Recognizing the appeal but emphasizing the difficulties, a veteran science writer offers a window into the world of scientists and lay enthusiasts who follow violent storms, particularly tornadoes.
Introducing his subject with a look at a day in the life of a storm chaser, Miller goes on to explore it in greater depth in an accessible, informative narrative. He explains how tornadoes are formed, discusses climate change and its probable connection to the increase in extreme weather events, describes the work of meteorologists and others who watch the weather (either officially or as part of the National Weather Service’s volunteer corps of recorders and spotters), and concludes by suggesting ways readers can prepare to become storm chasers themselves. He includes instructions for assembling a weather emergency kit and constructing homemade weather-watching instruments; the excellent suggestions for further reading and Internet research will be particularly useful for students. All this is packaged in a slim, attractively designed package in which the text is broken up by sidebars providing definitions, explanations and short bios as well as photographs and colorful diagrams. Pair with Joseph B. Treaster’s Hurricane Force (2007) or other titles about hurricane hunters for a broader vision of storm study in this country.
A serious look at a dangerous pursuit. (Nonfiction. 11-16)