Books

“It’s a walk down memory lane for a lot of people who lived through some of these storms and remember.”

Eric Fisher, chief meteorologist at WBZ, is publishing his first book on Oct. 1. Eric Fisher

Calling all closet meteorologists: WBZ’s Chief Meteorologist Eric Fisher has a book coming out that you’ll definitely want to get your hands on. 

On Oct. 1, Fisher will drop his first book, “Mighty Storms of New England: The Hurricanes, Tornados, Blizzards, and Floods That Shaped the Region,” with publisher Globe Pequot. Like it sounds, the book is a historical account of some major weather events as far back as the 1800s, with an exploration of the impact they’ve had on society.

“When you look at things that impact people or a region, someone says something’s got to change here, and in a lot of the cases it did as a result of most of these storms,” Fisher said.

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Fisher had been thinking about writing a book for a while — about travel or the outdoors — but in the fall of 2019, Globe Pequot approached him with an idea. The book became a pandemic project: he started writing it in January 2020 and continued as the world shut down around him. Fisher worked with them to choose 20 of the most significant local weather events to include, though he knows there are many more.

Published by Globe Pequot, Eric Fisher will release his first book on Oct. 1. – Globe Pequot

“We’ve had hundreds and hundreds of memorable storms, and a storm is memorable to a person when it affects them,” he said. “So each one of these has an impact in one town or a couple towns or one region, but not everybody. So, it doesn’t cover everyone but it does cover the more infamous events.”

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He focused on a few different storms for each type of weather — winter storms, tornados, coastal storms — that led to transformative change either in weather reporting or in society. The 1953 Worcester Tornado is one example, he said.

“Up to that point there had never been a severe thunderstorm warning, and no one had ever uttered ‘tornado’ in a forecast in the Northeast,” he said. “That Worcester tornado led to the formation of the storm prediction center, and the roll out of doppler radar. Two of the most important things we use to track and forecast severe weather came from that year and that event.”

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Fisher has wanted to be a meteorologist as far back as he can remember. He recalled the blizzard of 1996 and the tornado that hit Great Barrington in 1995 as two major weather events from his youth. Another, the 1998 ice storm, he wrote about in his book. He knows he couldn’t include every storm that has impacted New Englanders through the years, but tried to include the big ones.

“It’s a walk down memory lane for a lot of people who lived through some of these storms and remember, ‘oh Hurricane Carol, that was a big one,’ or ‘Blizzard of ‘78, of course I remember that,’…it might be a reminder of the wild weather events we’ve had over time,” he said.

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Fisher wrote the book for anyone fascinated with weather and history. The first print of 1,000 copies has already been preordered, and Fisher is excited they’re printing more. 

“I think it’s going to be a Christmas present for a lot of dads out there, so maybe it’s a book for closet meteorologists and there are many,” he said. “Closet meteorology is a big thing in New England, there are tons of people who’ve been fascinated with the weather.”

Anyone can preorder the book online, and Fisher will be taking it on a small Books and Brews signing tour this fall, so stay tuned.