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Of nature's weapons, tornadoes are among the most unforgiving, and here's an unforgettable portrait of these storms and the extraordinary man who challenged them--and produced the first-ever photographs snatched from a rampaging twister's black heart. Tornado chaser Tim Samaras, working with master storyteller Stefan Bechtel, author ofRoar of the Heavens,has created this page-turner with narrative force and scientific substance. In the first of five you-are-there accounts,Tornado Hunteropens with a moment-by-moment description of the 2003 catastrophe that engulfed Manchester, South Dakota. The authors evoke the doomed town and its people; the dark menacing funnel; and Samaras's fearless advance into the whirlwind's core to deploy the ingenious equipment he devised. They interweave the tornado chaser's passion, the fascinating science of the storms themselves, and six decades of progress in predicting and recording their onslaught--an art beholden to Samaras's own ground-breaking inventions. Like the deadly tornadoes it documents, this potent combination of high adventure and hard science is terrifyingly timely in our era of global warming and climate change. Tim Samaras's 2004 article inNational Geographicbecame one of the most widely read in the magazine's history.
Tim Samaras is an electrical engineer and storm chaser for almost 20 years. He holds the Guinness World Record for measuring the lowest pressure drop of a tornado.
Stefan Bechtel is a member of Samaras’s tornado-hunting team. He is founding editor of Men’s Health and the author of seven books.