When meteorologists predict a big snowstorm, people descend upon grocery stores to stock up. On a beautiful sunny day, we try to get outside to appreciate it. Meteorologists tell us through various channels what to expect because major weather events affect our lives in noticeable ways. However, there is so much more to weather than what we see out the window or learn from a forecast. Here are a few titles that dive into the subject we converse about so much. As quoted in “Blizzard,” “A few years after the Great Storm, Charles Dudley Warner would write in the Hartford Courant, ‘Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.’”
A Sideways Look at Clouds
by Maria Mudd Ruth
Author Ruth shares with the reader her fascination with clouds and her resulting exploration of the science behind them. “I recognized a cloud when I saw one, of course, but I couldn’t explain what made a cloud and not something else, such as smoke, haze, steam, or mist. I knew clouds were made of water and that they floated, but so did icebergs.” Ruth interviews atmospheric experts, physicists, painters and photographers to learn all about the science and even the artistic depiction of clouds. “A cloud is a visible mass of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere above the earth.” Sharing personal perspectives and scientific explanations, Ruth’s book can make you look at the clouds above in a new way. “On this day and in this place, it had risen to become a low Stratus, a glorious iteration of fog, a beautiful and — no matter what the critics say — a profoundly poetic cloud.”
Rain: A Natural and Cultural History
by Cynthia Barnett
“Too much and not enough, rain is a conversation we share. It is an opening to connect — in ways as profound as prayer and art, practical as economics, or casual as an exchange between strangers on a stormy day.” Barnett, a journalist and author, discusses rain from scientific, historic and cultural perspectives, incorporating research, literature and religious aspects. “While civilian scientists researched cloud-seeding as a way to combat drought in the arid West, hail on the plains, and hurricanes in the East, military strategists were chasing a darker, secret dream: weather as a weapon of war.” Next time you open an umbrella, you might think of rain in ways you hadn’t considered before.
Blizzard! The Great Storm of ’88
by Judd Caplovich
In March 1888, a blizzard pelted the Northeast, from Washington, D.C. to Maine. “I’ve endeavored to put together a comprehensive photographic and meteorological journal on the Northeast’s severest and most renowned snowstorm.” Caplovich compiles photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings and weather maps to recount the history of this major storm. Several photos show Bellows Falls and Brattleboro buried in drifts. “At the time of the Blizzard of 1888, massive snow removal was unknown. Cities and towns usually appointed a Snow Warden or other municipal official to insure that thoroughfares were kept passable…Often officials just let the snow amass and pack down for the convenience of runner-equipped vehicles.” In this era of radar and snow plows, this book portrays a snowstorm in the olden days.
And Soon I Heard a Roaring Wind: A Natural History of Moving Air
by Bill Streever
“Our voyage to understand the wind has begun…Trade winds lie ahead, along with calms and squalls and fronts, jet streams, weather forecasters, sand dunes and wind-sculpted rocks, windmills and wind turbines, climate change, and vortexes of spinning air.” Biologist Steever sails 1000 miles, experiencing and researching the wind. “No one scientist can be credited with successfully cracking the mysteries of wind. There was no eureka moment in thinking about wind. The story of wind is as much a story of human beings as a story of science.” Combining sea travel tales with scientific history, Streever blows away the mysteries of wind.
The Rutland Free Library has the titles above and many others on the topic of weather.