My chase vacation had started! I arrived late Friday night on May 14 and stayed at the Guest Inn in Norman Oklahoma. The hotel was full of storm chasers including Cloud 9 Tours. The next day, I had lunch with Chris Kridler, Dave Lewison, Scott McPartland and Pete Ventre. They were still excited after seeing multiple tornadoes the previous Wednesday evening. Scott was the one who took that amazing footage of the house getting torn apart by the tornado in Attica, Kansas. It was shown on The Weather Channel and other networks. Luckily, no one was hurt. I usually chase with those guys but because of scheduling, they took the first two weeks and I picked the last two weeks of May. It is all a matter of luck. They had nothing for almost a week in a half before they saw the Attica storms. I missed those tornadoes but was looking forward to an active storm season.
After lunch, I prepared my equipment for the upcoming two weeks and then went to the Storm Chaser Picnic with Chris, Dave, Scott and Pete. The picnic is an annual storm chaser party that is scheduled for a Saturday in late May if no severe weather is predicted. The party was at the home of Rocky Rascovich in Piedmont, near Oklahoma City. There were about 70 chasers attending the party including some from Canada and England.. Videos were shown and I got to see the storms that I missed the previous Wednesday. The party is always fun and it was a relaxing way to start vacation. Since Chris and Scott had to drive back to Cocoa Beach and New York respectively, they decided to leave early rather than chase for a few more days. Dave was leaving on Sunday. I said my goodbyes and headed north toward Nebraska to get in position for expected storms the next day. I was hopeful for some severe weather. Anything would be better than most of my trip last year. I ended the day at a Super 8 in York, Nebraska. Thanks to Rocky Rascovich and his family for hosting a great party.
** Storm Track group picture courtesy of Dave Lewison & used with his permission.
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