view some of the earliest synoptic plots; not just ev- skepticism there was about the idea of trying to fore- eryday weather patterns, but of some powerful and cast the weather. It is also interesting to read about the noteworthy storms. Monmonier truly captures the birth of weather forecasting on television, from the "thought process" of the early meteorologists. There early days of magnetic symbols placed on maps and were moments while I was reading that I felt I was right chalkboards to present-day chromakey and 3D anima- along with Bjerknes and the other pioneers helping to tions processed through high-powered computers. develop the science. The writing is that detailed in The last two chapters take most of the earliest his- spots. These first chapters made me truly realize how torical ideas and further show the impact they have had richly rooted meteorology is in history. on present-day theories, particularly with climate. Chapters 5 through 8 take you through the years These include some of the more heated topics of when meteorology was rapidly advancing, reminding ENSO, ozone depletion, and global warming. I would the reader of the other uses for the science besides day- like to note that Monmonier takes a very refreshing to-day forecasting. There are some very in-depth de- and unbiased approach to these topics. scriptions about the different needs and uses for It is very clear how much detailed research went meteorology, such as aviation, agriculture, environ- into this book. There is an abundance of great infor- mental, etc. In this section there is a need for more mation about the history of meteorology covered from technical language, especially in chapters 7 and 8. A to Z. It is a superb first reading for any backyard These two chapters go in depth with the development novice of weather interested in the origins of meteo- of satellite and radar. Despite some very difficult top- rology, but even the veteran forecaster or researcher ics, Monmonier provides simplified and well-detailed will find it engaging and, in some cases, enlightening. explanations. This is one of the main reasons I feel Air Personally, from someone who has been infatuated Apparent is well suited for a wide variety of meteoro- with the weather since kindergarten, reading this book logical backgrounds. was not only informative, but made me feel proud to Chapters 9 and 10 discuss the trials and hardships be a meteorologist associated with all those who laid of early forecasters trying to disseminate their knowl- a foundation for the science.—Joe Venuti. edge and forecasts to the public through the media. Whether it was through newspaper, telegraph, radio, Joe Venuti is an on-air meteorologist for the CBS television, or the Internet, I never realized how much affiliate WGME in Portland, Maine. • Academic Press, 525 "B" St., Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 9210; Telephone: 619-231-0926 Cambridge University Press, 40 W. 20th St., New York, NY 1001; Telephone: 800-872-7423 Earth Ocean and Space Publishing, P.O. Box 363, Glene NSW 2037, Australia Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016; Telephone: 212-726-6000 Springer Verlag, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010; Telephone: 212-460-1500 The University of Chicago Press, 5801 Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 2060 Vol. 80,, No. 10,, October 1999
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Oct 1, 1999
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