1997 Chase Summary by Shane Adams


From: Shane Adams (mnspro@swbell.net):

         SHANE ADAMS 1997 CHASE SUMMARY:

         If there's one thing I learned about stormchasing in my first
year, it was this: NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU PREPARE YOURSELF WITH BOOKS,
DISCUSSIONS, ECT., ACTUALLY DOING IT IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT BALLGAME. We
made many mistakes, more so than I would like to mention,but we learned
alot too.
       I have the tendency to be a bit of a control freak, so most of
the bad decisions we made were based on my "Instincts."
        In all fairness, though, the first part of 1997 wasn't that
spectacular. We busted through March, April, and the first three weeks
of May, with the lone highlight of those months being the golf ball size
hail we were pelted with on April 20 in southeast Ok..
       Probably the toughest pill I ever had to swallow was on May 7. We
had begun the day in Woodward, and Greg (Clark, my chase buddy) was
wanting to hang around. But I said no, we needed to go south. So, when
there were tornadoes touching down in Kay county in Ok., we were sitting
in Vernon Tx., watching a line of marginally severe storms crap out.
That was a bad day.
     May 25 was a bittersweet experience. We saw two tornadoes, but one
we failed to capture on video, and the other was way off and beginning
to wrap up in rain. May 26 was an even bigger disappiontment, with us
blowing off chasing until we saw towers exploding up in the eastern Ok.
skyline to the tune of 5000-7000 CAPES.It was alredy after 5pm by the
time we were on the road........needless to say we missed a good show.
We did, however, luck into what could be the first-ever video of ball
lightning.
     May 29 was the day I knew for sure why I do this: A late start, but
six hours later we had our best and biggest career tornado on film, only
a mile or so away. Althuogh relatively weak, the column was between an
eighth and a quarter of a mile wide at times.
     That was a fun drive home.
     June was good to us again (our first twister we bagged 6-6-96) as
we saw the best Supercells of the season, two small tornadoes, and our
first experience up close and personal with major tornado damage (the
Lela Tx. Monster).
     All in all, 1997 was better than I had foreseen. Five tornadoes.
Now, if I can just get out of the F-0 club next year........


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