Tornado Chasing Is Taking The Adventure Traveler By Storm
There’s another form of tourism, literally taking the US by storm. Tornado or storm chasing tours are the latest rage in the central United States’ Tornado Alley and they’re perfect for the adventure traveller. We’ve got the lowdown on planning an unforgettable and awesome adventure holiday that involves chasing tornadoes, dust devils and more.
Firstly, let’s start with what storm chasing entails. Storm chasing is an activity that involves pursuing and witnessing severe weather conditions (from a safe distance). Perhaps its rise in popularity is thanks to the movie Twister or the show “Storm Chasers”, a show that debuted back in 2008 on Discovery Channel.
Tornado and extreme weather chasing tour operators are now popping up in central United States. Or more accurately, in Tornado Alley, an area that extends north from South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and south to Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. This part of the central United States sees almost daily storms roll in across its plains ranging from thunder and lighting, hail, dust devils, waterspouts to tornadoes.
We’ve all seen it - blue skies are quickly replaced with dark skies and threatening cloud cover in a matter of minutes, indicating it’s time to seek shelter. But on these tours, adventure travellers watch the storms roll in and wreak havoc from a safe distance. For some, it’s about scientific investigation. For others, it’s pure curiosity. For photographers, it may be to capture nature’s force first hand. Regardless of the reason for chasing storms and tornados, we recommend doing so accompanied by a team of professionals to ensures your safety and security.
Tagging along with an experienced guide, and often even a meteorologist along for the adventure, travellers typically have the window seat to witnessing the storm brewing. The season kicks off in May and runs into the summer with most storms rolling beginning mid-afternoon. Storm systems are tracked using forecasting models well in advance as they move across the country and into the region. The following day’s travels are planned the night prior once the team has a more accurate idea where the chase needs to happens.
In Tornado Alley most days during the season are filled with storms, however there are the occasional down days in between weather systems. Thankfully, this area is home to the Twister Museum, the town of Wikita Oklahoma (the town associated with the famous movie Twister), and the National Weather Center’s Storm Prediction Center for more in-depth knowledge of the weather systems.
Most tours are an exciting and thrilling 7-14 days and may include lodging at different hotels each night depending on the day’s chase.
For more information about storm chasing and how to turn this adventure in to reality, contact Krista Tovell at Tovell Travel today