Extreme Weather Hits Home – Weblog

August 1, 2008

Climate Change Cartoon Contest

Filed under: Additional Information, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 3:45 pm

The Union of Concerned Scientists has posted the twelve finalist editorial cartoons for you to laugh (or cry) and vote for your favorite at:  http://ucsaction.org/campaign/science_idol_2008_vote/8k8wgun2

The rules for the contenst are posted at: Science Idol: the Scientific Integrity Editorial Cartoon Contest.


May 3, 2008

2008 Tornado Trends

Filed under: High Winds — Tags: , , , — John Banta @ 5:22 am

April is usually the start of tornado season in the US. This year we got off to an early start, and that is continuing. As of today the Arkansas death toll is up to 24. The following chart plots the number of tornadoes for 2008 in red. We are well on the way to setting a record breaking year.

NOAA: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/

According to NOAA the current ten year average tornado trend is 1270 tornadoes per year. Prior to 2000 there was only one year that exceeded 1000.

February 15, 2008

Unusual February Tornados

Filed under: High Winds — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:15 am


Last month I posted that we were experiencing unusually early tornadoes in January. This unusual activity is continuing on into February with deadly results. Tornados can occur in any month, but they usually don’t become frequent until April peaking in August. This year we have already had a record setting number of tornados (291 by February 14th).  According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety

“In 2001, a total of 1,081 tornadoes hit 43 states and killed 37 people.” “The only other year on record when the total number of tornadoes went over 1,000 was in 1973 when a record number of 1,102 twister hits.”



Pretty incredible!


On January 1, 2008 I started a new blog called 1:5:10:365. On it I am posting a daily tip for becoming a better steward for our homes and planet. Today I posted an out of order tip regarding emergency alert radios.

Please check out my new blog at: 


February 2, 2008

An Introduction to 1:5:10:365 « 1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

Filed under: 1:5:10:365 Introduction — John Banta @ 9:33 am

An Introduction to 1:5:10:365 « 1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

January 29, 2008

Explanation for Hurricane Reduction

Filed under: High Winds — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 8:07 am

According to an article published by Reuters, scientists have published a study in the Geophysical Research Letters Journal that indicates rising ocean temperatures may create conditions that reduce the number of hurricanes by causing a vertical wind shear that tears the Atlantic Ocean storms apart at different altitudes and prevents the hurricane from being able to form. http://uk.reuters.com/article/email/idUKN23640879._CH_.242020080123

If this is true it would means that hurricanes would have a limited temperature range in which they can form. If the ocean is too cold – there isn’t enough energy. If the ocean is too hot – the energy is too extreme and leads to an atomosheric chaos too great for storms to form.

If this is true – it demonstrates further that we have a lot to learn about our climate and the extremes that are being produced.

I’m not a climatologist but if I am reading this correctly, this study may help explain the Atlantic hurricane respite we have experienced over the last two years. It may also help explain the increase in hurricanes and tropical storms hitting the west coast of Mexico and Southern California.

My book Extreme Weather Hits Home has lots of information about how to prepare our buildings to better withstand these uncertain times and the extreme and constantly shifting conditions . If you can’t find it at your local bookseller, ask them to order it.

January 8, 2008

Tornadoes in January

Filed under: Rising Temperatures — Tags: , , , — John Banta @ 4:19 am

Unseasonably warm weather has resulted in rare January tornadoes in Missouri, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Illinois and Oklahoma. More warm weather in the midwest and tornadoes are expected to continue for another day.

 Temperature records for January were set in Buffalo, Toledo, Atlantic City New Jersey and Chicago.


December 27, 2007

Insurance Lawsuit Alleges Price Fixing

Filed under: Disaster Insurance — Tags: , , , — John Banta @ 12:51 pm

According to a December 27th on-line story a lawsuit has been filed by Attorney General Charles Foti in Orleans Parish Civil District Court alleging collusion, price-fixing and anti-trust violations by six major insurance companies as a result of claims filed from Katrina. If successful, this suit could have wide reaching implications for the insurance industry. The details are available at:


or follow the blogroll at the right.

December 23, 2007

The Story Of Stuff

Filed under: Answers to Questions — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 2:16 pm

Extreme Weather Hits Home, Protecting Your Buildings From Climate Change   I’ve posted “The Story of Stuff” with Annie Leonard here. This is worth seeing. It is broken into seven chapters here, or you can follow the link in my blogroll at the right to see the entire larger screen uninterrupted video. According to the producers:

“The The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.”

 Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 – Extraction

Chapter 3 – Production

Chapter 4 – Distribution

Chapter 5 – Consumption

Chapter 6 – Disposal

Chapter 7 – Another Way

December 21, 2007

Increasing Incidence of Ice Storms

Filed under: Freezing/Melting — Tags: , , , — John Banta @ 6:35 pm

Extreme Weather Hits Home, Protecting Your Buildings From Climate Change  This may seem counter-intuitive, but the increasing incidence of ice storms is being connected with climate change. The December 9th and 10th ice storms in Oklahoma and surrounding states has set records for causing power outages. Oklahoma Gas and Electric has indicated that over half of their customers lost power due to the storms for the first time ever.

So how can an ice storm be associated with global warming? Warmer temperatures mean the upper atmosphere can hold more moisture. When this moisture condenses it begins to fall as rain. If surface conditions are below freezing, the rain drops freeze and become ice. When upper atmosphere temperatures are cold the water falls as snow not rain. Snow is less damaging since it weighs about 1/10th as much as ice. So global warming is resulting in more ice storms because the snow doesn’t form.

December 15, 2007

Ontario Canada Climate Change

Filed under: Ontario Canada — Tags: — John Banta @ 8:13 pm

The Union of Concerned Scientists has posted climate change information for Ontario, Canada at: http://www.ucsusa.org/greatlakes/glregionont_cli.html

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