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Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather    by Mike Smith order for
by Mike Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Greenleaf, 2010 (2010)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Meteorologist Mike Smith explains how weather science has improved in recent decades to the point where thousands of lives have been saved and billions of dollars in damages have been avoided by savvy meteorologists.

'Meteorology took its first tentative steps at tornado and hurricane warnings a little more than fifty years ago,' writes Smith. 'From that inauspicious beginning involving spare World War II leftovers we have developed an effective and highly cost-effective system that saves lives, and dollars, nearly every week.'

This informative and very entertaining narrative investigates some of the country's most devastating storms over the past fifty years. In looking to the past, the author shows the effort that went into eventually creating the national severe weather warning system.

It may come as a shock to many people, but as recently as the 1950s the word tornado was banned from Weather Bureau forecasts, and development of what would have been life saving early tornado forecasting programs were terminated.

Fortunately, a group of courageous and determined meteorologists were able to reverse the ridiculous ban and push forward with the research that resulted in the creation of the warning systems that now exist and have saved thousands of lives.

Mike Smith lived through this tumultuous period and his first hand knowledge of what was happening makes this a resource to be taken seriously. One of the United States first storm chasers, Smith is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. He also founded the Weather Data Services.

If you live in an area where severe weather occurs on a regular basis or are just interested in meteorology, this is a book I think you'll find worth reading.

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