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.