Although I've heard of various adventure tours, until I read your
question I had no idea any of them specialized in storm chasing. It
sounds exciting to me too, so I decided to help you find a good one.
For starters, one company that certainly appears to know what it's
doing is Storm Chasing Adventure Tours. Their main website is here:
http://www.stormchasing.com and also http://www.tornadotours.com and
http://www.tornadochasing.net . They've definitely done their
homework as far as snapping up domain names. Here's the page with
qualifications of the main players in their business, and their
credentials are pretty impressive:
http://www.stormchasing.com/index.html These folks definitely know
what they're doing. As to a record, there are no testimonials on the
website, but what they have instead is an impressive list of reputable
media companies who have used their services, either as storm chasing
escorts or image providers. They allow the media to accompany their
tours under certain conditions. See the list here:
http://www.stormchasing.com/media.html Oh yes, and they also have
plenty of nice hi-tech equipment, an "always-on" wireless broadband
internet access for instant weather radar updates. In the spring
tours begin in Oklahoma City; in the fall they start in Denver, and
range throughout "Tornado Alley."
Then there's "Silver Lining Tours," whose website looks so similar to
the previous it makes one wonder if there's a connection, or at least
if both hired the same web designer. In any case, they also appear to
be a legitimate, well-equipped, well-staffed company whose offerings
appear to have some bang for the buck. One nice touch are all the
links to sites with educational articles about weather and storms.
Another is that they feature "well-respected accomplished storm
chasers and scientists" as guest guides during their season. They do
have a page of testimonials here:
appears to include a number of very satisfied customers. In addition,
as objective feedback, they offer links to articles containing
positive reviews by independent media. Read them here:
TRADD (for Tornado Research and Defense Development) here:
http://www.traddtornadochasingtours.com/ is another company offering
such tours, and like the two above, also appears to offer professional
level guides with the education and experience to give you an
information-packed as well as exciting experience. TRADD's site
layout is oddly familiar (these people must watch each other), and
offers a similar menu. They lack the testimonials and media clips of
the others, but they offer a money back guarantee, which is nice.
Also, they claim to have a spotless safety record, 25 years of
experience, and a season in which their customers spotted eight
tornadoes. That's pretty impressive.
Here's one other that looked reasonable to me (Storm Tours 360):
http://www.stormtours360.com/ , yet another similar site, and much the
same as the three above in terms of offerings.
In addition, here's a link to a wonderful site filled with excellent
information about storm chasing in general, which can also provide you
with some good insights on how best to evaluate these commercial
And here's a link with lots more links to storm chasing sites, where
you might join a discussion or newsgroup to learn about others'
experiences, or just investigate storm chasing as a hobby and pick up
more useful information:
Search terms I used were:
adventure travel tours references OR record "storm chasing"
Ultimately, the choice of which company to use will be yours, but I
hope this has given you a good foundation on which to begin your
search. I wish you great success in planning your trip, and hope it
turns out to be all you're wishing for. Please do allow me to clarify
if anything isn't clear.
Request for Answer Clarification by
05 Nov 2002 08:46 PST
Thanks for all your hard work. But why did you not mention a company
called Tempest Tours? I did some research on my own and easily found
them through Google using "storm chasing" and "storm chasing tours."
It appears to me that they would be a top choice. They have
testimonials from guests and media, tornado photos and video clips,
and impressive team credentials. Also, I took a look at the Storm
Chasing Adventure Tours site and noticed that they had only one
tornado photo. That suggests to me that they don't see that many
tornadoes, otherwise, why would they not post them like Tempest Tours
and Silver Lining do? The TRADD site has a few tornado photos, but
some appear to be fake. I do appreciate your help, I was just
wondering how these things were overlooked. Can you offer
Clarification of Answer by
05 Nov 2002 10:47 PST
I'm very sorry you were disappointed with the answer I gave you,
although I do wish you'd allowed me to clarify before posting a
You're right, Tempest Tours also looks like a great company. I don't
know how it is that I didn't see it, but I didn't. I re-ran my search
using the same terms as before, and it still does not appear to be
there, though I confess I didn't follow every link. Here's the url
for the search results if you're interested:
All I can think of is that this Tempest Tours' submitted keywords
didn't match my particular search as closely as the others did, and
that your using a different query produced different results than I
obtained. Since you asked for a suggestion for "a company," and I had
so many pertinent results, I didn't see a need to search further when
I felt I could offer you not one, but a number of choices that met
your stated criteria.
If you've already selected Tempest Tours as the company you'd like to
use, that's certainly your prerogative. They do look like a good one.
However, I'm a little confused when you say the Storm Chasing
Adventure Tours site has few photos, because I found a lot, including
quite a few more than two tornadoes. Here's the link to their photo
gallery: http://www.rogercoulam.co.uk/ I don't know why their photos
aren't posted as prominently as on the other sites, but they're
It appears to me that all or most of these companies have been formed
by people whose hobby is storm chasing, as a way to share - and help
finance - their own passion. Seems reasonable; I don't think storm
chasing is an occupation in high demand otherwise. But what that also
suggests is that these companies share a similarity of not only
motivation, but also experience, education, dedication and expertise.
And I think that although each one probably has some unique angle,
whether it's instantly available weather radar or a money-back
guarantee, you can be fairly confident in choosing any one of them.
As long as you're satisfied with their credentials, experience,
testimonials and objective media reports, you can probably just choose
based on your own taste, instinct, feel, or impulse and be reasonably
certain you're going to have a good experience, keeping in mind that
they all do give the caution that they certainly can't guarantee any
tornado sightings on any given tour.
One other suggestion would be to email/call each company individually
and ask for independent references. It'd be interesting to gauge the
I did run an additional search, using your search term, i.e. "storm
chasing tours," and turned up these additional companies you might
like to check out:
--Cloud Nine Tours - http://www.cloud9tours.com/
--Extreme Winds - http://www.extremewinds.com/
--Tornado Alley Safari - http://www.tornadosafari.com/home.htm
--Upper Midwest Storm Tours - http://www.stormtours.com/
--Thunderbolt Tours - http://www.thunderbolttours.com/ Might be fun
to see if an Australian thunderstorm is as wild as an American one!
And finally, I did have one other thought, and that is to maybe
consider storm chasing as a hobby yourself. Now I'm assuming you live
in the US, so if you don't that might not work, as I believe the rest
of the world doesn't get quite the wild weather that we do here (with
the possible exception of Australia). But if you do live in the US,
chances are there are occurrences of thunderstorms, supercells and
tornadoes not far from your neighborhood even if you're not in
"Tornado Alley." If you're careful to educate yourself, and establish
perhaps some associations with other like-minded adventurers, you
might not need to limit yourself to a week's vacation for some
exciting times with Mother Nature.
Just in case you'd like to explore that a little, here are some links
to sites where you can learn more about storm chasing as an ongoing
Again, I apologize for not providing you with what you felt was an
adequate answer. I wish you all the best and hope you will be happy
with whatever company you finally choose.