26th April - Today's News: Mississippi Tornado Kills 10

On Saturday, 10 dead in Miss. after tornado, storms hit South. And on Sunday, as Mississippi digs out from storm, so rural areas searched after Yazoo, Mississippi tornado and it's being speculated that recent epidemic of twisters could mean an 'ugly May' - although I suppose that's good news for the chasers who last year had a pretty poor season. The first British 'teams' should have just flown out there.

Media disinformation and nonsense continue in the wake of the disruption caused to airlines by the Icelandic eruption, with the Daily Mail claiming that volcanic plume over UK was only 20th of safe flying limit, although the safe flying limit was zero ....... ; that the ash was not visible (it was - and we have the photos to prove it) and repeating the lies about the flight ban being based on Met Office computer models (they were based on observations- which did however show the model predictions to be highly accurate). They also of course ignore the aircraft that suffered damage from the 'safe' ash ..... And what the hell has the fact that the Chairman of the Met Office knows nothing about aircraft got to do with the price of bananas? Talk about a straw man - this is a bl**dy giant!

There should be an inquiry into the media handling of this and the outright lies and misinformation deliberately published to support anti-science agendas!

It's arguable that NATS, the CAA and Govt did over react. However, that doesn't change the facts that the ash existed, affected aircraft and that the rules - because no-one had bothered to determined safe limits - were set at zero tolerance. Just because the US ignores the rules is neither here nor there.

The real fault lies with the airline industry for not conducting the necessary tests to determine a safe flying limit, and for not having procedures in place to deal with a scenario they were very well aware was likely to occur.

(Worth noting that amongst the rhetoric and lies, there is some interesting, apparently accurate and useful stuff about what actually happened - and which directly contradicts the more outrageous headline claims - so it's worth reading the full story).

Anyway, hopefully that's the end of the ash - though if any more fundies start having a go at the MetO (or more accurately, the VAAC operated by the MetO) for doing a superb job I may be tempted to instigate a public flogging.

However, whilst the British press try and prove that everything under the Sun is the fault of the MetO, in America they (unusually) offer a more satirical - though by no means untrue - resume of events that unfounded in Europe under the ash.

Meanwhile, volunteers cleaning up as ash still grounds Iceland flights - and oh look, they're using info from the Met Office .....

Other news:

3 dead in China sandstorms whilst heavy snow, sandstorm hinda China quake relief

Particulate matter from fires in the Amazon affects lightning patterns

Topography of mountains could complicate rates of global warming

After heavy rain in New Zealand, floodwaters creeping higher in Southland

And as China debates whether human activity or nature is to blame for drought here's an off the wall thought: maybe it's a bit of both?!!!


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