Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book Review: Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities, by Paul Yeager

Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities
By Paul Yeager

I have come to know Paul Yeager through our mutual experiences blogging about the weather. We share a fascination with the atmosphere around us and the sometimes explainable (but many times not) phenomena that come to make up the “weather.” Paul’s blog, CloudyandCool.com (which is on my blog roll), is an excellent resource and frequently contains interesting insight, but his most recent foray into publishing – Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities (Perigee, $14.95) – is a must-read.

Unlike many books on the topic though, it is not just a must-read for meteorologists, atmospheric scientists, and weather geeks in general. Paul notes that “weather is the most universal of topics” and I believe Weather Whys is one book that will appeal to folks across the spectrum – from the seasoned weather professional, to the weather enthusiast, to one with even a passing interest in the weather. His folksy story-telling tone, a broad knowledge in an array of atmospheric topics, and the ability to explain complex processes in a way that an average middle school student could understand, have come together in Weather Whys to produce a text that is not only information and educational, but entertaining from cover to cover.

As the subtitle suggests, Weather Whys describes in detail where many of the myths and old wives tales originate, separates truth from fiction, and explains some of the idiosyncrasies that makes up the science – or perhaps it is the art – of meteorology. The best part of Paul’s writing style is his ability to relate to the general public, who has a basic understanding of weather obtained from their local TV weathercaster and any number of cable programs (and even an entire channel) devoted to the topic.

If you are in the least bit interested in why it cannot be 100 degrees with 100% humidity, whether you should include snow skis in your checked luggage on your next trip to Hawaii, or whether there really is a “calm before the storm,” I highly encourage you to check out Weather Whys by Paul Yeager – and buy a copy for that middle school-age cousin who has begun showing an interest in the weather. Not only are you guaranteed to learn something new, you will probably chuckle in the process.


(Purchase Weather Whys on Amazon.com)

Erik Proseus
MemphisWeather.net
The MWN Blog

3 comments:

Kevin said...

This one is always my favorite:

"why it cannot be 100 degrees with 100% humidity".

Kevin said...

Then when you tell even the professionals that 85°F and 76.2°DP are the design temperatures for de-humidification, you get a deer in the headlights look....

Good ole Psychometrics....

MWN/Erik said...

Kevin - I'm staring... ;-) I don;t know anything about dehumidification (other than that's what a cold front does) or engineering, but you obviously do. Ha! I do think you would enjoy the book. Check it out at Amazon - it's only $10.

--Erik, MemphisWeather.net