Tornado Alley: Monster Storms of the Great Plains

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Oxford University Press, 2006 - Nature - 180 pages
2 Reviews
Tornadoes are the most violent, magnificent, and utterly unpredictable storms on earth, reaching estimated wind speeds of 300 mph and leaving swaths of destruction in their wake. In Tornado Alley, Howard Bluestein draws on two decades of experience chasing and photographing tornadoes across the Plains to present a fascinating historical account of the study of tornadoes and the great thunderstorms that spawn them.
A century ago, tornado warnings were so unreliable that they usually went unreported. Today, despite cutting-edge Doppler radar technology and computer simulation, these storms remain remarkably difficult to study. Leading scientists still conduct much of their research from the inside of a speeding truck, and often contend with jammed cameras, flash floods, and windshields smashed by hailstones and flying debris. Using over a hundred diagrams, models, and his own spectacular color photographs, Bluestein documents the exhilaration of hair-raising encounters with as many as nine tornadoes in one day, as well as the crushing disappointment of failed expeditions and ruined equipment. Most of all, he recreates the sense of beauty, mystery, and power felt by the scientists who risk their lives to study violent storms.
For scientists, amateur weather enthusiasts, or anyone who's ever been intrigued or terrified by a darkening sky, Tornado Alley provides not only a history of tornado research but a vivid look into the origin and effects of nature's most dramatic phenomena.
  

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Tornado alley: monster storms of the Great Plains

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, Bluestein lives in the heart of Tornado Alley, an area extending from northern Texas to central Nebraska that claims the highest reported rate ... Read full review

Review: Tornado Alley: Monster Storms of the Great Plains

User Review  - pianogal - Goodreads

Parts of this one were really good, but parts of it were slow and over my head. Bluestein got very into his radars and how they work and why we should care. Come on - I just want you to tell me about ... Read full review

Contents

The Frontier Overhead
1
Catching Real Storms
35
Numerical Simulations Come of Age
64
Storm Chasing and Doppler Radar in Major Field Programs
80
The Importance of Portability
105
The State of the Art
132
Where We Are Headed
154
The Dynamic Pressure
163
The Effects of Momentum Transport by an Updraft in a Sheared Environment
165
Other Resources
167
References
169
Index
176
Copyright

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About the author (2006)


Howard Bluestein is a Professor and a George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and is frequently a visiting scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and his cloud photographs have appeared worldwide in magazines, books, calendars, and museums.

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