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The Tornado: Nature’s Ultimate Windstorm [Paperback]

Thomas P. Grazulis

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Book Description

April 1 2003
Tornadoes occur everywhere in the United States, and each region of the nation has its own tornado season. Tornadoes have crossed mountains. Some have lasted more than an hour, scouring the earth with 250 mile-per-hour winds, and some have carried automobiles a half-mile and leveled sturdy homes. In The Tornado: Nature’s Ultimate Windstorm, Thomas P. Grazulis re-creates the incredible drama that so often accompanies tornadoes, and he provides detailed meteorological and statistical information about these marvels—and terrors—of nature.
How often does a tornado hit a particular location? How fast are its winds? Do tornadoes really seek out trailer parks? How many tornadoes hit the United States every year? How big can tornadoes get? Grazulis addresses all these questions and more in this book about one of the most destructive forces, and fascinating scientific puzzles, on the planet.

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Product Description


“Nobody covers the history of tornadoes as well as Tom Grazulis. This book is a ‘must have’ for all meteorologists and tornado enthusiasts.”—Daniel McCarthyBulletin of the American Meteorological Society

“The foremost living expert on tornado observations . . . Grazulis enjoys a good tale but really lives for the telling statistic. . . . [Readers] will admire the author’s passion for getting the facts right.”—J.A. KnoxChoice

I strongly urge everyone living in tornado-prone areas to read this book. It might save your life!” —Keith C. HeidornCanadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Bulletin

About the Author

Thomas P. Grazulis is Director of the Tornado Project and Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
On May 25, 1932, on a northwestern Kansas farm just south of the Nebraska border, John Newport looked to the west and saw storm clouds building. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read and packed with understandable info Aug. 9 2006
By J. Knox - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I wanted a book for by granddaughter who is 10 and who had expressed an interested in tornadoes. It was, perhaps, a little above her level, however it can be read in parts. I ended up reading the entire thing before I could let go of it to send it on. Puts the tornado,the incidence of seeing one, and the likelihood of experiencing damage all into perspective. Knocks down the myths of tornadoes, when, where and what they strike. A must for any library on meteorology. Sufficient statistics and hard science to satisfy even the already knowledgeable storm chaser.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Geg 105 Review May 10 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The Tornado: Nature's Ultimate Windstorm by Thomas P. Grazulis is an easy to read book that discusses and analyzes almost every aspect of tornadoes. The book covers all the basics about tornadoes, including the highly complicated process of tornado formation, forecasting, historical aspects of tornadoes, as well as major tornadic events of the past, safety, climatology/frequency, international frequency and major events, the Fujita scale, myths and storm chasing. He introduces most chapters with stories of past tornadoes, which adds interest to a potentially uninteresting subject. He clearly states the facts about tornadoes and doesn't sensationalize any aspect of them. Grazulis uses only the facts to inform the reader, and he disproves many tornado myths along the way.
This book is a comprehensive, easy to understand guide about tornadoes, accessible even to the non-scientist! Grazulis is clearly well researched, as he shares his abundant knowledge and passion for tornadoes throughout the book. While the illustrations are limited, the overall content of the book manages to cover all bases of the tornado phenomenon.
5.0 out of 5 stars Scared of tornado? April 30 2014
By Trisha Bennett - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I had family coming to visit they were scared of being in tornado so I sent book. Having this information made it not so scary for them even though I'm still scared.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Book on Tornadoes Nov. 27 2012
By Debra Deem - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
There are several tornado books on the market, and for a person interested in the subject, it can be hard to know where to start. In my opinion, if you were to get just one book on tornadoes, this would have to be it. It covers almost every facet of the subject of tornadoes. To show this, I will list the chapter names here.
I: Tornadoes Past and Present
II: In The Wake of a Tornado
III: Tornado Life Cycle
IV: Tornado Formation
V: Tornado Forecasting and Warnings
VI:Tornado Wind Speeds
VII: The Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity
VIII: Tornado Myths
IX: Tornado Safety
X: Approaching the Unapproachable
XI: Tornado Numbers and Records
XII: Tornadoes by Decade
XIII: Tornadoes Outside the United States
XIV: Tornado Risks
XV: Final Thoughts
Sound comprehensive to you? Well, it is. In his book, Mr. Grazulis not only gives accurate scientific information about the subject, but he cites his sources for almost everything and even gives recommendations for learning more about tornadoes in the back. At the same time, he does not politicize the subject like so many other meteorology books do. Whether you are a student of meteorology, a person living in tornado alley, or just someone interested in nature's ultimate windstorm, this is the definitive book on tornadoes.
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven discussion on tough topic July 3 2011
By Brett A. Fishwild - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Tornado science is tough, and still very much growing. So it must be difficult to compile an overall book on the topic, as opposed to just describing the aftermath. A search on Amazon will not reveal many books, and very few reviews for the ones you do find. If you are looking for a good technical discussion on how tornadoes form, their internal structure, and how they move - you likely need to focus more on an internet search or through industry/academic journals. Why? Simply because we don't know enough yet.

This book includes some gripping and interesting descriptions of tornado strikes and their effects, but, not to be callous, but they get repetitive after a while. I am saying this as someone looking for how tornadoes work though - so take that with a grain of salt. There are several sections of the text that deal with what we know about tornado mechanics, data from significant strikes, and questions on how to move the science forward. We just can't write about what we don't know. Why the 3 stars then? It was the overall delivery of the book. My opinion, I just found it choppy. Some sections tried to get technical, but without good setup or definitions or graphics and I felt lost. Other sections seems very simplistic. It was a bit of a slog at times, to get through it.

If you know nothing at all about tornadoes, I would recommend this at a Used Book price. There are some neat things in there. I do look forward to another book by the author on the matter in the future though!

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