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Invisible in the Storm:
The Role of Mathematics in Understanding Weather
Ian Roulstone & John Norbury

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]
Talking Points with Ian Roulstone and John Norbury

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"Takes readers on a journey, starting with the initial vision of Bjerknes, and then leads them through the early unsuccessful hand-calculated attempts at forecasting the weather mathematically, progressing to the use of early electronic computers which, even though successful, could not produce a timely forecast. It concludes by describing the current methods of Numerical Weather Prediction . . . a book that will appeal to the intelligent 'popular science' enthusiast without disengaging the more theoretically-versed reader."--David-John Gibbs, Weather

"UK mathematicians Roulstone and Norbury provide a lively account of the evolution of numerical weather prediction, focusing on the individuals involved in advancing measurement of atmospheric properties and the implementation of numerical methods to describe and predict atmospheric processes. . . . This unique historical narrative will interest scholars of the history and philosophy of science."--Choice

"Roulstone and Norbury do well within the constraints of this species of book. The story they tell is far from exhausted. I hope they write a sequel!"--John P. Boyd, Mathematical Reviews

"[A] fascinating account of science's admirable but ultimately inadequate attempts to get to grips with the natural environment upon which we depend for life itself, but which is equally capable of visiting death and destruction upon us."--Jonathan Gornall, The National

"[T]he authors have done well to create a book that will appeal to the intelligent 'popular science' enthusiast without disengaging the more theoretically-versed reader."--David-John Gibbs, Weather

"Accessible and timely, Invisible in the Storm explains the crucial role of mathematics in understanding the ever-changing weather."--Nina Shokina, Zentralblatt MATH

"[T]his is a well-written book giving a generally clear and accessible account of how weather forecasts are prepared. The historical detail enlivens the narrative and makes for an enjoyable read. The authors have considerable knowledge and expertise, and the book is scientifically sound. It can be warmly recommended to anyone who wishes to understand, in broad terms, how modern weather forecasts are made and how we may use models of the atmosphere to anticipate changes in the earth's climate."--Peter Lynch, Notices of the AMS

"This very readable book provides an excellent insight into the history of forecasting the weather, with a considerable, but not too challenging, mathematical bent."--Colin J W Czapiewski, Actuary

"Invisible in the Storm: The Role of Mathematics in Understanding Weather explores how mathematics and meteorology come together to improve weather and climate prediction, taking readers on a fascinating journey through the work of trailblazing scientists over the past 100 years."--University of Surrey website

"I really enjoyed reading the book and I would recommend it to specialists who want to get an overview of the history of numerical weather prediction. I think it is also well worth reading for anyone who wishes to understand the developments in the science of meteorology that has led to the present level of forecast skill."--Erland Kallen, ECMWF Newsletter

"Roulstone and Norbury have done an outstanding job and provide readers a fine bibliography to continue their education on this fascinating topic."--Robert E. O'malley, Jr., SIAM Review

"Accessible and timely, Invisible in the Storm explains the crucial role of mathematics in understanding the ever-changing weather."--World Book Industry

"[T]his is a well-written book giving a generally clear and accessible account of how weather forecasts are prepared. The historical detail enlivens the narrative and makes for an enjoyable read. The authors have considerable knowledge and expertise, and the book is scientifically sound. It can be warmly recommended to anyone who wishes to understand, in broad terms, how modern weather forecasts are made, and how we may use models of the atmosphere to anticipate changes in the Earth's climate."--Peter Lynch, Irish Math Society Bulletin

"This book is highly readable and gives a bird's eye view of development of meteorology. . . . It is strongly recommended to practitioners of meteorology and those interested in understanding this complex subject."--Ravi S. Nanjundiah, Current Science

"The authors have to be applauded for having succeeded in writing a very entertaining and accessible book. . . . The book must be considered essential reading for anyone interested in the history and mathematics of weather prediction."--Sebastian Reich, Jahresbericht der DMV

"I recommend Invisible in the Storm both to mathematics undergraduates and educators who are interested in applied mathematics, weather forecasting, or both."--Steven Boyce, Mathematics Teacher

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:

"With illuminating descriptions and minimal technicality, Invisible in the Storm provides a vivid historical perspective on how the development of mathematical ideas, together with modern computer technology, has completely transformed our ability to understand and predict the weather. This is a gripping and highly informative book."--Roger Penrose, author of Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

"As a TV weather forecaster for over forty years, I have always maintained that meteorology depends on mathematics for meaning. Making this conclusive point, Invisible in the Storm takes readers on an intriguing journey through the history of meteorology, revealing the critical role of mathematics from the earliest days of weather predicting to the current age of computer-generated forecasts. This book guides you inside the storm, where math's importance is clearly visible."--Spencer Christian, chief weather forecaster at ABC-7 News/KGO-TV, San Francisco

"This is a very readable account of why it is possible to forecast the weather with useful accuracy. Focusing on historical background, this well-researched and scientifically accurate book shows how the work of some of the greatest scientists of the past laid the foundations exploited in modern weather forecasting. I am not aware of any other book that covers this ground for a general scientific audience."--M. J. P. Cullen, author of A Mathematical Theory of Large-Scale Atmosphere/Ocean Flow

"The tremendous improvement in weather prediction capabilities during the twentieth century is among the greatest success stories of the scientific approach to the understanding of nature. Combining a historical account with a qualitative/geometric approach, this enjoyable book makes that story accessible to a wider scientifically educated audience."--Sebastian Reich, University of Potsdam

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File created: 10/15/2014

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