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Atmospheric optics

  1. Lightning, physics and effects
    V.A. Rakov, M.A. Uman
    Cambridge University Press (2003) - ISBN 0-521-58327-6 (hardcover)

    This is an excellent book on the physics of lightning. It is a great complement to MacGorman's and Rust's The electrical nature of storms, since this book deals with lightning exclusively. It is also very recent (from 2003). It's intended for the college-level physics grad. Contains a huge reference list, one after each chapter.

  2. The lightning discharge
    Martin A. Uman
    Dover Publications Inc., New York (2001) - ISBN 0-486-41463-9

    Similar to Uman's Lightning, this book is more recent and goes a bit deeper into the physics of lightning. Worthwhile to have as a substitute for Lightning, if you are into physics and interested in lightning.

  3. Lightning physics and lightning protection
    E.M. Bazelyan & Y.P. Raizer
    Institute of physics publishing (2000) - ISBN 0-7503-0477-4

    This work is another university-level standard reference on lightning, lightning research, and lightning protection. It covers many aspects of lightning which MacGorman & Rust's Electrical Nature of Storms does not cover. It is a translation from Russian. The book contains many mathematical formulae.

  4. Ball lightning - an unsolved problem in atmospheric science
    Mark Stenhoff
    Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers (1999) - ISBN 0-306-46150-1

    This book is highly interesting reading and unique in its type. Stenhoff lists many possible explanations for ball lightning, as well as ball lightning reports, experiments, and the advances in ball lightning research. It contains almost no mathematics, but is intended for the physics college-grade reader.

  5. The electrical nature of storms
    Donald R. MacGorman / W. David Rust
    Oxford University Press (1998) - ISBN 0-19-507337-1

    A university-level standard reference for lightning researchers. No color photographs, so if you are looking for pretty lightning pictures, this book is not for you. However, it is indispensable to have for all students interested in lightning and thunderstorms. It describes most of the modern techniques to study atmospheric electricity and lightning, and comes with a huge reference list.

  6. Homemade lightning
    R.A. Ford
    McGraw-Hill (1996) - ISBN 0-07-021528

    If you are a high-voltage electronics enthusiast, this book is worthwhile having. Ford explains many electrostatic generators and supplies plans and tips on constructing them. I miss the Tesla coils a bit.

  7. La foudre
    Cloude Gary
    Massin, Paris (1994) - ISBN 2-225-84507-7

    This book is about lightning, for the general public. It has many illustrations and simple explanations of lightning and thunderstorms. It contains a lot of history. It is in French.

  8. Lightning
    Martin A. Uman
    Dover Publications Inc., New York (1984) - ISBN 0-486-64575-4

    An introductory book on the physics of lightning, thunder and thunderstorm charge regions, as well as lightning research. I can recommend this book, even though it is somewhat old for the (quickly advancing) thunderstorm science.

  9. Thunderstorm morphology and dynamics
    E. Kessler (editor)
    University of Oklahoma Press (1983) - ISBN 0-8061-1936-5 (2nd edition)

    This book is somewhat older (thunderstorm research advances rapidly) but is highly interesting reading. This volume discusses thunderstorm formation and structure and many things related to storms such as precipitation, tornados and lightning.

  10. The thunderstorm in human affairs
    E. Kessler (editor)
    University of Oklahoma Press (1983)

    Like Kessler's other book, this one is somewhat older but still worthwhile reading. It discusses the impact thunderstorms have on humans, such as lightning, flooding, tornadoes, aviation, and storm research.

  11. Atmospheric phenomena
    Readings from Scientific American
    W.H. Freeman and Company, San Fransisco (1980) - ISBN 0-7167-1166-4

    This work is very interesting. It contains many less common atmospheric phenomena and explains those well. Many illustrations and photos.

  12. Ball lightning and bead lightning
    J.D. Barry
    Plenum Press, NY/London (1980) - ISBN 0-306-40272-6

    Barry's book and the very recent book by Stenhoff are the only works I know of that treat ball lightning theories and reports exclusively. This book contains many purported photographs of ball lightning. It is mostly text, with a few simple formulae. It also contains a long reference list.