Storm (novel)

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First edition (publ. Random House) StormNovel.jpg
First edition (publ. Random House)

Storm is a novel written by George Rippey Stewart and published in 1941. The book became a best-seller and helped lead to the naming of tropical cyclones worldwide, [1] even though the titular storm is extratropical. [2] The book is divided into twelve chapters: one chapter for each day of the storm's existence.

Tropical cyclone Rapidly rotating storm system

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; while in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

Extratropical cyclone type of cyclone

Extratropical cyclones, sometimes called mid-latitude cyclones or wave cyclones, are low-pressure areas which, along with the anticyclones of high-pressure areas, drive the weather over much of the Earth. Extratropical cyclones are capable of producing anything from cloudiness and mild showers to heavy gales, thunderstorms, blizzards, and tornadoes. These types of cyclones are defined as large scale (synoptic) low pressure weather systems that occur in the middle latitudes of the Earth. In contrast with tropical cyclones, extratropical cyclones produce rapid changes in temperature and dew point along broad lines, called weather fronts, about the center of the cyclone.

Contents

Plot summary

In January 1935, a cyclone develops in the Pacific Ocean near Japan, and becomes a significant storm as it moves toward California. The storm, named "Maria" by the (unnamed) Junior Meteorologist at the San Francisco Weather Bureau Office, becomes a blizzard that threatens the Sierra Nevada range with snowfall amounts of 20 feet (6.1 m). The storm's beneficial effects include averting a locust plague and ending a drought. Its harmful effects include flooding a valley near Sacramento, endangering a plane, stalling a train, and leading to the deaths of 16 people. It spawns a new cyclone, which significantly affects New York. [3]

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 8.8 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Legacy

This book was the inspiration for the Lerner and Loewe song "They Call the Wind Maria", [1] performed in the musical Paint Your Wagon . It also prompted the National Weather Service to use personal names to designate storms. [4]

"They Call the Wind Maria" is an American popular song with lyrics written by Alan J. Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe for their 1951 Broadway musical, Paint Your Wagon, which is set in the California Gold Rush. Rufus Smith originally sang the song on Broadway, and Joseph Leader was the original singer in London's West End. It quickly became a runaway hit, and during the Korean War, the song was among the "popular music listened to by the troops". Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra recorded the song in 1951, and it was among the "popular hit singles at the record stores" that year. It has since become a standard, performed by many notable singers across several genres of popular music. A striking feature of the song in the original orchestration, is a driving, staccato rhythm, played on the string instruments, that evokes a sense of restless motion.

<i>Paint Your Wagon</i> (musical) musical

Paint Your Wagon is a Broadway musical comedy, with book and lyrics by Alan J. Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story centers on a miner and his daughter and follows the lives and loves of the people in a mining camp in Gold Rush-era California. Popular songs from the show included "Wand'rin' Star", "I Talk to the Trees" and "They Call the Wind Maria".

National Weather Service United States weather agency

The National Weather Service (NWS) is an agency of the United States federal government that is tasked with providing weather forecasts, warnings of hazardous weather, and other weather-related products to organizations and the public for the purposes of protection, safety, and general information. It is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) branch of the Department of Commerce, and is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, within the Washington metropolitan area. The agency was known as the United States Weather Bureau from 1890 until it adopted its current name in 1970.

Storm was dramatized as A Storm Called Maria on the November 2, 1959 episode of ABC's Walt Disney Presents. Co-produced by Ken Nelson Productions, it blended newsreel footage of several different storms to represent the mega-storm in the novel and traced the storm from its origins in Japan to the coast of California. The cast included non-actors, among them the dam superintendent George Kritsky, the telephone lineman Walt Bowen, and the highway superintendent Leo Quinn.

Walt Disney anthology television series Anthology television series

Walt Disney Productions has produced an anthology television series under several different titles since 1954.

American singer, songwriter and producer Mariah Carey was named after this storm. [5] [6]

Mariah Carey American female singer-songwriter

Mariah Carey is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, and entrepreneur. Referred to as the "Songbird Supreme" by the Guinness World Records, she is noted for her five-octave vocal range, power, melismatic style, and signature use of the whistle register. She rose to fame in 1990 after signing to Columbia Records and releasing her eponymous debut album, which topped the US Billboard 200 for 11 consecutive weeks. Soon after, Carey became the first and only artist to have their first five singles reach number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, from "Vision of Love" to "Emotions".

The name Maria would later be put into the name cycle of cyclones, presumably as a tribute. It was retired from the Atlantic hurricane naming list after Hurricane Maria killed 3,057 people in 2017. [7]

Hurricane Maria Category 5 Atlantic hurricane in 2017

Hurricane Maria was a Category 5 hurricane that devastated U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica and Puerto Rico in September 2017. It is regarded as the worst natural disaster on record to affect those islands and is also the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Jeanne in 2004. The tenth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record and the most intense tropical cyclone worldwide in 2017, Maria was the thirteenth named storm, eighth consecutive hurricane, fourth major hurricane, second Category 5 hurricane, and deadliest storm of the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. At its peak, the hurricane caused catastrophic damage and numerous fatalities across the northeastern Caribbean, compounding recovery efforts in the areas of the Leeward Islands already struck by Hurricane Irma. Total losses from the hurricane are estimated at upwards of $91.61 billion, mostly in Puerto Rico, ranking it as the third-costliest tropical cyclone on record.

Sequel

Stewart's novel Fire (1948) was a sequel to Storm, again featuring the life of the (former) Junior Meteorologist, who was now a World War Two veteran and had been promoted. Dealing with a California wildfire, it also used the backdrop of an environmental catastrophe to disclose the personal struggles and triumphs of individual human beings.

See also

Related Research Articles

National Hurricane Center division of the United States National Weather Service

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is the division of the United States' National Weather Service responsible for tracking and predicting tropical weather systems between the Prime Meridian and the 140th meridian west poleward to the 30th parallel north in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the 31st parallel north in the northern Atlantic Ocean. The agency, which is co-located with the Miami branch of the National Weather Service, is situated on the campus of Florida International University in University Park, Florida.

2000 Atlantic hurricane season hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 2000 Atlantic hurricane season was the first Atlantic hurricane season without a tropical cyclone in the month of July since 1993. The hurricane season officially began on June 1, and ended on November 30. It was slightly above average due to a La Niña weather pattern although most of the storms were weak. The first cyclone, Tropical Depression One, developed in the southern Gulf of Mexico on June 7 and dissipated after an uneventful duration. However, it would be almost two months before the first named storm, Alberto, formed near Cape Verde; Alberto also dissipated with no effects on land. Several other tropical cyclones—Tropical Depression Two, Tropical Depression Four, Chris, Ernesto, Nadine, and an unnamed subtropical storm—did not impact land. Five additional storms—Tropical Depression Nine, Florence, Isaac, Joyce, and Leslie—minimally affected land areas.

George R. Stewart American historian, toponymist, and novelist

George Rippey Stewart was an American historian, toponymist, novelist, and a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. His 1959 book, Pickett's Charge, a detailed history of the final attack at Gettysburg, was called "essential for an understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg". His 1949 post-apocalyptic novel Earth Abides won the first International Fantasy Award in 1951.

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Hurricane Catarina South Atlantic tropical cyclone of March 2004

Hurricane Catarina was an extremely rare South Atlantic tropical cyclone that hit Southern Brazil in late March 2004. The storm developed out of a stationary cold-core upper-level trough on March 12. Almost a week later, on March 19, a disturbance developed along the trough and traveled towards the east-southeast until March 22 when a ridge stopped the forward motion of the disturbance. The disturbance was in an unusually favorable environment with a little bit below-average wind shear and above-average sea surface temperatures. The combination of the two led to a slow transition from an extratropical cyclone to a subtropical cyclone by March 24. The storm continued to obtain tropical characteristics and became a tropical storm the next day while the winds steadily increased. The storm attained wind speeds of 75 mph (120 km/h)—equivalent to a low-end Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale—on March 26. At this time it was unofficially named Catarina and was also the first hurricane-strength tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. Unusually favorable conditions persisted and Catarina continued to intensify and was estimated to have peaked with winds of 100 mph (155 km/h) on March 28. The center of the storm made landfall later that day at the time between the cities of Passo de Torres and Balneário Gaivota, Santa Catarina. Catarina rapidly weakened upon landfall and dissipated on the next day.

Hurricane Alice (December 1954) Category 1 Atlantic hurricane in December 1954 and January 1955

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References

  1. 1 2 Heidorn, Keith C. "George Stewart's Storm: Remembering A Classic". The Weather Doctor. Retrieved 2006-12-10.
  2. Dorst, Neal. "Frequently Asked Questions: What fictional books, plays, and movies have been written involving tropical cyclones?". Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Hurricane Research Division. Retrieved 2006-12-10.
  3. Time Magazine. Tainted Air. Retrieved on 2006-12-10.
  4. "Naming Hurricanes" (National Hurricane Center). Retrieved 2007-06-12.
  5. "Celebrity Central / Top 25 Celebs – Mariah Carey". People. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
  6. "Mariah Carey: About This Person". The New York Times . New York. Retrieved March 27, 2011.
  7. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/04/12/hurricane-names-harvey-irma-and-maria-officially-retired/508363002/