"Some are rescued in a storm.
Others are rescued by the splendor
of a storm"

— from the book

Seven Superstorms
of the Northeast

And Other Blizzards, Hurricanes & Tempests

By James Lincoln Turner

10.25" x 8.25"
68 illustrations; 182 pp.; Includes full bibliography


ISBN 0-945582-95-1


Focusing on the historically most significant storms to strike the Northeast — from the Blizzard of 1888 to the Great Appalachian Storm of 1950 — Seven Superstorms explores monster storms in a pre-Weather Channel, pre-satellite, pre-Doppler radar world.

Dramatic accounts and the meteorological explanations make this a fascinating read for any weather buff — and anyone who has experienced a severe storm. For residents of the mid-Atlantic and New England it describes the storms that have shaped the character of the region.

The author’s appreciation of the aesthetic of natural forces — finding poetry within the swirling winds — infuses the reader with a sense of wonder.

Readers will be "taken by storm."


New York City, blizzard of 1888:
Those who tried to reach home regretted it. The ever increasing gale swept and hurled the snow everywhere. As wires whistled and telephone and telegraph poles swayed ever more precariously, the wind whipped the crystals into a pedestrianís eyes where the snow would melt and then freeze so fast that the victim had to constantly struggle to protect his sight. Deflected from buildings and other objects, the wind seemed to blast from every point on the compass and spin and twirl and whirl in ìsnow devilsî or ìwhite tornadoes.î If one turned his face, a gust from the opposite direction would catch and spin him around like a puppet. The wind would snatch the breath away as the snow clogged the nostrils and throat. Next, the snow would follow his breath into his lungs, nearly choking and suffocating him.
People appeared on streets wearing homemade devices resembling gas masks.
Some, caught out in what a New Haven newspaper described as ìthe bewildering, belligerent, blinding blitz,î became hysterical, shouting, cursing the wind and pounding the snow tearfully. Others wandered, disoriented, into drifts and died quietly.

Storm surge, New England, '38 Hurricane:
The storm surge rolled on; at high tide it overwhelmed the shorelines of Rhode Island and Massachusetts as far east as the southwestern tip of Cape Cod.
At Block Island, although the waves spared most of the houses, which were built on much higher ground than on Long Islandís south shore, they smashed to smithereens all the lobster pots and the entire fishing fleet.
Between Point Judith, on the east ó where, at the entrance of Narragansett Bay, the tide rose over 17 feet above mean low tide ó to Watch Hill on the Connecticut border, a great, green wave estimated by onlookers to be 60 to 70 feet high came rolling in from the ocean. It washed away miles of beaches and dunes; it scooped out new inlets and filled others, permanently transforming the coastline. The surge smashed hundreds of homes and other structures into driftwood ó and then its backlash sucked entire settlements into the sea.
At Whale Rock, just off the shore of Watch Hill, it toppled the sturdy lighthouse, carrying the assistant keeper to his death in the depths. Reaching the mainland at Watch Hill, it split the yacht club in two, and a piano came flying twenty feet into the air.


James Lincoln Turner graduated from Monmouth College, West Long Branch, NJ, in 1958 and taught junior high school Social Studies and English in Monmouth and Ocean counties, NJ. His articles about hurricanes and weather have appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times to the Asbury Park Press to boating magazines and his poetry has been included in anthologies. In addition to poetry and meteorological subjects, the author has a life-long interest in classical music which he believes resounds with natural splendor as expressed in the sunshine and shades of Mozart and the storms of Beethoven. Born in 1935 in Lakewood, NJ, he is a resident of Spring Lake, on the New Jersey Shore.

The author and another stormophile, the late, great weather historian David Ludlum, often discussed their favorite storms. Mr. Ludlum’s was the Great Eastern Blizzard of February 1899; the author’s was the Great Appalachian Storm of 1950. After reading an early draft of Chapter 8 of this book, Mr. Ludlum remarked to the author, "Well, you sure put in a labor of love on your favorite storm. Maybe some day they’ll call it Turner’s Tempest."

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