Some questions are more common than others when it comes to storm chasing. This is our collection of the most common and frequently asked questions regarding storm chasing.
During a storm chasing tour, you may see tornadoes, fantastic supercells, giant hail, amazing lightning shows, and ‘seas’ of mammatus clouds just to mention a few of the most popular features that can be experienced during severe thunderstorms. Aside from the weather you will also experience a road trip in the heartland of America – the Midwest.
There are no guarantees in storm chasing; only probabilities and no tour company can guarantee that you will see a tornado. What the tour company and the tour guide can do is to maximize the probabilities for you to experience a tornado. There are many factors that raise the probabilities of seeing a tornado; the skill, dedication and experience of the tour guide, the amount of days you chase and the time of year you chase. One thing is quite certain though: if you do not go on a storm chase, the chances of seeing a tornado are slim to none.
The tour company and tour guide consider safety over everything else and will never put the tour group in a dangerous situation. Since the tour guide always keeps track of the storm systems nearby he always makes sure not to end up close to the dangerous part of the storm and to always have a safe way out. The most dangerous part of storm chasing is actually not the tornadoes but rather the driving, just like any road trip. Lightning and hail, could however pose a threat since they may occur over a larger area of a storm.
There is nothing you absolutely must bring but a few things that will be useful. A camera and/or a video camera are the number one items to bring for most people. If you want to photograph lightning you will need a tripod (cheap tripods can be bought at WalMart during the trip).
The weather conditions can change from day to day and they depend a lot on where you are in relation to the storm (it can get cold and windy). You spend most of the time in the heat so while traveling you should bring light, comfortable clothes. You should, however, have a wind proof sweater for the actual chase.
Since you will spend a lot of time in the van, bring something to do while traveling (books, iPad, games etc).
No, StormChasingTrips.com is not a storm chasing tour company. It is solely a website to inspire you to book the storm chasing tour. The actual tour is held, planned and performed by Tempest Tours. You will book the tour and travel with Tempest Tours. Any questions related to a tour, such as availability, payments, feedback etc needs to be handled by Tempest Tours exclusively.
You are personally responsible to pay for the trip to the tour destination and to make sure you are there in time for the tour.
Included in the tour price are hotel / motel rooms throughout the tour, gas and any type of car costs, tour guide etc. Breakfast is usually included in many of the hotels but sometimes it is not and you will be eating at a local restaurant at your own expense.
These are examples of things not included in the tour price on the tours offered by Tempest Tours:
There are some discounts, particularly if you decide to share room with another tour participant. See TempestTours.com for the discounted prices.
If you have any other questions, please use the comment section below to ask.
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I had an awesome time with Tempest. The staff is very helpful with the
booking process and all throughout the trip; tour director (Bill Reid)
and the drivers (Jen and Chris) have been extremely clear during their
weather briefing and explaining what was going on with the developing
weather in general.
I chased two back-to-back tours with Tempest in 2013 and had a great time! Their skilled guides get you a ringside seat on the best storms, not to mention being helpful, funny, and great educators into the bargain. ‘Safety-first’ is no idle boast, and I was very impressed by their dedication to keeping me safe through all aspects of the chase.