1997 Chase Summary By David Hoadley



My chase season this year was about average, videotaped two small tornadoes
and briefly saw a third.  The most photogenic was the one near Burton, KS
on May 25.  I was about 5 miles SE and watched it come down.  On the
Jarrell day, I was in Joplin, MO that morning, but the convective outlook
didn't mention tornadoes.  With a surface low in northeast Oklahoma,
Arkansas looked best, but the moderate risk was across poor chase country
to the south.  Anticipating a possible MCS, I gave up on it and drove home.
The second tornado was very minimal, a thin vortex 1/3 way down from a
turbulent cell (no anvil) NW of Tribune, KS.  A local spotter said there
was brief rotation on the ground.  The most dramatic storm was the one near
Wheeler, TX on June 12 (day after the big cone west of Shamrock).  I
watched it from start to finish, as it made a beautiful wall cloud and
moved strong, cloud-base rotation almost overhead.  There was serious
"chaser convergence," and I had to search for the few places available to
pull off the highway.  A brief dust tube spin up from the ground just west
of me, but I was driving to a new location ahead of the rain and missed
taping it.  Did greatly enjoy several days of mostly wishful-chasing
through the Conchas Valley of New Mexico and a great, first visit to the
Custer National Park in Montana.   -- David Hoadley


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