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Subject: J3) What books have been written about tropical cyclones?

Contributed by Chris Landsea (NHC) and Sim Aberson (HRD)


  • Hurricanes: Their Nature and Impacts on Society
    An excellent introductory text into hurricanes (and tropical cyclones in general), this book by R.A. Pielke, Jr. and R.A. Pielke, Sr. provides the basics on the physical mechanisms of hurricanes without getting into any mathematical rigor. The book also discusses hurricane policy, vulnerability and societal responses and ends with an in-depth look at Hurricane Andrew's forecast, impact and response. Roger A. Pielke, Jr. is a Sociologist at the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Roger A. Pielke, Sr. is a Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (USA).
    John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK, 1997, 279 pp.

  • Meteorology Today for Scientists and Engineers
    This paperback book is designed to accompany C. Donald Ahrens' introductory book "Meteorology Today." For a concise mathematical description of hurricanes that has NO calculus and NO differential equations, then I would suggest obtaining a copy of this book by Rolland B. Stull
    West Publ. Co., Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, 2000, 385 pp.
    Chapter 16 Hurricanes p.289-304.


  • Global Perspectives on Tropical Cyclones:
    From Science to Mitigation

    edited by Johnny C. L. Chan and Jeffrey D. Kepert

    This book is a completely rewritten, updated and expanded new edition of the original Global Perspectives on Tropical Cyclones published in 1995. It presents a comprehensive review of the state of science and forecasting of tropical cyclones together with the application of this science to disaster mitigation, hence the tag: From Science to Mitigation.

    Since the previous volume, enormous progress in understanding tropical cyclones has been achieved. These advances range from the theoretical through to ever more sophisticated computer modeling, all underpinned by a vast and growing range of observations from airborne, space and ocean observation platforms. The growth in observational capability is reflected by the inclusion of three new chapters on this topic. The chapter on the effects of climate change on tropical cyclone activity is also new, and appropriate given the recent intense debate on this issue. The advances in the understanding of tropical cyclones which have led to significant improvements in forecasting track, intensity, rainfall and storm surge, are reviewed in detail over three chapters. For the first time, a chapter on seasonal prediction is included. The book concludes with an important chapter on disaster mitigation, which is timely given the enormous loss of life in recent tropical cyclone disasters.
    World Scientific, 2010, 448 pp.ISBN: 978-981-4293-47-1 or 978-981-4293-48-8 (ebook).


  • Global Guide to Tropical Cyclone Forecasting
    For the tropical cyclone forecaster and also of general interest for anyone in the field and those with a non-technical interest in the field, the loose-leaf book - Global Guide to Tropical Cyclone Forecasting (1993) by G.J. Holland (ed.), World Meteorological Organization, WMO/TD-No. 560, Report No. TCP-31 is a must get. Again, the address of the WMO :a
         World Meteorological Organization
         Publications Sales Unit
         Case Postale 2300
         CH-1211 Geneva 2


  • North Carolina's Hurricane History
  • Florida's Hurricane History
    These two books are an amazing documentaries of the hurricanes which have struck the states of North Carolina and Florida from 1526 until 1996 and 1546-1995, respectively. The author Jay Barnes - Director of the North Carolina Aquarium - tells the stories of the hurricanes and their effects upon the people of the state in an easily readable style with numerous photographs.
    University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 1998, 330pp.


  • Atlantic Hurricanes
    A classic book describing tropical cyclones primarily of the Atlantic basin, but also covering the physical understanding of tropical cyclone genesis, motion, and intensity change at the time. Written in 1960, by Gordon E. Dunn and Banner I. Miller, this book provides insight into the knowledge of tropical cyclones as of the late 1950s. It is interesting to observe that much of what we know was well understood at this pre-satellite era. Gordon E. Dunn was the Director of the National Hurricane Center and Banner I. Miller was a research meteorologist with the National Hurricane Research Project.
    Louisiana State Press, 1960, 326pp (revision 1964)

  • Hurricanes, Their Nature and History
    Before Dunn and Miller's book, Ivan Ray Tannehill came out with an authoritative reference on the history, structure, climatology, historical tracks, and forecasting techniques of Atlantic hurricanes as was known by the mid-1930s. This is one of the first compilations of yearly tracks of Atlantic storms - he provides tracks of memorable tropical cyclones all the way back to the 1700s and shows all the storm tracks yearly from 1901 onward. The first edition came out in 1938 and the book went through at least nine editions (my book was published in 1956). Mr. Tannehill was engaged in hurricane forecasting for over 20 years and also lead the Division of Synoptic Reports and Forecasts of the U.S. Weather Bureau.
    Princeton University Press, 1956, 308 pp.

  • Into the Hurricane
    (Published in Britain as "The Devil's Music")
    Author Pete Davies spent the summer of 1999 looking at Atlantic hurricanes, traveling to Honduras to see the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, and flying on research missions with NOAA's Hurricane Research Division. He explores the science of why the storms occur and how to predict them, and recounts the impacts of Hurricane Floyd.
    Henry Holt and Company. 2000, 264 pp., ISBN: 0-8050-6574-1.

  • The Divine Wind
    (translated into Chinese) Hurricanes are presented in verse, art, history, and science in this all-encompassing book of the science and culture of hurricanes. Author Kerry Emanuel discusses hurricane forecasting, historical events and human impacts. The book includes many artworks, figures, and photographs, plus a description of flying into hurricanes.
    Oxford University Press, 2005, 296 pp.,ISBN-10: 0195149416.
  • A Global View of Tropical Cyclones
    (A revised version of this book is Global Perspectives on Tropical Cyclones listed above.)
    A very thorough book dealing with the technical issues of tropical cyclones for the state of the science in the mid-1980s by Elsberry, Holland, Frank, Jarrell, and Southern.
    University of Chicago Press, 1987,195 pp.

  • The Hurricane
    (1997 revision titled "Hurricanes: Their Nature and Impacts on Society" by Pielke and Pielke is listed above.)
    A very good introductory text into hurricanes (and tropical cyclones in general), this book by R.A. Pielke provides the basics on the physical mechanisms of hurricanes without getting into any mathematical rigor. This first version is just 100 pages of text with another 120 pages devoted toward all of the tracks of Atlantic hurricanes from 1871-1989. Roger A. Pielke is a professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.
    Routledge Publishing, New York, 1990, 279 pp. (revision 1997)

  • Hurricanes
    An introductory text book for young readers on hurricanes by Sally Lee.
    Franklin Watts Publishing, New York, 1993, 63 pp.

  • Cyclone Tracy, Picking up the Pieces
    Twenty years after Cyclone Tracy, this book recreates, by interviews with survivors, the events during and after the cyclone that nearly destroyed Darwin, Australia by B. Bunbury
    Fremantle Arts Centre Press, South Fremantle, Australia, 1994, 148 pp.

  • Beware the Hurricane!
    This book tells "the story of the cyclonic tropical storms that have struck Bermuda and the Islanders' folk-lore regarding them" by Terry Tucker.
    The Island Press Limited, Bermuda, 1995, 180 pp.

  • Florida Hurricanes and Tropical Storms, Revised Edition
    This recent book provides a historical perspective of Florida Hurricanes extending from 1871 to 1996 by J.M. Williams and I. W. Duedall
    Florida Sea Grant College Program, University of Florida Press, Gainesville, FL, 1997, 146 pp.

  • Hurricanes of the North Atlantic
    This book by J. B. Elsner and A. B. Kara focuses on the statistics and variability of Atlantic hurricanes as well as detailed discussions on how hurricanes impact the insurance industry and how integrated assessments can be made regarding these storms. The book provides very valuable information on hurricane frequencies, intensities and return periods that are not easily available elsewhere. Also sections are devoted on the development of seasonal (and longer) hurricane forecast models and their performance.
    Oxford University Press, New York/Oxford, 1999, 488 pp.

  • Natural Disasters - Hurricanes
    This reference book by P. J. Fitzpatrick provides a very useful compilation of a wide range of topics on Atlantic hurricanes. Of particular interest is the chronology of advances in the science and forecasting of hurricanes along with biographcial sketches of researchers and forecasters prominent in the field. This book is an excellent resource in answering questions on many issues in the field.
    ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA, 1999, 286 pp.

  • Tropical Cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1851-2006
    Researchers and those who follow Atlantic hurricanes should all have a copy of the atlas. Previous versions:
    Tropical Cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1871-1998
    Tropical Cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1871-1992
    Tropical Cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1871-1986
    Tropical Cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1871-1980
    Tropical Cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1871-1977
    Tropical Cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1871-1963
    North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones, 1886-1958
    National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, NC, in cooperation with the Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center, Miami, FL, 2006, 238 pp.

  • Hurricanes and Florida Agriculture
    Dr. John A. Attaway, former Scientific Research Director of the Florida Department of Citrus, wrote this well-researched history and litany of the impacts that hurricanes have had upon agriculture in Florida.
    Florida Science Source, Inc., Lake Alfred, FL, 1999, 444 pp.

Last Revised : June 3, 2011

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