New Partnership Between Earth Gauge and NWS

A partnership was formed between Earth Gauge and the National Weather Service (NWS), in order to judge the usefullness of broadcasting short, environmental and weather-related messages onto NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.  Fifteen messages  have been incorporated into a Public Information Statement for distribution to the NOAA Weather Wire circuit.

The Milwaukee/Sullivan NWS is one of four offices that will serve as a beta-test site for these messages. Other offices include Seattle, Houston, and New Orleans, LA.  Each of the 15 Earth Gauge environmental messages has been tailored for that cities' geographical area.

Earth Gauge is part of the "Eyes on the Environment" program, a larger initiative by the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) to facilitate the evolution of Broadcast Meteorologists into "station scientists" who can expertly cover and relate basic, environmental information to their viewers.  Their web site is:  http://www.earthgauge.net

It is hoped that weather radio listeners will find the messages educational and useful.  Feedback is welcome via an email message to rusty.kapela@noaa.gov.  Broadcast meteorologist's are encouraged to utilize the messages as well.

 

 

 

...EARTH GAUGE MESSAGES FOR NOAA WEATHER RADIO...

...MILWAUKEE WISCONSIN - WINTER 2009...

1. TOPICS: RADON AND PUBLIC HEALTH /JANUARY/

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. JANUARY IS NATIONAL RADON ACTION MONTH. RADON IN A COLORLESS AND ODORLESS GAS RELEASED FROM ROCK...SOIL...AND WATER WHEN URANIUM BREAKS DOWN. IT CAN ENTER YOUR HOME THROUGH CRACKS OR OPENINGS...SUCH AS CRAWL SPACES OR PLUMBING FIXTURES. HIGH LEVELS OF RADON HAVE BEEN FOUND IN HOMES IN EVERY STATE...AND EXPOSURE TO RADON GAS IS THE NUMBER-ONE CAUSE OF LUNG CANCER IN NON-SMOKERS. WINTER IS THE IDEAL TIME TO TEST YOUR HOME FOR RADON...AS LEVELS CAN RISE WHEN WINDOWS AND DOORS ARE SEALED TIGHTLY.  PURCHASE A DO-IT-YOURSELF TEST KIT AT HOME IMPROVEMENT STORES OR FROM THE NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL.

2. TOPICS: ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND COLD

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. DID YOU KNOW THAT WHEN THE TEMPERATURE DROPS...THE FUEL EFFICIENCY OF YOUR VEHICLE ALSO DROPS BY UP TO 50 PERCENT. VEHICLES TAKE LONGER TO WARM UP IN COLD WEATHER...AND MAINTAINING TRACTION ON SNOW-COVERED OR ICY ROADS CAN CAUSE A VEHICLE/S ENGINE TO WORK HARDER. INCREASE FUEL EFFICIENCY AND SAFETY BY CHECKING THE AIR PRESSURE IN YOUR TIRES. COLD WEATHER CAN CAUSE AIR PRESSURE TO DECREASE MORE QUICKLY...AND LOWER AIR PRESSURE MEANS LOWER FUEL EFFICIENCY. YOUR VEHICLE OWNER/S MANUAL WILL TELL YOU HOW MUCH TO INFLATE YOUR TIRES.

3. TOPICS: PUBLIC HEALTH AND EXTREME COLD

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. WHEN EXTREME COLD STRIKES...INDIVIDUALS CAN BE EXPOSED TO A NUMBER OF HEATH HAZARDS. AS PEOPLE AGE...THE ABILITY TO FEEL COLD TEMPERATURES DIMINISHES.  SLOWER METABOLISM AND LESS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MEANS THAT SOME OLDER INDIVIDUALS GENERATE LESS BODY HEAT...MAKING THEM MORE VULNERABLE TOHEALTH PROBLEMS SUCH AS HYPOTHERMIA. INSTALL AN EASY-TO-READ THERMOMETER INDOORS...WHERE IT WILL BE EASY FOR OLDER RESIDENTS TO SEE. MONITORING THE INDOOR TEMPERATURE CAN HELP OLDER INDIVIDUALS KEEP THEIR HOMES AT AN APPROPRIATE TEMPERATURE.

4. TOPICS: ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND COLD

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. THE ALLIANCE TO SAVE ENERGY ESTIMATES THE AVERAGE WISCONSIN HOME SPENDS MORE THAN 1300 DOLLARS...ABOUT 55 PERCENT OF THEIR ENERGY BILL...ON HEATING EACH YEAR. ADDING A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT TO YOUR HOME CAN SAVE 120-210 DOLLARS PER YEAR WHEN USED TO CONTROL INDOOR TEMPERATURES. TURN THE TEMPERATURE DOWN WHEN YOU ARE NOT HOME OR SLEEPING.

5. TOPICS: ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND COLD

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. DURING THE WINTER MONTHS...YOU MAY NOTICE DRAFTS AROUND WINDOWS AND DOORS...WHICH CAN MAKE YOUR HOME FEEL COOLER. ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO INCREASE WINTER-TIME ENERGY EFFICIENCY IS TO SEAL LEAKS AROUND YOUR HOME. USING CAULK...WEATHER STRIPPING...AND OTHER MATERIALS TO SEAL LEAKS AND INSULATE ATTICS AND CRAWL SPACE AREAS CAN SAVE WISCONSIN RESIDENTS BETWEEN 240 AND 370 DOLLARS PER YEAR ON HEATING BILLS...DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF FUEL USED IN THE HOME.

6. TOPICS: ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND COLD

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. HEATING WATER ACCOUNTS OR UP TO 15 PERCENT OF YOUR HOME ENERGY COSTS. SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY BY SETTING YOUR HOT WATER HEATER NO HIGHER THAN 120 DEGREES...WHICH  WILL PROVIDE ADEQUATE HOT WATER FOR MOST PURPOSES. YOU CAN ALSO AVOID LOSING HEAT FROM YOUR WATER HEATER DURING WINTER BY WRAPPING IT WITH AN INSULATION BLANKET...WHICH YOU CAN FIND AT YOUR LOCAL HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE.

7. TOPICS: PUBLIC HEALTH AND SNOW

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. DID YOU KNOW THAT EXHAUSTION AND HEART ATTACKS ARE LEADING CAUSES OF WINTER STORM-RELATED DEATHS. THE WEIGHT OF SNOW CAN VARY GREATLY...FROM 7 POUNDS PER SQUARE FOOT FOR FLUFFY SNOW...UP TO 20 POUNDS OR MORE FOR DRIFTED OR COMPACTED SNOW. IF YOU HEAD OUTSIDE TO CLEAR SNOW?  DRESS WARMLY  AND TAKE IT SLOW. STRETCH FOR A FEW MINUTES BEFORE YOU GO OUTSIDE TO AVOID MUSCLE INJURY...AND STOP WORKING IF YOU FEEL TIRED OR WEAK. INDIVIDUALS WITH HEART DISEASE OR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE SHOULD SEEK A DOCTOR/S ADVICE ABOUT SHOVELING SNOW OR PERFORMING OTHER HARD TASKS IN COLD WEATHER.

8. TOPICS: SNOW...HOME AND YARD CARE

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. HEAVY OR WET SNOW CAN DAMAGE TREES. BRANCHES MAY SAG OR BREAK UNDER THE WEIGHT...AND WINDS CAN FURTHER DAMAGE WEAK BRANCHES. TOO MUCH STRESS AND BREAKAGE  AND PUT YOUR TREES AT RISK FOR DISEASE AND DIE-OFF. IF YOUR BACKYARD TREES OR SHRUBS ARE SAGGING UNDER THE WEIGHT OF RECENT SNOW...YOU CAN GIVE THEM A HAND BY USING A SOFT BROOM TO GENTLY LOOSEN THE SNOW. USE UPWARD STROKES AND EXTREME CARE...AS BRANCHES CAN BE BRITTLE DURING COLD WEATHER. OFTEN...TREES WILL RECOVER THEIR SHAPE WHEN THE SNOW IS REMOVED.

9. TOPIC: AIR QUALITY AND SNOW

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. MANY SMALL GAS-POWERED ENGINES GENERATE HIGH LEVELS OF CARBON MONOXIDE...ALONG WITH NITROGEN OXIDES AND HYDROCARBONS THAT AFFECT OUR AIR QUALITY. A TYPICAL GAS-POWERED SNOW BLOWER CAN EMIT UP TO EIGHT POUNDS OF CARBON DIOXIDE IN AN HOUR. FOR COMPARISON...A TYPICAL PASSENGER CAR EMITS ABOUT 1.3 POUNDS PER HOUR. IF YOU REGULARLY USE A GAS-POWERED SNOW BLOWER?KEEP IT PROPERLY TUNED AND USE THE CORRECT FUEL-OIL MIXTURE TO KEEP EMISSIONS AT A MINIMUM. IF YOU ARE ABLE?CONSIDER REMOVING SNOW BY HAND?WHICH PRODUCES NO EMISSIONS.

10. TOPICS: WATER QUALITY AND SNOW/ICE

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. MOST OF THE 18 MILLION METRIC TONS OF SALT USED ON U.S. ROADS EACH YEAR ARE APPLIED IN THE MIDWEST AND NORTHEAST...WITH NEW YORK...OHIO...MICHIGAN... ILLINOIS...PENNSYLVANIA... AND WISCONSIN USING THREE-QUARTERS OF THE TOTAL. SALT HELPS US STAY SAFE BY KEEPING ROADS AND SIDEWALKS SLIP-FREE...BUT CAN BE HARMFUL TO PLANTS AND ANIMALS IF IT SEEPS INTO GROUNDWATER OR SURFACE WATERS. IF YOU SALT YOUR SIDEWALKS...FOLLOW DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY. CLEAR AWAY AS MUCH SNOW AND ICE AS POSSIBLE BEFORE SALTING TO HELP YOU USE LESS PRODUCT.

11. TOPICS: WATER QUALITY AND SNOW/ICE

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. IT MAY BE TEMPTING NOT TO PICK UP PET WASTE ON WALKS DURING COLD AND SNOWY WEATHER...BUT IT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO PICK UP AFTER ROVER AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. WHEN PET WASTE IS LEFT OUTSIDE...IT CAN BECOME ENCASED IN SNOW AND ICE...AND WILL BE CARRIED AWAY WITH MELT WATER WHEN THE WEATHER WARMS. NUTRIENTS AND BACTERIA FROM PET WASTE THAT MAKE THEIR WAY INTO THE STORM DRAIN DISCHARGE DIRECTLY TO RIVERS...LAKES...OR STREAMS UNTREATED IN MOST CITIES. HELP TO PROTECT WATER QUALITY BY ALWAYS PICKING UP AFTER YOUR PET.

12. TOPIC: WATER QUALITY AND RAIN

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. IN COMPARISON TO THEIR LARGE VOLUME...THE AMOUNT OF WATER THAT FLOWS OUT OF THE GREAT LAKES  IS VERY SMALL...ONLY ABOUT ONE PERCENT. THIS MEANS THAT POLLUTANTS FED INTO THE LAKES FROM RIVERS AND STREAMS...SHORELINES...AND ADJACENT LAND USES CAN REMAIN IN THE WATER FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME. KEEP OUR WATER CLEAN BY NEVER DUMPING CHEMICALS IN YOUR YARD...ON A SIDEWALK OR DRIVEWAY...OR NEAR A STORM DRAIN.

13. TOPICS: FLOODS...HOME AND YARD CARE

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. WHEN WARMING  TEMPERATURES CAUSE ICE AND SNOW TO MELT...WATER CAN POOL IN AREAS AROUND YOUR HOME WHERE SOIL IS ALREADY SATURATED. JUST THREE-INCHES OF  SNOW ON A 1000 SQUARE FOOT ROOF CAN CREATE MORE THAN 600 GALLONS OF WATER. PROTECT THE AREAS AROUND YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING BY MOVING ANY SNOW ON THE GROUND AWAY FROM THE HOUSE. MAKE SURE DOWNSPOUTS FROM THE ROOF CARRY WATER SEVERAL FEET AWAY FROM YOUR HOME TO A  WELL-DRAINEDAREA.

14. TOPICS: AIR QUALITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. IN SOME PARTS OF THE COUNTRY...WOOD BURNING CAN ACCOUNT FOR UP TO 80 PERCENT OF AIR POLLUTION IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS DURING THE WINTER SEASON. WOOD SMOKE CONTAINS TINY BITS OF ASH...SOOT...WOOD TAR...AND GASES THAT CAN TRIGGER HEALTH PROBLEMS FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS SUCH AS INDIVIDUALS WITH HEART AND LUNG CONDITIONS...THE ELDERLY...AND CHILDREN. MINIMIZE THE AMOUNT OF SMOKE AND POLLUTANTS LEAVING YOUR FIREPLACE OR WOOD-BURNING STOVE BY BURNING CLEAN...DRY WOOD. HARDWOODS SUCH AS POPLAR...BIRCH...OAK AND MAPLE ARE GOOD CHOICES.

15. TOPIC: WILDLIFE

TODAY/S PUBLIC INFORMATION MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE-EARTH GAUGE PARTNERSHIP. BIRDS HAVE AMAZING ADAPTATIONS FOR SURVIVING WINTER WEATHER. UNDERNEATH A LAYER OF STIFF OUTER FEATHERS WHICH PROTECT AGAINST WIND...RAIN...AND SNOW...BIRDS HAVE A LAYER OF DOWN FEATHERS TO INSULATE AGAINST COLD TEMPERATURES. BIRDS ALSO PUFF THEIR FEATHERS...WHICH TRAPS WARM AIR NEAR THE SKIN TO PROVIDE EXTRA WARMTH. WHILE THEY MAY BE ABLE TO STAY WARM?  BACKYARD BIRDS CAN HAVE A HARDER TIME FINDING FOOD AND WATER WHEN TEMPERATURES DROP...BECAUSE MANY NATURAL SOURCES WILL FREEZE. LEND A HAND BY MAKING SURE BACKYARD FEEDERS ARE FULL OF NOURISHING SEED.

$$

Rusty Kapela, Warning Coordination Meteorologist



Return to News Archive

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.