television or hearing parents talk, can be particularly unnerving. As Kelly discussed in our ‘Ask Me Anything: Weather Edition‘ event which we held a few months ago, we firmly believe that talking to children at an age-appropriate level about weather and teaching them how to prepare and be safe during hazardous weather can go a long way toward helping reassure children and ease some of that ‘fear of the unknown’. Let’s dig a little deeper and talk about some ways that parents, teachers, and other authority figures can help empower children to be less fearful and more prepared.

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NOAA Profiles: National Hurricane Center/Central Pacific Hurricane Center

This week we continue our profiles on the various agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. Since we are in the peak time of Atlantic Hurricane season right now, it seems like a great time to take a closer look at what the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center do, and some of the services they provide.

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Wild September Weather in the West

Labor Day weekend in the northeast United States was absolutely beautiful. Full sun, not too hot, perfect weather for the traditional end-of-summer activities that usually fill that weekend. However, early September has been filled with weather conditions that are anything BUT perfect in other parts of the country. Let’s take a look:

Webcam image from the Continental Divide Webcam, located at Glacier Basin Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park, from September 9, 2020. Courtesy: NPS.
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Third Thursday Interview: Ross Lazear

This month, I am so excited to profile one of my friends, Ross Lazear, of the University at Albany. You will never meet a person who is more enthusiastic about his work than Ross, and that enthusiasm transfers right into the numerous students who he has taught over the years. I have had the great privilege of getting to know Ross both personally and professionally during his time at UAlbany, attending minor league baseball games, talking about weather at meetings and conferences, and most recently, taking some of his students as interns to learn about forensic meteorology. And with that introduction, I will let Ross tell you about himself in his own words!

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Natural Disasters: The Road to Recovery and How to Give Back

Within the last month, millions of Americans have been touched in some way by natural disaster….and depending on where you live in the country or world, you may or may not have heard all of the details of each. A severe weather event, known as a derecho (checkout this blog for more info on what a derecho is!), took place across the Midwestern United States August 10-11, 2020, wreaking moderate to severe damage. On August 27, Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana, leaving many have been left without homes, food, clothing, and other essential needs.he journey back to any place of seemingly normality will be on the time-scale of years, not months, for many. There are areas that are expected to be without running water and electricity for months. And now? Less than a month after the derecho, multiple wildfires are burning in the west. We care about all those impacted by these natural disasters, and we wanted to share resources to include ways to give back to those impacted by these events.

Lake Charles, LA. Photo Courtesy: Elise Venable (@VenableMBBS)
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Understanding the Strength of Tropical Storms: Pressure, Winds, and Surge

One week ago today, Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana…a community whose residents are no stranger to the devastation of tropical storms. Category 3 Hurricane Audrey caused over 300 deaths in the small town in 1957, and nearly 50 years later, the town was struck again. While everyone fortunately evacuated before Category 5 Hurricane Rita, the storm devastated the town in September 2005. Then, in the midst of recovery from Rita, in came Hurricane Ike, leveling the town with a 12 foot storm surge. Ike destroyed over 90% of the homes within the parish and caused catastrophic flooding in every part of the parish. The damage sustained by both Rita and Ike led to stricter building codes and higher insurance costs, leading to the town’s dramatic reduction in population – from 1,965 people in 2000 to just 406 in 2010.

Credit: NOAA
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How the Weather Influenced Space-X Crew Dragon Launch and Landing

Many families with school-aged kids, including my own, were very excited to watch the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon rocket, containing astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station. Meteorology is a field where the public and private sectors have to intentionally collaborate, and so it was really neat to see another positive outcome of a successful working relationship between a private company (SpaceX) and a government agency (NASA) to launch American astronauts into space on American soil for the first time since the space shuttle program ended in 2011.

Courtesy: NASA.
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