The best books capturing the drama of Northeast US snowstorms - from a hopelessly obsessed meteorologist

Timothy Minnich Author Of Blizzard!! The Great White Hurricane
By Timothy Minnich

Who am I?

I have always been obsessed with the weather.  From the third grade, I knew that I would be college-bound to get my degree in meteorology (I have two). I can still distinctly recall, as a very young boy in the early 1960s, sneaking my trusty transistor radio under the pillow, eagerly anticipating the latest update every time a snowstorm was on the horizon. And my passion for big storms—especially those of the snow variety—has only grown greater over time.  Whenever a snowstorm is occurring, I’m up every hour or so all night long “just to check the radar”—my patient, long-suffering Sweetheart (wife) will attest to that!


I wrote...

Blizzard!! The Great White Hurricane

By Timothy Minnich, Siri Shaw (editor),

Book cover of Blizzard!! The Great White Hurricane

What is my book about?

Be transported back to 1888 and experience the thrill ride of arguably the fiercest winter storm in American history: the legendary “Blizzard of ’88.” Set in an authentic depiction of late Nineteenth Century Manhattan, the saga of this monster storm, with its awesome display of nature and profound impact on those unfortunate enough to have been caught in its path, will appeal to history buffs and weather enthusiasts alike. At this story’s heart is a brilliant, young, government meteorologist, and the ingenious system he developed which enables him to predict the storm—days in advance—only to be silenced by his politically driven superior.  

Above all, though, this tale is a testament to the power of true love, unshakable faith, and the indomitable human spirit.

The books I picked & why

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Northeast Snowstorms: Overview v. 1

By Paul J. Kocin, Louis W. Uccellini,

Book cover of Northeast Snowstorms: Overview v. 1

Why this book?

Meteorologists generally regard this 2004 two-volume set as the definitive tome in describing the major snowstorms which have impacted the northeastern US since colonial times. These two highly credentialed and well-known former National Weather Service experts provide a detailed analysis of each storm, along with their painstaking reconstruction of surface and upper-air pressure patterns for many of them. The result is an enormous wealth of information offered up in this 821-page magnum opus (with some 500 references) which will satisfy both the interested layperson and the seasoned professional meteorologist. 

Northeast Snowstorms: Overview v. 1

By Paul J. Kocin, Louis W. Uccellini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Northeast Snowstorms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Blizzard of '88

By Mary Cable,

Book cover of The Blizzard of '88

Why this book?

This delightful chronicle of the infamous Blizzard of 1888 and its impact upon the population of New York City was published on the storm’s 100th anniversary. Prior to penning this book, Ms. Cable authored nine others over nearly two decades—including several on American social history—and served as editor/writer for The New Yorker and Harper’s Bazaar (among other publications). In my view, this prior experience was key to her uncommon ability to consistently evoke the vivid images of the trials and tribulations experienced by numerous real-life figures (some famous), and to create a broader social context throughout the book. For these reasons, hers was among the most enjoyable accounts of the Great Blizzard I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

The Blizzard of '88

By Mary Cable,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Blizzard of '88 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Mighty Storms of New England: The Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Blizzards, and Floods That Shaped the Region

By Eric P. Fisher,

Book cover of Mighty Storms of New England: The Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Blizzards, and Floods That Shaped the Region

Why this book?

Eric Fisher has been Chief Meteorologist at WBZ-TV in Boston since April 2013, and was an on-camera meteorologist for The Weather Channel before that. In this 2021 book, Fisher is able to strike the perfect balance between the “what’s so” and the “why” behind these historic storms (as well as with other types of natural disasters affecting New Englanders). This rare quality, augmented by his meticulous research of historical accounts of these events, including the impressive array of meteorological records broken along the way, enables him to present an enjoyable, educational read—especially for the interested layperson. 

Mighty Storms of New England: The Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Blizzards, and Floods That Shaped the Region

By Eric P. Fisher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mighty Storms of New England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New England landscape has long been battered by some of the most intense weather in US history. Discover the legendary storms that have devastated New England, including: the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 that killed 564 people; the Worcester Tornado of 1953; the Snow Hurricane of 1804 that demolished orchards and killed dozens of sailors off the coast; and the Blizzard of 1978 that brought Boston to a standstill for weeks.

Great Blizzards of New York City

By Kevin Ambrose,

Book cover of Great Blizzards of New York City

Why this book?

This book is ideal for those who simply want to enjoy the plethora of great visuals which capture the splendor of New York City’s most memorable blizzards. Covering twelve such events between 1888 and 1994, this oversized book contains, by far, the greatest number of photos I have ever seen in a single compilation. Each photo’s caption also includes the source detail—something rare in most other accounts. Ample text accompanies each photo, making this a most pleasurable and informative read. 

Great Blizzards of New York City

By Kevin Ambrose,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Great Blizzards of New York City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Seven Superstorms of the Northeast - And Other Blizzards, Hurricanes & Tempests

By James Lincoln Turner,

Book cover of Seven Superstorms of the Northeast - And Other Blizzards, Hurricanes & Tempests

Why this book?

This book, with its captivating accounts of human bravery, is unmatched for sheer excitement. Turner’s vivid description of the misfortunes befalling scores of residents throughout the Northeast stems from the astonishing level of detail he garnered through dozens of interviews with survivors and meteorologists and from myriad articles he culled from over 20 newspapers dating back to 1888. Born in 1935 and a lifelong native of the Jersey shore, he is able to artfully share his childhood experiences living through three of the legendary superstorms in this superbly written and well-researched work. Even without a degree in meteorology (though once a high school geography and English teacher), Turner’s love of big storms—particularly snowstorms—is obvious throughout. Dare I say it could well rival my own?


5 book lists we think you will like!

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