"The foremost living expert on tornado observations. . . [and like] a serious baseball fan, Grazulis enjoys a good tale but really lives for the telling statistic. . . . [Students and researchers]will admire the author's passion for getting the facts right."-J.A. Knox, CHOICE
"I strongly urge everyone living in tornado-prone areas to read this book. It might save your life."-CANADIAN METEOROLOGICAL AND OCEANOGRAPHIC SOCIETY BULLETIN
Tornadoes occur in every state in the Union, and each region of the nation has its unique "tornado season." The most intense tornadoes can carry automobiles a half-mile and level a well built home. Some tornadoes have crossed mountains, seemingly unimpeded. Some have lasted more than an hour, scouring the earth with wind speeds of 250 miles per hour. Nor are tornadoes unique to the United States. In Bangladesh, for example, they have killed a thousand people in a single swath.
Filled with dramatic accounts of tornado touchdowns, this book addresses the whirlwind of questions surrounding the phenomenon of the tornado. How often does a tornado hit a particular location? How fast are the winds? Do tornadoes really seek out trailer parks? Can they actually defeather a chicken? How many tornadoes hit the United States every year? How big can tornadoes grow?
Thomas P. Grazulis, a tornado research meteorologist and founder of the Tornado Project, has been a consultant for television specials, including Cyclone (National Geographic), Target Tornado (The Weather Channel), Forces of Nature (CBS), and others, helping provide answers to these questions for the general public. Here he sets the record straight about tornado risk, the Fujita Scale, and the number of tornadoes occurring annually. He also sheds light on misconceptions and contradictory theories about tornadoes. Recreating the incredible drama so often accompanying interactions between people and tornadoes, The Tornado: Nature's Ultimate Windstorm provides detailed meteorological and statistical information on these marvels of nature, among the most fascinating scientific puzzles on the planet.
THOMAS P. GRAZULIS is Director of the Tornado Project and Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.