Today’s List: Favorite Weather-Related Books

isaacs-storm.jpg

ISAAC’S STORM | Great stories of the elements

Growing up in Kansas, I got used to the fact that weather played played a significant role in everyday events. Many spring days I’d walk home from school under a clear blue sky and arrive home to find the familiar boxed “T” in the right-hand corner of the television screen – meaning our area was under a tornado watch, even though at the moment the weather was perfect. About an hour later the skies would be black and blue and roiling with clouds.

I’ve always been fascinated by atmospheric phenomena, and thus fascinated by books related to the subject. Here are my five favorites:

Isaac’s Storm | by Erik Larson
The definitive account of the 1900 Galveston hurricane, which baffled meterologists of the day (including Isaac Cline, who headed up the U. S. Weather Bureau – then in its infancy – in the city). Some researchers estimate that the story killed more than 10,000 people. It was Cline who suggested publicly that Galveston’s unique natural characteristics made it unlikely that a hurricane would ever do much damage to the city – and Cline whose warnings the residents failed to heed as the storm drew near.

The Children’s Blizzard | by David Laskin
A bright and fair day in January 1888 – coming on the heels of weeks of especially frigid temperatures – lulled thousands of people in the upper midwest to venturing out of doors to work or attend school without coats. Then a fast-moving cold front dropped temperatures 10, 20 and even 30 degrees in a matter of minutes. Laskin’s book tells the story of how many midwesterners, including scores of immigrants who knew little about weather patterns, were victimized by the blizzard, which in many ways was unprecedented in U. S. history.

Into Thin Air | by Jon Krakauer
The incredible story of the disaster on Mount Everest on May 1996 climb of the world’s highest mountain, and the surprise storm that caught scores of climbers unaware. Krakauer was among the climbers that day, writing about commercial expeditions of the mountain, when he was caught up in the story – and the disaster that took eight lives.

F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the 20th Century | by Mark Levin
The story of the April 1974 megastorm, which spawned some 150 tornadoes across the midwest. Six of those reached the “F5” category, bringing winds of more than 260 miles per hour. This book focuses primarily on the tornado and people of Limestone County, Alabama. It’s a fascinating account of a still little-understood phenomena and the incredible aftermath of a deadly tornado.

The Johnstown Flood | by David McCullough
A combination of nature and the hubris of the age brought about the flood of Johnston in the mountains of central Pennsylvania in May 1889. McCullough, one of our best historians, tells the tale of the ignored warnings of a man-made dam set high above Johnstown, and how whole villages downstream were swept away when it gave way.

Advertisements

3 Responses to Today’s List: Favorite Weather-Related Books

  1. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptToday’s List: Favorite Weather-Related Books October 8th, 2007 [ isaacs-storm.jpg] Growing up in Kansas, I got used to the fact that weather played played a significant role in everyday events. Many spring days I’d walk home from school under a clear blue sky and arrive home to find the familiar boxed “T” in the right-hand corner of the […]

  2. […] (Picture Books) wrote an interesting post today on Todayâs List: Favorite Weather-Related BooksHere’s a quick […]

  3. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: