Thursday, May 21, 2015

If They Have Passion, SWIFTers Never Die

Well another year of SWIFT comes to a close and I was blessed enough to come with the group on SWIFT 2015. Having prior experience, I was extremely excited and couldn't wait. My goal for this year was to see a few major storms but most importantly help the others learn as much as they could by passing on what I learned. While seeing a major storm up close was a goal for me it was a selfish one. While this was in the back of my head, I focused my efforts on the group. I knew that everything that they learned this summer will put them ahead next school year. I remember being in the same position they were and I couldn't wait to show them to a great adventure. The chase in Oklahoma on  perfect hook echo will always stand out in my mind because I feel it was a negative for the team on what should have been a rock and roll day. We missed a perfect storm and I felt that we were not as excited as we should have been. All we can do now though is learn from it and we learned a lot! It did not happen again!
The thing that I will remember the most though is the great group and the growth I saw in each individual. I remember how excited I was for the first meeting. At that meeting I tried to address some of the basics of tornadoes and excite the group. The next times we met we started looking at data and making plans. This is where I saw the most important thing, progression. At the first few meetings I was able to go around and provide help to each individual. This was a great opporuitnity for me beacause it helped me to teach what I learned. Over first week of SWIFT I provided alot of help to each group every morning. As we advanced through the internship, I provided less and less help in this area.  Things that I often pointed out on charts or in the storm, others started to point out to me and ask about them.  The day when the group put together a great weather brief by themselves I was very proud!
Overall, I am extremely proud of the group and what they accomplished! It was my opportunity to pass the torch and hopefully then can keep the flame burning strong. There is always something drawing me back to chasing and I cannot wait for my next opportunity to chase (hopefully some members, past and present will join me). 

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