Great Plains Weather


Great Plains Weather

Kenneth F. Dewey

Discover the Great Plains Series

200 pages
41 photographs, 13 maps, 19 graphs, index


May 2019


$16.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2019


$16.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2019


$16.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

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.

Author Bio

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

"Dewey's Great Plains Weather is a welcome and accessible introduction to the region's extreme weather for non-specialists and general readers. . . . Those interested in thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, and storm chasing or the Great Plains will enjoy the book."—Nathan Tye, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

"Kenneth F. Dewey, a professor of applied climate science at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, exhibits his interest in and knowledge of weather phenomena in this concise volume. Those of us living on the Great Plains are well acquainted with the thunderstorms, tornadoes, blizzards, droughts and hail he writes about but can acquire a better understanding of them from his clear explanations of cause and effect. An interesting text liberally illustrated with color images plus an ample bibliography and index make it a worthwhile read."—Lynn Bueling, Roundup Magazine

“Dr. Ken Dewey and the climate of the Great Plains go together like thunder and lightning in a summertime storm. When the public has weather questions, they seek meteorologists. When meteorologists have questions, they seek Ken Dewey. This book and this author are as good as it gets in the world of Midwest climatology.”—Ken “Stormy” Siemek, chief meteorologist for KOLN/KGIN TV

“Kenneth Dewey captures the strength, power, and extremes of weather on the Great Plains in a book that you will not soon forget. If you have ever imagined or been in a storm that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up, you will want to read this book. If you want to learn more about what extreme weather changes are all about, you will want to read this book. Congratulations to Kenneth Dewey for capturing what weather on the Great Plains is all about.”—Mike Johanns, former U.S. senator and governor of Nebraska

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations    
Introduction: My Road to the Great Plains    
1. The Heartland of Weather and Climate Extremes    
2. Thunderstorms and Lightning on the Great Plains    
3. Hail-Producing Storms on the Great Plains    
4. Snowstorms and Ice Storms    
5. The Endless Cycle from Droughts to Floods    
6. Tornadoes on the Great Plains    
7. I “Heart” the Great Plains    
Great Plains Weather and Climate Internet Resources    

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