1953 was a landmark year for American tornadoes. Three deadly and devastating storms that struck the nation in Texas (Waco), Michigan (Flint) and Massachusetts (Worcester) during that year had significant impacts on the future of American tornado watch and warning systems. As a result, I am surprised that only two full length books have been written on these tornadoes: the well-written The Tornado by John Edward Weems in 1977 and the tedious Tornado! 84 Minutes, 94 Lives by John M. O'Toole in 1993, and no full-length book was published this year. However, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the devastating Worcester tornado, William Chittick has produced an informative booklet on the storm: The Worcester Tornado, June 9, 1953. High among this book's features (similar in format to locally-produced publications by a local newspaper following an event) is the inclusion of all known photographs of the tornado.
Despite the book's brevity (19 pages), I found it much more satisfying than the longer (and out-of-print) Tornado! 84 Minutes, 94 Lives, which goes into great detail about the storm's victims, but says little on the meteorological situation. In The Worcester Tornado, June 9, 1953, the storm's history, from the first realization of the severe weather building over New York to the last fury of the supercell, is discussed along with commentaries on the storm warning procedures in place at the time.
If storm histories are your interest, The Worcester Tornado, June 9, 1953 rates a place on your shelf.
Weather Doctor's Book Review: The Worcester Tornado, June 9, 1953 ©2003, Keith C. Heidorn, PhD. All Rights Reserved. Correspondence may be sent to: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.