Tornado Chasing

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

Storm Chasing 2016

June 6th to June 16th.

Fly in to Denver airport on June 6th (or before). Depart Denver airport on June 16th.

Cost: $1,600 USD + pay for the hotels as you go. (allow up to $160 per night for hotel room, you can share with a college/friend if you choose).

or $3,400 USD inc hotel.

You must book and pay for your OWN flights and pay for your own food.

What’s included: Guide services, transportation, fuel, specialist tornado chasing equipment, unrestricted video and camera training.

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.

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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. 2016 the tour will take place early June to avoid the worst of the chaser hordes that block the roads in May and to take advantage of the slower moving June storms which offer better photo and video opportunities.

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.

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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.

 

So why not join me for an incredible adventure. Unlike many of the larger tour groups I restrict numbers to 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. In addition it is easier to find last minute hotel rooms in smaller towns, so we do less unnecessary driving.

Please use the contact form to get in touch for more information.

11 thoughts on “Tornado Chasing”

      1. Unless you want to licence the footage as stock footage (at a minimum charge of $500 per minute) then I will not provide copies without the watermark.

  1. Hey..
    Please keep me informed of all your tour dates for This year and Next please. Am heading to the USA soon but not till June and its a quick biz trip so possibly no time to follow a dream and join you on your chase. But next year I am for sure.

    Keep me posted.

  2. Hi.

    Are you doing a storm chase for 2016 season by chance? I realize this post is a year and a bit old. There is no further information to suggest this as a continuing proposition as such.

    Please let me know. I am indeed interested.

    Regards,
    Anon.

  3. Hi Allister,

    I’m an experienced photographer and DSLR video shooter. I recently purchased an FS7 and have found your videos and website extremely helpful.

    I’m curious if there are still spots open for the 2016 storm chase road trip. Myself, and possible one other local colleague are interested.

    Thanks

    Zack

  4. Alister,
    I am interested in going on this years (2016) tour. I spoke to you briefly at this years NAB. Unfortunately it seems Sony will not have the R7 Recorder ready so I will have to stay with SLog3 or rent an R5 for my F55. Also Fuji is not shipping the lens I want to use till June so it looks like it won’t be ready as well. Anyways please let me know how I can get on this tour.

    Thanks
    Wayne

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