With its profound effects on many who witnessed it, the tornado
spawned a generation of people interested in the weather or
pursuing careers a meteorologists such as Mike Smith, who
chronicled the tornado in his 2010 book,
Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather.
May 20 is the 60th (how time passes!!) of the Ruskin Heights Tornado. This tornado killed 44 people, 7 in Kansas and 37 in the Missouri suburbs of Kansas City. It was one of the most important tornadoes in the history weather science in the United States:
- It was the first time the Weather Bureau issued what would now be called a tornado warning. By today's standards, 44 is a high death toll. In 1957, it was very low considering it was night and the density of the population.
- Three students of Grandview High School became meteorologists as a direct result of the tornado. All three would go on to make major contributions to today's tornado warnings and the lives they save.
Warnings, while a completely true story, is written in the form of a novel. So, if you are looking for a great book about weather, a gift for Mother's Day or for a graduation gift, please consider Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather.