Weather For Dummies

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John Wiley & Sons, Mar 21, 2011 - Science - 384 pages
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What’s going on up there when the rain falls, when the wind blows, when the clouds roll in and the lightning flashes? How do hurricanes arise and where to tornadoes come from? Why do seasonal conditions sometimes vary so much from one year to the next? Our ways of life, our very existences depend on knowing the answers to questions like these. Economies have been wiped out, civilizations have risen and fallen, entire species have come into being or gone extinct because of a temperature shift of just a few degrees, or a brief shortage or glut of rainfall. With so much riding on the weather, it makes you wonder how you’ve lived this long without knowing more about it.

Don’t worry it’s never too late to find out about what makes the weather tick.

And there’s never been an easier or more enjoyable way to learn than Weather For Dummies. In know time, you’ll know enough of weather basics to be able to:

  • Identify cloud types
  • Make sense of seasonal differences in the weather
  • Understand what causes hurricanes, tornadoes, and other extreme events
  • Make your own weather forecasts
  • Avoid danger during severe weather
  • Understand the global warming debate
  • Get a handle on smog, the greenhouse effect, El Niņo, and more

Award-winning science writer John D. Cox brings the science of meteorology down to earth and, with the help of dozens of cool maps and charts and stunning photographs of weather conditions, he covers a wide range of fascinating subjects, including:

  • What is weather and how it fits into the entire global ecosystem
  • What goes into making a professional daily weather forecast
  • The basic elements of weather, including air pressure, clouds, and humidity
  • Storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons, and other extreme forms of weather
  • Seasonal weather effects and why they vary
  • Lightening, rainbows, sundogs, haloes, and other special effects

Featuring clear explanations, stunning illustrations, and fun, easy experiments and activities you can do at home , Weather For Dummies is your guide to making sense of  the baffling turmoil of the ever-changing skies above.

 

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Contents

Storms of Winter
A storm is born
Working out the wrinkles
Catching the waves
Where They Come From
Where They Go
Name That Storm
Alberta Clipper

Take what is happening now
And add a little future
We Interrupt This Program
Water Water Everywhere
Agricultural forecasts
Marine forecasts
Fire forecasts
Temperature
Temperatures relative humidity
Heat index
Wind chill
Tools of the Trade
The instrument carriers
Doppler radar
Computers
How to Read a Weather Map
Chapter 2
Where the Armies Mass
Winter air masses
Summer air masses
News from the Fronts
Stationary fronts
Here Comes the Sun
Looking absolutely radiant
A contagious convection
The Big Picture
Long live the revolution
Spreading the beam
Tilting at the seasons
Spin of the day
Putting on Airs
How high the sky?
Chapter 3
Ocean to atmosphere
Atmosphere to surface
Surface to ocean
Forms of Precipitation
Rain
Snow
Hail
Rime
Dew
A grounded cloud
Weather and the Land
Airs rollercoaster ride
Weather and the Ocean
Part II
Chapter 4
A World of Wind and Pressure
That muggy Bermuda High
The winter lows
Bending the Winds
Heres the rub total friction
A perfectly straight curveball
The Winds Aloft
The Westerlies
The Jet Streams
Subtropical jet stream
A Scattering of Winds
Valley and mountain breezes
Asian monsoon
Haboobs
Chapter 5
The Heavy Lifting
Frontal assaults
A Question of Stability
Clouds by Class
High clouds
Middle clouds
Low clouds
Vertical clouds
Special clouds
Clouds of the stratosphere
Chapter 6
Climates of the World
What Makes Climates Different?
Climate and the Seasons
Its the ocean stupid
Pacific Body Parts
The Cold Tongue
El Niņo His Cool Sister and Their Kissing Cousins
The El Niņo look
La Niņa the contrary sister
The La Niņa look
Climates of the Past
Long warm ages
Short ice ages
Little ice age
A warming trend
Chapter 7
Breeding Grounds
Mysteries
Birth of a Hurricane
Disturbance to depression
Bad big weapons
Winds
Tornadoes
Signals of the Seasons
Cruisen for a Bruisen
Satellites
Coming Ashore But Where?
Tracking the track
In Harms Way
Barrier islands
Playing it safe
Hurricane Force
Part III
Chapter 8
Winters Official First Day
Its a Temperature Thing
Coast to Coast
Chattanooga Choochoo
Pineapple Express
Panhandle Hook
Blizzards
Life and Limb
Cold weather exposure
Caught in a car
Chapter 9
When Has Spring Sprung?
Thunderstorms
How exactly severe?
Shapes and sizes
Supercell
Hail the Size of Hailstones
Flash Floods
Rumbles and claps
Lightning safety tips
Downbursts
Really Twisted Winds
Tornado Alley
Forecasting
Lives and Limbs
A watch or a warning?
Chapter 10
Good Ol Summer Timing
Coast to Coast
Avoiding That Radiant Feeling
The Heat Is On
Heatwaves
Stranded on crowded islands
Out of Whack
When It Rains Too Much
When It Rains Too Little
Chapter 11
Falling Highs and Lows
Coast to Coast
Indian Summer
In the Fogs
Fires of the Wild West
Part IV
Chapter 12
Polluting the Air
The short and long of it
Getting the drift
Acid rain
The Hole in the Sky
The ozoneeaters
On the mend?
The Big Warm
On the natural
On the unnatural
The global warming picture
The global warming debate
The heat is on
A splash of cold water
Wild and crazy
Chapter 13
Seeing the Light
In Living Color
Reflecting on Clouds
Blue Haze
Sunbeams
The Green Flash
Haloes
Sun Dogs
Coronas
Mirages
Superior mirage
Chapter 14
Galileo and the Boys
Torricellis barometer
George did it
Tom did it
Watching Your Weather
Going instrumental
Going digital
Making rainbows
Bending light by refraction
Bending light by diffraction
Testing the pressure
Cloud in a can
Part V
Chapter 15
The Galveston Hurricane
Hurricane Camille
El Niņo Episodes
Superstorm March 1993
The Great Okeechobee Flood and Hurricane of 1928
New England Blizzard 1978
Chapter 16
Droughts
China
China
Europe
Chapter 17
Dogs
Birds
Squirrels
Fish
Chapter 18
Clear Moon Frost Soon
Rainbow in the Morning
A Year of Snow a Year of Plenty
Appendix
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
University of Michigan Weather
Meteorology FAQ
Intellicast
Email List
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

John D. Cox is a professional science writer. He studied biological and physical sciences at Harvard and MIT as a fellow of Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program at MIT.

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