phenomena associated with various wind directions. graphical errors, and occasionally it leaves out perti- It then provides chronologies of discrete weather nent information, for example, the method or source events including floods, droughts, heat waves, torna- for the derivation of "return frequencies" and a thresh- does, and tropical storms. This chapter also provides old value for cold event chronologies. an interesting timeline of weather extremes pieced Despite using varied sources of climate data, the together from weather diaries from the eighteenth and book rests upon the foundation of data provided by nineteenth centuries, before reliable instrumentation the cooperative observers for the National Weather was available. Chapter 5 is devoted to extremes of Service, of which Thaler has been a part for many minimum winter temperatures, snowfall, and winter years. His knowledge of the strengths and limitations storms. Finally, the book concludes with discussion of these data shows forth in this book. I would argue of climatic trends and periodicities of the Pleistocene that the importance of these data gatherers is typically era and of the instrumental climate record. This or- overlooked in many climatic analyses; however, they ganization mostly flowed well, but perhaps the dis- are appropriately heralded for their efforts within the cussion of the Pleistocene may have been more effec- body of this presentation. tive had it appeared earlier in the book. Relocating this Although Catskill Weather is short on interpreta- discussion could have assisted in the discussion of the tion, it does provide a thorough climatography (a geomorphology of the region. quantitative description of weather events and climate) One of the strengths of Catskill Weather is how of this diverse region. In addition, it nicely demon- weather and climate are interwoven with the diverse strates the impacts of these weather phenomena on aspects of human occupation in this rugged region. For society. As a result, it should prove to be a useful ref- example, the book relates weather and climate to ag- erence for residents and visitors of this region, as well riculture, tourism, the foliage season, daily commutes as for those researchers studying the climate of regions to work, road maintenance, reservoirs and water sup- and/or extreme climatic events.—Barry D. Keim. ply, gardens and produce, and economics, to name a few. Poetry and proverbs are also effectively used to Barry D. Keim is a lecturer in the Department of depict and highlight the beauty of the landscape, the Geography at the University of New Hampshire in harshness of the winter climate, and the mental tough- Durham, New Hampshire, and serves as the New ness and courage of those who chose to permanently Hampshire state climatologist. • reside there. Furthermore, Thaler makes liberal use of the weather diaries, not only to document extreme events, but to borrow powerful quotes about the weather within the region. Since this work is a regional climatology, the book is likely to appeal to those who have some contact with Artech House Oxford University Press this area, or perhaps to those researchers who study 685 Canton St. 198 Madison, Ave. regional climates. Some limitations of Catskill Norwood, MA 02062 NY, NY 10016-4314 Weather include mundane descriptions of drainage Telephone: 617-769-9750 Telephone: 800-451-7556 basin characteristics and the seemingly relentless list- Cambridg e University Prentice Hall ings of the top four or five coldest and warmest sea- Press One Lake St. sons or months in the twentieth century. Regarding 4 0 W. 20 St. Upper Saddle River, NJ the warmest and coldest seasons/months, these discus- New York, NY 10011 0745 8 sions grow monotonous because little to no interpre- Telephone: 800-872-7423 Telephone: 201-236-7139 tation of the underlying causes for the anomalies is presented, for example, unusual atmospheric circula- Purple Mountai n Press tion patterns. However, the data provided herein could Main Street, P.O. Box E3 serve as an excellent data source for analyses of these Fleichmanns, NY 12430 anomalies. Other shortcomings include adequate, but Telephone: 800-325-2665 less than spectacular, graphic presentation and poor (and inconsistent) type fonts used in the tables. But again, there is an abundance of information provided through these means. The book also has a few typo- Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 69 5
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Apr 1, 1997
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