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Reviving Stormtrack

David Hoadley

Stormtrack founder
Jeff, I am sorry that you and your staff have had some difficulty retaining Stormtrack readers. And regrettably, I have not been very responsible myself, especially since ST went digital. As you noted, many veterans have gone to social media (along with myself to Facebook) –but still occasionally drop by ST, especially for near-term forecasts. Otherwise, my relative absence was originally and partly due to one-time failure at posting a photo and (2) several failures at making donations, using ST’s once involved instructions (at least for me, and after three tries).

However, I have recently been successful with the latest directions and made a donation (As you can tell, I am not the techy type.)

Since it went digital, my absence has also been partly due to a feeling of separation from main-line chasing by an increasingly old timer (now 85), who has not kept pace with forecast technology and feels somewhat left behind. While I still make use of SPC forecasts and smart-phone radar, along with ECMWF; Ral.UCAR; DuPage Maps; etc., I try not to “get in the way” of techy veterans, such as yourselves. However, after the passing of Mark Blue, I have come to realize how much Stormtrack has changed. - - - ( Is the old CFDG group still operating, or has it suffered a similar fate? )

Regarding the challenge for continuing, it seems to me that much of ST’s subject matter is national and international in nature and should survive at that level. This includes such wide-ranging topics as near and long-term severe forecasting, improvements in digital photography, latest updates to storm-dedicated software, changes in car mounting of real-time equipment, whether to stop and help the injured, etc. –all only found in a national journal.

If you are also considering writing a storm chaser book, that introduces a whole new direction of preparation. I have been asked many times to write one. However, and after much soul searching, I never quite felt up to the task (or as Clint Eastwood once famously said, “A man has to know his limitations.”). I never found a really grand theme to express the depth and richness of that experience. I kept backing into a mere cataloguing of individual chases, however remarkable –but lacking real connection. I always wanted to write a story like Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea” (book and movie). That was about chasing the great swordfish but also broad in the larger meanings to life --limited detail but profound message. However, I never quite reached the clarity of that goal --and now signs of aging are beginning to overtake me (hesitation and forgetfulness). - - - - -

At this time, I am currently into tax season, so have to return. When I can, I may have more ideas. You should still have a complete set of old paper ST issues, so you can find much of the early commentary that brought us together back then. Good luck.
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Thank you for popping in to provide your perspective, Dave! I am honored to have your presence this day and age.

Yes, things are quite different on Stormtrack these days, and during the past 10-15 years especially, this particular group/forum has really quieted. Thankfully, we still have a core group of a dozen or more folks who continue to volunteer their time and still are interested in the forum based discussion medium, which keeps this site going during the down times.

Regarding your question about CFDG - I was never a member of that email listserv, and thus I have no idea if it is still around. Sadly, I doubt that anyone who ever was in that group (or still is) remains active on this board. So we may very well never know.

I appreciate the insight about writing a book. I hadn't considered writing any kind of prose/story of storm chasing - more of a review and piecemeal highlights of various aspects of the hobby, along with guest essays and chaser profile spotlights. But now I will have to re-consider whether writing some kind of narrative (could be thought of as an expanded essay) could be worth it.

Anyway, I think previous owner Steve Miller currently possesses the paper copies of ST's archives. We also still have them on the site somewhere (need to find that URL). Feel free to continue to offering perspectives as you have time, Dave. And thanks for donating!
OMG Dave! I'm largely distanced myself from the main chase community over the last 6-7 years for a number of reasons, many having nothing to do with storm chasing. I pop by every once in a blue moon and lurk a little bit. I was so excited to see your name posting again. Encourages me to maybe to get more involved again. Way back when I was helping admin this place, I found an old folder that had been archived away that I believe contained a large volume of your old drawings that I loved so much, and I saved a copy because I didn't want that important piece of storm chasing history to ever be lost. So in case you need any of that let me know. I too being from the era of the printed Storm Track magazines.