Book: Reading Weather

What does a meteorologist have in common with an apocalyptic cult leader? He or she can, without losing credibility, repeatedly make predictions that don’t come true. Unfortunately, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” made an early impression on me, so I don’t believe either one. Which means I have to make my own prognostications, about weather and the afterlife. For the former, Jim Woodmencey’s Reading Weather (FalconGuides, $10) comes in handy. Equally useful as reading material or a quick-reference guide, the thin, pocket-sized book breaks down the most common meteorological phenomena, simplifying complex concepts and delivering extremely readable material, in layman’s terms and with sufficient personality to keep the reader engaged. After reading Woodmencey’s book, I feel like I can make predictions every bit as accurate as the local weatherman’s, at least a few hours out—which is what matters most for me. For longer forecasts before multi-day trips, I’ll do what I’ve always done: plan for everything.