Beginners luck? Who knows, but my first storm chase was a good one. Looking back, I had no idea at the time just how perfect it was.
We drove south out of Norman and picked up an isolated supercell storm near Elmore City. The storm moved quickly east northeast across Garvin and Pontotoc Counties while producing large hail and rotating wall clouds. The tornado formed quickly. We thought we saw a funnel cloud developing as we started down a hill, and by the time we came to the top of the next hill we had a solid tornado a debris cloud. We didn’t realize at the time that the tornado was tracking through Ada. Unfortunately, it resulted in the death of one person and injured six.
After a brief stop to look at some damage in Ada, we followed the storm a few more miles where I got to see my first hail the size of baseballs.
For better or worse, I was hooked. If anything bad came from it, it was the idea that all chases would be this easy.