Author: Nancy Mathis
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2008-03-04
An account of the May 1999 tornado outbreak in Oklahoma describes the particular devastation wrought by an F5 twister whose winds were the fastest ever recorded, drawing on first-person interviews to recount the experiences of its victims, from a woman who sought shelter underneath a highway overpass to a meteorologist who saved hundreds of lives with his warning reports. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
In 2013, one of the worst tornados on record landed a direct hit on the small town of Moore, Oklahoma, destroying a primary school as children cowered inside. Oklahoma native Holly Bailey grew up dreaming of becoming a storm chaser. Instead, she became Newsweek's youngest ever White House correspondent. When Moore was hit, Bailey went back as a journalist and a hometown girl, speaking to those most affected by the tornado. In The Mercy of the Sky is the dramatic, page-turning story about a town that must survive the elements - or die.
Author: Stefan Bechtel
Publisher: National Geographic Books
Release Date: 2009
Recounting his twenty-year career as a storm chaser, the author reviews the pioneering work of the first storm scientists and discusses his own work analyzing tornadoes and inventing a special probe able to measure wind velocity inside a storm's core.
Author: Brantley Hargrove
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2018-04-03
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
“An instant classic of Americana—a story of tragedy, invention, lore, science, and a most original kind of genius.” —Hampton Sides “Masterful. This is what man versus nature is all about.” —Skip Hollandsworth The Man Who Caught the Storm is the saga of the greatest tornado chaser who ever lived: a tale of obsession and daring, and an extraordinary account of humanity’s high-stakes race to understand nature’s fiercest phenomenon. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the tornado was one of the last true mysteries of the modern world. It was a monster that ravaged the American heartland a thousand times each year, yet science’s every effort to divine its inner workings had ended in failure. Researchers all but gave up, until the arrival of an outsider. In a field of PhDs, Tim Samaras didn’t attend a day of college in his life. He chased storms with brilliant tools of his own invention and pushed closer to the tornado than anyone else ever dared. When he achieved what meteorologists had deemed impossible, it was as if he had snatched the fire of the gods. Yet even as he transformed the field, Samaras kept on pushing. As his ambitions grew, so did the risks. And when he finally met his match—in a faceoff against the largest tornado ever recorded—it upended everything he thought he knew. Brantley Hargrove delivers a masterful tale, chronicling the life of Tim Samaras in all its triumph and tragedy. He takes readers inside the thrill of the chase, the captivating science of tornadoes, and the remarkable character of a man who walked the line between life and death in pursuit of knowledge. Following the tradition of Into Thin Air and The Perfect Storm, Hargrove’s debut offers an unforgettable exploration of obsession and the extremes of the natural world.
Eighty-one seconds. That's all the time it took a diabolical tornado to crash through Pilger, Nebraska, on June 16, 2014, destroying more than 40 percent of its homes plus its business district. Eighty-one seconds. That's all the time it took for a tornado to destroy farms of the same size on the same day throughout the countryside near Stanton, Pilger, Wisner and Wakefield, Nebraska. Four tornadoes, intent on destruction, were even more infamous that day because two were twins, spawned simultaneously from the same supercell. One charged through Pilger and its sister dropped down to begin its rampage just east of the community. Eighty-one Seconds: The Attack and Aftermath as Tornadoes Hit Pilger, Stanton, Wakefield and Wisner, Nebraska, gives first-hand accounts of the direct hits and near misses of June 16th, along with the aftermath to follow. With information derived from more than 200 interviews with victims, rescuers and volunteers in hand, you'll see the kind of havoc four tornadoes can produce in 81 swift-but eternal-seconds of time.
Author: Geoff Williams
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release Date: 2013-02-05
The true story of a catastrophic weather event that will “interest readers who enjoyed Erik Larson’s Isaac’s Storm” (Booklist). This is the incredible account of a flood of near-Biblical proportions in early twentieth-century America—its destruction, its heroes, its victims, and how it shaped natural-disaster policies in the United States for the next hundred years. The storm began March 23, 1913, with a series of tornadoes that killed 150 people and injured 400. Then the freezing rains started and the flooding began. It continued for days. Some people drowned in their attics, others on the roads when they tried to flee. It was the nation’s most widespread flood ever—more than 700 people died, hundreds of thousands of houses and buildings were destroyed, and millions were left homeless. The destruction extended far beyond the Ohio Valley to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and Vermont—fourteen states in all, and every major and minor river east of the Mississippi. In the aftermath, flaws in America’s natural disaster response system were exposed, much as they would be nearly a century later in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. People demanded change. Laws were passed, and dams were built. Teams of experts vowed to develop flood control techniques for the region and stop flooding for good. So far, those efforts have succeeded—it is estimated that in the Miami Valley alone, nearly two thousand floods have been prevented, and the same methods have been used as a model for flood control nationwide and around the world. This suspenseful historical tale of a dramatic yet little-remembered disaster “weaves tragic and heroic stories of people in the various affected states into an almost hour-by-hour account of the deadly storm” (Booklist).
An eye-of-the-hurricane view of storm chasing from the star of the Discovery Channel hit series Storm Chasers. Only one in ten chases actually intercept a tornado-unless you're Reed Timmer. The thrill-seeking meteorologist and star of Storm Chasers has followed and faced down more violent tornadoes than anyone. Into the Storm brings readers into the mind of this man and his mission-collecting data that could save lives-in the terrifying, awe-inspiring world of big weather. Into the Storm is also a fascinating look at the science of weather-what causes extreme conditions, its connection to climate change, and how a tornado gets its stovepipe structure.
Author: Joseph B. Healy
Release Date: 2017-08-01
The story of the USS Indianapolis is well-known. After delivering crucial components of the atomic bomb that would level Hiroshima in 1945, the Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese submarine in the South China Sea. Of the nearly 1,200 men aboard, 900 survived the torpedoing, spilling into the sea. White tip sharks began attacking the next morning and after four days only 300 sailors were alive to rescue. Less famous are the many stories of ships sinking in shark-infested waters with gruesome results. Such as the Cape San Juan, a US troop transport ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Pacific Ocean near the Fiji Islands; nearly 700 of the survivors were killed by sharks. Or the HMS Birkenhead, which sunk off Danger Point, South Africa, in 1852, resulting in 440 shark-related fatalities. In 1927, the luxury Italian cruise liner Principessa Maldafa sank ninety miles off the coast of Albrohos Island while heading to Porto Seguro, Brazil. Nearly 300 who survived the wreck were killed by sharks. In 1909, the French steamer La Seyne collided with British India Steamship Co. liner Onda near Singapore, twenty-six miles from land. One hundred and one people were eventually killed by sharks. In the water, human intelligence is no match for a shark’s brutal, destructive instincts. Sharks are born to kill and eat: They detect distress, smell blood—and attack. Marine disasters such as those above result in humans becoming prey, floating in inner space as shadowy sharks swim below, ready to attack. Helpless to save yourself—floating and waiting, watching the malevolent creatures circle, knowing what will happen . . . a sudden swirl of water, a cloud of blood, the searing pain . . . until there is no more. This is unspeakable horror
Author: Kathryn Miles
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-01-14
The story of an infant born at sea highlights the efforts of crewpeople and passengers to secure the survival of Irish citizens fleeing from the potato famine through acts of heroism and human decency.
The first complete moment-by-moment account of the largest Atlantic storm system ever recorded—a hurricane like no other The sky was lit by a full moon on October 29, 2012, but nobody on the eastern seaboard of the United States could see it. Everything had been consumed by cloud. The storm’s immensity caught the attention of scientists on the International Space Station. Even from there, it seemed almost limitless: 1.8 million square feet of tightly coiled bands so huge they filled the windows of the Station. It was the largest storm anyone had ever seen. Initially a tropical storm, Sandy had grown into a hybrid monster. It charged across open ocean, picking up strength with every step, baffling meteorologists and scientists, officials and emergency managers, even the traditional maritime wisdom of sailors and seamen: What exactly was this thing? By the time anyone decided, it was too late. And then the storm made landfall. Sandy was not just enormous, it was also unprecedented. As a result, the entire nation was left flat-footed. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration couldn’t issue reliable warnings; the Coast Guard didn’t know what to do. In Superstorm, journalist Kathryn Miles takes readers inside the maelstrom, detailing the stories of dedicated professionals at the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service. The characters include a forecaster who risked his job to sound the alarm in New Jersey, the crew of the ill-fated tall ship Bounty, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Christie, and countless coastal residents whose homes—and lives—were torn apart and then left to wonder . . . When is the next superstorm coming?
Can a single explosion change the course of history? An eruption at the end of the 18th century led to years of climate change while igniting famine, disease, even perhaps revolution. Laki is one of Iceland's most fearsome volcanoes. Its eruption in 1783 is one of history's great, untold natural disasters. Spewing out sun-blocking ash and then a poisonous fog for eight long months, the effects of the eruption lingered across the world for years. It caused the deaths of people as far away as the Nile and created catastrophic conditions throughout Europe. Island on Fire is the story not only of a single eruption but the people whose lives it changed, the dawn of modern volcanology, as well as the history--and potential--of other super-volcanoes like Laki around the world. And perhaps most pertinently, in the wake of the eruption of another Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, which closed European air space in 2010, acclaimed science writers Witze and Kanipe look at what might transpire should Laki erupt again in our lifetime.
Author: B. Lynn Ingram
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2013-08-01
The West without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over twenty millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Looking at the region’s current water crisis from the perspective of its climate history, the authors ask the central question of what is "normal" climate for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future. The West without Water merges climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources as it introduces readers to key discoveries in cracking the secrets of the region’s climatic past. It demonstrates that extended droughts and catastrophic floods have plagued the West with regularity over the past two millennia and recounts the most disastrous flood in the history of California and the West, which occurred in 1861–62. The authors show that, while the West may have temporarily buffered itself from such harsh climatic swings by creating artificial environments and human landscapes, our modern civilization may be ill-prepared for the future climate changes that are predicted to beset the region. They warn that it is time to face the realities of the past and prepare for a future in which fresh water may be less reliable.