A Field Guide to the Atmosphere

One of the many interesting things about Kansas is the weather. You never quite know what to expect here—vivid blue skies, awe-inspiring lightning displays, whirling dust devils, sparkling snow drifts…anything’s possible.

If you want to know a little more about how the weather works, consider A Field Guide to the Atmosphere by Vincent J. Schaefer and John A. Day. Part of the Peterson series of field guides, this book explains a number of topics of interest to weather observers:

  • Particles in the atmosphere.
  • Optical effects in the sky.
  • Clouds and how they form.
  • Types and causes of precipitation.
  • Severe storms ranging from dust storms to tornadoes.
  • Ways mankind has attempted to change the weather.

These topics are presented in a way that is clear and easy to understand and illustrated with hundreds of photos. If you ever wanted to know what causes clouds or rain, this is the place to find the answers.

And for those of you who are really curious, a chapter full of weather-related experiments is included:

  • Replicating snow crystals.
  • Catching particles in the atmosphere.
  • Creating clouds.
  • Measuring humidity.
  • Detecting electricity in the air.

Please note that these projects are very involved and will usually require special equipment.

However, anyone can simply read the text and come to a better understanding of the weather. For this purpose, A Field Guide to the Atmosphere should definitely have a place on the weather enthusiast’s bookshelf.