Great Plains Weather (Discover the Great Plains)

Article number: DEWEY GPW
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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.

University of Nebraska Press (Bison Books): 2019 | Paperback: 200 pages, illustrated


About the Author

Kenneth F. Dewey is a professor of applied climate science at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He won the 2018 National Weather Association’s Public Education Award.
"Dewey doesn’t just recite dry facts and figures but tells stories in which he celebrates his own experiences both as one of the state’s leading meteorologists and someone who has lived here most of his life but also as an amazed observer, still dazzled anew every day as he watches the power and drama of the skies."  —Roger Welsch, Nebraska History

"Dewey’s book contains information relevant in the wake of Nebraska’s current emergency from widespread flooding and blizzard damage. . . . With this new book, NU’s Center for the Study of the Great Plains and the University of Nebraska Press make another worthy contribution to the understanding of our region."  —Omaha World-Herald

"Dewey's ability to explain complex meteorological information in layman's terms makes this an accessible volume for broader audiences."  —Missouri Historical Review

"In Great Plains Weather, Dewey commendably takes what could have been a dry, technical subject and renders it in rewarding form for a general audience."  —Geitner Simmons, Cleveland Review of Books
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