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June 29, 2019

Tornado Forecasting
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Does it seem like our nation has been experiencing more tornados than usual? A weather expert weighs in on that, and offers some life saving advice to keep you and your family safe. Then, a vast amount of water is pumped out of the ground each year for productive uses. But is all that demand impacting our rivers?
Episode Segments:
Staying Safe in a Tornado
Over the past two decades, there have been major changes in tornado forecasting technology and how Americans receive alerts. Rick Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norman, OK discussed the latest developments and what everyone needs to know to stay safe. He said the number or intensity of tornadoes hasn't changed, but media attention has increased, partly because nearly every tornado is now captured on a smartphone camera.
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The Effects of Groundwater Pumping
Laura Condon, PhD, Assistant Professor of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona led a study that found that groundwater pumping in the last century, for drinking water and agricultural use, has contributed as much as 50 percent to stream flow declines in some US rivers. She explained why this is such a serious concern and what can be done by communities and individuals to conserve water resources.
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Outside Time
Itís common knowledge that being outdoors and around nature is a healthy thing. Mathew White, PhD, Environmental Psychologist and Senior Lecturer from the University of Exeter Medical School in Devon, Englandled a study that measured exactly how much outdoor time is necessary for improved health. He found that two to four hours per week is the sweet spot, and it can be done in bits and pieces over the course of a week. He added that the benefits were especially helpful for those with longstanding illness or disabilities.
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