Christmas weather books and Storm Chaser book review

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:54 PM GMT on December 18, 2007

Share this Blog
3
+

Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey ($23.10 from Amazon) takes the reader on a spectacular photographic journey through the U.S., documenting four seasons of our beautiful and violent weather. Author Jim Reed makes a business of weather photography, and has spent over 15 years chasing storms and documenting their awesome beauty and violent destructive power. The 191-page book would make a perfect Christmas coffee table book for that weather enthusiast (yourself?) in the family, and has great photos of tornadoes, hurricanes, hailstorms, blizzards, sunsets, and lightning. The book is mostly photos, but there are several riveting stories Reed tells. Most captivating is the story of his encounter with Category 4 Hurricane Charley as it pounded Punta Gorda, Florida in 2004. Reed miscalculated his time needed to get to shelter, and got caught in his vehicle on the road in the eyewall. Luckily, his videotaped farewell for mother and friends done during the height of the storm was not needed, as he was able to find shelter during the 4-minute passage of the eye. Reed also braved Hurricane Katrina from the beach front, and tells an abbreviated version of his dramatic encounter with the hurricane from Gulfport, Mississippi. I also recommend Hurricane Katrina Through the Eyes of Storm Chasers ($14.96 from Amazon) to read the full tale of his Katrina experience.

Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey has a few flaws. The quality of the writing is not quite as high as that of my favorite storm chaser book, the now dated 1996 Warren Faidley book, Storm Chaser: In pursuit of untamed skies (no longer in print, but available used). Reed's text doesn't match up with the photos presented on the pages in places, and he makes a number of unwarranted connections between global warming and extreme weather events. For example, he blames the June 22, 2003 fall of volley ball-sized hailstones in Aurora, Kansas on global warming. No single weather event can be attributed to climate change--all we can say is that the probabilities of some extreme weather events have increased. For example, the incidence of extreme precipitation events (the heaviest 1% of rain storms) has increased 20% over the U.S. in recent decades. No scientific papers have been published showing a link between tornadoes or hailstorms and climate change. That quibble aside, I heartily recommend Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey. The photos are fantastic. Three and a half stars out of four.

Best weather books published in 2007

Weather Photography:
Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey ($23.10 from Amazon).

Climate change:
Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming by Chris Mooney ($17.16 from Amazon). See the realclimate.org review. I'll be posting a review of my own at some point.

General Weather:
Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book by Christopher Burt ($17.13 from Amazon). I hope to review this book soon.

Hurricanes:
Hurricane Almanac by Bryan Norcross ($11.04 from Amazon). See my review of the book.

Tornadoes:
Storm Warning: the Story of a Killer Tornado by Nancy Mathis ($16.32 from Amazon). See my review of the book.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 327 - 277

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

327. BahaHurican
8:26 PM EST on December 20, 2007
extreme,

The dam release victims sound like they fall into the indirect category. Other deaths I've heard fit into such a category are those killed when cleaning up debris, e. g. electrocuted by downed wires, etc., heart attack victims, etc. I can't remember whether such victims end up in the overall total for deaths or not.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
326. BahaHurican
8:18 PM EST on December 20, 2007
For instance, I believe we gave false importance to Olga, by wrongly claiming that 19 people died because of the storm when, in actuality, they died from the carelessness of officals who released water from a dam without first making sure that those downstream had been notified properly and that an evacuation had been attempted.

Ah, but someone can (and obviously did) argue quite legitimately that without Olga, there would have been no need to release water in the first place. (I heard a similar argument today, to wit: "if you hadn't put the cup on the edge of the counter, it wouldn't have been there to fall off when I slammed the kitchen door:")

When you look more closely at the statistics for hurricanes, you may note that deaths are often classified as direct and indirect. Perhaps the 21 you speak of in the DR fall into the latter category. Unfortunately, dead is dead, to the dead people especially.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
324. extreme236
1:05 AM GMT on December 21, 2007
I believe this is what your refering too. The gates were released because of Olga's flooding rains, but the deaths were not a direct cause from Olga, but the dam could have failed and the people could have died anyway. Who knows...

Heavy rainfall fell across the Dominican Republic, with isolated totals of 10 inches (250 mm) expected.[12] The rainfall caused flooding along the Yaque del Norte River, and initially there appeared to be a threat that the Tavera Dam along the river would fail, potentially killing thousands in Santiago Province. Officials instead opted to open all six floodgates at 0400 UTC on December 12, which released about 1.6 million gallons (6.1 million liters) of water into the river every second. The deluge created a 66 foot (20 m) wave of water that caught many off guard due to the time of night and only about 15 minutes to prepare, according to eyewitnesses who criticized the decision
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
323. extreme236
1:04 AM GMT on December 21, 2007
But I agree, if deaths in DR resulted from a dam release, then it shouldnt be counted in the Olga deathtoll...only the other 21+ people should
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
322. extreme236
1:01 AM GMT on December 21, 2007
its ok for you to have different viewpoints on things, however we all know GW exists, the question is if humans have any blame in it...is global cooling a possibility eventually? yes anything is possible
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
321. extreme236
12:57 AM GMT on December 21, 2007
lindenii, low pressure areas are named when they meet the requirements of a TC
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
320. Patrap
6:47 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Join us in StormChat for the BarometerBob Holiday Show at 8pm est. Link

The BarometerBob Show from Northeast Fla. Link

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
319. lindenii
12:25 AM GMT on December 21, 2007
199. BahaHurican 11:51 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Morning everyone,

There's a saying, "One swallow doth not a summer make".

...Lin's article also shows a fearfully ethnocentric US bias as well as some potentially faulty reasoning; telling me that no storms hit the US, for example, is not evidence that global warming isn't occuring.

I'd love someone to prove that GW isn't taking place. However, I'm not any likelier to believe GW antagonists who are talking foolishness than I am to believe GW proponents who are talking foolishness.


Baha...the ethnocentric bias was deliberately used to make a point. Mainly that it is amusing to see how certain individuals on this blog who, when they experience a taste of their own medicine, are ready to silence me, and others, through shunning. Because they are uncomfortable with a different viewpoint? It sure looks like it.

I believe that global warming is a possibility just as global cooling is a possibility as well. If the situation is of a century based time-line, then those among us, who respond with the 'Chicken Little' mentality by blaming everything that happens on some global warming pattern when it is simply too early to really know with any degree of certainty, are only creating unnecessary confusion.

For instance, I believe we gave false importance to Olga, by wrongly claiming that 19 people died because of the storm when, in actuality, they died from the carelessness of officals who released water from a dam without first making sure that those downstream had been notified properly and that an evacuation had been attempted.

Maybe we should name all low pressure areas that develope in the Atlantic basin, etal, so that each and every death can be blamed on the weather. Would that solve any of the important issues facing us? Absolutely not.

Analyzing weather data is a scientific endeavor and to insist that emotional baggage be included is silly and very non-productive.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
318. Weather456
8:20 PM AST on December 20, 2007
A perfect Quikscat

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
317. BahaHurican
6:22 PM EST on December 20, 2007
Evening everybody,

I see those storms that moved through LA today are due to fetch up against the Bahamas tomorrow . . . just in time for a night out I have planned with friends . . .

That low seems to be dipping way south, unlike the last 2-3 (or was it 4?)

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
316. Weather456
7:19 PM AST on December 20, 2007
If Dama crosses 90E as it moves SEward then it could get a new name from Australia, PERTH.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
315. Weather456
7:14 PM AST on December 20, 2007
Dama seems to be losing its touch and strength.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
314. Beachfoxx
5:09 PM CST on December 20, 2007
I think the worst is over for here... Moving eastward. Stay safe!
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29384
313. hondaguy
11:02 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Nice and clear here now in Baton Rouge. What a difference a few hours make. :-)
310. Beachfoxx
4:03 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Nasty here! Pitch dark, pouring rain, thunder... storms are almost right on top of us.
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29384
309. Bonedog
4:57 PM EST on December 20, 2007
yea alot of shear out there!!!

Surface-2Km


4-6Km


9-11KM


Upper Levels


SKEW-T
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
306. Beachfoxx
3:25 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Yes, its getting dark here due to the heavy rainfall. I figure storm is about 30 - 45 mins away. Just beginning to hear some thunder.
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29384
304. Weather456
5:16 PM AST on December 20, 2007
Most of the severe weather lies to the south of the monsoon trough where convergence is greatest.

Buffer Zones seperates the SE Trades from the SW Monsoon Winds (NH Summer); and the NE Monsoon Winds and NW flow in the NH winter.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
303. Beachfoxx
3:17 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Storms headed towards Ft. Walton... everyone on panhandle get ready!

Pat, glad to see you posting. Looks like you're getting hammered.
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29384
302. Weather456
5:10 PM AST on December 20, 2007
Scan this document from "A Forecaster Guide to Tropical Meteorology". It will persons diffrentiate between the general ITCZ and the Monsoon Trough

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
300. Bonedog
4:09 PM EST on December 20, 2007
bow echo in florida now

Link
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
299. Bonedog
4:07 PM EST on December 20, 2007
hope folks are hunkered down
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
298. Patrap
3:05 PM CST on December 20, 2007
That cell really hammered us west of NOLA..then it really hooked up as it got to the Eastern part of the Parish..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
297. Bonedog
4:03 PM EST on December 20, 2007
295. Patrap 4:00 PM EST on December 20, 2007
TVS Noted..Se of NOLA..Link


yep. clearly visable here

Link
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
296. Patrap
3:04 PM CST on December 20, 2007

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
301 PM CST THU DEC 20 2007

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
295. Patrap
3:00 PM CST on December 20, 2007
TVS Noted..Se of NOLA..Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
294. Bonedog
3:55 PM EST on December 20, 2007
thats about normal Lake. The NAO AO and PNA flutuate weekly in response to systems.

What needs to be looked at is the trend. notice more above the line then below? Shows a positive trend. Thus when it does go negative it amplifies the effects. Same goes for the reverse.

Take a look at this though... notice the trend? Times are a changin'
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
293. LakeShadow
8:52 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Link

looks like the NAO doesnt know what its going to do...
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
292. Bonedog
3:46 PM EST on December 20, 2007
Thats about what I got Lake. Rain then maybe some lingering snow showers after the cold front passes due to latent moisture.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
290. IKE
2:44 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Statement as of 2:40 PM CST on December 20, 2007

The National Weather Service in Mobile has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning for...
central Escambia County in northwest Florida...
this includes the city of Pensacola...
southern Santa Rosa County in northwest Florida...

* until 315 PM CST

* at 237 PM CST... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
line of severe thunderstorms capable of producing destructive winds
in excess of 70 mph. These storms were located along a line
extending from Milton near Whiting Field to Myrtle Grove... or along
a line extending from 23 miles north of Pensacola to 11 miles west
of Pensacola... and moving east at 35 mph.

* Severe thunderstorms will be near...
West Pensacola... pace... Myrtle Grove and Milton near Whiting Field
by 245 PM CST...
Warrington... Pensacola naval base... Brownsville and Pensacola
regional a/p by 250 PM CST...
Pensacola and East Pensacola Heights by 255 PM CST...

A Tornado Watch remains in effect for the warned area. If a tornado
is spotted... act quickly and move to a place of safety in a sturdy
structure... such as a basement or small interior room.

Doppler radar has indicated some weak rotation within this storm.
While not immediately likely... a tornado may still develop. If a
tornado is spotted... act quickly and move to a place of safety in a
sturdy structure... such as a basement or small interior room.

This is a dangerous storm. If you are in its path... prepare
immediately for damaging winds... destructive hail... and deadly cloud
to ground lightning. People outside should move to a shelter...
preferably inside a strong building but away from windows.

A Tornado Watch remains in effect until 400 PM CST Thursday afternoon
for southwest Alabama and southeast Mississippi. A Tornado Watch also
remains in effect until 400 PM CST Thursday afternoon for south
central Alabama and northwest Florida.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
289. Weather456
4:36 PM AST on December 20, 2007
Moderate Tropical Storm Daman(05R)

2000 UTC DEC 20 2007

Pattern: A classic comma curved band arching 0.75/0.85.

Current Intensity: Intensity seems to have level off for now...so CI can safely be kept at 3.5.

Adjustments: None

Final Estimate: CI 3.5

Dvorak Trends:
0030 UTC DEC 17 - CI 1.5
1030 UTC DEC 17 - CI 1.7
1500 UTC DEC 17 - CI 2.2
2300 UTC DEC 17 - CI 2.5
1030 UTC DEC 18 - CI 2.5
1430 UTC DEC 18 - CI 2.5
1955 UTC DEC 18 - CI 2.5
0100 UTC DEC 19 - CI 2.7
0830 UTC DEC 19 - CI 3.0
1630 UTC DEC 19 - CI 3.5
2200 UTC DEC 19 - CI 3.0
1200 UTC DEC 20 - CI 3.5
1630 UTC DEC 20 - CI 3.5
2000 UTC DEC 20 - CI 3.5

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
288. LakeShadow
8:31 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
hey Bone. The PNA and NAO are big factors in this system for this weekend...what do you think will happen..so far it seems that rain rules...
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
287. Weather456
4:32 PM AST on December 20, 2007
284. Skyepony 4:24 PM AST on December 20, 2007
456~ it's fairly new, like months old.


ooo...dat explains it.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
286. Patrap
2:29 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Back edge has some bad storms..then clearing..Link

Winds to 80Plus Knots noted..

NEXRAD Radar
New Orleans Velocity Azimuth Display Wind Profile Range 124 NMI Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
285. franck
8:27 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Yep, few parts of panhandle should hunker down, but the low is getting axed as it moves eastward.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
284. Skyepony (Mod)
8:23 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
456~ it's fairly new, like months old.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
283. Weather456
4:18 PM AST on December 20, 2007
for all my 4 years on WU......i just realize they have a climate change page.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
282. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
8:12 PM GMT on December 20, 2007

TROPICAL CYCLONE DAMA ADVISORY NUMBER TEN

As of 1800 PM UTC, Moderate Tropical Storm Dama [995 hPa] located near 17.6S 84.1E or 2985 kms east of the coast of Reunion has 10 min sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts up to 50 knots. The storm is reported as moving southeast at 8 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Gale Warning Area
=====================
30 NM radius from the center
150 NM from the center in southern semi-circle

Forecast and Intensity
========================
12 HRS: 19.0S 85.0E - 35 knots (TempĂȘte Tropicale ModerĂ©e)
24 HRS: 20.3S 86.3E - 30 knots (Depression Tropicale)

Additional Information
======================
The system has tracked southeastward over the last hours, under the steering influence of the near equatoral ridge located in the northeast of the system. The system should generally track towards the southern latitudes under the combined steering influence of the near equatorial ridge and approaching southwest mid latitude trough. The system should generally track towards the forecast track leading the system within a favorable environment for a weakening with increasing wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures.

It should then start its transition to an extratropical system.

Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45603
281. Bonedog
3:07 PM EST on December 20, 2007
good going Lake:)
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
280. LakeShadow
7:50 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
ha! I sent our local met a link to the WRF-NAMM and mentioned it looked interesting and he just posted a new blog entry that says "things may get interesting after all"..
now theres a better chance for LES, so he says, but he didnt mention rain.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
279. Ivansrvivr
2:50 PM EST on December 20, 2007
Like always, the Panhandle and one spot in Broward is getting all the rain. Too bad it cat be spread out more.
278. LakeShadow
7:44 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
I hope that p-cola's ready for some action...
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
277. Ivansrvivr
2:49 PM EST on December 20, 2007
CC, you have no idea how bad Red Tide can be. Its like having the flu forever.

Viewing: 327 - 277

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.