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Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities Paperback – March 2, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you're an armchair weather expert, a weather junkie or simply enjoy the intricacies of the world's most turned-to conversation topic, look no further than Weather Whys: Fact, Myths, and Oddities by meteorologist and editor Paul Yeager. In this slender volume, Yeager sets out to give readers a basic appreciation for storms, winds, freezing rain, puffy clouds and the like, by first giving readers a breakdown of just what these things are. Hail, for instance, happens when supercooled water freezes on dust particles that are then pushed back into clouds via updraft, over and over again, accumulating more water, and more size, until they finally crash onto our heads and cars.

Like a science teacher who clearly enjoys his subject and has a knack for explaining it, Yeager's easy-to-digest writing comes with a lot of requisite enthusiasm. Lightning doesn't get enough respect, he writes-and did you know that the "temperature of a lightning bolt is estimated to be as much as 54,000oF (five times the temperature of the sun)"? The book is packed with fascinating facts like these. Yeager reveals that "it's always cooler after a thunderstorm"; that seeking shelter under a highway overpass during a tornado is a really bad idea (the speed of the wind will increase); that "snow-eating wind" allows snow to vanish rather than melt and a whole lot of sports-and-weather phenomena like the fact that high humidity "allows a baseball to travel farther, increasing the likelihood of home runs." With gems like these, Weather Whys is already a candidate for bathroom book of the year."
-Emagazine.com

About the Author

Paul Yeager is the managing editor of Accuweather.com and a freelance writer. As a child, he was annoyed when reading, writing, and arithmetic were referred to as the “Three R’s,” and he hasn’t changed a bit over the years. He lives in Altoona, PA.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Books; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399535705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399535703
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Brown on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book. I'm one of those people who watches the Weather Channel all the time for entertainment, so I know enough about the weather, but this book gives a lot of great stories and information about weather.

It is NOT a science book, so if you're looking for something to tell you about how meteorologists forecast the weather, then this isn't for you. But if you like the weather, you'll love it and be surprised at how much about it you DON'T know.

This book does have some of the science---he talks about what dewpoint temperature means, how hail forms, how hurricanes form----but he focuses more on other parts of the weather that most of us don't know about. He debunks some weather myths, like how it actually can't be 100 degrees and 100% humidity and how it actually can be 45 degrees and still snow. There was a chapter on how weather affected some major sports events---one of them was strange since it was actually an INDOOR event. He talks about why your nose runs when it's cold outside, why your hair frizzes in humidity, where the saying RED SUN AT NIGHT, SAILORS DELIGHT comes from, some historic snowstorms, etc. Very cool stuff.

And he's pretty funny, so it's an easy read-----a good book for when you want something light but educational and fun. I actually feel as if I can talk more about the weather and how it relates to everything now and know what I'm talking about.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark M. on March 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've never been a huge weather fanatic, but I've always been somewhat interested in the weather. I'm more interested than ever now...this book was perfect for me. It has some easy to understand information about how the weather works, but more importantly as far as I'm concerned, it has a lot of information about how the weather affects our lives in ways I never thought of...sporting events, health, history, etc...and it's done with a light, sometimes humorous writing style.

I hate to admit it, but I found out that I'm guilty of many of the weather myths the author talked about. I thought Chicago was the windiest city. I even thought that every big snowstorm was automatically a blizzard. I did know that Seattle's not the rainiest city--it's great here in the summer!

I also like the weather wives tale section--it reminded me of some the things my grandfather used to say about the old days.

I learned a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Philip DeMare on November 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
The subtitle is Facts, Myths and Oddities, and that pretty much sums up what this book is about. <br/><br/>Some interesting minutiae on details of meteorology, such as the difference between a heavy snowstorm and a blizzard (a blizzard must 35 mph sustained winds or gusts and visibility of under 1/4 mile for a duration of 3 hours). What is the difference between rain and drizzle? (For rain the drop size is above 0.5mm. drizzle is below 0.5mm.) What is the difference between freezing rain and sleet. (Sleet falls as pellets of ice, freezing rain falls as water and freezes as it hits the ground.)<br/><br/>A chapter on how weather affected sports. Did you know that Boston Gardens was famous for having fog indoors over the hockey rink. (It had no air conditioning.)<br/><br/>And finally the standard stories about weather historical events and oddities. <br/>The author's style is a bit irreverent and engaging. <br/>You could learn a few things by reading this book, but don't expect to be knocked out of your socks with any new revelations about weather behavior.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Noel on April 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the other reviewers before me, I too liked the book. I often struggle with finding time to read and this is ideal to carry around for a few minutes here and there.

Weather often comes up in conversation...and you'll find yourself telling others about the information you read here - from weather "proverbs" like "In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb" to historical events like Washington Crossing the Delaware to Chicago's nickname of the Windy City. After reading this book, you'll amuse and surprise others as a sparkling weather conversationalist!

You'll also be amused with the humorous style. Even so, it doesn't hide the fact that the author really knows his subject AND how to explain it to non-scientists. I think that younger teens with an interest in weather and science would enjoy it as well as adults with a casual interest in weather. Sports fans would especially enjoy the section about how weather played a part of some big games. Anyone who ever watches the Weather Channel for fun would enjoy this.

I read Yeager's previous book (Literally, the Best Language Book Ever) as well. Though both were similar in form and style, I found I liked Weather Whys more.
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Have you ever wondered what the difference is between sleet and freezing rain? Or why bridges tend to freeze before the adjacent roadway? Or what some of the weather sayings mean and whether or not they are true? These are but a few of the many facts covered in this interesting little book on how and why the weather works the way it does.

The book is a nice, easy to read book filled with basic weather related information. It is not for the serious student of weather or for the person who has studied weather in a college setting....it is more for the person that wants to know the simple ins and outs of weather phenomena and the basics of how the weather works.

A fun read, I would recommend it to anyone who has questions about weather.
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