Book Reviews

Book Review: The Discovery of Weather.

Weather in North America changes frequently, and yet it is surprising that few books have been written since scientific forecasting and publishing started.

Human beings have attempted to forecast for millennia, but scientifically, only since mid 19th century fist with a few English scientists, Samuel Morse (inventor of telegraph), and Joseph Henry began to post a daily weather map at the Smithsonian Institution.

Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy, which occurs in troposphere just below the stratosphere.

Climate refers atmospheric conditions over longer periods.

Common weather phenomena are – wind, cloud, rain, snow, fog, dust- or sand storms.

This book explains in detail how all weather phenomena occur, and how amateurs and scientists with the help peripheral sciences started a branch now called meteorology.

While the first half of the book explains the evolution of forecasting, the second deals with the Saxby gale of 1869.

It is fascinating to read how much misery it afflicted, and a similar phenomenon, may be even stronger can occur in the future.

The author shines in his retelling how the storm strengthened as it moved north to Canada, and how on October 4, 1869, the combination of a pergiean spring tide in the Bay of Fundy produced an incredible destructive storm surge.

Today, weather forecasting, at least in developed countries, has become an important part of daily life, widely published and broadcast on radio and TV, and in print by professional meteorologists.

This is an invaluable book for all those who want to know how hurricanes develop and gain or lose strength and whet these phenomena occur.

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