Vintage video clips

Dec 4, 2003
Here's my second chase where we actually had a camcorder, March 28 1988. It features myself and Gene Rhoden going after a supercell in the Quanah/Lawton area (no obvious tornado). We were both about 20 at the time. (22.1 MB, 9:27)

The clip opens with AM Weather for that morning, then has about 4 minutes of vintage chase footage. It closes with that evening's weathercasts: Channel 8's Troy Dungan and Channel 5's Harold Taft, showing the storms on radar and satellite.

It was only two years later when chase footage truly became popular, in the wake of the 3/13/90 and 4/26/91 outbreaks and with the next wave of high-quality consumer equipment taking root. Up until this point storm video was sort of experimental, equipment was for the most part crappy, and it was considered inferior to still photography, though interesting.

Below are some screen caps for anyone who doesn't want to download the clip.




I really like the "old school" graphics. They were straight to the point and easy to read. Now things are so smoothed over and dumbed down, it actually makes it harder to read (well, harder to sit through at least :lol:). At this rate, I wonder where things will be in 10 years... Probably won't even be any broadcast meteorology - everyone will just open their personal computing unit (like a PDA) and pull up the 15-day forecast.

Thanks for the links Tim, very interesting.
Yeah, from what I've read 3/28 was about the only day in 1988 with decent tornadic supercells in the Plains. Neat stuff. 8)

Thanks for the AM Weather flashback. It still brings back great memories of severe weather days gone by. I can remember waking up at 6:45 to see the SWODY 1.

I find it hard to believe that, only 15 years ago, we had such rudimentary graphics.
Wonder where Joan van Ahn (?sp) and Carl Weiss from AM Weather ended up?
Tim - do you have any more photos of Harold Taft that you can post. Harold Taft was my hero growing up :)

Austin, TX
There was a monster of a supercell that rolled across the south half of Oklahoma City on March 28, 1988. It produced a lot of 2 to 4 inch hail and a couple of small tornadoes. I snapped a pic of the NSSL doppler display as the hook was wrapping up just west and southwest of Will Rogers Airport. Looking back at it now, I still wonder how the city escaped "the big one" that day.