Category Archives: stormchasing/ weather

*SPECIAL EDITION* #FridayReads on Saturday: Kate Southwood’s FALLING TO EARTH

Dear Readers,

In the wake of the deadly tornado in Illinois this past week, I’m offering a special edition #FridayReads on Saturday: Kate Southwood’s novel FALLING TO EARTH, a must-read for anyone interested in weather–and  fine fiction.

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 10.30.11 AMKate’s novel is set in fictional Marah, IL but is based upon the real town of Murphysboro, IL, which was destroyed in the Tri-State Tornado of 1925. In Murphysboro alone, 234 people died.

Mile-wide monster tornadoes are nothing new in America, although they are becoming more frequent as our climate shifts. One big difference between the Murphysboro, IL and the towns stricken by Thursday’s twisters: this time, thanks to advanced warning systems, two people died instead of 234.

#FridayReads: THE CHILDREN’S BLIZZARD by David Laskin

In solidarity with our buried friends in Buffalo this past week, for my #FridayReads I dug out this book from the middle of my TBR stack: THE CHILDREN’S BLIZZARD by David Laskin.

The Children's Blizzard by David LaskinI should have hated this book. Because I hate snow. Or, to be more specific, l hate being OUT in snow. I hate driving in snow. I very much dislike walking the dog in snow. I do not enjoy being cold, wet, having my eyelashes stuck together, or discomfort, and as long as I am observing the snow from the wrong side of the window, I do. Not. Like It.

Tornado Safety–anywhere

Dear Readers,

In the wake of the NWS-confirmed tornado in Revere, MA this morning–a rare but not unprecedented event–here’s a reprise of my 2011 article for the Boston Globe about tornado safety. Please stay weather-aware and be safe!

From The Boston Globe, June 2011

I’m a professional stormchaser. On Wednesday, I was in the surreal
position of issuing tornado warnings to friends back home in Massachusetts while sitting in a stormchase vehicle beneath a tornadic thunderstorm in rural Nebraska. Some of the questions and comments I received over Facebook and Twitter were deeply distressing. One said, “No way am I waiting anything out in a basement. I’ll take my chances.” Another, during a
tornado warning, asked, “Can I drive into Boston?” A third, married to a newsman, wrote: “My husband is stormchasing for tonight’s story!” When I asked whether her husband had any experience whatsoever with severe weather, I got no reply.