Favorite weather books

Thomas Loades

Being a kid who was both a voracious reader and a reader who, until 1997, read no fiction books — I had so many non-fiction ones to savor! — I plowed through just about every meteorological tome my libraries could offer. So that way, I sorted out all the better ones, many of which I now own. Do you have any particular favorites, in terms of either how good the content is, or more personal reasons (older favorites — from your childhood, perhaps)?

Anyway, mine are
•Storm, by A. B. C. Whipple (Time–Life, 1982) — taught me just about everything I knew about hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms until I had internet access. Very well-illustrated, and great text. I renewed it for about a year on end.

•Disaster! Tornadoes and Hurricanes by Dennis Brindell Fradin (Children's Press, 1982) — being juvenile-oriented, more sentimental favorites than anything, but still worthwhile for the hair-raising survivor accounts they have from Hurricane Camille and the Vernon and Wichita Falls, TX tornadoes; I of course snapped up the tornadoes volume when I found it on eBay last year.

•The Nat’l. Audubon Society Field Guide to N. American Weather by David Ludlum (Alfred A. Knopf, 1991) — well-written, and more color (and tornado pictures) than A Field Guide to the Atmosphere

•Spacious Skies by Richard Scorer and Arjen Verkaik (David and Charles, 1989) — beautiful photos and equally beautiful writing (not unlike the Verkaiks' Under the Whirlwind)

•Significant Tornadoes 1680–1991 by Thomas Grazulis (Tornado Project, 1993) — the only tornado book I can't find fault with. At last.
 
I just got finished reading "Hurricane Watch" by Sheets and Williams. It was published a couple of years ago, and I enjoyed the in-depth chapters on the history of hurricane forecasting.

Very enjoyable. It's on Amazon and elsewhere.

MP
 
1. Storm - George Stewart - 1941 - The first best seller devoted to meteorology, it is a vingette of charactures and storylines centered around a storm (what would now be a series of storms) hitting California. Published just before WW2, it is responsible for many men becoming mets during and following WW2, and I bet most NWS employees hired before 1950 had read it. It is still available at Amazon, and I recommend it highly.

2. The Elements Rage - Frank Lane - 1965 - While it also deals with Volcanos and Earthquakes, it was the most awesome book for a little kid to latch on to in the public library for severe weather. Excellently researched and photographed, I gave me both great dreams and nightmares for all the times I checked it out.

3. A little book on tornados from Scholastic Press that was in my first grade school library in 1966. It had the classic story of the farmer who stood at his cellar door and watched the tornado as it lifted and passed right over head. Doesn't seem to exist anymore, but a great book for the junior chaser.

These are just a few if my most formative, haven't even gotten into the adult years - The Big Green Book, et al.
 
Science and Wonders of the Atmosphere, by Stanley D. Gedzelman. A bit dated (1980 or so) but covers the basics of the science with humor and interesting aspects of culture and art. I may be mistaken but I believe Gedzelman is/was a SUNY meteorology professor and an associate editor for Weatherwise.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...il/-/0471029726

I have to say that meteorology is bizarre in that the real gems are out of print, while a lot (but not all) of what's in print is kind of, well, *yawn*. Heck, even in astronomy you can still get the essentials like NSOG, Burnham's books, etc with no problem, yet in weather the Grazulis tome, Spacious Skies, etc are long out of print and difficult to find.

Oh, I've also got to add R. S. Scorer's Clouds of the World, from 1968 or so:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...il/-/0850911168
Also a rare book, but it was a big influence on how I saw the sky when I was younger. It had a neat stereoscopic cloud section.

Tim
 
This book was one of the first books I picked up- Biased to Europe, which suits me fine.
Collins Guide to the Weather by Gunter D. Roth (ISBN 0 00 2190109)

As a general guide to weather in general I found this very good for picking up the basics.
 
Though it's ancient, I have always enjoyed Texas Weather by Harold Taft. My dad had it and I read it when I was younger, because I used to idolize Harold Taft.
 
Two of my favorites are both narratives:

The Tornado by John Edward Weems chronicles the events of May 11, 1953 from not only his own personal perspecyive, but through the eyes of many of the survivors themselves. The outdated "science" in parts of the book as well as the many folklores and stories adds to it's nostalgic charm for me.

Tornado Watch #211 by john G. Fuller gives a very good account of the May 31, 1985 tornado outbreak in the eastern Midwest/Northeastern states by not only giving us the story from the persepctive of the people it directly effected, but from the folks at the NSSFC and the local WFO's as well.

Regards,

Mike
 
gotta agree mike, TW 211 was also a great book, have it someplace at home; Fuller writes a good read - you need to read his "The Day We Almost Lost Detroit".
 
Oh, I've also got to add R. S. Scorer's Clouds of the World, from 1968 or so:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...il/-/0850911168
Also a rare book, but it was a big influence on how I saw the sky when I was younger. It had a neat stereoscopic cloud section.

Tim

I agree — I loved that book, even though I only had the chance to borrow it once before the library dropped it altogether (probably because many a picture was cut out :evil: ).

And there's one other book — mostly useless now but still kinda cool — called The Air and Space Catalog (Vintage, 1989) that lists all these resources (relevant to the time, of course) that have to do with astronomy, aviation, space exploration, and weather: adresses of associations, magazines, planetariums, and other offices, numbers to get daily fax updates from the NWS, places where you can get weather related games (anyone get the "Weatherslam" card game?), and some great articles, like one from Weatherwise from 1986 about storm chasing, and "The Human Element of Hurricane Forecasting," one from Sky and Telescope about building your own telescope. It's a novel idea, but one that hasn't been followed through, evidently, as there aren't any updated editions that I know of.
 
•Storm, by A. B. C. Whipple (Time–Life, 1982) — taught me just about everything I knew about hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms until I had internet access. Very well-illustrated, and great text. I renewed it for about a year on end.

•The Nat’l. Audubon Society Field Guide to N. American Weather by David Ludlum (Alfred A. Knopf, 1991) — well-written, and more color (and tornado pictures) than A Field Guide to the Atmosphere

Those are two of my favorites as well - the pictures in both books are just amazing. Another one I like is Skywatch: The Western Weather Guide by Richard A. Keen.....

http://www.fulcrum-books.com/html/skywatch_west.html
 
My all-time favorite is Weathering the Storm, written by the lovable Gary England. I got it from my grandparents when I was in 9th grade I believe. I have read it about ten times, and it gets better every time. Anything written by Howie Bluestein is good too. He was my idol when I was about nine.
 
A few years back when I got into spotting, I happened to find an old paperback, The Thunderstorm by Louis J. Battan. It was about the original Thundstorm Project back in the late 1940's when the governament took fighter planes optimized for nighttime combat and flew them into thunderstorms. That project gave us some of the fundamental knowledge of theunderstorms we have today. Battan worked on the project, and he also wrote some of the older standard meteorology texts.

Another good one is The Lightning Book by Peter Viemeister. It chronciles much of the early lightning research, including the real story of Ben Frankilin's famous kite experiment.

If you're really into history, check out Invention of the Meteorological Instruments by W. E. Knowles Middleton.
 
Out of the numerous suggestions already; allow me to provide another:

The Tornado: It's Structure, Dynamics, Prediction, and Hazards; by Christopher Church, Donald Burgess, Charles A. Doswell III, and Robert Davies-Jones.

This text is a compilation of scientific studies and published work about tornadoes and severe convective storms. Published in 1993 by the American Geophysical Union; I am uncertain as to it's availability... yet highly recommend if interested in the scientific side of mesoscale meteorology.

..Blake..
 
My favorite is Severe Convective Storms, editted by Dr. Doswell. It provides a complete, up to date, detailed understanding of the many threats of deep moisture convection.
 
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