The Complete Idiot's Guide to Weather

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Overview

You're no idiot, of course. The daily forecast is your favorite part of the news, and you love watching storms and tracking hurricanes. But when you try to make sense of the mysteries of weather, you feel like you're stuck in a downpour without an umbrella ... Here's your shelter from the storm! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Weather, Second Edition, will help you ride the wind with essential information on all kinds of weather phenomenons.
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Overview

You're no idiot, of course. The daily forecast is your favorite part of the news, and you love watching storms and tracking hurricanes. But when you try to make sense of the mysteries of weather, you feel like you're stuck in a downpour without an umbrella ... Here's your shelter from the storm! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Weather, Second Edition, will help you ride the wind with essential information on all kinds of weather phenomenons.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028643410
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Table of Contents

Part 1 What Is This Thing Called Weather? 1
1 What Should I Wear? 3
Your Fifty-Year Forecast 3
How Did He Do That? 4
Playing the Odds 5
Getting Down to Basics 6
Forecasting from the Beginning 10
Going for the Gold 12
2 Partly to Mostly Cloudy 13
Moisture and Humidity 13
In the Clouds 19
Ten Major Cloud Types 22
Clouds with Vertical Development 25
Forecasting by Clouds 26
3 Bring on the Rain 29
Droplet to Drop ... How Rain Happens 30
Let's See What Sticks 30
Ice to the Rescue 31
Is There Enough Ice? 31
Types of Precipitation 32
Fooling the Clouds 34
So Why Does It Rain? 37
Those Ups and Downs 38
4 Going in Circles 41
Storms 'R' Us 42
Feeling the Pressure 42
Origin of Pressure 44
Normal Variation 45
High Points and Low 47
What Makes the Weather Go 'Round 49
What's in a Name? 51
Scales of Motion 52
Is It Getting Worse? The Naughty 1990s and Beyond 55
5 There's No Place Like Home 57
Thunderstorms 57
Avoid the Ash 62
Doing the Twist 63
The Chase 66
Staying Safe in a Storm 67
6 On Another Front 69
Mass Appeal 69
Putting Up a Front 76
Front Row 76
Frontal Attack 79
Storms on the Front 82
Telling What's Next 85
7 Hurricanes: The Greatest Storms on Earth 89
It's Different in the Tropics 90
How It Happens 91
The Name Game 94
Hurricane Forecasting 95
The Triple Threat 96
Another Big One Coming? 99
Taming the Tiger 100
8 Blowing Cold and Hot: The Big Ones 103
Winter Gone South 104
Big-City Snows 104
Storm of the Century? 105
The Greatest One of All 107
Modern Winter of Deep Snows 110
Galveston Storm Surge 110
The Great New England Hurricane 111
The Fabulous 1950s and Super 1960s 111
Camille 113
Of Agnes, Gloria, and Hugo 113
The Perfect Storm? 114
The Amazing Andrew 115
And the Stormathon Goes On 116
9 El Nino: The Grown-Up Child 119
New Kid on the Block? 119
The Connection Between the Sea and the Atmosphere 120
Here Comes the Kid 123
Child's Play 124
Global Weather Extremes 125
La Nina: The Kid's Sister 128
What's Next? 130
Part 2 The Weather and Us 131
10 Warning: Breathing Can Be Hazardous to Your Health 133
Weather and Health 134
My Aching Back 135
If You Can't Stand the Heat 135
Catching the Common Cold 137
Those Nasty Allergies 139
SAD and Other Moods 141
11 Air Pollution 143
The Main Players 143
Here's the Dirt 144
Pollution Emissions 145
It's a Gas 147
A Silent Killer 149
Out of the Blue--Nitrogen Oxides 152
VOCs 153
Photochemical Smog 154
12 Control of Pollution 159
Politics of Control 159
The Regulations 160
How Are We Doing? 162
Engineering Techniques 164
The Infernal Combustion Engine 166
Weathering the Pollution 167
Economics of Control--Can We Afford It? 170
13 Ozone: The Good and the Bad 171
Old Sol 172
Atmospheric Structure 174
The Good Ozone 176
Ozone Hole--Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? 177
Changes in Ozone 179
Part 3 Climate and Global Change 181
14 Well Seasoned 183
The Earth in Motion 183
The Seasons 185
Sun Matters 188
Balancing the Global Heat Budget 191
Local Heat Budgets 191
15 Staying in Circulation 197
What Do We See--on the Average? 198
The Doldrums 199
The Horse Latitudes 199
Polar Front 200
What Sets Up the Global Pattern? 201
Ocean Circulations 206
16 Climatology 209
Guess This Climate 209
Now Try to Guess This Climate, Too 210
Can You Name Continent X? 213
Climate Classification 214
Mapping It All Out 217
Going to Extremes 218
17 Are You Planning to Move? 221
Economics of Relocation 222
Climates of Selected Areas 226
18 Climates Are Made to Be Broken 235
Aging with a Glow 236
It's a Very Old Earth 239
Evidence of Climate Change 240
The Last Two Million Years 241
The Last 500,000 Years 242
Climate of the Last 3,000 Years 243
The Climate of the Twentieth Century 245
19 Making the Change Happen 247
What's the Problem with Understanding Climate Change? 247
Plate Tectonics: Get My Drift? 248
Changes in Earth's Orbit 250
Changes in Solar Output 253
Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect 258
20 The Greenhouse Wars 263
The Players 263
Kyoto Protocol 264
Have We Really Warmed? 265
So Where Are We Going? 269
What If We Really Do Warm Up? 271
So What Should We Do? 274
Part 4 Now for the Real Forecast 277
21 Measuring the Atmosphere 279
The Take on Temperature 279
Is the Pressure Getting to You? 283
The Wind in the Willows 284
It's Not the Heat, It's the Humidity 286
Measuring the Rain 288
Placing the Instruments 289
Upper-Air Observations 290
Putting the Data Together 291
22 Radar and Satellites 293
Radar--Scanning the Skies 293
Doppler--the New Generation 296
Satellites--a Far-Out Look 298
The Modern Era 301
Putting It All Together 302
So Are the Forecasts Going to Be Better? 303
23 Let's See How It's Done 305
Sunday Night--the Night Before the Forecast 306
Early Monday Morning--Getting in to Work 307
Now for the Real Work 307
Going Into the Upper Air 310
Bring on the Machines 314
What About the Five-Day Forecast? 316
Are We Ready? 318
24 Prediction by Numbers 319
Richardson's Experiment 320
Want to Try the Math? 320
The Dilemma 322
The Computer Age 323
A Brief History of the Computer 323
Putting the Machines to Work 324
Too Much of a Good Thing? 327
The Machines Are Getting Better 328
25 Making a Career Out of It 331
What Would I Do? 332
How Much Will I Earn? 336
How Do I Become a Meteorologist? 337
Will I Find a Job? 338
Appendixes
A Weather-Speak Glossary 341
B Billion-Dollar Weather Events in the United States (1980-2001) 355
C Weather Maps 361
D Computer Forecasting 365
E Websites for Weather Watchers 369
Index 371
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