1st Edition

An Introduction to Severe Storms and Hazardous Weather

By Jeffrey B. Halverson Copyright 2024
    528 Pages 475 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    528 Pages 475 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book presents a deep and encompassing survey of severe weather in all its forms. An Introduction to Severe Storms and Hazardous Weather is an exciting new textbook which allows students to learn the principles of atmospheric science through the drama, exhilaration and even tragedy of severe weather.

    Balancing breadth and depth, Jeffrey Halverson adeptly combines a short, accessible introduction to the basic principles of meteorology with detailed coverage on large and small-scale weather hazards. He draws on specific up-to-date case studies from North America to illustrate the cause of meteorological events including hurricanes, heavy snow and ice, floods and tornadoes. Unlike existing books on the market, Halverson delves deep into the societal impacts of these events, drawing on examples from agriculture, utility infrastructure and commercial aviation. Each chapter also features high quality, bespoke colour artwork by Thomas D. Rabenhorst that will help to enhance and embed learning.

    Thorough in its scope, state-of-the-art and written with an impeccable focus on the science, this book will be an essential resource for introductory undergraduate courses in severe weather, natural hazards and extreme meteorology. It is also an excellent supplemental textbook for courses on meteorology and atmospheric science.

    A.          Introductory Principles

    1.           An Introduction to Severe Storms & Societal Impacts

    2.           Meteorological Primer, Part I:  Pressure and Wind Relationships

    3.           Meteorological Primer, Part II:   Moisture and Precipitation in Storms

    4.           Meteorological Observations and Forecasting

    B.          Weather Hazards Generated by Large-Scale Atmospheric Vortices

    5.           Structure, Energetics and Climatology of Extratropical Cyclones vs.     Hurricanes  

    6.           Genesis, Evolution and Intensification of Extratropical Cyclones and   Hurricanes

    7.           Winter Weather Hazards:  Arctic Air Outbreaks, Nor’easters, Blizzards, Lake Effect Snow and Ice Storms

    8.           Landfalling Hurricanes:  Coastal and Inland Devastation  

    C.          Severe Local Storms and Their Weather Hazards

     9.           Structure and Evolution of Ordinary Thunderstorms

    10.        Severe Thunderstorms, Emphasizing Supercells and Damaging Hail

    11.        Tornadoes:  Structure, Evolution, and Genesis 

    12.        Tornado Outbreaks, Detection, Warning and Societal Response 

    13.        Violent Thunderstorm Downdrafts:  Downbursts and Derechos 

    14.        The Science of Flash Floods

    D.          Appendix – Heat Waves



    Jeffrey B. Halverson received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science at the University of Virginia in 1994, then assumed a post-doc under Dr. Joanne Simpson (the first woman in the U.S. to receive a Ph.D. in Meteorology) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He is currently Professor at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) where he teaches courses on Physical Geography, Water Science, Natural Hazards, Meteorology, Severe Storms, Climate Change and Earth’s Natural History. He and his team of graduate students investigate severe storms, particularly hurricanes. In 2000 he helped pioneer a new type of technology for measuring air temperature at high altitudes in the eye of hurricanes. Halverson has authored or co-authored more than 60 scientific publications on severe storms and has appeared in science documentaries aired by NOVA, National Geographic, The Weather Channel and The Discovery Channel. He is a columnist, feature writer and assistant editor for Weatherwise Magazine. He is a writer and Severe Weather Expert for the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. In 2015 he adapted a new teaching technology – a large, digitally projected sphere of the Earth, called Magic Planet – for teaching his courses.

    "Jeff Halverson is a gifted writer and brings meteorology to life in this comprehensive and engaging textbook. The highly-accessible scientific explanations and marvelous illustrations make it an invaluable resource that will foster much greater understanding of severe storms."

    Jason Samenow, Chief Meteorologist, Washington Post Capital Weather Gang

    "This is a textbook that doesn't read like a textbook. The way Dr. Halverson has written this book is almost conversational, as if I'm listening to him really tell the story of the atmospheric processes. There are so many great examples for students to really learn about the science. The details of events with examples can really put weather into perspective for students to understand these concepts in an easy way." 

    Aubrey Urbanowicz, Chief Meteorologist, WHSV, Harrisonburg, VA

    "The authors have done an exceptional job making the connection between the graphics in the text to the meteorology behind the type of severe storms. Students have difficulty making the connection between the physics behind an event and the consequences. The graphics help make that connection for the student. The graphics do an exceptional job at illustrating how each type of event occurs and how each type differs along with the risks posed and damage caused." 

    Robert Pasken, Associate Professor of Meteorology, St. Louis University