Ideal quick reference on tornadoes
From the intorduction, you read that the author's intent with this book was to write a modernized edition of snowden d. flora's 1953 book "tornadoes of the united states" -- which was billed at the time as the first general reference book on tornadoes. in that respect, tom grazulis has fully succeeded. "the tornado" covers all the basics about tornadoes, like the highly complicated (and still enigmatic) process of tornado formation, forecasting, historical aspects of tornadoes -- as well as major tornadic events of the past, safety, climatology/frequncy, international frequency and major events, the fujita scale, myths (more than you might think), and a pleasingly non-sensational chapter on storm chasing. the text is never too complicated, and even the more technical points are easy to understand. the fact that the book is up-to-date is also a plus, as is the scope of the book's coverage. it's also somewhat more relevant to an american audience than arjen and jerrine verkaik's "under the whirlwind," which -- though good, and including some of what this book covers -- was written with a canadian audience in mind. (in which case canadian readers are advised to read that book before this.) about the only real minus is that there are limited illustrations, and those in the book are black and white. this text accompanied with more -- and color -- illustrations might have been more useful, although in moderation so as not to draw attention away from the text; at any rate a section of color plates would have been a nice addition. that aside, this is a terrific guide to all things relevant (or even just the stuff you might have thought of once!) to tornadoes.