Extreme Weather: a book review

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 15. tammikuuta 2008 klo 14:39 (GMT)

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If you're looking for a U.S. and world weather record book, there is none finer than Chris Burt's Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book (Climate Change Edition). His fantastic new second edition comes complete with full weather records for over 300 U.S. cities, plus over 100 photos of some of the most beautiful and amazing weather events of all time. Also included are historical examples of bizarre weather events such as heat bursts, electrified dust storms, snow rollers, pink snowstorms, luminous tornadoes, falls of fish and toads, ball lightning, and super lightning bolts. My two favorite extreme weather stories are also included--the tale of the farmer in Kansas who watched as a tornado lifted off the ground and passed directly over him, and the story of the Marine Corps pilot who bailed out in the midst of a severe thunderstorm and lived to tell about it.

While the book focuses mostly on the U.S., there is a good amount of detail about weather extremes world-wide. Many of the book's 47 maps and 65 tables and graphs show where weather extremes occur world-wide. The graphics are clear, colorful, and easy to understand (with only one minor exception, a plot of storm surge heights from the 1970 Bangladesh cyclone that was very difficult to interpret). There were a few minor errors I caught, such as the use of the term "El Nina" instead of "La Nina", giving 1" hail as the criteria for a severe thunderstorm (it is 3/4" hail), and the table for the Saffir-Simpson Scale having a number 1 mph off for the definition of Category 5 storms. However, the author maintains a web site, extremeweatherguide.com, where one can report errors and new records that need to be added to the book for the next edition.

A few remarkable facts I learned from Extreme Weather:

Perhaps the most extraordinary rain event in world history occurred in the unlikely location of Smethport, Pennsylvania. An incredible 28.50" fell in just three hours during a July 18, 1942 thunderstorm. All told, 34.30" fell in a 12-hour period. No such rain intensity has been recorded anywhere in the world. The resulting floods stripped hillsides in the Smethport area to bare rock and killed 15 people.

An F5 tornado completely destroyed the Texas Panhandle town of Glazier on April 9, 1947, leaving only one damaged structure standing. The town was never rebuilt.

Twenty inches of snow fell on Houston, Texas February 14-15, 1895. Brownsville got six inches, and snow was reported all the way down to Tampico, Mexico--the southernmost fall of snow at sea level ever observed in the Western Hemisphere.

Climate change
The book bills itself as the "climate change edition", but there is very little information on climate change in the book. The discussion on heat waves brings up the role of climate change, and two pages in the introduction discuss if weather is becoming more extreme. Burt presents a nice analysis of the temperature and precipitation records for the U.S. to show that there has been a an increase in extreme heat and intense precipitation events since 1990. However, the decade of the 1930s had more temperature extremes than any other decade. The book's strength is its focus on extreme weather, and I'm pleased that Burt limits his discussion of climate change to just a few pages.

Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book is $15.57 from amazon.com. Four stars out of four.

Jeff Masters

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Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 253 - 203

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253. HIEXPRESS
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 22:46 (GMT)
New Blog
Member Since: 13.10.2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2155
252. Cavin Rawlins
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 20:06 (GMT)
Meanwhile, I can't understand why TD01W is still classified. It's had 15mph winds and been indiscernible on satellite for days yet they still track it. Why?

I think the JTWC has stop tracking it.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
251. Cavin Rawlins
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 20:03 (GMT)
LOL! A large self-destructing Palm Tree/My Hurricane Wilma Video

Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
249. Cavin Rawlins
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 19:38 (GMT)
In a remarkable loop, the old center of Funa decayed and a new one form. Link

Curve bands forming a 1.25 arc

Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
248. cchsweatherman
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 19:31 (GMT)
Watching the latest imagery, it looks like the convection has begun to wane, but there are two very discernable features of interest that I noted. It looks like small lows within the storm cluster.
img src="Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
246. Cavin Rawlins
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 19:14 (GMT)
good afternoon all
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
245. NEwxguy
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 19:05 (GMT)
P451,don't get too excited about the snowfall,not going to be too impressive.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
242. 1900hurricane
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 17:49 (GMT)
Long range radar loop out of Key West shows some potent rain approaching S. Florida.

Link
Member Since: 2.08.2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11556
241. cchsweatherman
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 17:18 (GMT)
Check out the impressive convective burst sitting of the Florida West Coast. It looks like there may be several vorticies within this thunderstorm cluster. Watch out for this South Florida.
img src="Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />

Photobucket
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
240. 1900hurricane
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 17:18 (GMT)
One more question. If it's a high, then why does it have the illusion of a front that is spiraling inward?
Member Since: 2.08.2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11556
238. 1900hurricane
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 17:03 (GMT)
What is that off the coast of California? I've never seen anything like it. Is it a strange High? Is it a low of some type? If it is, then why is is rotating the wrong way??? I'm confused...

WV loop of a strange thing
Member Since: 2.08.2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11556
237. vortfix
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 16:57 (GMT)
Photobucket
236. cchsweatherman
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 16:54 (GMT)
235. StormW 11:49 AM EST on January 17, 2008
233. cchsweatherman 11:41 AM EST on January 17, 2008
Good morning Storm! Have you seen the storms exploding in the GOM? I think that South Florida will get more rain than expected from this frontal system. What are your thoughts?


That's a good prob...depending on how fast it moves through. It's tapping some good moisture from the sub-tropical jet.


I've noticed that this frontal system has been tapping moisture from the Pacific and there is enough instability left to produce the supercells that I have seen develop in the GOM. It looks like Lake Okeechobee received around 2 inches this morning and I see much more coming.
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
234. vortfix
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 16:45 (GMT)
Well, I guess it would be safe to say that temps will be below normal....LOL!


Photobucket
233. cchsweatherman
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 16:41 (GMT)
Good morning Storm! Have you seen the storms exploding in the GOM? I think that South Florida will get more rain than expected from this frontal system. What are your thoughts?
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
231. weatherboyfsu
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 16:15 (GMT)
Good morning Peeps,

Check this forecast out and tell me what you think? Kind of funny,,,,,,,,,,


2 Miles NNE Gainesville FL
Enter Your "City, ST" or zip code
NWS Jacksonville, FL
Point Forecast: 2 Miles NNE Gainesville FL
29.69N -82.35W Cell Phone Weather Link: www.srh.noaa.gov/wml
Last Update: 10:25 am EST Jan 17, 2008
Forecast Valid: 12pm EST Jan 17, 2008-6pm EST Jan 23, 2008



Hazardous weather condition(s):


Hazardous Weather Outlook
Lake Wind Advisory


This Afternoon: A 40 percent chance of showers, mainly before 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 72. Breezy, with a southwest wind between 14 and 16 mph.

Tonight: Patchy fog after 1am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. West wind between 4 and 7 mph becoming calm.

Friday: A 50 percent chance of rain, mainly after 1pm. Patchy fog before 9am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 63. North wind between 3 and 7 mph.

Friday Night: Rain likely, with thunderstorms also possible after 1am. Patchy fog. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. East wind between 3 and 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm. Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 60. Breezy, with a calm wind becoming southwest between 14 and 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.


Member Since: 17.07.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
230. NEwxguy
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 16:13 (GMT)
Thanks for the analysis,storm,our football game up here on Sunday will be interesting,glad I'm watching it from my living room and not there.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
225. NEwxguy
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 15:27 (GMT)
I'll be watching for your analysis on the Saturday night storm, a few miles either side of the 40/70 benchmark,is going to be crucial.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
224. NorthxCakalaky
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 15:19 (GMT)
More snow forcasted as a front comes in Saturday night into Sunday for N.C. High temp forcast for Sunday is 33 with a low of 14.Cold!! Should be light snow though, with better chances the higher the elevaton,,Highest totals above 3500f.t and on the western slopes.
223. aspectre
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 15:18 (GMT)
Visit sunny Dubai, ArabianGulf playground of the internationally rich&famous

The usually sun-baked destination has been hit by torrential rain for the first time in living memory.
More rain and flooding is expected.

Four years ago, the UnitedArabEmirates received the first snow in history. In Dubai itself, a half inch (12millimetres) of light rain falling over a period of 24hours caused over 500 auto accidents.
Member Since: 21.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
221. NEwxguy
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 15:10 (GMT)
218. StormW 3:01 PM GMT on January 17, 2008
217. NEwxguy 9:57 AM EST on January 17, 2008
Morning Storm,I suspect Florida is going to get hit with this cold snap this weekend,don't you think?


Looks that way...GFSX MOS is calling for low 40's in my area on Sunday morning, but temps are supposed to recover by Tuesday.

Storm,this is the second artic outbreak this year,but the good thing is,they are brief,2 days usually.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
220. cchsweatherman
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 15:08 (GMT)
Take a look at the explosive thunderstorm cells out in the GOM. This activity is heading towards South Florida and does not look to slow down or weaken just yet.
img src="Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
219. NorthxCakalaky
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 15:03 (GMT)
Today Greensboro had freezing rain with thunder. My house up in the foothills got 4-5inches of snow.Now its just freezing rain accumalating on the trees.
WXII12,(news) had 550delays/closings to give,just for the counties they have to watch for. Schools here were closed here. Highest totals of snow were 6inches in the mountains and still snowing there.Ice is also effecting everyone else not getting snow.
217. NEwxguy
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 14:57 (GMT)
Morning Storm,I suspect Florida is going to get hit with this cold snap this weekend,don't you think?
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
215. NEwxguy
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 14:50 (GMT)
Good morning to all,another cold morning here in the northeast,but this is a heatwave compared to this coming Sunday and Monday
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
213. cchsweatherman
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 14:28 (GMT)
Great point Jedkins. Thanks for backing my ideas up. I never put high faith in the computer models; they're just a compliment to my forecasts.
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
212. Jedkins
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 14:13 (GMT)
151. Drakoen 9:30 PM GMT on January 16, 2008
141. cchsweatherman 8:42 PM GMT on January 16, 2008
Looks like the convective burst that we saw earlier on IR imagery may be coming back again as the line of showers and thunderstorms associated with the Gulf low and attached cold front has become quite organized and has shown signs of strengthening. I just don't see how these storms will completely fall apart before the front moves over Florida on Saturday.

Don't worry it will fall apart. Just as fast as it bursts it can wane too. Expect light to moderate precip for Florida.




I got 3 inches here, 5 hours straight of steady rain with quick busts of 2 to 3 inch per hour rain rates.


Mostly light rain in Florida huh? LOL Ive had the heaviest rain Ive seen this produce, I'm on the west coast of Florida.



Don't put faith in computers, thats all that needs to be said.

211. lawntonlookers
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 13:59 (GMT)
The frontal system going through the Gulf of Mexico looks like a steam engine. I have often wondered what it would look like if you were at the starting point of the plume of water vapor. Almost looks like a boiling kettle.
Member Since: 22.03.2006 Posts: 9 Comments: 1570
209. Drakoen
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 13:23 (GMT)
207. cchsweatherman 1:02 PM GMT on January 17, 2008
Question. Why is it that every time I post an image, my post always displays the HTML coding? It has been annoying me for quite some time.


check the code.Make sure you don't have stuff that shouldn't be there.
Member Since: 28.10.2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
208. NorthxCakalaky
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 13:14 (GMT)
4.5inches of snow and now it is light sleet.
207. cchsweatherman
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 13:02 (GMT)
Question. Why is it that every time I post an image, my post always displays the HTML coding? It has been annoying me for quite some time.
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
206. cchsweatherman
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 12:59 (GMT)
Good morning all. Looks like South Florida may indeed get some needed rainfall from this frontal system. There are some strong storms developing out in the GOM and moving towards South Florida.
img src="Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
205. Cavin Rawlins
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 10:30 (GMT)
Tropical Cyclone Funa Update 5

Issued 1000 UTC JAN 17 2008 by W456

Tropical cyclone Funa (10F/12P) has been upgraded to hurricane intensity. The cyclone is located near 15.2S-170.0E moving towards the east-southeast. Estimated surface winds are near 65 knots and pressure is estimated to be near 976 mb. Wind shear is below 5 knots.

Center fix was based on infrared imagery, microwave imagery, QuikSCAT and multiplatform satellite winds. Dvorak estimates earlier were CI 4.0 but current Dvorak numbers are hinting on CI 3.5 (probably because the system looks ragged in nature). The winds and pressure will correspond to CI 4.0 based on the possible eye feature. The maximum sustain winds extend outward 16 nmi. Satellite imagery showed a warming of the cloud canopy near the center indicating that Funa maybe forming an eye. In addition, a microwave overpass showed a possible eye feature. I was tempted to use the eye pattern for intensity estimates but that would just make it difficult as the feature is still poorly defined. Therefore, embedded center pattern was use. The cyclone is being well-ventilated by an upper level anticyclone which is allowing the warm-core to grow significantly. The warmer the core the more potential energy available to drive the winds. The cyclone is forecast to continue towards the southeast then recurve under the influence of the subtropical ridge. Some additional strengthening is possible as the forecast track takes the cyclone over an area of high ocean heat content.

By W456

JTWC Stats:
0600 UTC - 12P FUNA.65kts-974mb-155S-1690E


Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
204. NorthxCakalaky
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 10:10 (GMT)
3inches with moderate snow
203. Cavin Rawlins
17. tammikuuta 2008 klo 09:43 (GMT)
Funa is now at hurricane intensity

Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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