Friday, April 23, 2010

Hunting Nature's Fury A Storm Chaser's Obsession with Tornadoes, Hurricanes, and other Natural disasters

By Roger Hill with Peter Bronski

Thumbs Up.

Roger Hill is one of the super elite storm chasers. In Hunting Nature's Fury, he tells us all about it.

The story starts out with Mr. Hill telling about living through the 1966, Topeka, KS, tornado and how that incident set the groundwork for his fascination with storms. The beginning few chapters give the history and technical information a reader will need to appreciate some of the descriptions in the rest of the book.

Each subsequent chapter focuses on a highlight of Mr. Hill's experience chasing storms, which eventually led to a full-time career leading storm chasing tours. He takes the reader on a rollicking ride around the Great Plains and a few other locales, with detailed descriptions of what he and his cohorts experience moment by moment, while in close proximity to each season's most violent storms.

While the book was not a non-stop edge of one's seat read, it did have times at which I could not put it down. Besides that, there is within the pages a mini-seminar on interpreting severe weather.

Mr. Hill also tries and largely succeeds in describing the excitement he feels when close on the heels of a violent storm, while drawing a distinction between that excitement and a callous attitude toward those people who experience loss at the hands of such a storm. He describes moments of grief and a vicarious sense of loss when families or entire communities are affected by a storm's damage. He relates stopping to help those in need when necessary; and he rejoices when an especially dazzling storm is not near human habitation.

Although I don't expect to book a storm chasing tour vacation any time soon, I did request a few more books and DVDs on the topic of storm chasing from the library.

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