Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather
Greenleaf Book Group Press (2010)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (03/10)
I was hooked within the first five paragraphs of Mike Smith’s “Warnings.”
Mike Smith is one of America’s ground-breaking pioneers in the field of meteorology. He is considered to be a world expert is the application of weather science and works with many of North America’s most important corporations to save lives and property through technology that warns the general public of impending dangerous weather conditions. “Warnings” is Mike Smith’s first book. His credentials and first-hand knowledge, experience, and instinct qualify him to author the story of this life-saving “Storm Warning System.”
A master at story telling, Smith takes the reader on a tumultuous reading adventure as he details the background, development, and aspirations the new science of storm warnings. He begins with an introduction to the science of meteorology, its history, present-day activity, and future goals.
At the age of five, reeling from the impact of the devastation of the Ruskin Heights tornado near Ottawa, Kansas, Mike was influenced as to his career path. He remembers thinking, “Anything that could do all this has to be pretty interesting.”
Aerial shots and an amazing collection of photos, illustrations, graphics, charts, and drawings reinforce the impact of the narration and depict the unbelievable destruction left in the wake of the violence and fierceness of untamed nature and winds of tornado and hurricane force.
Mike Smith has a unique writing style that combines news reporting, editorializing, a genuine heart of empathy and compassion for the human interest story, and a genuine love for a lifetime career of scientific endeavor and public service.
Reminiscent of the movie “Twister” with the focus on storm chasers, “Warnings” is a remarkable account of the devastation left behind in storms covering a period of over 50 years with comprehensive coverage of the tragedy brought on by Katrina. This is story telling at its best, informational, and analytical. Mike Smith has created a work that is destined to become a favorite of layman and professional alike.