Eye of the Storm: Inside the World's Deadliest Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and Blizzards

Eye of the Storm: Inside the World's Deadliest Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and Blizzards

Eye of the Storm: Inside the World's Deadliest Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and Blizzards

Eye of the Storm: Inside the World's Deadliest Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and Blizzards


Killer tornadoes, Hurricane Georges, and the Blizzard of '96 number among the wild forces that leave unimaginable destruction in their wake. What ignites those terrifying bolts of lightning that shoot down from the heavens? What sparks those torrential downpours that flood towns in a matter of minutes? Why do these merciless acts of nature lure us to our windows although they destroy everything in sight?

Jeff Rosenfeld takes us on a whirlwind adventure through the world's deadliest storms. He describes meteorologists flying through 200-mph hurricanes with winds pummeling their planes and chasing tornadoes across the desolate desert. This unprecedented work follows these brave scientists into the eye of the storm, eloquently explaining the science behind snowflakes, hail, and even the ghostly glow emanating from inside tornadoes.

Illuminating and highly entertaining, Eye of the Storm reveals that, behind the power of the tumultuous heavens, there lies a majestic, yet deadly beauty. After reading this engrossing, turbulent saga of bravery, creativity, danger, and intrigue, you'll never look at a storm the same way again.


It almost doesn't seem possible anymore. Not here, not in this century. It's only a storm story, but if you look carefully at what happened, it could have been an unthinkable political upheaval—a coup d'état, maybe a revolution. Here is how it plays out: On January 6,1996, Congress and the President are exhausted from locking horns over a budget stalemate. Forces beyond our control seize the opportunity and bring Washington to its knees. Within two days, all but essential government employees are locked out of their offices on the very day their weeks-long furlough appears over.

In a few short days the State Department backlog of work mounts to over 100,000 unanswered visa applications. Not that anyone is going anywhere soon, anyway. Local governments in the Northeast are compelled to ban private cars from the roads. In many states, everything from side streets to superhighways is reserved for official use only. Drivers have abandoned their cars along the road where necessary. The airlines, tipped off about the impending crisis, have evacuated their planes from the tarmacs of coastal airports, stranding millions. Cancellations spread nationwide as hub after hub is shut down. By the end of the weekend, stranded passengers jam hotel suites and waiting lounges alike at airports as far away as Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles.

In New York City—the city that never sleeps—the streets and stores are uncharacteristically quiet. Without traffic to bother them, amazed pedestrians find themselves walking down the middle of Manhattan's broad avenues. In Philadelphia, the Inquirer doesn't appear at people's doorsteps—a day without the paper for the first time in 166 years. People from Atlanta to Boston and beyond are reluctant to leave their homes. Some are running low on food or have lost electrical power. Parents keep their children home, and the elderly stay indoors. Listening to radios and televisions, people recognize the serious tones of emergency broadcasts. They hang on to every word as announcers drone on with lists of schools, governments, club meetings canceled—gatherings of every kind now . . .

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