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So how did Stormtrack evolve?
Stormtrack was started in 1977 by David Hoadley as a way of connecting a handful of dedicated storm chasers. The number of readers grew into the hundreds during the 1980s. In 1986, David Hoadley elected to retire as editor and handed the reins to Tim Marshall, an engineer from the Dallas area. The magazine continued to grow in popularity and reached its peak in 1997 following the appearance of the film Twister. Tim Marshall released the final issue of Stormtrack in 2002, bringing the magazine's 25-year run to a close. He cited the success of the Internet in bringing stormchasers together in real-time, which brought the paper magazine into obsolescence.
Stormtrack's official website was started in November 1996 by Tim Vasquez following a meeting between Tim Marshall, Tim Vasquez, Bruce Haynie, and Gene Rhoden in which its vision for the Internet age was outlined. In spring 1997, Stormtrack was running full steam with a huge number of chasing photos, chasing news, and chase logs on its website, and the May 25, 1997 Oklahoma/Kansas outbreak was the first major event we covered. We were originally found at telepath.com/stormtrack, but we quickly got our own domain name (www.storm-track.com) and shared hosting. Stormtrack continued to be popular during the remainder of the 1990s but was it a hand-written HTML news site and had no interactive community. In 2000 we officially merged with Gilbert Sebenste's famous Storm Chaser Homepage and changed the domain to (www.stormtrack.org), getting rid of the controversial hyphenated domain. In 2002 we began moving toward a community based model, starting a Yahoo Group (stormtrack) and running an IRC chat room with frequent distinguished guests appearing.
Finally in late 2003 we implemented the current incarnation of Stormtrack, a small phpBB discussion board that rapidly grew into what Stormtrack is today. In late 2005 Tim Marshall consigned his share in Stormtrack ownership to Tim Vasquez, making him sole owner.
In 2015, Stormtrack ownership was awarded in full to Steve Miller. After nearly four years of declining activity on the forum, a reinvention is underway. The traditional forum platform declined in use beginning in 2009, with the rise of social media being a major factor. To address identified shortcomings, Stormtrack was completely rebuilt from the ground up, utilizing the latest community software in order to easily scale as needed and allow the site to function in a more engaging manner.
Stormtrack is an institution and the information contained within this forum is no doubt priceless. As you can deduce while reading about the evolution of Stormtrack, the entity has gone through many changes in order to keep up with the times and the needs of its content providers and readers. Here's to many more years as the premier gathering place and source of information for storm chasers.