Our team is comprised of some of the most experienced storm chasers from around the world. We understand meteorology and concentrate on good forecasting techniques to intercept severe weather and ensure a successful storm chase on every tour.
Todd Thorn - Tour Leader/Severe Storm Expert - Bozeman, Montana - I will be on all tours.
I have been fascinated by severe storms and tornadoes since I was just six years old, and as a result, I began studying severe weather at a very early age. Over the years, I read every textbook on the subject and spent many days watching severe storms form over my hometown. My nights were spent watching vivid lightning from my bedroom window as the sound of thunder shook the house. To be a storm chaser, you must be able to read the sky and see visual clues for severe weather, such as the meaning of distant towering cumulus clouds. All the schooling and onboard information is good, but it takes years to learn how to read the sky and tell where the next storm will form. I have been chasing severe weather since 1991 and have a background in meteorology. In 2013, we will be operating our 16th year of Storm Chasing Adventure Tours. We have been featured in numerous television documentaries, news programs, and in more than 200 newspaper and magazine articles published around the world. Since I founded Storm Chasing Adventure Tours in 1997, our emphasis has been on good forecasting techniques to intercept severe weather for a successful storm chase on every tour. I look forward to seeing you in Tornado Alley during 2013.
Matt Amesz - Guide/Driver for Tours 4, 5, & 6
Hi, I am from Perth Western Australia and 2013 will be my 8th year chasing storms with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours. I have had a keen interest in severe weather from a young age and I have been fortunate to see many amazing tornadoes and intense lightning displays . Seeing a tornado for the first time was truly an amazing experience, it certainly got the heart pumping. Every day is like an adventure, who knows where you will end up and what you might see! Regardless of if you see a tornado or not, it's an experience of a lifetime and one not to be missed. I look forward to traveling with you all in 2013.
Diana Amesz - Guide/Driver for TBA
Hello fellow chasers! This will be my 6th year storm chasing with Todd. I am originally from California and have recently relocated to Australia. By profession I am a registered nurse and I work in the intensive care unit. I’ve had such a fascination with severe weather from a very young age. I would watch tornado videos, study tornadoes and even dream about tornadoes on a regular basis. The first time I went chasing with Todd I told him that I wanted to see a tornado on my birthday. On May 9th, 2006 Todd made my dream come true, and I have been hooked ever since. I look forward to meeting you all in Tornado alley!
Chris Brown - Guide/Driver for Tour 4
The 2013 chase will be my fifth season storm chasing with Todd. Despite living in England, my long annual trip over to meet up with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours is my most anticipated of the year. Storm chasing is a hobby rather than a career for me as I am the MD of a travel company where we try and send people where the good weather is! I have always had a fascination with severe weather and as a youngster I dreamed of seeing a tornado. Sadly in the UK, it only gets as bad as severe thunder and lightning, and when this happens I can normally be found outside (My family thinks I am mad). I am also a keen photographer and enjoy the photo opportunities that arise whilst chasing storms. I look forward to seeing you out on the Plains in 2013.
Steve Carey - Guide/Driver for TBA
This will be my ninth year storm chasing with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours and my seventh as a member of the Storm Chasing Adventure Tours team. On previous trips I’ve seen intense lightning displays, awesome supercell thunderstorms, large hail, funnel clouds, and six tornadoes. I am a professor at the University of Mobile (Alabama) where I teach courses in biology and geology. I also have an interest in the history of the Great Plains and am familiar with many of the people and places of the Old West. As we travel throughout Tornado Alley, I’ll point out sites of natural and historic interest. As a resident of the Gulf Coast, I’ve experienced several hurricanes including Hurricane Ivan whose eye passed over my house. I’ve always been fascinated with severe weather and can’t wait for the chase season to begin. I look forward to meeting you and sharing the experience of a lifetime.
Andrea Dyer - Guide/Driver for Tour 3
Hello, my name is Andi and I have been fascinated by storms since I was 5 years old when my mother put a mattress in the hallway as the sirens were blaring. As a teenager I lived in Oklahoma and would crawl on the roof of the house to take pictures as the storms rolled in. 2013 will be my fifth year with Todd and hope to catch another tornado on film. I have learned a lot from Todd and can't wait to learn more and meet fellow tornado enthusiasts.
Stacy Gifford - Guide/Driver for Tour 2
Hello everyone! My name is Stacy Gifford I was born and raised in the central Texas town of Brownwood. Much like many chasers I have had a lifelong fascination with weather. I started chasing in 2009 so the 2013 season will be my 5th year. Over the last 3 storm seasons my chase partners and I do 20-30,000 miles a year, and have our fair share of tornado days. My daily routine typically consist of getting up, taking a shower, looking at weather models, then complaining that I need a good chase day! I am currently studying geophysics at Texas Tech University and I plan on getting my masters and possibly PhD in atmospheric sciences. I wish everyone the best of luck during the 2013 storm season!
Frank Hankins - Guide/Driver for Tours 2 & 3
2013 will be my 4th year storm chasing with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours and my second as a driver. My interest in severe weather began at a young age. Summer visits with my Grandparents in Wichita, Kansas would always include at least one day of storms. I remember a few times when day turned to night in the middle of the afternoon and getting rushed in to the storm cellar. Living in Washington State we don't see much severe weather. But my yearly storm chasing adventures with Todd has allowed me to experience some of the most incredible weather I’ve ever seen. I'm looking forward to the 2013 chase season and meeting new friends out on the Great Plains.
Kevin Harned - Guide/Driver/Severe Storm Expert for TBA
Like Todd, I've been fascinated with the weather since I was a kid. Following my dream since I was in the seventh grade, I have always wanted to learn more how it works. I decided then that I wanted to be a meteorologist. A graduate of Purdue University, I have my degree in Synoptic Meteorology and am the chief meteorologist for the NBC affiliate WAVE 3 in Louisville, Kentucky. I had the pleasure of documenting a ten-day tour with Todd, including everyone on board, during the 2002 season. Working in television has given me the opportunity to chase tornadoes and hurricanes and to cover floods and winter storms. It's one thing to look at a radar and warn people of what you think is coming their way... but totally different to actually see it with your own eyes. Trying to predict what nature will do and when is very humbling, but I look forward to the challenge during the 2013 season.
Jeremy Higginson - Guide/Driver for Tour 3
Hello, my name is Jeremy Higginson and I currently live in Divide, Colorado. This will be my sixth time chasing with Todd and my first time as a driver. I first started chasing with Todd when I was 13 years old and my Dad and I did many tours together! I have always been fascinated with weather. I am an avid photographer and enjoy capturing lightning strikes and extreme cloud formations. There is nothing else in the world you can experience like witnessing a tornado form and feeling the power that only Mother Nature can produce! I am also an avid Fly-Fisherman and outdoorsman and enjoy hiking with my Husky named Ziggy! I look forward to sharing this amazing experience with you.
Ryan Hoke - Guide/Driver/Web Administrator for Tour 2
This is my 6th year with Todd. When I was a small child growing up in Louisville, Kentucky I was fearful of thunderstorms. This fear turned into an intense fascination with weather during my elementary school years and signaled an exciting career ahead in broadcast meteorology. I started my own weather forecast website for the Louisville area when I was in high school and that's when Storm Chasing Adventure Tours owner Todd Thorn found me. Since then I've been chasing with Todd and have seen more than a dozen tornadoes. Thanks to Todd I also got a head start in my severe weather education and went on to earn my meteorology degree from Mississippi State University. During my college years I was a weather forecaster at a TV station in Jackson, Tennessee and now I'm living my dream as a meteorologist at WAVE 3 in Louisville, Kentucky. I put my skills to work for you through my daily weather briefings and by helping you understand the weather that's happening as we chase. We're going to have a blast this 2013 season!
Robert Koch - Guide/Driver for Tours 2 & 5
Hello, my name is Robert Koch and I make my living selling merchandise on the auction website eBay. This will be my 8th year chasing with Todd and I look forward to another exhilarating chase season. I have always been intrigued with severe weather since I was a wee lad and the last 7 seasons have been most stimulating as I met many great storm chasing enthusiasts and weather professionals. Chasing with Todd across the great American Plains is always rewarding whether we see tornadoes, severe storms, or spectacular lightning displays. Best Regards, Robert.
Jock McGinty - Guide/Driver for Tours 2-5
I’ve been chasing and photographing severe weather with Todd since 2004. In that time I’ve learned that if there is any weather out there Todd will get you right in the path of it. During my time with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours I have experienced more than 25 tornadoes, including 3 on the ground at once, a one-in-a-thousand clockwise-rotating tornado, and being in the path of the widest-ever recorded tornado at Hallam, Nebraska. Simply amazing! As well as photography I’ve always had an interest in natural history and the physical forces that shape our universe, from severe weather to astronomy to volcanoes and earthquakes (my other real favorite)! However, nothing matches the feeling of being under a 50-mile wide, rotating supercell in the great plains of America. Whether 2013 will be your first chase season or you’re a veteran returning for your annual fix, I look forward to seeing you in Tornado Alley and sharing some awesome weather experiences.