Getting Inside the Most Violent Storms on Earth
National Geographic Society, Hardcover, 9781426203022, 272pp.
Publication Date: May 19, 2009
Like the deadly tornadoes it documents, this potent combination of high adventure and hard science is terrifyingly timely in our era of global warming and climate change. The Weather Channel, now America's most watched programming, has in recent years shown us a relentless series of hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and eruptions killing thousands, turning millions into refugees, and leaving whole cities in shocked, shattered ruins.
Of nature's weapons, tornadoes are among the most unforgiving, and here's an unforgettable portrait of these storms and one extraordinary man who challenged themand produced the first-ever photographs snatched from a rampaging twister's black heart. Tornado chaser Tim Samaras, working with master storyteller Stefan Bechtel, author of Roar of the Heavens, has created a page-turner with narrative force and scientific substance.
In the first of five you-are-there accounts, Tornado Hunter opens with a moment-by-moment description of the 2003 catastrophe that engulfed Manchester, South Dakota. The authors evoke the doomed town and its people; the dark menacing funnel; and Samaras's fearless advance into the whirlwind’s core to deploy the ingenious equipment he devised. They interweave the tornado chaser's passion, the fascinating science of the storms themselves, and six decades of progress in predicting and recording their onslaughtan art beholden to Samaras's own groundbreaking inventions.
Tim Samaras's 2004 article in National Geographic became one of the most widely read in the magazine’s history. This powerful book is destined to blast its way onto bestseller lists everywhere.
Stefan Bechtel is a member of Samaras's tornado-hunting team. He is founding editor of "Men's Health, " and the author of seven books on conservation, health, and investment, which have sold more than two million copies and been translated into eight languages.