Sunday, June 06, 2021

Book Review: The Secret World of Weather by Tristan Gooley

Weather is always with us, every day, where ever we are. You'd have thought that this would mean there is nothing left for us to learn about it, but in this brilliant book I discovered that is wrong. There is much more to weather than simply clicking on an app.

Previously Tristan Gooley has written a series of books about Natural Navigation and How to Read Water (as reviewed here) and his latest is called The Secret World of Weather (UK cover above, it is different in the US).

Full disclosure Tristan's a friend of mine, but that really makes no difference to this review, for this was a fascinating read.

The book looks at the relationship between the local, such as hills, valley, rivers, plants and buildings and the weather, how they interact, changing it.

A simple example comes from the sail Tristan and I did to the Arctic Circle: we spotted the clouds above the Faroes Islands before we saw the islands themselves, until all of a sudden we were there:

This contained many examples of these, from eddies around buildings, to birds rising on thermals, to the different types of rain, to the secret laws, to the tree fan, to canopy breeze, to the wind bulge, to finding coastlines from clouds to..... so many new ideas, and then integrated into a framework.

I kept wanting to try out what I've read by looking at the sky, trying to read the clues. This is a book to come back to, to observe the natural world and then re-read the relevant sections, to learn to connect what you see with what is happening, to know what to look for.

I found myself peering at the sky, checking out the commas, the mares' tails that come down from cirrus clouds, thinking myself into the layers of the atmosphere, reading the sky as I'd read the book.

Strongly recommended!

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