A “hot” topic of recent conversations has been the weather. Unusually high temperatures have been hard on us all. Storms that have uprooted trees and knocked out the power for thousands of people across the country. And it seems everyone has learned the¬†Spanish weather term — derecho. While parts of the country are experiencing forest fires, folks right nearby have had¬†extreme flooding.

Humans have always been interested in the weather, and gathering and comparing weather data is not new. Thomas Jefferson from 1776 to the end of his life kept consistent weather records. He recorded temperatures that he took twice a day, precipitation, snow, hail, and more. He used these records in a chapter of his only book, Notes on the State of Virginia. Today Monticello is a weather station of the National Weather Service.

The library has lots of material on the weather. For those who want to track storms there is the Comprehensive Glossary of Weather Terms for Storm Spotters. Weather: How it Works and Why it Matters is one of many books that explain the workings of the weather. For those who are interested in meteorology there is the monthly magazine, Weather. Too hot to read? Then a Frontline/Nova film, What’s up with the Weather might be a cool alternative.


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