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: 77 - 27

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

77. LakeShadow
5:59 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Its warmed up here, too. A "balmy" 36 degrees...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
76. hondaguy
5:55 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Morning err, afternoon almost. Quiet here today. Expecting rain tonight and tomorrow. A few severe storms possible? We'll see.

Warm out right now...mid 70's!
75. Weather456
5:39 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Tropical Depression 05R

1630 UTC DEC 19 2007

Pattern: Infrared imagery continues to show a solid dense overcast about 1/2-3/4 of a degree in diameter. The curved bands of the deepest convection has extended out further and around the cloud system centre (CSC). Thus the CI will raised to 3.5.

Current Intensity: CI 3.5

Adjustments: Model expected data agrees with 3.5.

Final Estimate: CI 3.5

Dvorak Trends:
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

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
74. NEwxguy
5:42 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Lake your totals are going to be complete by the end of december
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
73. LakeShadow
5:37 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
yeah, theres a clipper in the NW of WNY and it'll give me my 11th snow. Counting 'em down!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
72. NEwxguy
4:50 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
awaiting more snow today,hopefully minor
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
71. Weather456
12:33 PM AST on December 19, 2007
456, thank you for the info yesterday. Keep it coming. Now that I am out of classes, I can study the Dvorak technique during my spare time during my winter vacation.


i will email u the eye patter and some other adjustments, rules and contraints...as soon as i get home
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
70. franck
4:26 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Dakster...moisture approaching the southeastern US will probably be brief.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
69. LakeShadow
4:26 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
morning...anything new today?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
68. cchsweatherman
4:19 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Well, NE, I guess it is a good thing that we have a quiet blog today. It means that there is no major storm or system out there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
67. NEwxguy
4:05 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
I see we have a quiet blog today
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
66. Beachfoxx
9:36 AM CST on December 19, 2007
Storm, glad you are o.k.!

Ike, yep, we need exciting weather events to hold our attention! LOL

Hard to be excited when its 60F, sunny and a nearly perfect day for December! Bay is flat and looks like a mirror reflecting the glorious of nature! Not much to talk about. But sure is a day to enjoy!
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29385
65. HIEXPRESS
10:07 AM EST on December 19, 2007
Following up:
Orlando Sentinel Story

Human error prevented many people in Central Florida from getting tornado-warning alerts on their weather radios during a storm Sunday, a National Weather Service spokesman said Tuesday.

A National Weather Service employee turned down power to an Orlando transmitter for testing Thursday and forgot to turn it back up. That resulted in sporadic signal coverage from the transmitter.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
64. Dakster
8:52 AM EST on December 19, 2007
glad you are ok storm... Hopefully the car will be soon enough.

Anyone know if there is rain headed to the Southeast US anytime soon?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
63. NEwxguy
1:42 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
GM all
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
61. cchsweatherman
1:17 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Good morning Storm. Have you gotten your car repaired and recovered from your accident? Hope you have. Anything that you are watching that could impact South Florida anytime soon? I know that there will be a strong cold front coming just in time for Christmas Day, but I have also seen on computer models what appears to be a conveyor belt of strong cold fronts and huge jet stream dips coming into Florida after that. I have been waiting for the real cold weather here, not the upper 40s we got the past two mornings.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
59. cchsweatherman
12:57 PM GMT on December 19, 2007
Good morning all! Wanted to stop by for a few before I bring my grandmother to the airport this morning. Is she in for a shock when she gets back to Connecticut. There is a good 50 degree temperature difference between here in South Florida and her home in Connecticut.

456, thank you for the info yesterday. Keep it coming. Now that I am out of classes, I can study the Dvorak technique during my spare time during my winter vacation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
58. Ivansrvivr
7:51 AM EST on December 19, 2007
Enso 3 is strong for El Nino -2 is strong for La Nina
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
57. Ivansrvivr
7:51 AM EST on December 19, 2007
blah!!!!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
55. IKE
5:34 AM CST on December 19, 2007
This blog is absolutely dead. There has to be a weather event to hold people on this blog in the winter time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
54. Weather456
5:50 AM AST on December 19, 2007
GM,

Tropical Depression 05R/Tropical Cyclone 07S

0830 UTC DEC 19 2007

Pattern: A 1 degree CDO with an embedded curved band about 0.80 arc.

Current Intensity: CI 3.0

Adjustments: MET shows cyclone intensity at 3.5

Final CI: 3.0/3.5

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 3.0/3.5

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
53. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
7:14 AM GMT on December 19, 2007
Sub-Regional Specialized Meteorological Center - Mauritius

Tropical Cyclone Advisory #4
=============================

As of 0600 AM UTC, Tropical Depression [996 hPa] located near 14.0S 82.5E or 2,930 kms east-northeast of Reunion coast has 10 min sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts up to 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving southwest at 6 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

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

Forecast and Intensity
==========================
12 HRS: 14.7S 82.2E - 35 knots (Tempête Tropicale Moderée)
24 HRS: 15.7S 82.1E - 40 knots (Tempête Tropicale Moderée)

Additional Information
======================
The system exists within an environment favorable for gradually intensification. It should remain on the eastern part of the basin, and track globally southward then southeastward as it intensifies.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
52. sporteguy03
4:54 AM GMT on December 19, 2007
Wow Dr.Masters thank you for the Holiday Shopping update!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
51. Weather456
9:46 PM AST on December 18, 2007
no one is online so....see ya'll 2morrow.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
50. Weather456
9:33 PM AST on December 18, 2007
Tropical Depression 05R

0100 UTC DEC 19 2007

Pattern: Curved band pattern 0.675 arc in light gray

Current Intensity: CI 2.75

Adjustments: None

Final CI: CI 2.75

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
49. Weather456
9:26 PM AST on December 18, 2007
The CSC has moved under the central dense overcast.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
48. Weather456
9:24 PM AST on December 18, 2007
evening Baha....Some convection build to the intensity that created a similar process that forms an eye.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
47. BahaHurican
7:09 PM EST on December 18, 2007
Evening 456 and all,

U know that eye was the first thing I looked at on that microwave shot.

LOL
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22736
46. Weather456
7:34 PM AST on December 18, 2007
Tropical Depression 05R

1955 UTC DEC 18 2007

Pattern: Microwave data shed light on the location of the CSC and curved band pattern about 0.60 arc.

Current Intensity: 2.5

Adjustment: None

Past 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

Dont mind the "artificial" eye


Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
45. IKE
5:17 PM CST on December 18, 2007
North slope of Alaska in a deep freeze....

"Observed at: Nuiqsut, Alaska
Elevation: 36 ft
[Mostly Cloudy]
-38 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: 12 mph from the SSW
Pressure: 29.95 in (Falling)
Windchill: -65 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Mostly Cloudy 300 ft
(Above Ground Level)"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
44. CatastrophicDL
10:55 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
Thanks Storm and 456. When reading the Oceanic Nino Index, what level or figures constitute a weak or strong event? Thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
42. Weather456
5:40 PM AST on December 18, 2007
CDO Pattern clearly evdident...maybe an eye forming. I cannot assign a CI number based on CDO pattern until a visble shot is available. I dont see a shear pattern, curve band pattern, eye pattern or the embedded center pattern ( which requires CI greater than 3.0) so MET will most likely determine the estimated intensity.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
41. Weather456
5:26 PM AST on December 18, 2007
Extratropical Storm

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
40. airman45
9:05 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
Watching the North Atlantic off of the Spanish coast and it looks like some heavy circulation has formed. Haven't checked any forcast maps in the area but it looks like Spain could get caught up in quite a storm in the next day or two.

Yes, we are FINALLY getting some heavy rain here (Portugal). It has been extremely dry this winter and that leads to an intense fire season the following summer. Tomorrow expecting heavy rain and strong, gusty winds. Here is a link to the Portugal radar.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
39. Weather456
5:08 PM AST on December 18, 2007
i stand to be corrected
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
38. Weather456
5:06 PM AST on December 18, 2007
31. CatastrophicDL 4:07 PM AST on December 18, 2007
Thanks 456, so the information I have been reading about a La Nina year increasing the land fall potential for the CONUS is not accurate or am I reading your answer wrong?

Looking at historical trends which cycle is more of a threat for the US; neutral, El Nino or La Nina?


Neutral, just look at 2005 and 2004. 2006 was El Nino and 1995 was La Nina
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
37. NEwxguy
8:54 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
I agree Sflorida,usually its about the second week in January to the second week in February,on average
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
36. Sfloridacat5
8:35 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
January is the coldest month of the year for most locations in the U.S.

Here's Fort Myers Fl. Average Temps,

Fort Myers, Florida
Weather can't be forecast more than a week or so in advance, but weather averages are good indicators of what to expect any month.


Month Average high Average low Warmest on record Coldest on record Average dew point Average precipitation
JAN. 75 54 88 28 55 2.0
FEB. 76 54 92 30 55 2.2
MARCH 80 59 93 33 58 2.6
APRIL 85 62 96 39 61 1.7
MAY 89 68 99 50 66 3.6
JUNE 91 73 103 60 72 9.3
JULY 91 74 101 66 73 8.9
AUG. 92 75 100 65 74 8.9
SEPT. 90 74 96 63 73 8.2
OCT. 86 68 95 45 67 3.5
NOV. 80 61 95 34 61 1.4
DEC. 76 55 90 26 57 1.5

Most locations in the U.S. show a similar pattern with January being the coldest month on average.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
34. NEwxguy
8:16 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
also with the soltice,the angle of the sun plays a big part in temperature change,the sun angle really doesn't get very high until February,so even though the days are getting longer in January,the sun's angle is still pretty low.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
33. NEwxguy
8:08 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
Exactly it works the same way,theres a lag with the temps after the summer and winter soltices,which makes sense,there is so much air to warm or cool,it takes a long time to see the change,similar to the ocean temps.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
32. LakeShadow
8:09 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
So NE, same thing with solstices?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
31. CatastrophicDL
8:04 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
Thanks 456, so the information I have been reading about a La Nina year increasing the land fall potential for the CONUS is not accurate or am I reading your answer wrong?

Looking at historical trends which cycle is more of a threat for the US; neutral, El Nino or La Nina?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
30. Weather456
7:54 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
Here is part of the answer:

The probability of two or more hurricanes striking the U.S. in a neutral year is 46% or 2.2 times more likely that the El Nino or La Nina year.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
29. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
7:53 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
Eastern Australia may have a cyclone to watch for during the week of Christmas.








Member Since: Posts: Comments:
28. CatastrophicDL
7:52 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
Can someone answer my question in 25? Also is TS Leslie in 2000 the most costly TS for the US or was there another one with over $1 billion in damage? Thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
27. Weather456
7:42 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
Nice outflow channel

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

Viewing: 77 - 27

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.

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron