(14 Chases)

Jan 10-19, 1997: Low temperatures were in the single digits or below zero across all of Northern Ohio, causing frozen and ruptured water pipes. With wind chills of 40 to 50 below zero, many schools were forced to close. On the 19th, Toledo (Lucas) had a low temperature of minus 10 degrees and Wauseon (Fulton) had a low of minus eight degrees.

March 1, 1997: After saving up for about a year, I started to purchase some chase equipment. This didn’t happen all at once but through that year. The chase equipment includes a 2-meter ham radio, new updated police scanner, lighting detector, Electronic hydrometer, and a handheld anemometer.

March 13, 1997: Freezing rain with temperatures around 32 degrees Fahrenheit caused 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice to form on colder surfaces such as trees and power lines which were downed by the added weight. This resulted in numerous power outages. Some basements filled with water because of the lack of power to run electrical sump pumps. Many trees and branches were downed on cars. Scores of traffic accidents occurred as roadways were transformed into hockey rinks. Throughout the day on the 14th, patchy freezing rain continued, accompanied by gusty winds, resulting in a few more downed trees.

May 18, 1997: This chase brought 2 storms, heavy rain, strong winds, lighting, large hail, up to one inch in diameter, fell in several locations. In Marion (Marion County), hail was reported up to two inches deep on some roads. Thunderstorm winds downed trees, large branches, and power lines, and several buildings were damaged or destroyed. In Bowling Green (Wood), several barn roofs were blown off with some of the pieces landing on a nearby house. Also, in Bowling Green, a 60 foot tree fell on a house and at least one tree fell on a car A 67 mile per hour wind gust was reported in Ridgeville Corners in Henry County. In Liberty Center, also in Henry County, an enclosed porch was blown off a house, a garage collapsed, a barn roof was blown off and vehicles were damaged by falling trees and limbs. A construction trailer was blown across a road in Fremont (Sandusky). In Fostoria (Seneca), a barn roof was blown 2000 feet into a field and pieces of wood were pushed into the side of a barn by the force of the wind. In Bettsville, also in Seneca County, two garages were blown away, with one landing on railroad tracks and one in a field. In Sandusky County, a 65 mile per hour wind was reported in Erie. and a wall cloud.

The second storm of the day, was in the late afternoon. Although it was not very strong, I did take one photo of it.

May 25, 1997: Heavy thunderstorm rain caused flooding of low lying areas, streams and roads. There was 5 feet of water on some roads in Wood County , and in Hancock County some people had to be rescued from their cars.

June 25, 1997: This storm was the first storm using my new 35mm film camera, a Samsung with a 140mm zoom. This is one of my most favorite storms. Even though I did not see a funnel, I watched a very impressive shelf cloud and gust front come thru. I took numerous photos of the shelf cloud. This storm also produced large hail over Lake Erie which was just north my location. Trees and power lines were downed.

July 2, 1997: This is one of my "wish I was there" storms. I was stuck at work while these multi-celled storms developed North of me. Missing the good stuff just by the North was the running gag this year. I did snapped about 4 good photos of these storms. The storms went through the Detroit area (about 1hr N of here), and dropped an F-3 tornado near Holly, MI. Two people died in these storms.

July 17, 1997: Many large branches and power lines were downed. A 60-mile per hour wind gust was reported at Point Place

July 18, 1997: This chase lead me to the east. I was able to get my first photos of a funnel cloud. It did not touch the ground just stay there and did much of nothing, but I was excited that I finally got to see one.

July 26, 1997: Once again the storms took me to the East. Heavy rain was the main reason of this storm. I took a few distant photos of the storm.

August 3-4, 1997: Two round of storms happen today. The first round produced ¾ inch hail in Perrysburg and in Toledo. The 2nd round of storms happen at night around 10pm. I usually don’t chase at night so I let them pass by. These storms dropped very heavy rainfall, large hail and a tornado west of my location. I went out early the next day to photograph the flooding and storm damage.

August 14, 1997: I ran out of road for this storm, it was over the lake. I was able to photograph it from a distance though. It caused damage in Cleveland.

August 16, 1997: This day I new it was going to be big. As the storms and warnings began to pop up, I grabbed my chase gear and began loading it in the car. As I did I noticed mammatus clouds already over me. I took one or two shots of that and I was off. My destination was the Perrysburg area. I got some great pics of this nasty storm. I encountered all the severe elements in the storm, pea to nickel size hail, winds over 55mph, and a funnel cloud. I chased this storm for about 2hs, stopping frequently to take photos of it. These storms caused 68 warnings in Northern Ohio, 18 of them were tornado warnings. This is defiantly in my top 5 chases.

August 16, 1997: ¾ inch hail in Bowling Green and in Toledo numerous trees and large limbs were downed.

November 14, 1997: One of my snowchases. I took a few pics of the backyard and around town. We received about 5" of snow.

December 20, 1997: Another snowchase, about 7 inches fell this day.


(17 Chases)

January 13, 1998: A combination of occasional rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow, particularly on Tuesday the 13th, caused icy roads, bridges, sidewalks and other exposed surfaces. Many schools were closed. Hospital emergency rooms treated numerous ice related injuries (mostly from slips and falls). Even salt trucks had trouble negotiating the icy roads - at least two of them tipped over. This event did not meet winter storm criteria.

February 17. 1998: A very strong rainstorm occurred on this day. Nearly 2 inches of rain fell, got some flooding pics.

March 1, 1998: Today I enter the video world. I got myself a camcorder and now added it to my storm chasing equipment.

March 9, 1998: My first snowchase using the camcorder. I was able to set it up using a tripod in the passenger seat and shoot video out the front window. That way I can film hands free. I sat it up and let it run. I drove about a half hour to test it on how it would work out. The test passed with flying colors. I will do more tests before the chase season actually begins.

May 31, 1998: A tornado warning was issued for this storm. Estimated winds of 45-55mph were observed. I got a few lighting shots on video, which was pretty cool.

June 12, 1998: This was a great chase!!! It had everything! Wind, hail, lighting, and a tornado. This one lasted about 45 seconds and was in the Ft Megis area. I was able to get one or two good photos of it before realizing it was coming straight at me. In the few seconds of thinking of whether of diving in the ditch or not, it broke up. To this day it stands as the best chase days. I was able to get one photo of storm damage.

This 2nd line of storms occurred at dusk, and my #1 rule is no chasing at night. So I stayed home and videotaped the lighting after the storm passed. What came out of about an hour and half of videotape was some pretty good cloud to cloud lighting shots. There were numerous reports of large hail.

June 27, 1998: Large hail fell at Rossford 1 inch and 1½ inches in Walbridge.

June 29, 1998: Today I went up to meet the storms. By the time I got out to intercept them they died out. <BUST CHASE>

June 30, 1998: Large hail ¾ inch fell at Luckey. 1¾ inches in Pemberville.

July 1998: Temperatures across northern Ohio were much above normal. High temperatures reached the middle 90s several days and five daily record high temperatures were established at Mansfield and Youngstown. An unofficial 100-degree temperature was measured in Sandusky County at Clyde on July 5th. All major reporting stations in northern Ohio finished with average monthly temperatures among the ten warmest on record for July.

July 17, 1998: 

July 19, 1988: ¾ of an inch hail in Perrysburg.

July 21, 1998: large hail fell just north of Bowling Green

August 13, 1998: A barn was struck by lightning with the resulting fire doing extensive structural damage.

August 21, 1998: I chased two storms that day. The first one produced a few funnel clouds and heavy rain. The second one happen at almost dusk. I was able to capture the approaching gust front before it got dark. Trees were downed

November 10, 1998: Not much of a chase, lots of rain and strong wind. So mostly a bust chase. Power poles were downed.