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The Tornado: Natures Ultimate Windstorm Paperback – Apr 1 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
What causes tornadoes? How accurately can they be predicted? How large can they grow? The University of Oklahoma Press indulges the curiosity of those fascinated by these whirling scourges in two books. In The Tornado: Nature's Ultimate Windstorm, meteorologist Thomas P. Grazulis authoritatively conveys the science and thrill of tornadoes. His stories of "storm-chasing" and stats about "Individual Tornadoes Causing $200 Million or More in 1999 Inflation-Adjusted Damage" lend weight and immediacy to his accessible book.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"The Tornado" covers all the basics about tornadoes, like the highly complicated (and still enigmatic) process of tornado formation, forecasting, historical aspects of tornadoes -- as well as major tornadic events of the past, safety, climatology/frequncy, international frequency and major events, the Fujita scale, myths (more than you might think), and a pleasingly non-sensational chapter on storm chasing.
The text is never too complicated, and even the more technical points are easy to understand. The fact that the book is up-to-date is also a plus, as is the scope of the book's coverage. It's also somewhat more relevant to an American audience than Arjen and Jerrine Verkaik's "Under the Whirlwind," which -- though good, and including some of what this book covers -- was written with a Canadian audience in mind. (In which case Canadian readers are advised to read that book before this.)
About the only real minus is that there are limited illustrations, and those in the book are black and white. This text accompanied with more -- and color -- illustrations might have been more useful, although in moderation so as not to draw attention away from the text; at any rate a section of color plates would have been a nice addition.
That aside, this is a terrific guide to all things relevant (or even just the stuff you might have thought of once!) to tornadoes.
Grazulis leads us down the path of tornado history making stops along the way to point out interesting facts. The reader is given stories of survival as well as tragedy. We even get a story about the one of the 18th century's most famous scientists chasing on horseback after what may or may not have been a tornado. I can just see Ben Franklin charging down the road in hot pursuit. Grazulis also spends some time trashing some tornado myths and giving some safety tips. There is also a very interesting chapter on tornadoes in other countries. I have even begun to understand what straight line winds and downbursts are because of this book.
Best of all the reader will be treated to an inside look at the progress science has made in understanding and predicting tornadoes. The new equipment, the new ideas, and the ever present danger of trying to get too close to a tornado to study it. Science has come a long way since early April, 1974 when forecasters all over the eastern U.S. watched the "Super Outbreak" on surplus World War II radar.
No matter if you are a weather junkie or are just in awe of the power of nature I feel sure you will find this to be an interesting read.
.... While Grazulis does on occasion refer to himself, it is not excessive and provides his own view of events and personalities in the field.
My only disagreement with Grazulis is his soft-pedaling of the state of government funding into severe storm research and warning systems. While he comments mildly that the government just can't fund everything (which of course is true), I would observe that there always seems to be money for congressional porkbarrel, like the mysterious ordering every year of C-130 aircraft that the Air Force didn't want but which were built in a certain well-known former House Speaker's district at the same time that Weather Service offices were being closed and research money drying up.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in tornadoes and wishing to learn more about the subject. Read morePublished on Nov. 29 2002 by Donald Giuliano
In 1953, the University of Oklahoma Press launched its biggest seller to date with "Tornadoes of the United States" by Snowden D. Flora. Read morePublished on June 6 2001 by Roger Edwards
Many readers in Oklahoma know the scenario all to well. Typically the spring or summer day begins warm and clear with a sometimes hazy blue tint to the sky shimmering with... Read morePublished on May 21 2001 by Charles M. Nobles
Thomas P. Grazulis has obviously dedicated a good part of his life to studying Tornadoes. This book has "labor of love" written many times over between its pages. Read morePublished on May 2 2001 by Brian D. Rubendall
This book is an excellent introduction into the whole phenomenon of tornadoes. Grazulis presents an extremely well-written and researched work which is a superb primer for anyone... Read morePublished on April 19 2001 by Sean L. Richardson
Out of all the books on tornadoes, and severe weather, this is the most comprehensive book on tornadoes to date. T.P. Read morePublished on April 6 2001
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