Paper $20.00 ISBN: 9781935704621 Published August 2014
E-book $20.00 ISBN: 9781935704638 Published October 2015

Father Benito Viñes

The 19th-Century Life and Contributions of a Cuban Hurricane Observer and Scientist

Luis E. Ramos Guadalupe

Father Benito Viñes

Luis E. Ramos Guadalupe

Distributed for American Meteorological Society

Translated by Oswaldo Garcia
184 pages | 5 halftones, 5 line drawings, 5 maps | 5 x 8 | © 2014
Paper $20.00 ISBN: 9781935704621 Published August 2014
E-book $20.00 ISBN: 9781935704638 Published October 2015
Before Doppler radar and broadcast weather reports, Spanish-born Benito Viñes (1837–1893) spent decades observing the skies at Belen Observatory in colonial Cuba, routinely issuing weather reports and forecasts to local newspapers. And before storm trackers and emergency alerts, Viñes made it his mission to teach the public what he was learning about the weather. He developed the first network of weather observation stations in the Caribbean, and his research laid the groundwork for the hurricane warning systems we use today. His sometimes eerily accurate hurricane forecasts helped save many lives—earning him the nickname “the Hurricane Priest.”

Father Benito Viñes is a fascinating look at the life of a man who worked on the cutting edge of weather science while still remaining devoted to his religious life. It explores Viñes as both pioneer in the study of tropical meteorology and a colonial Jesuit priest. With notes that put his life into modern context, this book puts a much deserved spotlight on a figure who played a crucial role in making our lives safer.
Contents
Foreword
 
Translator’s Note
 
Acknowledgements
 
Introduction
 
1. First Years in Cuba
 
2. Childhood, Youth, and Vocation
 
3. A Look at His Work and the Evolution of His Scientific Thought
 
4. His Life and Times in Cuba
 
Epilogue
 
References
 
Index
Review Quotes
Journal of Jesuit Studies
"We must thank the American Meteorological Society for bringing the figure of Fr. Viñes to the attention of a wider audience. . . . Viñes deserves to be better known as an important pioneer in the observation, study, and forecasting of tropical hurricanes."
Louis A. Peréz, Jr. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Catholic Historical Review
“Any discussion of the science of meteorology and the study of hurricanes in Cuba begins with accomplishments of the priest Benito Viñes, and it is to this subject that Guadalupe’s biography of Viñes is dedicated. This is a celebratory biography, prepared with affection and admiration, and filled with well-documented information and thoughtful insight. . . . [This book] offers poignant insight into the fusion of science and humanism, a testimony to the degree to which a labor of love had real-life implications. . . . A welcome addition to the expanding scholarship on environmental history. English-language readers owe a debt of gratitude to García for a very capable translation of the Spanish-language original.”
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