Christmas weather books and Storm Chaser book review

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

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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

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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.
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276. Patrap
1:41 PM CST on December 20, 2007
wunderground severe page with new counties under Tornado watch Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
275. Beachfoxx
1:37 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Panhandle just put under Severe Thunderstorm Warning and Tornado Watch... heading this way. Everyone stay alert. I have to run some errands before the weather deteriorate any more.

Be alert!
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274. hondaguy
1:33 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Looks like Baton Rouge is almost in the clear. The sun was shining a few moments ago.

Now it looks like there are some good thunderstorms to the south that may barely clip us, but not make it here.

Once all that is to the east we may be ok for the remainder of the day.

Levi32...we can only hope for a white Christmas :-( I hope you get yours!!!

273. Levi32
10:27 AM AKST on December 20, 2007
I may finally get my white Christmas! Check this out from the NWS this morning:

WWAK41PAFC_AKZ121
-----------------
AKZ121-210215-
/X.NEW.PAFC.WS.A.0002.071221T0100Z-071222T0000Z/
WESTERN KENAI PENINSULA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...KENAI...SOLDOTNA...HOMER...
COOPER LANDING
501 AM AST THU DEC 20 2007

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM AST THIS AFTERNOON
THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON AROUND KACHEMAK BAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ANCHORAGE HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WATCH FOR AREAS AROUND KACHEMAK BAY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT
FROM 4 PM AST THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON.

A NEARLY STATIONARY TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE ALONG COOK INLET AND
COLD TEMPERATURES WILL POTENTIALLY LEAD TO HEAVY SNOW...
PARTICULARLY IN THE AREAS AROUND KACHEMAK BAY. UP TO 20 INCHES OF
SNOW IS POSSIBLE BY FRIDAY AFTERNOON...WITH THE GREATEST AMOUNTS EXPECTED
NEAR SELDOVIA AND THE HOMER BLUFF.

A WINTER STORM MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW...
SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. PEOPLE ARE
ENCOURAGED TO CLOSELY MONITOR THIS WEATHER SITUATION. PREPARATION
FOR THIS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS WEATHER EVENT SHOULD BEGIN NOW.

$$
FPAK51PAFC_AKZ121
-----------------
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272. NEwxguy
7:23 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
I'm definitely going to see a white christmas although Sunday will makea big dent in our snow cover.I'm getting another 3 inches today,so have a foot and a half on the ground.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
271. Bonedog
2:11 PM EST on December 20, 2007
ok at quick glance.

GFS is western outlier, most vigorus
NGM across the Lakes then NEwrd around the Buf area, lest vigorus
ECM runs the same as NGM but more vigorus, not as much so as GFS
UKM runs up the St.Lawrence more vig then NGM less then ECM.

My initial impressions...

NE is on the warm sector for the storm until it passes into Canada. Cold front ushers in colder temps (1 to 5 below seasonal) With some residual moisture in the air looks to be a possiblity of -SN throught. LES are a possiblity from the Big Lakes eastward. Have to see a few more things to guage wether or not LES will be an issue.

This system might be the NE killer as far as a white Christams goes. I was hoping the snowpack hung around but might not survive.

Like I said these are my initial interpretations. I have to look at them more and my other forcast package tools. Either way I dont forsee a large snowfall event at all. Might be a big rain maker which could be a flood problem due to blocked storm drains.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
270. Patrap
1:15 PM CST on December 20, 2007
G-9 Blowing thru here now..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
269. LakeShadow
7:11 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
its about to get really hairy in Mobile Ala.

Link
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
268. Bonedog
2:08 PM EST on December 20, 2007
hey folks Im Back. Had computer issues.

Lake Im going through the models now. I will give my opinion in a few
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
267. NEwxguy
7:03 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
STRONG MID LEVEL COLD POOL AND WINDY CONDS WILL BRING GREAT
LAKE SNOWS BOTH ACROSS THE BIG LAKES INTO THE ERN GREAT LAKES SUN
NIGHT INTO MON.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
266. LakeShadow
6:58 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
the mets are shunning the GFS because it varies too much from the UKMET and NAMM, which keep the system too far south. To me, it looks like a pretty impressive system. The local mets are playing it VERY safe...who could blame them, though.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
265. Patrap
12:59 PM CST on December 20, 2007
3 cells inbound Nola Metro Area..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
264. LakeShadow
6:55 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
looks like after that cell passes by, hondaguy, you're outta the woods for the time being. its less vigorous now, so I dont expect further development.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
263. NEwxguy
6:54 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Lake some of the models have been predicting a vigorous storm forming in the central us and zipping up through the great lakes,pushing some very moist warm air in front of it and very cold air behind the trailing front,lots of wind with this system.You should get read for some les.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
262. NEwxguy
6:52 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
261. Patrap 6:48 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Its been in the SPC forecast for 3 days.

Ok,missed that,got so wrapped up in the northeast storms,I overlooked that.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
261. Patrap
12:48 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Its been in the SPC forecast for 3 days.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
260. LakeShadow
6:45 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
hey bone and NE. Whats going on with this: (its the WRF/NMM for monday)
Link
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259. Patrap
12:46 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Big Cells...heading ene,.. Sw of Nola..Link
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258. NEwxguy
6:46 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
never saw this coming in any severe outlooks,did anyone hear any predictions for severe outbreak.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
257. LakeShadow
6:43 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
looks omnimous for Mobile Ala.
Link
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
256. hondaguy
6:41 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Thanks Lake...I keep watching it myself...

It looks like we have one more big round to go coming out of the Lafayette area.

There was just a good downpour here with a really vivid flash of lightening. The wind gusts up every now and then.

Thank you all for watching the south today, and the updates!
255. LakeShadow
6:33 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
theres a vigorous little cell just formed to hondaguy's SE. Its headed toward Baton Rouge, the pixels on the VIL maps show potential for rotation, yet the cell hasnt been indicated just yet...I'll keep watching.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
254. cchsweatherman
1:38 PM EST on December 20, 2007
Good afternoon Bonedog. How are you doing today?
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
253. cchsweatherman
1:35 PM EST on December 20, 2007
250. leftovers 1:21 PM EST on December 20, 2007
Hello all. It been about a month of this red tide stuff. Its bad. Now the snook are washing up dead and thats not good news. There might be some other long term effects other that empty wallets. E Centr. Fl.


Wow! I did not even realize how bad this red tide had become. I thought that the cold front from late this weekend would have helped the problem, but apparently not. I hope that some relief will be coming soon since this is a major environmental disaster.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
252. NEwxguy
6:35 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
afternoon,all,good luck to all in the severe weather area.This points all how much energy is involved with this particular system.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
251. Bonedog
1:29 PM EST on December 20, 2007
afternoon folks.

WOW cant believe the bad weathe rdown south.

I will be watching those radar screens.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
249. Patrap
12:19 PM CST on December 20, 2007
Bad Cell near Thibodaux,La Moving ene at 45mph..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
248. LakeShadow
5:57 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
hondaguy, I got your radar on my map. I'll keep watching and post s/th if it looks like you'll get hit with a nasty cell.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
247. cchsweatherman
12:57 PM EST on December 20, 2007
246. hondaguy 12:40 PM EST on December 20, 2007
Hey everyone. I posted a blog. Very basic, I'm at work so I dont have much time to access all those fancy radar images that ya'll do! haha

It basically tells what's going on here right now, and in the event of anything major happening I'll post an update...that is if the electricity doesnt go out.

Yea Lake we are watching for tornado's here, but I dont believe that any will be forming here in Baton Rouge. One would hope not either!


I just read your blog and posted a comment there. Hope the severe weather stays away from you. I'll definitely be watching this storm since my Aunt Helen and Uncle Bob live in northern Georgia and it appears like this weather will move into their area.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
246. hondaguy
5:38 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Hey everyone. I posted a blog. Very basic, I'm at work so I dont have much time to access all those fancy radar images that ya'll do! haha

It basically tells what's going on here right now, and in the event of anything major happening I'll post an update...that is if the electricity doesnt go out.

Yea Lake we are watching for tornado's here, but I dont believe that any will be forming here in Baton Rouge. One would hope not either!
245. LakeShadow
4:58 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Tornado Vortex signature on the doppler in SE miss.
Link
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
244. Weather456
1:00 PM AST on December 20, 2007
Moderate Tropical Storm Dama

1630 UTC DEC 20 2007

Pattern: 0.78 banding or curve band.

Current Intensity: CI 3.5

Adjustements: None

Final Estimate: CI 3.5

Dvorak Trends (Adjusted):
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

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
243. Patrap
11:02 AM CST on December 20, 2007
NEXRAD Radar
New Orleans Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity 1.45 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI

Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
242. LakeShadow
4:48 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
W9 56 dBZ 23,000 ft. 15 kg/m 0% 70% 0.50 in. 87 knots WSW (253)

Here's a cell on the NOLA Radar...check out the speed! btw..that's 70% chance of .5 inch hail
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
241. franck
4:51 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Most of the disturbance may shear out as it moves east + extremely dry air and land mass.
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239. cchsweatherman
11:44 AM EST on December 20, 2007
I'll be back later on, around 1 pm. Take it easy all and stay safe anyone who will feel this severe weather.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
238. Patrap
10:39 AM CST on December 20, 2007
/O.NEW.KMOB.SV.W.0139.071220T1635Z-071220T1715Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
1035 AM CST THU DEC 20 2007

Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
237. Patrap
10:37 AM CST on December 20, 2007
Winds noted to 85 plus Knots in the T-storms.

NEXRAD Radar
New Orleans Velocity Azimuth Display Wind Profile Range 124 NMI

Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
236. Patrap
10:34 AM CST on December 20, 2007
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
235. Patrap
10:31 AM CST on December 20, 2007
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
234. Patrap
10:30 AM CST on December 20, 2007
wunderground severe Page ..Link
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233. Patrap
10:28 AM CST on December 20, 2007
Tornado with injuries and Damage in Brookhaven,Miss...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
232. cchsweatherman
11:22 AM EST on December 20, 2007
Looks like the Southeast will receive another good slug of rain from this weak cold front, although it may come at a price in the form of severe weather.

Very good synopsis Storm. I like the way you came out and explained the way you were going to deal with this very complex weather pattern that will be developing into the weekend. Do you think that same storm system will bring a Christmas-like feel to the air here in South Florida? I know the news says that high pressure should keep this cold front away, but they always change their forecasts. I still say the cold front sweeps through just in time for Christmas.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
231. LakeShadow
4:22 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
And to you too, Storm!
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
229. Patrap
10:08 AM CST on December 20, 2007
College of DuPage Meteorology
Severe Weather and Flash Flood Warnings
Note: This page will reload every 2 minutes. Warnings are listed with the most recent first.
NEW!! Click on the station ID to bring up list of recent severe weather statements.

Link

NEXRAD Radar
New Orleans Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
228. hondaguy
4:07 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Hello everyone! This morning under a tornado watch, and it's very dark outside. Just a moderate rain right now...perfect sleeping weather. Still relatively warm (near 70°F)

Also, very busy in the office! Sometimes work goes along with the weather...a bad day outside means a bad day inside!
227. cchsweatherman
11:01 AM EST on December 20, 2007
226. NEwxguy 10:53 AM EST on December 20, 2007
224. cchsweatherman 3:47 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
222. NEwxguy 10:36 AM EST on December 20, 2007
29 and light snow/fog

I see your 29 degrees and light snow and I raise you 46 degrees to 75 degrees under partly cloudy skies here in Cooper City.


icy roads beat warm dry roads everytime


LOL
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169

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