26 February 2008
A Tribute to Gary Shore
Posted by Dan Satterfield
I first met Gary Shore in the Summer of 1979. I had written him a letter asking if by chance he needed a weather intern. I was a second year college student majoring in Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.
Gary was the Chief Meteorologist at the NBC affilliate (KJRH-TV) in Tulsa. He had taken the town by storm. He had a Masters degree in Meteorology, and had already nailed some incredible forecasts. One in particular, I remember, is his forecast of three inches of snow. The local NWS office was forecasting flurries and so was every other TV guy in town. Not Gary, he was insistent that we were in for a significant snow fall.
Tulsa had 3 inches and Gary was the talk of the town.
This guy was not just another TV pretty face, he was real Meteorologist who understood science.
And, I wanted to work as his intern.
I expected no reply, or perhaps a form letter. I was wrong. A few weeks later I sat watching his weather cast at 10 PM. Shortly afterwards the phone rang and it was Gary Shore. He asked if I would like to come down the following night.
I will not go into details here because it is simpler to just say that I owe my career to him.
I was a nerd in High School and finding another human being that was as nuts about weather and science as I was changed my life. Gary and I ended up working together in Tulsa and then as competitors for a short period right here in Huntsville.
The last 7 years he has been at KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa. Gary and I were kindred spirits… while other TV people look to go to big markets to make the bug bucks.. Gary and I had one single love… Forecasting. San Diego may pay well but we would have both gone mad there.
I stood up at his wedding and he was best man at mine. We kept in touch and if I ever had a really tough snow forecast, I always gave him a call. Most of the time I had it right – because I learned from the best.
I do mean the best. I know of no one who was a better forecaster. Many people in Mannford, Oklahoma owe thier lives to his Tornado warning and there are many other towns where people can say the same. There are a several people who are now working in cities big and small as forecasters both on air and off who owe Gary a debt of gratitude.
Gary died Monday morning of a sudden heart attack. he was 55 years old. He leaves his wife Ellen and two fabulous sons (Mike and David) who had an incredible Father.
Note to God: I suspect you already know the weather in heaven each day, but if Gary Shore says your forecast is wrong….Trust me on this- Go with Gary’s.
[…] Danny Satterfield’s A Tribute to Gary Shore […]
I read your AWESOME tribute to Gary Shore just now. I did NOT know he had passed away. That makes me sad. He was a truly great guy and as you said the BEST forecaster I knew. I worked as Gary’s intern when he was at WJLA- TV (ABC 7) in Washington D.C. in 1983, a LONG time ago. I could not agree with you more about Gary and the skill of his forecasts. I will tell you a little story about how good a snow forecaster he was: February 1983 (we ended up getting 2 feet, 24″ of snow from that storm in DC/MD). Gary (and I) saw this storms potential 3 days out! He was bold enough to go on the air and forecast a big storm well before the other on air meteorologists (including Bob Ryan – who I also know and respect) in the DC area. Well after the broadcast the phone rings and it is Bob Ryan wanting to speak with Gary. I gave Gary the phone saying it was Bob Ryan and an argument starts. Bob thought it was “irresponsible” for Gary to predict lots of snow that far out. Needless to say, Gary “vigorously” disagreed with that, and let Bob know it. anyway, rest is history. Bob and others got on bandwagon for big snow about a day out. i will never forget that day and his dead on forecast. I have so many happy memories of him at WJLA. You are so right is saying he was a real “meteorologist” who cared more for weather than “fluff” on TV world. That is why he left DC and WJLA they wanted just a”pretty face”, and he said no. Anyway, after he left, I quit because I did not share WJLA’s views of the weather. I was a grad student at the University of Maryland College Park during that time. Thought you would like to know. Take care.