What is Tornado Alley?

The term “Tornado Alley” was first used by a United States Air Force meteorologist and an Air Force captain as the title of a research project. Nowadays, the term is mostly used by the media and through other news outlets. We’ve all heard of Tornado Alley, but what exactly does it mean? We all know that it describes a region that is susceptible to tornado damage, but what specifically makes up this region, and why is this region affected? Even the National Weather Service has yet to issue a specific region that defines Tornado Alley. To get a more specific grasp on this region, and because of my interest in meteorology, I decided to do a little research.

One useful article by Smith Kendall says that Tornado Alley includes the area in the south-central United States where there is a higher frequency of tornados. Specifically, it explains that Tornado Alley runs from central Texas to northern Iowa, and from central Kansas and Nebraska to western Ohio. Given these bounds, it is no surprise that Texas, because it is such a large state, reports the most tornados of any state. The smaller states of Kansas and Oklahoma have the most reported tornados per unit area of measurement.

Regarding meteorology, the article explained that Tornado Alley is ideally situated for the formation of supercell thunderstorms. Supercells are types of thunderstorms that have a rotating small-scale current of rising air. This current of air is often found in a cloud. Because of this rotating air, supercells are sometimes called rotating thunderstorms. Basically, if you look up in the sky and see a large or small thunderstorm cloud spinning, there is a good chance that it is a supercell. Supercells can be very severe, and they have the propensity to ultimately create tornados.

In essence, it seems that Tornado Alley, while it does not have any set criteria for defining the region, is characterized by the increased frequency of tornados that form in the region. One study found that about a quarter of all significant cyclones occur in this area. What is it about Tornado Alley that leads to all of these tornadoes? Well, in my research I found that in this region, warm, humid air from the equator clashes with the cold, dry air from Canada and the Rocky Mountains. This creates an ideal environment for supercell formation, and therefore ultimately tornado formation.

Given these ideal temperatures and air conditions, it is no surprise that because of Tornado Alley, the United States has more tornados than any other nation. The nation with the next highest tornado frequency is Canada.

The next time you hear the phrase Tornado Alley, you should now have a better understanding what the phrase is referring to. While there is no set definition, the area is largely defined by the weather conditions that create supercells, and ultimately tornados. Next time you’re in Tornado Alley, watch out for spinning clouds!

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How to Stay Safe if you are Buying a Bike

So, how dangerous are motorcycles, really? We’ve all had that dream to ride across the U.S. with the wind blowing through our hair. We’re riding into the sunset, and it’s like a scene out of Easy Rider. We’re rocking a leather jacket, the engine is revving, somehow there’s a soundtrack playing behind. But we’ve also all heard something along the same lines: motorcycles are dangerous, motorcyclists are constantly getting run over, motorcycles just aren’t safe. Stick with the car. And those words scare a lot of us out of trying to live that motorcycling dream. Well, how worried should we be? Are the worriers right that motorcycles are so dangerous? Or is the fear overrated? Unfortunately, it seems the worriers have it right. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 72.34 motorcycle deaths per 100,000 registered motorcyclists. That’s a massive jump from the numbers for cars, which are just 13.10 per 100,000 drivers. That means riding a motorcycle is 35 times are dangerous as driving a car. But, let’s say, you’re determined to buy a bike anyway. The sunset is calling to you. You need that wind blowing through your hair. Well, what steps can you take to lower your chances of an accident? First and foremost, just pay attention. A lot of this has to do with motorcyclists just not paying attention. In fact, a study done in 1981, called the Hurt Report, found that motorcyclists were at fault for two-thirds of all incidents that involved a single vehicle, and that was mostly because they weren’t paying attention. Another stunning statistic from the same study, almost half of the fatal motorcycle accidents involved alcohol. Compare that to the measly 2% of accidents where the weather was to blame. Another study, MAIDS, found that in 69% of accidents, no evasive maneuvers were used. The next major point is to just wear a helmet. According to the MAIDS report, that would have reduced the chance of injury by almost 70%. So, sorry, no wind blowing through your hair folks. The main point is, be aware of yourself and others. And just be responsible. The most common reasons for motorcycle accidents are:

  • Reckless and careless driving by either you or another
  • Mechanical malfunction
  • Road defects
  • And, once again, drunk driving

So, if you stay sober, keep your bike in good working order, and drive safely, you’ve definitely improved your chances of making all the way across your cross-country road trip. One final point: make sure you get some good insurance. Obviously, because you’re left out in the open with so little protection, when accidents do happen, they tend to be pretty bad. So, get the best coverage you can, even if it costs as much as your bike. If you have all that covered, all I can say is, stay safe and enjoy the ride.

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Accidents Resulting to Broken Bones

According to the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, accidents are bound to happen. Every year, people suffer through serious physical and financial stress caused by a serious injury, like fractured skull or broken bones. Personal injury specifically refers to any situation in which another party’s recklessness or negligence directly causes an accident. These preventable accidents can leave innocent victims and their families to face a multitude of challenges.

Broken bone or bone fracture is a break or a crack in a bone. This happens whenever a direct force that is stronger than the bone can withstand is exerted against it. While the most common sites for bone fractures are the hips, arms and legs, there are also cases wherein fractures can occur to the skull and ribs, making the injury life-threatening. 

Besides pain, swelling, bruising, deformity and inability to use the affected limb (arm or leg), bone fractures can also cause other complications, including blood loss, stunted growth of the bone, and injuries to organs, tissues and other structures surrounding the injured part. 

Medline Plus identifies the following as the common causes of broken bones:

  • Fall from a height
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Direct blow
  • Child abuse
  • Repetitive forces, such as those caused by running, can cause stress fractures of the foot, ankle, tibia, or hip

Osteoporosis and certain types of cancer that cause the bones to fracture more easily, present risks too as these can make minor accidents, such as a fall accident, end up with serious results. Thus, while some fractures will only require a plaster cast or the surgical insertion of plates or metal rods which will hold the bone pieces together, complicated fractures usually require surgery and surgical traction.   

Among the many types of motor vehicles, bone fracture, or fracture to the skull or ribs, is most common among motorcycle riders. This is due to the lack of body protection of riders. This risk to accidents and injuries motorcycle riders are exposed to is often caused by drivers of passenger vehicles who deny motorcyclists their right of way. Most often too, drivers never check for possible approaching motorcycles before making a turn, before backing up in parking lots or before opening their car door. 

As explained by Milwaukee injury lawyers, broken bones can occur for a number of reasons. While these injuries may seem common, they can have serious and long-lasting effects. Broken bones can lead to complications and permanent problems, often leaving victims stressed and frustrated. It is important to know, however, that victims of accidents, which leave them with a serious bone fracture, may be in the position to fight for compensation from the party that caused the accident.

 

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Effects of Alcohol on Drunk Drivers

Effects of Alcohol on Drunk Drivers

Driving while under the influence of alcohol may result into fines reaching thousands of dollars, license suspensions and revocations of up to ten years, and jail times that may vary depending on the gravity of the offense and how many times it has been committed. Convictions will also mean that these drivers will have limited employment opportunities. This greatly affects those who work on driving services, such as delivery and trucking.

These consequences are truly life-changing, and they are not going to change anytime soon, because jurisdictions and states are fully aware of how drunk driving can be extremely dangerous.

Physical Abilities

Driving requires physical and mental abilities, but these abilities are compromised because of alcohol. The most obvious physical defect is the limited body control. Those who are under the influence will not be able to fully control their heads, arms, hands, and feet – all of which play a significant role in driving.

Getting too much alcohol in the body may also make them drowsy and fall asleep while on the wheel. Even if they don’t fall asleep, the alcohol and drowsiness may give them eye problems, such as blurry vision and closing of eyes.

Mental Abilities

The mind is just as important as the body when it comes to safe driving. Drunk drivers may not be able to understand traffic lights and warning signs. Failing to stop on traffic lights may result to right-of-way issues and collisions with vehicles and pedestrians. Failing to comprehend warning signs may make them unaware of dangerous situations ahead, like abrupt turns, construction sites, and suddenly-crossing animals.

Without the proper mental capability, drunk drivers will also fail to judge the position of other vehicles and people around them. They may not adjust to turning or weaving vehicles or yield to pedestrians even if these pedestrians have the right-of-way.

What You Can Do

To prevent drunk driving, you can designate a driver that can take you home, try other modes of transport like buses, or even use ridesharing services such as Uber.

According to the website of this Forest Acres DUI Lawyer, DUI charges can be defended. This is understandable, considering the great consequences that DUI convictions may bring. But to avoid wasting time on courts, it is still better to avoid drunk driving altogether. In fact, it is not just the court you will be avoiding, but also the hospital and your insurance office.

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FLSA Claims: Do You Need a Lawyer to Make a Claim for Unpaid Wages?

FLSA Claims: Do You Need a Lawyer to Make a Claim for Unpaid Wages?

The proper payment of wages is generally governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA. While individual states have their own set of regulations regarding the payment of wages, most of these laws were set in place to reinforce the policies mandated by the federal government through the FLSA.

One of the many things that the FLSA ensures is an employee’s right to claim for wages that have been denied to them by their employer. Aside from being entitled to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, majority of employees working in America are also entitled to receive an additional 1.5 times more than their regular rate for overtime work. Any violation of these policies can be reported and acted upon by filing a claim for unpaid wages.

With the help of an experienced FLSA claim attorney, employees can petition to receive their unpaid wages on top of additional compensation for legal expenses and penalties incurred by the employer for a number of different circumstances. Common FLSA violations include an employer’s failure to pay minimum wage or additional overtime wages for “off-the-clock” work. Employers are also expected to compensate employees for paid vacation time they didn’t get to take, as well as for time spent travelling a different work-related venue during regular hours.

Seeking the help of an employment law attorney is important in this process because the policies on minimum wage and overtime pay involve certain exemptions. An employment lawyer can help individual to review and assess their cases before taking all the necessary steps. It’s typical for an attorney to give his or her opinion on whether a claim is worth pursuing. They can also provide a rough estimate of how much an individual might receive in damages, allowing potential clients to weigh between the cost and benefit of filing a FLSA claim.

When deciding to take on a lawyer’s help for your FLSA claim, take the time to consider all the options provided to you after your first legal consultation. Certain factors like legal expenses and the stress that going through such a process might bring should be part of the considerations you weigh before making a decision.

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