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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127. Bonedog
3:57 PM EST on December 19, 2007
Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow

31.2 F
Light Snow
Humidity: 97%
Dew Point: 30 F
Wind: 1.6 mph Variable
Wind Gust: 32.9 mph
Pressure: 30.09 in (Steady)
Visibility: 1.2 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Overcast 1400 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
126. airman45
8:54 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
You all having boring weather? Have a look at southern Europe (Portugal radar). Our first real rain in several months.

Link
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125. LakeShadow
8:50 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
North Pole "Santa Satellite"
Link
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
124. LakeShadow
8:30 PM GMT on December 19, 2007


This is in the Indian Ocean about 83E/17S
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
123. Bonedog
3:30 PM EST on December 19, 2007
NE the radar isnt all that long range. More precip off to the west
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122. LakeShadow
8:19 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
hey Pat. You got me surfing on YouTube for hours yesterday with your links...I was watching different Katrina videos and then it brought me to Anderson Cooper videos...hes a funny guy.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
121. LakeShadow
8:15 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Yeah bone, that precip headed your way was the rain that we got this morning. more to come...
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120. NEwxguy
8:16 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
bone,it almost looks like a squall line
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119. Patrap
2:05 PM CST on December 19, 2007
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
452 am CST Wednesday Dec 19 2007 Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127984
118. Bonedog
3:03 PM EST on December 19, 2007
here is a great image of why its so stormy

Average JFM storm track frequency difference for (top panel) strong El Nino (ONI greater than or equal to 1.5) minus Neutral conditions and (bottom panel) strong La Nina (ONI less than or equal to -1.5) minus Neutral conditions.

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
117. Bonedog
2:57 PM EST on December 19, 2007
weather is alomost here

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
116. Bonedog
2:45 PM EST on December 19, 2007
its not office equipment Im looking at. LOL its all that stormyness the GFS and every other model keeps showing.

I dont rember the last time every model held the same storms. Only diffrence seems to be strength and track this year.

GFS- usually the most potent w/ average temp
UKM- weaker, farthest west, warmest
ECM- slightly weaker then GFS, farthest east, coldest
NGM- jumps all over, usually has the I-95 under the gun
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
115. Weather456
7:42 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
TD 05R is approching CI 4.0. Current Intensity remains at 3.5
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114. NEwxguy
7:44 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
get that storm button away from Lake
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113. LakeShadow
7:42 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
let me know if office equipment starts falling from the sky, OK?
:o)
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
112. Bonedog
2:42 PM EST on December 19, 2007
110. LakeShadow 2:42 PM EST on December 19, 2007
107. Bonedog 7:35 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
geez who turned on the storm switch??

sorry, that was me...Thought I was hitting the Staples easy button...


why am I picturing that commercial with the baby wacking the crap out of the button and knocking the guy off the ladder??
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
111. Bonedog
2:38 PM EST on December 19, 2007
geez. each sucsessive storm is more potent.

If the Jan 1 system tracks farther west (which they seem to do this year) NE could be looking at its first major widepread snow.

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
110. LakeShadow
7:41 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
107. Bonedog 7:35 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
geez who turned on the storm switch??


sorry, that was me...Thought I was hitting the Staples easy button...

Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
109. LakeShadow
7:34 PM GMT on December 19, 2007


And here is the mid east...
Hello boys...and girls!
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
108. NEwxguy
7:39 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
yeh,the GFS has been going crazy with the storms.They come into the west coast and march across the country.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 877 Comments: 15711
107. Bonedog
2:34 PM EST on December 19, 2007
geez who turned on the storm switch??

GFS has us under back to back to back to back systems

23-24, 25-26, 29-
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106. NEwxguy
7:35 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
lol won't spoil the ending for you.
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105. Bonedog
2:32 PM EST on December 19, 2007
LOL NE I was just looking at the model runs LOL

dont spoil it for me :)
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
104. Bonedog
2:31 PM EST on December 19, 2007
oh yea Lake. go through MODIS and you'll find Lows all over the place. I like to look at QuickSCAT first to spot strong Lows and then go to MODIS to get sat images on them
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103. NEwxguy
7:27 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
interesting weather in the future for the east.
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102. LakeShadow
7:26 PM GMT on December 19, 2007


And lookie here off of Antarctica
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
101. hondaguy
1:19 PM CST on December 19, 2007
The snow cover images are awesome looking. Thanks for pointing us to the MODIS site 456!!
100. LakeShadow
7:18 PM GMT on December 19, 2007


here's a pretty one just east of Madagascar
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
99. Bonedog
2:17 PM EST on December 19, 2007
bought the same conditions when i left my house Lake. Should start as rain here then change over also
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
98. LakeShadow
7:13 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
well the sky to my west is getting darker. Its raining lightly. toowarm for snow but it should cool down tonight.

Buffalo, New York
37 °F / 3 °C
Light Drizzle
Humidity: 79%
Dew Point: 31 °F / -1 °C
Wind: 13 mph / 20 km/h / 5.7 m/s from the SW
Pressure: 29.93 in / 1014 hPa (Falling)
Windchill: 29 °F / -2 °C
Visibility: 7.0 miles / 11.3 kilometers
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Overcast 1900 ft / 579 m
(Above Ground Level)
Snow Depth: 7.0 in / 17.78 cm
Raw METAR Aviation
Flight Rule: MVFR (KBUF)
Wind Speed: 13 mph / 20 km/h / 5.7 m/s
Wind Dir: 220° (SW)
Ceiling: 1900 ft / 579 m


Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
97. Bonedog
2:13 PM EST on December 19, 2007
LOL if they made it to shore probably in the 30 foot range.

heres some of Libya
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96. cchsweatherman
2:10 PM EST on December 19, 2007
Imagine the surf in those waves Bone.
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95. Bonedog
2:08 PM EST on December 19, 2007
CCH one of my favorite MODIS images...

extremely large waves in the Atlantic of Brazil

Link
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94. Bonedog
2:06 PM EST on December 19, 2007
Hey lake. Just waiting for the snow showers to happen
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93. LakeShadow
7:03 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
hey bone...wazzzup?
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92. Bonedog
2:01 PM EST on December 19, 2007
your welcome. Love checking MODIS every day. sometimes you get awsome images
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91. cchsweatherman
6:56 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Thanks alot Bonedog and 456. I love these images.
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90. Bonedog
1:51 PM EST on December 19, 2007
northeast snowcover plus cloud streets over the atlantic

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
89. Weather456
6:49 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
MODIS Rapid Response:

http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/2007353/
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
88. Bonedog
1:49 PM EST on December 19, 2007
cch you can get them here

MODIS
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87. cchsweatherman
6:47 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
456, where do you get those amazing satellite images? I want to put a few on my site when there are storms or cold fronts.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
86. Weather456
6:40 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Similar but offshore the US East Coast

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
85. Weather456
6:29 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
I did a synopsis of this on Sunday....

Strong winds gusted over the Gulf of Mexico on December 16, 2007, and though the wind is invisible in these photo-like snapshots, its presence is written in the clouds and on the surface of the water. The image, captured by the MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite on the afternoon of December 16, shows long rows of clouds called cloud streets that are combed into a sweeping curve by the northwest wind. The clouds formed when cold, dry air blowing out of the northwest encountered warm, moist air over the gulf. The fast-moving cold air chilled the moist air until the water vapor condensed into clouds that followed the wind%u2019s path.

In addition to the long vertical lines that align with the wind direction, clusters of waves cut across the clouds parallel to the shore. These lines are the [frontal] waves created when the cold, dry air collided with and rose over the mass of warm, moist air. Like the waves that rise and fall through water after it hits a retaining wall, these waves ripple across the front of the cold air mass where it clashes with the stable, warm air. The dark horizontal lines are cloud-free areas where the oscillating cold air dips into the warmer air beneath it. The air is too warm in the trough of the waves for clouds to form.

courtesy: Nasa



higher resolution

http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/images/image12192007_1km.jpg
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
84. Bonedog
1:37 PM EST on December 19, 2007
good CCH and yourself?
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83. cchsweatherman
6:31 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Hey Bonedog. How are you doing today?
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82. Bonedog
1:30 PM EST on December 19, 2007
hey folks
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81. Weather456
6:29 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
80. LakeShadow
6:12 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
yeah its the high for today, though. We're plummeting for the night...but we get near 40 on Saturday! yipee!!!
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
79. NEwxguy
6:11 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
36 deg,your having a heatwave,I'm at 32
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 877 Comments: 15711
78. hondaguy
6:02 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
77. LakeShadow 6:01 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Its warmed up here, too. A "balmy" 36 degrees...


Trade Ya!!
77. LakeShadow
5:59 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Its warmed up here, too. A "balmy" 36 degrees...
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134

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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.

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