Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eric Sloane's Weather Book

book cover

Eric Sloane's Weather Book
by Eric Sloane

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Dover Publications
First Released: 1952, 2005

Source: Borrowed from the library.

Back Cover Description:
In simple language, Eric Sloane explains the whys and wherefores of weather and weather forecasting--and does it in a style that's universally appealing.

With humor and common sense shining through in a book that's also lively and informative, Sloane shows readers how to predict the weather by "reading" such natural phenomena as winds, skies, and animals sounds. This beautifully illustrated and practical treasure trove of climate lore will enlighten outdoorsmen, farmers, sailors, and anyone else who has ever wondered what a large halo around the moon means, why birds "sit it out" before a storm, and whether or not to take an umbrella when leaving the house.

Eric Sloane's Weather Book was a very fun, easy-to-understand, and fascinating book about weather. He explained ways that a person can predict the weather by looking at the sky, how to read weather maps--what all the symbols mean--and use weather instruments. He covered information about our atmosphere, air, winds, heat, and clouds, and how it all works together to create weather.

The author has a gift for making difficult ideas very easy to understand. He also included many black and white illustrations that reinforced what was taught in the text and made it clear. The book was packed full of practical information on how to become weather-wise.

This book was first written some time ago (in 1949) and was based off of articles that the author wrote for sailors and aviators. Most of the information is still completely relevant, but it does show it's age in a few places. Also, although the author referred to Jesus Christ in the below quote, Mother Nature was far more commonly mentioned. As in, it's not a Christian book.

I'd highly-recommend this well-written and interesting book to anyone who's curious about how weather is created and how to predict it.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from pages 4-5
In the course of modern living man has lost much of his weather wisdom. What with air conditioning and improved travel facilities, we seem to go where we want, and to do what we wish, regardless of the weather. Except for an occasional rained-out ball game or called-off sailing trip or postponed air flight, we presume that weather has very little influence upon us. But it has far more influence on us than is immediately apparent. We live in it, breathe it, actually swim through an atmospheric sea from room to room and from place to place; the slightest difference in the composition of this sea would change our way of living within a fraction of a second. No developments of our technological age can altar the fact that we are creatures of the atmosphere.

Our forefathers and the men of ancient times had no weather maps, but they were, in the actual sense of the word, far more air-minded than we are.

Many people are surprised when it is pointed out that in Chapter 16 of Matthew there is a favorite of sailormen, a familiar weather saying spoken by Christ: "When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather; for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering." Few appear to be acquainted with that bit of weather lore in the Bible; but most of us know some version or other of the sailor's rhyme:

Red sky in the morning
Is a sailor's sure warning;
Red sky at night
Is the sailor's delight.

Folklore is generally frowned upon by scientific men, but many of its saying and predictions have found scientific backing. The red sunset mentioned by Christ, for example, was a view of the sun through dust-laden air that would reach Him the next day. In most places weather patterns tend to flow from west to east. If "tomorrow's air" lies westward as a mass of wet stuff, the sun shining through it appears to be a gray or yellowish disk, while, if this westward air is dry, the sun appears at its reddest.

1 comment:

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Thanks for this review!

Bill ;-)

Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"