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Storm Warning: The Story of a Killer Tornado
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Storm Warning: The Story of a Killer Tornado

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  121 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
"The Perfect Storm" on the prairie, "Storm Warning" is a compulsively readable account of one of the most terrible tornadoes in history -- and the extraordinary people who kept it from becoming the deadliest.May 3, 1999, is a day that Oklahomans will never forget. By the time the sun set over a ravaged plain, some 71 tornadoes had claimed 11,000 homes and businesses and ca ...more
Hardcover, 237 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Touchstone Books (first published 2007)
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Chanele
Jun 21, 2016 Chanele rated it it was amazing
This books has a very personal connection to me, and when I learned it existed, I knew I had to read it. I lived in Moore, Oklahoma, in 1999, and the only reason I was not in my apartment - which was completely flattened by the monster - was a fortunate visit to my parents' out of state. This book brought back a lot of memories, as well as the familiar sensation of "what if." I lost neighbors in this event, and I remember every year on that date that things could have been very different. My hea ...more
Pam
Jul 22, 2007 Pam rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who love to read about disasters & the history of meteorology
This book isn't so much about the Moore/Oklahoma City Metro Area tornado of 1999 (though the author does talk about it in a few chapters) but more about the (brief) history of tornado forecasting, tornado research & science, governmental non-response, and the life of Ted Fujita (Mr. Tornado).

If you like Simon Winchester's "Crack at the Edge of the World" (about the Great San Francisco Earthquake, it is set up in about the same way. Very little attention was paid to the actual events, but mor
...more
Zora
Sep 18, 2014 Zora rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, weather
I liked this a lot and usually felt I was in the hands of a fine journalist. Here's some lines of hers on meteorologist Roger Edwards:

At age nine, he saw his first tornado, a distant twister he glimpsed between houses as it loped through northern Dallas. Ignoring his mother's shouts to come inside, Roger ran down the street to keep it in view. It was his first tornado chase.... He did so many school science projects on tornadoes that his teachers finally forbade it, so he did one on hurricanes.
...more
Nicole R
Aug 16, 2013 Nicole R rated it it was ok
I grew up in tornado alley; my parents still live in the Northwest Missouri home I was raised in and when I was home last month we had several evenings of tornado warnings, marathon weather broadcasts (which my family watches and discusses without fail), and unfortunately three deaths a few short miles from extended family. This brief lapse back in to the tumultuous weather of Missouri was extremely reminiscent of the first 23 years of my life prior to my relocation to the east coast, weather th ...more
Debbie
May 20, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it
A good read - initially distracting in that way that it outlined/foreshadowed events and then jumped forward/backward to pick up another storyline. Once I got into the rhythm the book became enthralling. It outlines not only events on May 3, 1999, but the history of the study of tornadoes. The book would not have been as good without it. It was surprising to read that the NWS had once banned tornado warnings because they felt the populus would react with panic. How many lives could have been sav ...more
Belinda Fry
Nov 01, 2015 Belinda Fry rated it it was amazing
Because tornados are a fact of life in Texas, and you hear so many crazy stories, it was interesting, sad, eye-opening. Some parts I skipped over.
Shauna
Sep 01, 2015 Shauna rated it really liked it
Would have been better with time stamps to let the reader know when shifting from setting to setting. Overall, good book with a lot of information.
SouthWestZippy
Jan 19, 2016 SouthWestZippy rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-loan
Powerful book!Did a wonderful job of telling this horrible story.
Jillian
Dec 01, 2015 Jillian rated it did not like it
Major organization issues.
Tina
Mar 29, 2016 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, weather
Very emotional reading. The book covers the science behind learning to better predict tornados, how the Fujita scale was developed, and also describes the aftermath of numerous tornados including the Palm Sunday outbreak that devastated the Midwest. Personal accounts bring home just how precious life is, and how quickly it can be taken away.
Scott Meesey
Aug 23, 2016 Scott Meesey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author generally balances a complicated series of location jumps through the narrative interlaced with chapters concerning storm chasing history. However, I was not always clear who in the narrative was currently present. Names would be used and I would wonder who in that scene it was supposed to be. In the end, I give it a high 3.4/5 stars.
Kendra
Sep 23, 2011 Kendra rated it did not like it
When I saw the mention of this book in a magazine I thought it was real life accounts of one of the worst tornado outbreaks in Oklahoma. Instead it was very scientific based talking about the creation of radar, warning systems, the F5 scale. Very little of this book talked about the accounts if the people who lived through it. Disappointing!
pianogal
Sep 04, 2007 pianogal rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: weather buffs
Shelves: weather, tornado
I read every book I can about weather, and this one by Nancy Mathis was one of the better books I've read in a while. Covering the outbreak of storms in May 1999 that spawned an F5 twister that hit Oklahoma City, Mathis avoids trying to apply some sort of philosophy to tornadoes. Sometimes bad things happen, and then we read about them.
Plchaffin
Oct 15, 2008 Plchaffin rated it it was amazing
Sometimes truth makes a better story than anything you can make up. This is a collection of stories of survival, death and those who managed to keep the death toll to a minimum during one of the worst periods of tornadic activity in Oklahoma.
Sara Marsh Billiet
Jan 07, 2008 Sara Marsh Billiet rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Non-fiction & Weather lovers
Shelves: non-fiction
If you like science-y stuff and are interested in meteorology, this book is fantastic. Nancy Mathis discusses the scientists who made meteorology what it is today and gives a very sensitive account of the May 1999 Moore, Oklahoma F-5 tornado.
Kara Immel
May 23, 2008 Kara Immel rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about one of the most deadliest tornadoes and the heroes who helped it from becoming an even bigger disaster. The story is intriguing and invites you to jump right into the town and take cover.
Michele Benchouk
Aug 14, 2015 Michele Benchouk rated it really liked it
This book was interesting, vividly written, and informative. The only flaw was that there were too many people and too many personal stories to follow. I can think of worse failings.
Marianne
May 25, 2010 Marianne rated it liked it
I'm terrified of tornados so I read a lot of books about them. This one was intense in dealing with what actually happens during a tornado, but overall I found the story sort of blah.
Jack Willis
Jun 09, 2008 Jack Willis rated it really liked it
A friend's book that does an amazing job of telling the story of the F5 Oklahoma tornado on May 3, 1999, and the developing history of meteorology.
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