These Stormchasers Want to Teach You About Beautiful, Terrifying Weather
Three thrill-seeking photographers are kickstarting a book that combines incredible weather photographs with infographics of the science behind them.
Anatomy of Positive Lightning, 2015. Images courtesy the artists
Roiling supercells, massive tornadoes, and white-hot lightning are fascinating to things watch (preferably at a distance or through a computer screen), but for some thrill-seekers, the science behind these complex atmospheric can be just as powerful as their aesthetic splendor. Zach Roberts, Jason Weingart, and Savannah Williams, are three such daredevils, and they're kickstarting a book called The Anatomy of Severe Weather to share their curiosities with the masses.
The trio of stormchasers spend the bulk of their time inside dangerous weather zones, capturing monsoons, violent tornadoes, and every kind of supercell you can imagine. "Growing up, we would spend hours researching and learning how the weather works. Our main tool would always fall to a book that had large pictures and text explanations," reads the group's Kickstarter. Back then, they were fascinated by the graphs and charts that explained complex weather phenomena. Today, they think they can do better.
The Anatomy of Severe Weather is a massive tome of climatological infographics, featuring 200 photos custom-captured to best illustrate the way storms work. In it, the stormchasers capture meticulously timed images and overlay them with simple graphics and explanations that describe processes like the formation of lightning, and behind-the-scenes stories of their death-defying photography missions. As a bonus, a special section of the book will be devoted to Weingart's ongoing Franklinstein experiments, which involve gathering data about lightning by firing rocket probes directly into electrified clouds.
The stormchasers hope to put The Anatomy of Severe Weather not only on the shelves of weather enthusiasts and the coffee tables of photographers, but also in schools. "This book will fill a void in weather education," Roberts tells The Creators Project. "This will be an easy to understand and visually appealing resource. I feel it will a critical learning tool for those interested in learning how weather works."
In its first five days, the Kickstarter has raised over $15,000 of its $28,500 goal. If successful, Roberts and his companions will spend the beginning of 2015 capturing the custom weather patterns they need to make accurate and informative infographics, with the goal of making the final product available in December, 2015, just in time for—hopefully—a very stormy Christmas.
Visit the Anatomy of Severe Weather Kickstarter for more information, or to donate to the project.