The Storm Watcher Blog Tour

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

The Storm Watcher Blog Tour


Feb 19 – Mar 5, 2014

Hosted by

Join us for interviews, guest posts, reviews, and giveaways!

Tour Schedule

Wed 2/19 – The Book Monsters – review

Thu 2/20 – I Am a Reader – interview

Fri 2/21 – Unleashing Readers – guest post

Mon 2/24 – Bookalicious – review

Tue 2/25 – Kid Lit Frenzy – guest post

Wed 2/26 – Sharpreads – review

Thu 2/27 – The Mod Podge Bookshelf – guest post

Fri 2/28 – The Windy Pages – review, interview

Mon 3/3 – Teenage Reader – review

Tue 3/4 – Read Now Sleep Later – review

Wed 3/5 – The Brain Lair – review

There will be 10 winners chosen (including some international winners) so come back every day for more chances to win.

Storm Watcher by Maria V. Snyder

About the book:

Luke Riley is lost.

His mother’s recent death has set Luke and his family adrift. Even though his father, twin brothers, and their three Bloodhounds are search and rescue volunteers, they have been unable to rescue themselves and become a family again. The summer after sixth grade looms in Luke’s mind as a long, lonely three months where the only thing he can look forward to is watching The Weather Channel. Luke is fascinated with the weather, but since his mother’s death in a storm, he is also terrified. Even the promised 13th birthday present of a Bloodhound puppy fails to lift Luke’s spirits. He would rather have a different breed–a petite Papillon–but his father insists he get a Bloodhound.

When Luke decides to get the Bloodhound from Willajean, a dog breeder who owns Storm Watcher Kennel, he works out a deal to help at her kennel in exchange for the expensive dog. Thrilled to have a summer with a purpose, Luke befriends Willajean’s daughter, Megan, and together they plan how Luke can get a Papillon puppy instead of a Bloodhound. But nothing seems to work as they struggle with stubborn fathers, summer storms, unhelpful siblings, and hidden guilt. Can one little white dog really save both families?

About the author:

Maria V. Snyder writes adult and young adult fantasy novels and short stories. Formerly an environmental meteorologist, she earned a Masters degree in writing from Seton Hill University; she is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program. Storm Watcher is her first middle grade novel. You can contact her at

Author website
Goodreads Author Page
Add this book on Goodreads
Maria’s blog
Read an excerpt from Storm Watcher

Take a Storm Watcher quiz!

12 Curious Hurricane Facts

Friday, October 11th, 2013

  • The word “hurricane” comes from “hurucane,” which is the Taino Native American word for evil spirit of the wind.
  • A hurricane can generate up to 20 billion tons of rain per day.
  • The strongest winds of a hurricane can be found in the eye wall, which is the ring of thunderstorms and clouds surrounding the hurricane’s eye.
  • The costliest hurricane to hit the Untied States was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm caused $125 billion dollars in damage and killed over 2,000 people. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 was the second costliest hurricane in the Untied States.  Superstorm Sandy caused $68 billion dollars worth of damage and killed 354 people.
  • The deadliest hurricane that formed in the Atlantic Ocean was the Great Hurricane of 1780.  It struck on October 10 and hammered the Caribbean, killing 25,000 people.
  • The deadliest hurricane to hit the United States was the Galveston, Texas Hurricane which struck on September 8, 1900.  It had 145 mph winds and the storm surge killed over 8,000 people.
  • Hurricanes can also produce tornadoes, but they’re weaker than the ones spawned by supercell thunderstorms and last only a few minutes. In 1967, a hurricane that hit Texas produced 140 tornadoes.
  • A hurricane generates massive amounts of energy so much that every second a major hurricane can release the same energy as 10 atomic bombs.
  • On average, hurricanes move about 250 miles per day, but the giant waves created by a hurricane can radiate outward at a pace of 900 miles per day.  Before weather satellites, these big waves would alert the residents that a hurricane was approaching.
  • The red spot on the planet Jupiter is really a ginormous hurricane that has been raging on the planet’s surface for over 300 years. The size of the hurricane is larger than Earth.
  • Slow-moving hurricanes can cause more damage than faster-moving storms.  The slower pace allows more rain to fall on a region, creating large-scale flooding.
  • Most hurricanes die before they reach land.  The storm will pass over an area of cooler water.

Back to Weather Facts

12 Curious Facts References:

The Handy Weather Answer Book, by Walter A. Lyons, Ph.D.

12 Curious Lightning Facts

Friday, October 11th, 2013

  • Florida is the lightning capital of the United States.
  • The top five activities that have the most lightning deaths are fishing, camping, boating, soccer, and golfing.
  • 82 percent of lightning victims are male.
  • 70 percent of lightning strikes are during the months of June, July and August.
  • In the United States, researchers estimate about 22 million lightning flashes strike the ground each year.
  • Lightning can also strike in the winter, during a rare thunder snowstorm.
  • You can survive a lightning strike, but there can be serious complications.
  • American Park Ranger Roy Sullivan has been struck by lightning seven times between 1942 and 1977. He survived them all and earned the nickname the Human Lightning Rod, and also earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • When lightning strikes the sand, the intense heat can melt the sand into a glass-like state called fulgerites.
  • Many cloud-to-ground lightning strikes are forked, which means they have many strike points on the ground.  And once lightning hits the ground, it can spread out over 60 feet from the strike point.
  • Fear of lightning is called keraunophobia.
  • Fear of thunder is called brontophobia.

Back to Weather Facts

12 Curious Lightning Facts References:

The Handy Weather Answer Book, by Walter A. Lyons, Ph.D.

Funny/Weird Weather Facts

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Funny/Weird Weather Facts

Did you know that…

  • if the earth were flat, water would cover everything in a layer two miles deep
  • if you don’t have a telescope projector or welder’s glass to watch a solar eclipse, just look for the nearest tree. The shadows it casts will be in the same crescent shape of the eclipsing sun as an inverted image of it projects through gaps in the leaves.
  • “monster” waves at over 100 ft. tall can suddenly appear at sea when there is no storm to cause them
  • socks and shoes may be knocked off if struck by lightning
  • once in England, because of a water spout, it rained frogs
  • glass is made of sand
You can find more weird facts about weather at
  • moon bows are rare, only seen at night when the moon is low and almost full, similar to a rainbow
  • colored moons are due to different atmospheric issues and could turn to colors such as blue, orange, and red
  • a fire whirl is either a tornado spinning too close to a forest fire or a whirl created from too much heat in the area
  • a fire rainbow is extremely rare: it occurs only when the sun is high, allowing light to pass through high-altitude cirrus clouds with a high content of ice crystals
  • ball lightning is lightning that moves much slower than normal, could be as large as 8 ft. in diameter, and can cause great damage
  • sprites, jet, and elves are cores, glows, and discharges that appear in regions near thunderstorms
For more fun weather facts, visit
  • sometimes fish can rain from the sky
  • “ball lightning” are balls of light that float through air during storms, range in size from golf ball to football
  • “bloody rain” is red-colored rain which carries reddish sand from desert regions
  • “seeing triple” is an optical illusion where you can see “ghost images” of the sun
  • the metaphor once in a blue moon can literally happen, but very rarely, as the phrase implies 🙂
Find amazing images and more weather news at
  • “watermelon snow” is green algae containing secondary red carotenoid pigment and chlorophyll
  • “snow rollers” are rare, large snowballs formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown by wind
  • highest snowfall ever recorded was 1224 inches in one-year period
  • On April 4, 1986, Bangladesh was hit by the biggest hailstones ever recorded–1 kg each–killing 92 people
  • the metaphor once in a blue moon can literally happen, but very rarely, as the phrase implies 🙂
More sources for weather facts: | ScienceKids | Climate & Weather
  • there are approximately 1800 thunderstorms occurring in the earth’s atmosphere at any given time
  • thunderstorms can create gusts of wind that can develop additional thunderstorms 100 miles away
  • a US government study showed that one small thunderstorm held more than 33 million gallons of water
  • in 1967, a hurricane unleashed 115 tornadoes over Texas
  • the world’s windiest place is Port Martin, Antarctica, with an average wind speed of 40 mph
  • 9 out of 10 lightning strike victims survive
More sources for weather facts: | ScienceKids | Climate & Weather
  • in 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world’s nuclear weapons combined
  • rain contains vitamin B12
  • the speed of a typical raindrop is 17 miles per hour
  • winter of 1932 in U.S. was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid
  • you can use pinecones to forecast the weather: the scales on the pinecones will close when rain is on the way
  • the fastest wind speed ever recorded is 318mph in one of the tornadoes to hit Oklahoma on May 3, 1999

Real Life Sharknado! There have been 5 documented cases of sea life raining from the sky after being scooped up by waterspouts.

  • Fish – residents of Agusan del Sur in the Philippines were surprised by dozens of 3-inch mudfish raining from the sky.
  • Frogs – in 2005, a “frognado” was reported in the Serbian town of Odzaci.
  • Jellyfish – in 1894 out of Bath, England jellyfish, rained by the thousands.
  • Worms –  in Jennings, LA, in July 2007, shortly after a waterspout was reported 5 miles from town.
  • Alligators – in South Carolina in 1887 – eight alligators dropped from the sky.

Back to Weather Facts