As the world's premiere storm chasing tour company, we strive to ensure the enjoyment, comfort, and safety of our guests. But don't just take our word for it, watch the video below to hear what some of our recent guests had to say about our storm chasing tours.
|You can find a great deal of photos and videos from previous tours by visiting our Facebook page.|
What is our goal?
Our goal is to share our knowledge and appreciation for severe weather and to seek out and witness spectacular, explosive supercell thunderstorms, stunning, vivid lightning, large hail, massive wall clouds, and violent tornadoes. Our goal as an amateur HAM radio operator/Skywarn storm spotter is to provide timely information to the National Weather Service to help prevent loss of life, injury, and property due to severe storms.
How much do I need to know about severe weather?
No previous storm chasing experience or weather forecasting knowledge is needed! You can be involved as much or as little as you want.
What will we see on the storm chasing tour?
We will see supercell-type thunderstorms capable of producing severe weather, including tornadoes. When storms form and severe weather occurs, it can offer an abundance of fast paced excitement, not to mention the most breathtaking scenery on the planet. On every tour, our guests witness spectacular, explosive supercell thunderstorms and vivid nighttime lightning shows. We experience the natural beauty of Tornado Alley filled with storm clouds exploding right before us.
Will I see a tornado?
Please don't make this your only reason to come on the tour. Tornadoes just don't happen every day, like in the movies. We love to see them and have the best tornado forecasters on our team, but there is no way to know if you will witness a tornado on your tour. Only about 20% to 35% of the time you will witness a tornado. Sometimes they will happen after dark. We cannot guarantee tornadoes, but you will witness very severe supercell thunderstorms on every tour. The tours are scheduled during the primary tornado season in tornado alley. You are paying good money to see severe storms and maybe a tornado. We hope you will pick us this season and seasons to come.
Which tour offers the greatest chance of seeing tornadoes and supercell thunderstorms?
Tour dates are selected to coincide with the highest frequency of tornadoes in Tornado Alley. All our tours offer an equal chance of seeing tornadoes and supercells on a per-day basis. During springtime, in May and the first part of June, it is common for the Southern Plains to experience the most significant severe weather. That is why we picked Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as the base city for our early tours.
(Source: National Severe Storms Laboratory)
In late May and early June, Denver, Colorado offers easy access to regions of Tornado Alley that experience activity in late spring and early summer. It is common for the Central and Northern Plains to experience their most significant severe weather during this period. One nice thing about this time of year is a lack of low cloud cover blocking view of storms, making it very nice if you like taking videos and still photos. Grand Island, NE is a great place for evening lightning shows on the first and last nights of tours starting in June, so that's why we picked it as a base city.
How close do we get to a tornado?
Safety is our number one priority during any tour. With that said, we position closer than most tour companies to tornadoes, sometimes within a few hundred yards. This all depends on the individual storm, road options, and other factors. Our real-time weather radar and years of experience allow us to get you closer to tornadoes without compromising your safety.
Is there a great deal of driving involved?
Yes, storm chasing requires many hours on the road. We can travel 200 to 500 miles a day to reach our target area. From there, we watch storms explode and chase them into the late evening hours.
What is our storm chasing tour transportation?
During the tour we utilize comfortable vans, with no more than six people in each vehicle.
What about food costs on tour?
Tornado Alley has some of the best home cooking. You are responsible for your own food, beverages, and other expenses. The average cost per day is about $15-$30.
Will we have opportunities to eat while traveling?
We will always make time for breakfast. However, due to travel requirements, many meals may be eaten “on the run.” We will always attempt to break for one good restaurant meal each day, which usually takes place at lunchtime. It is important to understand that actual storm chasing usually begins in the late afternoon and continues until after dark. In many places of the rural Midwest, restaurants may close before we finish our chase. Therefore, eating late at night can be difficult and we recommend you keep some extra food and beverages with you for your own late-night snacks.
How do you know where the biggest storms will occur?
Each morning, we analyze forecast models and other weather data. We also call our severe weather consultant for his input. With all that information, we forecast the best severe weather target area for the day. We refine the target as the day goes on with new severe weather information we obtain from our mobile broadband Internet system and/or our severe weather consultant.
How do you make the experience possible?
Our lead vehicle is full of high-tech chasing equipment, making it unlike any other chase vehicle on the road. We can obtain weather information even faster than meteorologists using U.S. government storm chasing vans by using our mobile broadband Internet system. With updated weather data, we can find the biggest storms that are capable of forming tornadoes. Anyone can rent a van and say they are a storm chasing tour company, but we have the technology to make it happen.
- Vans for comfortable travel (maximum 6 per vehicle)
- Mobile broadband Internet for remote weather data access from any place in Tornado Alley. We can get any type of weather information from the Internet at broadband speed.
- GPS satellite navigation system, which allows us to navigate on unfamiliar country roads.
- Laptop computers to display weather information. A full compliment of weather software exists on each unit.
What will we do when no severe weather is occurring?
We have a variety of things to do during non-severe weather days, such as going to amusement parks, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, the Severe Storms Laboratory, local National Weather Service offices, Tornado Museum, Big Texan in Amarillo, Chimney Rock National Monument in Nebraska, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, the Badlands in South Dakota, Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, national parks, and state and local recreational areas. There are miles of open prairie landscapes to explore. Many times, non-severe weather days will be spent traveling to the next hot spot for the next day’s chase.
Will I have a window seat on my tour?
Yes, on our 6-Day tours, everyone has a window seat with a total of six guests or less in the storm chasing vans.
What do I pay for?
Storm Chasing Adventure Tours will cover the following:
- The driver and guide
- Hotel accommodations
- Gas and tolls
- Airfare to and from the Base City if applicable
- Transportation to and from the airport, if applicable
- Food and beverages while on the trip
- Incidentals that come up while on the trip
What time should I arrive at the base city?
Guests should arrive at the base city hotel by 3 p.m. local time. (Be at the hotel by 6:00 p.m., and if you can't make it by that time e-mail us.) This will give you a few additional hours of traveling time should you encounter any delays on your trip. Be sure to call our hotel upon arrival at the airport to have a shuttle pick you up.
What day and time can I depart from the base city?
You can depart any time on the day following your last chase day. Do not schedule your departure on the last chase day. Click here to see when the last chase day is.
What type of lodging will we use?
Depending on our location, we stay at Super 8, Best Western, or quality local hotels. Because we spend a vast amount of time traveling during the day, we usually end our chase after dark and promptly go to our accommodations. If there is an ongoing lightning storm in our area, we may not get back to our hotel until midnight or later. If you don't like staying up and seeing lightning, please consider whether or not this tour is for you.
Who makes tour lodging reservations?
At the end of each chase day, we make hotel reservations for everyone. The logistics of storm chasing often require a late evening arrival at the hotel. You can expect to arrive between 8 - 11 p.m. on most nights. We always try to find hotels that are in the path of the severe storms so we can see some good nighttime lightning. Occasionally, we will be required to stay in a smaller town with a nice "mom and pop" motel so we can be in the path of the severe storm. WE DO NOT STAY IN RUNDOWN HOTELS OR MOTELS AT ANYTIME! You will be notified with the name and location of the base city hotel prior to arrival, once you have paid your deposit.
Can you provide me a roommate so I can avoid the single tour price?
No, you must find a roommate or pay the single price.
Can I join a tour if I have a medical condition?
Although we would like to accommodate everyone, it's simply not possible. We are not equipped to handle guests in wheelchairs or anyone who has special needs. During the tour, you will be responsible for quickly entering or exiting a high-step vehicle several times a day. If you require consistent medical attention or are unsure about whether you can physically handle a trip such as this, we recommend you do not join us. In case we need to take cover from a tornado, everyone will need to be personally responsible for moving quickly to shelter.
What do I need to bring?
Guests should pack lightly in one soft duffle-type bag. You may want to bring a small carry-on bag or daypack for inside the vehicle, as well as a camcorder or still camera. Please pack about five days worth of clothing because we will be staying at hotels that occasionally have coin-operated washers and dryers. Pack for warm to hot and humid weather, as well as for brief cold weather periods (pack at least one pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt). If you want to play your own music, please pack headphones with your portable music device.
Are there age requirements for tour participants? Can children attend?
Tours are open to everyone 12 years of age and older. A parent or guardian must accompany children 12 to 16 years old.
Are there group discounts?
Discounts are available for five or more people in a group. This is perfect for educational institutions and families. for discount pricing.
Are there storm chasing gift certificates?
Of course! Storm chasing tours make great gifts for birthdays, graduations, holidays and more. Read the instructions and print your own gift certificate by clicking here.
Where can I get Storm Chasing Adventure Tours gear?
Visit the Storm Chasing Adventure Tours Store to get great t-shirts, hats, mugs, bumper stickers, and more!