by Ken Dewey, Professor of applied climate science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The weather of the Great Plains is extreme and highly variable, from floods to droughts, blizzards to tornadoes. In Great Plains Weather Kenneth F. Dewey explains what makes this region’s climate unique by presenting a historical climatology of extreme weather events. Beginning with tornadoes—perhaps the most formidable plains weather phenomena—he describes the climatology of these storms and discusses memorable tornadoes of the plains. As one of the storm chasers who travels the Great Plains in the spring and summer tracking severe weather, Dewey also shares some of his experiences on the road.
Dewey then goes on to discuss famous blizzards, from the “School Children’s Storm” of 1888 to more recent storms, along with droughts and floods. Precipitation, or the lack thereof, has long determined human activity in the region; exacerbated by the vagaries of climate change, it continues to have a significant economic and cultural impact on the people of the plains. Dewey’s absorbing narrative is complemented by images of tornadoes, snowstorms, and flash floods that he amassed in forty years of climatological research.