Monday, May 10, 2010

Warnings: A True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather

Some of you might have read on The Northeast Quadrant how I recently lost my entire reference library of weather novels and educational materials that once sat on the shelves of my bookcase. These materials were in storage in my parents basement in Edison, New Jersey when the March 2010 Daylight Savings Nor'easter flooded the region, their basement included. All my books were soaked, ruined, destroyed!

Well, now it's time to build that library back up! Lucky for me I came across an article about a new book by author Mike Smith, called
Warnings: A True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather. It tells the story of how the national storm warning system came to be and how it saves so many lives.

Did you know that absent the national warning system, the average death rate from tornadoes would be greater than 1,000 a year? Did you know that the tornado death rate has been cut by 95 percent as a result of the system?

promises to take readers on a fast-paced account of the biggest storms in recent years and how weather forecasting has developed into a true science since the 1950s. Part memoir, part science account, Smith's tale begins in the late 1940s, when weathermen were actually forbidden to broadcast tornado warnings. The National Weather Service (NWS), then known as the United States Weather Bureau, blocked storm forecasting for fear of getting it wrong.

Sounds to me like another fascinating journey inside the world of weather! I think I'll grab a copy this week!