Book Excerpt: 'Category 7'

New York's WABC-TV meteorologist Bill Evans teamed up with novelist Marianna Jameson to write "Category 7."

The book focuses on a a group of weather folk and a hurricane named Simone. Simone is a huge storm headed straight for Manhattan. But it turns out, the storm is not a natural phenomenon. A semimad scientist named Carter Thompson has learned how to create hurricanes and direct their paths.

You can read an excerpt from the book below.

Chapter One


Rain lashed through the hellishly hot Saharan sky, hurling itself groundward with chaotic fury only to evaporate before it made contact with the dying earth. The newly dry air was sucked up again into the wet layer to repeat its journey until the storm subsided.

An hour later the edge of the desert was as it had been days, months, and years before, revealing no signs of having been changed by the storm. Heat shimmered over still-parched, endlessly shifting sands, sending eddies of fine dust into a sky brilliant with unrelenting light. The very air seemed to glitter as sunlight sparked away from the myriad minute planes of mica and silica particles the earth sacrificed to the sky in convective obedience.

Some of the grains of sand and minerals, the spores and bacteria, had already traveled untold distances. Abandoned by winds long since vanquished, they had lain here for days or decades ready to be lifted once again to the sky. Some particles came from the beds of ancient seas and primeval jungles; others were more recent, formed only a few millennia ago when the earth writhed, heaving rock and ash into chaotic skies as it gave birth to the African lands, the implacable massifs and the dusty plains encircling them.

Smaller than dust and immeasurably light, the particles were swept upward and overland, floating westward on the hot winds, taking with them the harsh and timeless lessons of the desert. Without will, without desire, they hovered over dunes as the airstream steadied. Silent travelers, they dipped to the earth and rose above it, blinding eddies in a river of wind, and swept over scoured plains that kept untold secrets, that hid the treasures and the miseries of civilizations long dead.

As they entered the dense, sticky air above the city, the microscopic particles of dirt and minerals, of pollen, fungi, and bacteria, of long-dead plants and creatures, began to cluster. Unavoidably, they collided with the irresistible, heavy carbonaceous particulates that humankind hurled into the sky. Since humans had discovered fire, they'd mimicked the actions of the earth itself, sending ash and smoke heavenward with abandon, dulling the atmosphere, dirtying it.

The wind kept the particles aloft, leading them on an endless, nomadic flight, its mission inexorable, its duration eternal. They'd blown through refugee camps and over embattled lands, embracing the death and desperation that rose in the unholy heat on the fetid air. They swept across wasted fields and villages, depositing remnants of times both better and worse and lifting into their midst both the hope and the destruction that lay beneath them.

Mountains rose before the particulates, precipitating many to the earth, sending others ever higher. Lakes and rivers beckoned, swelling the air with moisture unknown to many of the particles for countless ages.

Some fell. Some remained aloft, continuing their traversal of savanna and desert, plantation and city.

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