Garrett’s Blog: Weather Books, Websites, & Apps

Posted on: 6:11 pm, January 15, 2014, by , updated on: 06:32pm, January 15, 2014

Open book resting on stack on books

Since the weather has slowed down this week, I thought I would share with you a few of the weather books that I reference all the time in the weather center. These books are probably more for the die-hard weather fans but if you’re a big weather lover these are great to add to your collection.

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Any book by Tim Vasquez is excellent. This Red Book is in my briefcase everyday and I use it for reference quite a bit. It covers everything from basics of METAR decoding to isentropic analysis to things like stability index values etc. It also has a great section on numerical models.

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Tim’s Severe Weather Handbook gets pretty worn in the weather center from March – May. It covers just about everything anyone would want to know about how to forecast severe weather. I use it a lot for mesoscale analysis or unique setups so I don’t miss something. A great read for anyone wanting to learn more about how tornadoes develop, squall lines, hail, lightning etc.

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This is a great thin reference book I use in all seasons. During the last round of freezing drizzle I used it specifically to look for areas of the environment more prone to freezing. It also has a really good section on flash flood forecasting and severe weather forecasting.

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This book is a classic. It’s edited by Charles Doswell who’s one of the most brilliant minds in severe weather forecating. There is a lot of technical content in here including physics and mathematical equations but it’s all peer reviewed and comprehensive. The Doswell-Lemon Supercell Model, Tornadogenesis, lightning, & hail formation are my favorites.

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This book is also a heavy technical read but is perfect for someone with a math/science background wanting to know more about the overnight storm complexes we get in our area. I use this book a lot in May/June. It’s essentially everything and anything you ever wanted to know about Mesoscale Convective Systems.

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This book is more of an fun read about the history of television weather. I’m probably bias because this is my career but it’s interesting to see how the industry has evolved. Fun fact, on page 35 you’ll find Joe Pennington. It also mentions Don Wood’s “Gusty” and legends like OKC’s Gary England.

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Speaking of, Gary’s book on tornadoes and television is one of my all-time favorites. He talks about the challenges of trying to lead a weather department with so many different news directors coming and going etc. Gary was the first to use the “Weather Alert Crawl/Map” on television screens and also the first to use doppler radar at a television station.

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Don’t laugh too much at the title, but I really wish all college instructors would give this to aspiring reporters, anchors, & meteorologists. This is good book for anyone who loves to write and tell stories. I use it all the time. It gives tips and suggestions on how to conduct proper interviews and the ethics of journalism… most of which have been abandoned since the advent of social media.

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Finally, this is a just a simple weather book that’s great for a weather enthusiast of any age. It goes over the processes within the atmosphere. It would be great for Earth Science teachers or just plain weather fans.

A few more quick resources you may not know about:

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One of my former instructors at Mississippi State University maintains one of the best weather resources out there. His name’s Jeff Haby and his “Haby Hints” are quick reads on hundreds of different topics. http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/

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The Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorologists developed from NOAA and UCAR maintain a free website with ALL kinds of modules that are weather related. If you want to know more about any weather topic this is an excellent place to start. Just sign up for a free account and go for it! Many universities use these modules for students who are pursuing a degree in meteorology. https://www.meted.ucar.edu/

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When it comes to advanced radar Apps, Radarscope is the best hands down. I use it all the time and the new versions include Dual Pol Data. The App is about $10. http://radarscope.tv/products/

Of course our 5NEWS App with current temperatures and forecasts can be download here as well: http://5newsonline.com/2013/01/17/update-now-to-the-new-5news-app/

Thanks for letting me share!

-Garrett

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