Organizing a forecasting book

This week I've resumed working on a forecasting handbook, one that I was working on for many months back in 2002. I have been agonizing over a particular question. Which is: would you be more likely to buy such a book if the content was presented state-by-state or region-by-region?

In other words, it could either go Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, etc; or it could go Southern Plains, Gulf Coast, Midwest, Southeast US, etc. This is a 350- to 400-page book and will have a significant amount of content on each region.

Going state-by-state is a novel approach, as it focuses specifically on a given state and is forced to work within the confines of its geographical boundaries. I don't know of any weather books (except for obscure climatological titles) that do this. However it is redundant as there would be 50 chapters, and places like Vermont and New Hampshire are going to be a lot alike.

Going region-by-region is more meteorologically sound but it may not be the most captivating, especially say if someone in Texas has to look in three chapters to see what patterns Texans are accustomed to. For some reason this organization of content seems boring, but I can't put my finger on it. However it would result in maybe ten chapters rather than 50, and give the book a little more fluidity.

It's hard to decide what to do. What do you all think?

State by state is something I would be interested in. Some chasers can only chase in one or two states for some reason or another. I only chase in about four states myself so far.
I prefer the regional approach, just from a meteorological perspective. You could hone in on smaller areas of respective regions for any nuances significant enough to write about.

Here is some ideas of for regions

The Census Bureau delineates two sets of sub-national areas that are composed of states. This two-tiered system of areas consists of 9 census divisions nested in 4 census regions.

Northeast region is made up of the New England and Middle Atlantic divsions:
-New England division: CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
-Middle Atlantic division: NJ, NY, PA

Midwest region is made up of the East North Central and West North Central divisions:
-East North Central division: IL, IN, MI, OH, WI
-West North Central division: IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD

South region is made up of the South Atllantic, East South Central and West Central divisions:
-South Atlantic division; DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV
-East Central division: AL, KY, MS, TN
-West Central division: AR, LA, OK, TX

region is made up of the Mountain and Pacifiic divisions:
-Mountain division: AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY
-Pacific Division: AK, CA, HI, OR, WA

Other Divisions not associated with the Census,I have seen:
Northern (High) Plains: ND, SD
Central Plains: KS, NE
Southern Plains: OK, TX

Corn Belt: IL, IN, IA, MN, NE, OH
Great Lakes: IL, IN, MI, OH, WI
Great Plains: ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, TX
I also seen these states as part of the Great Plains:
MT, WY, CO, NM and MN, IA, MO
Midwest: IL, IN, IA, KA, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI
Texas: you could break up into 3 regions like they use to
do in Storm Data: North, South and West

Edit: Other names, I forgot to mention:
Applachains, East Coast, Far West, Great Basin, Gulf Coast ,Heartland, Intermontane, Mid Atlantic, New England, Northeast, Northwest, Ozarks, Pacific Coast, Pacific Northwest, Piedmont, Rocky Mountains States , Rust Belt, Southeast, Southwest, West Coast to name a few.

IMO regional would be better. I guess the Midwest/Northeast locations could have a section on lake-effect stuff, can't forget about that! :eek:

Of course I can understand Bill wanting state-by-state... I usually just chase in MI/IN/OH, and the detail would be much finer, since the focus is on a smaller area...

Maybe you could incorporate both ideas... Use a geographic region such as the Midwest, then have some smaller subsections within that section to describe some finer details for each of the states within that region, such as MI and Lake Superior induced "Great Lakes Furies/November Gales", MN and arctic boundaries, etc..
I agree with Scott, the regional angle incorporates idiosyncracies and gives specific areas unique character, but without the redundancy that might come from describing severe climatology for North Dakota and South Dakota, for example.

I found some of the most interesting sections of the Storm Chasing Handbook were the brief regional overviews from a severe weather climatological perspective. It creates useful categories in a reader's mind while preserving a sort of continuity that accurately describes how features shift in time and space over the course of a chase season.

I read those sections again this Spring, particularly on high plains chase days, to make sure I was forecasting from a sort of properly-calibrated context.
Regional would be the easiest and more useful approach. The division could be along the lines of Southern Plains, Central Plains, High Plains, Gulf Coast, Southern Appalachians, Northern Appalachians, etc to group states with similar patterns together.
Sounds like a good book...let us know when it's ready, Tim!!

I would like the regional approach.
I think it would give good references to first time chasers and good info for the seasoned veterans!
Definatly let us all know when it is ready.
I would love to buy it. :D
What we need is the ultimate book to storm chasing forecasting. A book as thick as the storm chasing handbook, but ALL FORECASTING for a chase. :D
Regional with sub-regional detail resulting in something like fifty sub-regions seems about right, but definitely not by state, IMO.

For example, the Pacific Coast might be a logical region. Meteorologically, you might have the following sub-regions: inland AK, south coastal AK and the Aleutians, north coastal CA - coastal OR - coastal WA (including Cascades), north intermountain (rest of WA - rest of OR - rest of northern CA), Sierras, south coastal CA, CA central valley. California is divided into five coastal pieces. You still have pieces of CA for the Intermountain (high and dry, including eastern CA intermountain - high deserts, big chunks of NV, ID, and UT) and the low deserts, including the rest of CA, Colorado River, and lower Sonoran AZ. So CA might be in seven different zones.

On the other hand, the Gulf Coast might have only three regions: most of eastern TX except the Rio Grande and Arklatex, the Rest (including the Arklatex, LA, AL, MS, and most of GA), and the FL peninsula.... Then more-or-less what Angie said, and so forth and so on.

Sounds like another interesting book in the tradition of Our American Weather, Kimble, 1955, but more technical. That book was often by my bedside as a kid!
Hmm... forecast guidance by climate regime would be interesting, but the regional approach may prove very cumbersome in areas with considerable diversity. The downside is what the population is for each of the forecast region. Might be tough to find much market for alpine regimes. So, would there be a general section on synoptic scale met and then regional supplements? Otherwise, might have too much book in sections someone might not be interested in.


I would be one more to buy one state by state, that is broken down by region within the state. I know that's a little too much, but so many states actually have varied regions within themselves it would make for interesting reading.
Regional with sub-regional detail resulting in something like fifty sub-regions seems about right, but definitely not by state, IMO

I agree. This would be very beneficial to me personally. I am looking forward to the finished product(s) Tim!!
regional by state

I'm thinking along the lines of people who are not necessarily INTO meteorology, and when you define it by state, it would have a tendency to grab attention from people who live in that state and also people looking to move into that state as opposed to just defining the "attention grabber" to a particular group of people.
Regional is best, but break it down into meteorologically familiar regions. Most people know that similar weather happens in a region about their state, but I would suggest things like breaking it down into weather zones (Pacific NW weather zone also involves N California, for example).

Then when you slap a title on the book, put something like, "Forecasting 101", "Predicting the weather for your city and state"
I like the idea of dealing with regions to provide a big-picture approach, then zooming in on state-level concerns as needed. Case in point: I live in the Great Lakes region, but more specifically, I live in lower Michigan. There's a difference between having Lake Michigan to my west, modifying incoming weather, versus--as is the case with Wisconsin--having it to the east. I've noticed some of the peculiarities, have ideas about why they exist, and would love to learn more about them.
I llike states because it is more concrete a to that geographic area you are talking about. Regions are a little bit more ambiguous.