Hurricane Pioneer: Memoirs of Bob Simpson

Hurricane Pioneer: Memoirs of Bob Simpson


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Hurricane Pioneer: Memoirs of Bob Simpson by Robert H. Simpson, Neal M. Dorst

In 1951, Robert H. Simpson lifted off in a specially-equipped plane, flying directly into the path of a storm that would send most people running for cover. For more than four hours he observed Typhoon Marge from its eerily calm eye, later describing it in The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society as “a coliseum of clouds whose walls on one side rose vertically and on the other were banked like the galleries in a great opera house.”

For Simpson this was just one of his many pioneering explorations of hurricanes and extreme storms. Over his decades-long career his research led to great leaps in our understanding of tropical meteorology and our approach to hurricane safety. He was the first director of the National Hurricane Research Project and the second director of the National Hurricane Center, though he may be best known as co-creator of the widely used Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, familiar to anyone who has heard a reporter use the words “category five.”

Simpson’s memoirs take readers from his experience with the Corpus Christi hurricane of 1919 to his travels to study weather across the globe. Along the way he crosses paths with other weather greats, including his trailblazing wife, meteorologist Joanne Simpson. Hurricane Pioneer is a riveting first-hand account at a revolutionary time in meteorology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935704751
Publisher: American Meteorological Society
Publication date: 05/15/2015
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Robert H. Simpson (1912–2014) was the first director of the National Hurricane Research Project and former director of the National Hurricane Center. Neal M. Dorst is a meteorologist in the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 My Early Life 1

2 My College Years 15

3 My Early Career 39

4 Early Hurricane Studies 53

5 Weather Bureau Headquarters 71

6 The National Hurricane Research Project 81

7 My Doctorate and stormfury 95

8 The National Hurricane Center 105

9 The University of Virginia, Simpson Weather Associates, and Retirement 117

Photos 128

Career Positions and Achievements 133

Publications 135

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