Tornado Chasing Tours.

Tornado near Harper, Kansas. Shot during a 2009 storm chase.

7th June 2015 to 17th June 2015. $2900 USD. Arrive Denver June 7th, Depart Denver June 17th. Includes accommodation, guide services and on-tour transport. Max 6 guests.

Every Spring the USA experiences dramatic changes in the weather as it shifts from the winter pattern to the warmer summer pattern. During this changeover period strong frontal weather systems produce large areas of highly unstable air. Above this the Jet Stream helps create wind shear and increases the instability still further. As a result of this highly sheared and unstable atmosphere violent thunderstorms called Supercells form. These large and violent thunderstorms spin and rotate and are responsible for producing the many tornadoes that impact the US Mid-West every year.

I have been chasing Tornadoes for over 14 years and have intercepted over 70 tornadoes and more Supercell storms than I can remember. By using my weather forecasting skills along with the latest satellite and internet based weather data systems I can forecast where these storms are most likely to occur. Then using my experience I can find the part of the storms that can produce tornadoes and then try to get into the best position to get the most photogenic views of the storm.

A Supercell thunderstorm and developing tornado.

In the early Spring (late April) the strongest storms normally form in the Southern open plains states of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma as well as the more heavily forested states of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee. As the season progresses the weather systems move further north and by late Spring (June) the tornado producing storms often occur in the far northern states of the Dakotas and Montana.

Tornado chasing is a mixture of road trip long boring drives, days of seeing very little combined with days of incredible drama, spectacular scenery and weather that will take your breath away. The adrenalin rush of the chase is an amazing natural high as we try to negotiate giant hail (golf ball and bigger) flooding rains and strong winds trying to find the best positions to see and photograph the storms and tornadoes. It is a real adventure that you will remember for much longer than most conventional vacations.

Giant Hailstones from a Texas Supercell

Of course there is no guarantee that the weather will play ball. But it is rare for there to be no severe weather if you chase for a week or more  between late April and late June. My definition of severe weather is storms with hail bigger than golf balls, damaging straight line winds, lightning striking more often than every 30 seconds, supercell thunderstorms or tornadoes. I have never been storm chasing and not seen at least 1 of these things.

 

Amazing lightning around a Supercell storm. Taken during a 2013 tour.

So why not join me for an incredible adventure. Unlike many of the larger tour groups I restrict numbers to a maximum of 7 but often just 5 or 6 guests. Many of the bigger tornado tour companies will have 2 or 3 vans with anything up to 30 people which is a nightmare when you stop for a bathroom break in a small town gas station with just one toilet. The smaller group means we are more mobile and can react faster to rapidly changing weather conditions. It is also easier to find nice hotel rooms closer to where we are chasing which can save on some very late night drives. Plus everyone of my guests receives personal guidance on photography, video and meteorology from me both before and during the tour.

The cost for a 7 day tornado chasing tour is $2,100 USD and a 10 day tour is $2,600 USD. From time to time I will run longer tours which maximise the chances of seeing storms and tornadoes. These prices include accommodation, transport and guide services but do not include food or travel to/from the start city. I can run bespoke tours and provide guide services for anyone, individuals, small groups, clubs, TV and media. My costs are very competitive, often lower than the larger tour groups.

Please use the contact form to get in touch for more information. If you want to speak to me on the phone then send me your contact details and the best time of day to call.

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