Friday, April 13, 2012

Random Weather Bits

Here's something I've never seen before: waist deep hail.

In the article, there is a photo that looks like a person standing next to some gray rock. That is not rock in the picture, however. It's hail.

Last year, I made a graph of some of the largest tornadoes to track through the U.S. over the past few decades. The trend was concerning: it appears that largest tornadoes are getting larger as time goes on. Yesterday, I realized I forgot to list another monster: the Yazoo City, Mississippi tornado. This one was 1.75 miles across at some points along its 149 mile (!) track. It was rated an EF-4. I plugged the data in, and it just reinforces what I previously wrote/graphed.

About tornadoes...there is also some ongoing research into launching swarms of "quad copters" into tornadoes as a means of collecting data and video footage. Years ago, there were multiple efforts to gather data using "turtles", which were ground-based devices which sat low on the ground. The hope was that a tornado would make a direct strike on the probe and gather data. The quad copters sound a lot more promising, however.

In other news, as I mentioned previously, Gathering the Wind is now available in paperback and on the Amazon. I will also be expanding distribution on my novels to the iTunes store and Barnes & Noble over the coming weeks. A novel related to Gathering the Wind is also in the works, and will hopefully be available towards the end of this summer.

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