Whenever a storm is moving through the Southern Plains, you can bet Dave
Wallace, KC5ZNB is on the job. Whether as a TV meteorologist, a forecaster for the
U.S.A.F. or tracking the storm from Lubbock to Tulsa, Dave provides vital
information to the public on forecasts, storm location, movement, intensity and
Dave began his career as a meteorologist in 1965 tracking his first tornados
across Illinois and Alabama, interrupted by tall trees and a war, he didn't
get much tornado chasing done in the late '60s. By 1973, Dave was a weather
forecaster at Altus Air Force Base. It was here that he spent 10 years
researching severe weather and developing forecast techniques which are still being
taught throughout the country. From the Air Force Global Weather Central, Dave
was responsible for issuing advisories and warnings for every military base in
the country. He was running the weather station at Fort Sill when he
"retired" in 1991. But it was not over by a long shot. You saw his old ugly face on
his second and third TV station, and he is currently working full time as a
Meteorological Technician at Sheppard Air Force Base.. After 40+ years, it
appears that Dave will make a career of this business.
On a Memorial Day not long ago, Dave knew that storm reports would be needed.
So he joined forces with SWIRA and headed out. That afternoon and evening,
he tracked tornadoes, was battered by baseball hail and winds to 120mph. But
he stayed "in" the storm and continued to transmit his reports to the end.
That scene has been repeated countless times since the early '70s and no doubt
will replay many times into the future.
Constant vigilance and communication are the keys to alerting the public to
the threat of severe weather. Thanks to SWIRA, Dave Wallace has another vital
link to relay information to the National Weather Service and to the public
and to receive information for his own safety. As yet another "severe weather
season" is upon us, you may not always know it but you can bet the "old man"
will be out there. Every storm is a research project. But what we learn from
a storm must be passed on, otherwise we serve no purpose. "I will be out
there, day and night, with no plans to quit...ever!" 73s, KC5ZNB