Cover image for Inside the hurricane : face to face with nature's deadliest storms
Inside the hurricane : face to face with nature's deadliest storms
Davies, Pete, 1959-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 2000.
Physical Description:
264 pages ; 25 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QC944 .D39 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A fast-paced, dramatic exploration of one of the most powerful and destructive forces in nature

Pete Davies has flown into the eyes of hurricanes with daredevil aviators. He's met with wild-eyed meteorologists who are obsessed with finding out exactly why hurricanes occur and how to predict their onslaughts more accurately. And he's joined heroic aid teams as they've coped with the physical and emotional devastation left in the wake of these awesome storms.

In Inside the Hurricane , Davies sweeps readers from the Caribbean to the Bay of Bengal, describing both the horrifying violence and the eerie beauty of hurricanes. He explains the weather conditions that foster them; discusses in lucid detail how scientists predict, measure, and track them; and delves into mysteries scientists are still trying to solve. Gripping accounts of the greatest hurricanes in history climax with Davies's own firsthand experiences flying into the worst storms of 1999.

A masterful combination of history, science, and adventure, Inside the Hurricane leaves readers with a chilling reminder of nature's enduring domination over man: scientists predict that the hurricanes of tomorrow will make today's Category 5 storms look small.

Author Notes

Pete Davies is the author of a number of critically acclaimed best-selling works of nonfiction published in the United Kingdom, as well as the forthcoming book "Inside the Hurricane." He lives in West Yorkshire, England.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Davies chased tornadoes to produce one book (Storm Country, 1993); in 1999 he chased hurricanes as a guest of the federal government's various hurricane-tracking organizations based in Florida. The result is an adventuresome, well-tuned reminder against complacency about the huge vortices. Invited aboard research planes that flew into Hurricanes Bret and Floyd, Davies captures the sudden ethereal beauty of breaking into the cloudless eye with interest, enthusiasm, and clarity. Back at base, his narrative connects the information garnered with the difficulties of hurricane prediction generally. Uncertainty may always be part of foretelling the strengths and paths of hurricanes, frustrating the public's desire for exactitude. Davies discovered that from lodging in Miami for his story and lends pertinent observations about the populace's blithely blasereaction to several storms that menaced the city last year. A disastrous direct hit is inevitable, and this book's combining of science and the warnings of history make it a perfect book for the season--hurricane, that is. --Gilbert Taylor

Publisher's Weekly Review

By going literally inside the hurricane, Davies (Storm Country, etc.) carries journalistic thoroughness to extremes. Not content merely to study the inner workings of hurricanes through articles, textbooks and interviews, Davies arranged to participate in cutting-edge research with the scientists at the National Hurricane Center and other research facilities in Florida, even flying with them into, through, and around the powerful storms. Through Davies's eyes and ears, readers will learn the basic meteorology of these storms, the instruments used to study them and the computers that simulate and predict their behavior. Yet this is more a human story than a scientific one. Davies introduces members of meteorological research teams, whose work blends fascination with powerful natural phenomena, scientific curiosity, thrill-seeking and determination to provide life-saving early warnings when killer storms, such as 1992's Andrew, approach. In detail so relentless that many readers will find it overwhelming, Davies shares the 1998 and 1999 hurricane seasons: the compact yet powerful Bret; the monstrous Floyd, which dropped rivers from the North Carolina sky, killing far more people by inland flooding than by wind; and the devastating Mitch, which set impoverished but developing Honduras back two decades. In his final chapters, Davies presents the meteorological argument that the world's oceans are entering two decades of more numerous and powerful tropical cyclones, part of a normal climatic cycle. He ends with the forecast for 2000Äbad, but probably less severe than 1999Äand a persuasive argument for increased funding for hurricane research. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This September marks the centennial of the Galveston hurricane, the deadliest to hit the United States. There is not shortage of books about that storm and others, from Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (LJ 7/99) to William Price Fox's Lunatic Wind: Surviving the Storm of the Century (LJ 9/1/92). But rather than emphasizing a single storm, Davies (Storm Country: A Journey Through the Heart of America) surveys the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season, focusing on the experiences of a small group of hurricane researchers and forecasters. He also includes a gripping and poignant description of the horrific devastation of Honduras by 1998's Mitch. This book is both a reminder that U.S. experiences with hurricanes pale in comparison to the damage storms have wreaked on smaller nations and warning that the worst may be yet to come as the Atlantic basin enters a period of increased storm activity. Vivid and engrossing; recommended for both public and academic libraries.-Nancy R Curtis, Univ. of Maine Lib., Orono (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 At the Bayman Bayp. 3
2 Bretp. 20
3 Be Careful Out Therep. 55
4 Project Stormfuryp. 79
5 Painting by Numbersp. 104
6 Floydp. 128
7 La Tormentap. 201
8 The Tropical Updatep. 221
Appendix 1 15 Most Deadly Atlantic Hurricanesp. 247
Appendix 2 15 Most Costly U.S. Hurricanesp. 248
Appendix 3 Forecast 2000p. 249
Glossaryp. 253
Selected Resourcesp. 256
Acknowledgmentsp. 261