Preparing for Mother Nature’s toughest weather

May 27, 2015

We’ve all heard the expression, “spring is in the air!” Well, spring has fully sprung, and as flowers bloom and temperatures grow warmer, so does the threat of severe weather which is also common during this time of year. Depending on what region you live in the US, severe weather-related events such as tornadoes and hurricanes are prone to happen causing serious damage to homes and businesses. Luckily, the U.S. Government Bookstore offers the following weather-related publications to help you prepare for Mother Nature’s toughest weather.

003-017-00569-1Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning, Nature’s Most Violent Storms: A Preparedness Guide, Including Tornado Safety Information for Schools. This illustrated booklet showcases facts about weather-related events and suggests life-saving actions you can take, if you find yourself in an unexpected situation resulting from a weather-related event.  The goal of this booklet is to present you with details on how to recognize severe weather, be aware of your surroundings, and to encourage you to develop a plan to be ready to act when threatening weather approaches. Additionally, it provides important information on what causes specific weather-related events and features a “Why Worry About Thunderstorms?” fact list of weather-related risks as it relates to lighting, tornadoes, flash floods and floods, and hail.

FloodsTheAwesomePower_NSC_Page_01Floods: The Awesome Power. This booklet explains flood related hazards and suggests lifesaving actions you can take in the event of a flood. Filled with illustrations, this easy-to-read booklet provides helpful information on how you can recognize a flood potential and develop a plan to be prepared when threatening weather approaches. It also provides information on flood severity categories from minor to major flooding scenarios, river floods, and flash floods risks whether in a car, truck, or SUV, or at home, work, or school.

Weather Spotter’s Field Guide: A Guide to Being a SKYWARN Spotter. The United States is the most severe weather-prone country in the world. Each year, people in this country cope with an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,200 tornadoes, and two land-falling hurricanes. Approximately 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, causing around 500 deaths each year and nearly $14 billion in damage.9780160924255

SKYWARN® is a National Weather Service (NWS) program developed in the 1960s that consists of trained weather spotters who provide reports of severe and hazardous weather to help meteorologists make life-saving warning decisions. Spotters are concerned citizens, amateur radio operators, truck drivers, mariners, airplane pilots, emergency management personnel, and public safety officials who volunteer their time and energy to report on hazardous weather impacting their community.

Although, NWS has access to data from Doppler radar, satellite, and surface weather stations, technology cannot detect every instance of hazardous weather. Spotters help fill in the gaps by reporting hail, wind damage, flooding, heavy snow, tornadoes and waterspouts. Radar is an excellent tool, but it is just that: one tool among many that NWS uses. We need spotters to report how storms and other hydro-meteorological phenomena are impacting their area.

This guide provides the procedures for Spotter Reporting, their role in severe storms that may result in hazardous conditions, and provides safety tips for extreme weather conditions.

003-017-00563-1Owlie Skywarn’s Weather Book. Although designed to appeal to children, this booklet provides important severe weather-related information for all ages. It includes information on hurricanes, tornadoes, lighting, floods, and winter storms. This booklet is written and illustrated in a cartoon style format for children 8 to 12; however, it contains valuable disaster preparation and response information of use to parents, teachers and other adults.

How can I get these weather-related publications?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy the following  publications (with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide) from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:

Order by Phone: You may also Order print editions by calling our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Trudy Hawkins is Senior Marketing and Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication & Information Sales Division supporting the U.S. Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov).

 


Be a NOAA-it-all with these FREE NOAA resources about the weather and oceans

November 12, 2013

In the morning when I get on the elevator up to my office in GPO headquarters, when they aren’t talking about sports, everyone is chatting about the weather. My colleagues compare the day’s weather with previous years and talk about what’s coming in the days and seasons ahead. Since Washington, DC’s weather varies greatly throughout the year (even through the day!), people in this area are always taking the pulse of the outdoors and our world. In a similar vein, the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, the U.S. Government’s oldest scientific agency, is taking the pulse of the Earth, for our benefit.

Graohic of NOAA services from Explore NOAA movie on Government Book Talk by GPOClick here to “Explore NOAA” in this movie about the Nation’s oldest scientific agency. 

You can be a NOAA-it-all with these FREE online resources

NOAA says that “Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them.” As such, its mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.

Once they’ve taken the Earth’s pulse, of course NOAA wants to share the output of their studies. The data the agency gathers when studying the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans is comprehensive, and it is a global leader in communicating how Earth’s atmosphere and water systems influence people’s lives and how they influence those systems. If you learn how to navigate the range of NOAA’s free online resources, including real-time and archived information, you will get the full benefit of this rich data.

NOAA educates and disseminates data from its many valuable services, including the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Ocean Service, the National Weather Service and others. Their information comes packaged in videos, weather alerts, digital coastal charts, entire databases, atlases, podcasts, screensavers, sea sounds, field reports, tagging data, and an entire education Web site for teachers and kids. NOAA has resources for children that are as unique and valuable as their science.

Whether to Weather

For instance, NOAA’s Weather Systems and Patterns page has a multimedia, lessons and activities, real world data, background information and career profiles. A student who is interested in extreme weather can graph tornado air pressure in the lessons section, investigate the severe weather events page in the real world data, track a storm in the multimedia section, read the background on severe weather, and even flirt with future career possibilities in the career profile of the tornado chaser.

NOAA Watch out-- Storms Ahead! Owlie Skywarn's Weather Book available from http://bookstore.gpo.govIf the student wants to follow up with extra reading at home with advice for the whole family,  Watch out– Storms Ahead! Owlie Skywarn’s Weather Book can help round out the lesson. Total immersion in a topic is possible without ever leaving the site.

Free resources for teachers and students is a bonus that teachers, parents, caregivers and students should take full advantage of, and NOAA’s Education Resources page is a just one prime example what the agency’s got on offer for the American people.

Coastal Maps and Navigational Charts

Another instance of NOAA’s rich resources is its coastal maps. NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey recently announced that they were no longer issuing printed U.S. Coastal maps; instead, they now make high-resolution Raster Navigational Charts for public use. The Office of Coast Survey offers over high quality, 400 dpi full-color digital images of NOAA’s entire suite of paper charts, for download and printing. Sailors, commercial fisherman, and anyone else interested can view and print these charts as well as the free Air Almanac, Nautical Almanac and Navigational Charts available from http://bookstore.gpo.govdemo software to use them; this is data of high commercial value available completely for free for the American people as well.

Note that up-to-date, printed US Government astronomical, air and nautical navigational charts and almanacs are still available from the US Government Bookstore under Transportation & Navigation > Almanacs & Navigation Guides.

Webinar on NOAA’s Free Online Resources

Librarians and Teachers: Attending tomorrow’s joint NOAA-GPO webinar, “Discover Your World With NOAA: Learn How NOAA Monitors the Pulse of the Earth, and How to Access and Use NOAA’s Free Online Resources” is a great way you can learn to reap the benefit of NOAA’s rich data offerings. Registration for this free training webinar is available now. It will be offered Wednesday, November 13 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time;  GPO’s Library Services & Content Management Division (LSCM) will archive the session on the free GPO Webinar Archive for those who cannot attend. Hopefully you can make it to the live webinar or find some time to look at the archived webinar after it takes place.

NOAA’s Ark of Great Reads

IUnderstanding Marine Debris: Games & Activities for Kids of All Ages: Marine Debris 101 ISBN 9780160913624 available from bookstore.gpo.govn addition to attending the webinar, you can mine some of NOAA’s resources by reading some of these stellar NOAA publications:

Satellite-Images-to-Accpompany-the-Globe-Earth-System-Poster-Learning-NOAA-9780160864643

How can I obtain these NOAA publications?

1)    FOR THE PUBLIC

  • Shop Online: You can purchase these publications from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov by clicking on the links above in this blog post or clicking here to shop our entire NOAA collection.
  • Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.
  • Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.
  • Visit a Federal Depository Library: Search for one of these publications in a nearby Federal depository library.

2)    FOR LIBRARIANS

About the author(s): Adapted by Government Book Talk Editor-in-Chief and the US Government Printing Office (GPO) Promotions & Ecommerce Manager, Michele Bartram, from an original blog post by Jennifer K. Davis from GPO’s Library Services & Content Management Division that supports the Federal Depository Libraries Program (FDLP).


Cold Outside?

August 13, 2010

It’s been an exceedingly hot here for the past month or so. When we had our record-breaking snowfall in February, everyone was longing for the warmth of summer. Now it’s here with a vengeance, and a brisk breeze would be most welcome. Sometimes the best way to fight the heat is to experience cold weather vicariously, which is easy to do in a real Government classic: American Weather Stories.

Originally appearing mainly in various National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA to the cognoscenti) publications, the essays in this 1976 publication covers all kinds of weather, but I was drawn to “The Year Without a Summer.” The year 1816 witnessed extraordinarily frigid temperatures throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In the American Northeast, there were two snowstorms in June and frost in June, July, and August. Farmers suffered severe crop losses in each of those months. It may have been no coincidence that the first general migration from new England to the Middle West occurred the following year. Meteorologists generally agree that fine particles in the upper atmosphere generated from an unusual number of worldwide volcanic eruptions caused this bizarre weather phenomenon.

Another cold weather tale is “The Blizzard of ‘88”, still a catchphrase even today. In New York City, drifts up to the second story windows of office buildings were common, and people literally were blown off their feet by the blasting winds that fed blizzard conditions starting on March 10, 1888. In “The Weather on Inauguration Day,” you’ll find tales of  really rotten weather, including William Howard Taft’s big day, when the snow and wind was even worse than the notorious day in 1961 when President Kennedy took his oath of office. As Taft remarked to a reporter, “I always knew it would be a cold day when I got to be President.”

Of course, American Weather Stories includes drought, hurricanes, and historic weather patterns, too, but it’s to hot to think about those…

Although long out of print, a commercial publisher has issued a reprint. I had no luck finding the text online, but you can find the original at a library.

Addendum: Thanks to Emily Carr at the Library of Congress, I can now share this online text with you.


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