Looking Up: True Adventures of a Storm-Chasing Weather Nerd

Pegasus. Aug. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781639362011. $27.95. SCI
Washington Post meteorologist Cappucci, a first-time author, shares his passion for supercells, thundersnow, and the thrill of the chase in this engaging science memoir. He writes that his childhood enthusiasm for tracking and predicting meteorological events earned him a scholarship to Harvard, where he became the first student in the college’s history to earn a degree in atmospheric sciences. Yearly storm chases in the Great Plains of the United States gave Cappucci a respite from Harvard’s rigorous academics, and the joy with which his memoir describes roadside junk food, fleabag motels, and dodging hailstones is nothing short of infectious. Other chapters are less successful (an account of a lackluster study abroad program adds little), and it could be argued that Cappucci might have waited until later in his career, with more experience under his belt, to pen a memoir. But the value of this narrative lies in the encouragement the author offers to his readers, especially to those who view themselves as misfits. Cappucci demonstrates the satisfaction of embracing one’s passions and holding true to oneself in the face of any obstacle.
VERDICT Though storm chasers will be the primary audience for this meteorology memoir, anyone chasing their dreams will find plenty of inspiration in Cappucci’s journey.
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