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Storm warning : the story of a killer tornado
Nancy Mathis
Adult Nonfiction QC955.5.U6 M38 2007

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From Publishers' Weekly:

On May 3, 1999, a series of 71 tornadoes blasted Oklahoma. The biggest of them all spanned a mile-making it the largest in recorded history-and delivered ground-level winds of over 300 mph. In her exhaustively researched book, journalist Mathis brings the Tornado Alley calamity to life. A native Sooner who spent many hours crouching in fear in her grandmother's root cellar, Mathis has a visceral connection to the region and its heavy weather that she supplements with the expert use of interviews and historical research. Mathis introduces readers to the slow development of weather science, to the families of the victims and to such unique individuals as Tetsuya Fujita and his Fujita Scale for measuring tornado strength. Although her initial, century-spanning onslaught of science and characters can be overwhelming, the story lines eventually coalesce, and by the time the tornadoes touch down on or near Oklahoma City, the reader is engrossed. In an era of Weather Channel "Torn Porn," tornado chasers and even "tornado tours" at $3,000 per person, Mathis has written a book that helps readers locate the story behind the spectacle. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Mathis's subtitle refers to the May 1999 tornado outbreak that devastated the Oklahoma City metro area. Her book is about that outbreak, but it also covers much more related to tornadoes and severe weather. Written in a narrative style that includes reconstructed dialog, it describes the lives and careers of T. Theodore Fujita, creator of the Fujita scale of tornado intensity, and Gary England, a pioneering broadcast weatherman in Oklahoma City. It further examines the history of severe weather forecasting; the political aspects of the National Weather Service; severe storm meteorology, including the use of the advanced Doppler radar; and the popularization of tornado chasing. Mathis is a former reporter who now works in media relations. Her extensive research (e.g., dozens of interviews with the people involved) makes this, her first book, compelling reading. Some may not like the nonchronological arrangement of the chapters or the vivid descriptions of the death and destruction the tornado caused. Recommended for larger libraries, for atmospheric sciences collections, and for all libraries in the tornado belt, especially Oklahoma.-Jeffrey Beall, Univ. of Colorado at Denver & Health Sciences Ctr. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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