Harold Edry: 1957 Okie Storm Chaser?

Here’s a nostalgic old radio excerpt, courtesy Canadian Broadcasting Company, where a CBC reporter followed a storm spotter or chaser in Oklahoma back in 1957.

The commentary is priceless! Of course, one can catch several old myths in the broadcast, but some of the other insights actually are remarkable for the day.

I wonder if the city of Edmond still produces a plat map showing all “storm cellars.” A “cow’s udder without any teats” preceding the tornado sounds like one of the most distinctive wall cloud descriptions I’ve heard. I dare other storm observers to record that description on their videos this season. >:-)

It’s neat to hear Edry describe how he can “feel tornado weather” in light of something that happened to Rich, Elke and me on 15 May 3, in Shamrock. As we were loading the car to head to (and eventually N of) AMA, a couple of good ol’ boys in overalls, hauling hay, drove by us and hollered, “Y’all are gonna see a big ‘un today. I can FEEL it!” [I think Rich muttered something about Deliverance; I was reminded of the Dukes of Hazzard.]

That ol’ boy was right. Just a couple hours later we were observing the wide tornado NW of Stratford (along with “Hailstone” Jim Leonard, Tim Samaras, and numerous others). That whole day was a surreal experience for Rich, who got off shift at 8 a.m., woke up in the back of the car at Shamrock to see Howie staring down at him (smiling), and uttered several memorable chase quotes from the deep catacombs of sleep deprivation.

As for the old CBC broadcast, I wonder if anyone today ever has heard of “storm expert” Harold Edry? I suspect he probably was an old-timey spotter from that era.

Thanks to Pat from Winnipeg for bringing that link to my attention.


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