David K. Hoadley

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David Hoadley
Born 1938
North Dakota, USA[1]
Alma mater Indiana University (B.A.)
University of Virginia (M.A.)[2]
Known for Earliest known storm chaser; founded Storm Track magazine
Children Sarah Hoadley

David K. Hoadley (born 1938) is the first known storm chaser and was founder of Storm Track magazine. He is also a sketch artist and a photographer.


Hoadley's interest in storms began shortly after he graduated from high school when, in June 1956, a severe thunderstorm caused straight-line wind damage to trees and power lines throughout his hometown of Bismarck, North Dakota. Following this, he chased locally and then for several springs roamed Kansas and Oklahoma.[4] He earned a B.A. in political science from Indiana University and a M.A. in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.[2] After graduate school he volunteered for Army ROTC, went to intelligence school, and chose to be stationed in dusty Fort Riley, Kansas in "Tornado Alley" as a lieutenant.[5] He, who retired in 2003, later made a career at the Environmental Protection Agency and continues to reside in Virginia.

Hoadley founded Storm Track in 1977 following an impromptu meeting with a handful of early storm chasers at the American Meteorological Society's 10th Conference on Severe Local Storms in Omaha, Nebraska. It was a newsletter to connect widely dispersed chasers. He edited Storm Track from 1977 to 1986, after which it was handed off to Tim Marshall and soon assumed a magazine format. He continued submitting writing, photographs, and sketches to the magazine. He has written for the World Meteorological Organization and wrote a refereed article on a tornado spawned by Hurricane David.[6] He provided advice and sketches for Storm Talk, the Storm Chase Manual, Tornado Talk, and the Storm Chaser's Handbook.[1] Although he generally eschews publicity, he occasionally allowed journalists to join him on chases or grants interviews. He and his photographs have appeared in publications around the world, including Time-Life, National Geographic, Scientific American, the Chicago Tribune, and USA Today. On television, he has appeared on National Geographic Explorer, ABC's Day One, and The History Channel.

A meticulous record keeper, Hoadley taught himself meteorology and developed a pattern recognition based forecasting method, primarily using surface data. He has witnessed over 200 tornadoes and driven approximately 750,000 miles (1,210,000 km) while chasing. Many of these miles accumulated because he for decades drove to the Great Plains from his home in Virginia.[3] He was the keynote speaker about his storm chasing career - then in its 50th year - at the 2006 TESSA National Storm Conference where he was honored in a tribute dinner.[7][8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Vasquez, Tim (2008). Storm Chasing Handbook (2nd ed.). Weather Graphics Technologies. ISBN 0-9706840-8-8. 
  2. ^ a b "48 Years of Storm Chasing with Pioneer Tornado Chaser: David Hoadley". District of Columbia Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. 2004. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  3. ^ a b c Gene Rhoden, Chuck Doswell, RJ Evans (2012-01-25). "David Hoadley". High Instability. Series 92. Norman, OK. ShockNet Radio. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. 
  4. ^ James Spann et al. (2009). "Hoadley Headlines". WeatherBrains. Series 184. Birmingham, AL. The Weather Company. 
  5. ^ Marshall, Tim; David Hoadley (1987-01-31). "Chase Fever: The Early Years". Storm Track. Texas. 10 (2): 5–7. Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. 
  6. ^ Hoadley, David K. (1981). "A tropical storm David tornado in Fairfax County–September 1979". Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 62 (4). 
  7. ^ Doswell, Chuck (2006-03-31). "My personal tribute to David Hoadley - First among storm chasers". Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  8. ^ Edwards, Roger (2006-03-15). "David Hoadley: Fine Gentleman and Father of Storm Observing". Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  9. ^ Rhoden, Gene (2006-03-13). "Tribute to David Hoadley and "a mere cottonwood seed"". Retrieved 2012-02-27. 

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