Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What's included?  How does it work?
Tornado on the PlainsNote: Storm chasing tour fee covers everything if Booked after Sept 2nd 2023 for your hotel accommodations. If booked before Sept 3rd 2023 from the "1st Chase Day" date (as listed on the Tour Schedule page on this site) through the 2nd to last night of your storm chasing tour. You will need to book and pay for your own hotel accomodations for the night you arrive and the last night of your tour (the night before the "Depart Any Time" date listed for your tour). While you don't have to necessarily book and stay at our base city hotel(s) on the first and last nights of your tour, you will be furnished with their locations after booking so you can attend our orientation on the first morning of your tour at our base city hotel. Should you not want to book rooms our base city hotel(s), you will be responsible for any transportation to and from that base city hotel on the first and last days of your tour.

You will be responsible for your meals and incidentals during the tour. Flights to and from the base city are not included and must be arranged separately by you. Our base city hotel will provide a transportation shuttle between the airport and the hotel. The best part? It's free!

Shortly before your tour begins on the "1st Chase Day" (the day after you arrive in the base city as listed on the Tour Schedule page on this site), we will hold an orientation meeting at 9:00am in the hotel's meeting room. Storm chasing begins immediately after the orientation meeting concludes.
The day before your "Depart Any Time" date is the day that we bring you back to the base city's hotel. We should get back that day between 5pm and 11pm local time.

We will send you an e-mail with all this information when you pay your deposit so that you will have everything you need for your trip.

What is our goal?
Supercell with ScudOur goal is to share our knowledge and appreciation for severe weather and to seek out and witness spectacular, explosive supercell thunderstorms, stunning, vivid lightning, large hail, massive wall clouds, and violent tornadoes. Our goal as a Skywarn storm spotter is to provide timely information to the National Weather Service to help prevent loss of life, injury, and property due to severe storms.

How much do I need to know about severe weather?
No previous storm chasing experience or weather forecasting knowledge is needed! You can be involved as much or as little as you want.

What will we see on the storm chasing tour?
We may have the chance to see supercell-type thunderstorms capable of producing severe weather, including tornadoes. When storms form and severe weather occurs, it can offer an abundance of fast paced excitement, not to mention the most breathtaking scenery on the planet. On some tours, our guests witness spectacular, explosive supercell thunderstorms and nighttime lightning shows. There are some tours where this may not happen at all though or you may only experience weak thunderstorm activity. It depends on the weather pattern that's in place during your tour.

Will I see a tornado?
Please don't make this your only reason to come on the tour. Tornadoes just don't happen every day, like in the movies. We love to see them and have the best tornado forecasters on our team, but there is no way to know if you will witness a tornado on your tour. Sometimes they will happen after dark. We cannot guarantee tornadoes, but you will witness supercell thunderstorms on most tours. There are a few tours where you may only experience weak thunderstorms. Our tours are at the very peak time of year for severe weather, which is why we start in early May and go through mid June. We want you to have the best odds to see the best storms when you tour with us. We hope you will pick us this season and seasons to come.

Which tour offers the greatest chance of seeing tornadoes and supercell thunderstorms?
Tour dates are selected to coincide with the highest frequency of tornadoes in Tornado Alley. Below are mapped climatological breakdowns of tornado probabilities and placement from the SPC and NSSL on a per tour basis. Click on the images below for larger views.

2023 Tour A1
 Tour T1 - 2024

2023 Tour A2
Tour T2 - 2024

2023 Tour T1
Tour T3 - 2024

2023 Tour T2
Tour T4 - 2024
2024 Tour T5
Tour T5 - 2024

 2024 Tour T6
Tour T6 - 2024

How close do we get to a tornado?
Safety is our number one priority during any tour. With that said, we position a few miles to less than a mile from a tornado. This all depends on the individual storm, road options, and other factors. Our real-time weather radar and years of experience allow us to get you closer to tornadoes without compromising your safety.

Is there a great deal of driving involved?
Yes, storm chasing requires many hours on the road. We can travel a few hundred miles to 350 miles a day to reach our target area. From there, we watch storms explode and chase them into the late evening hours.

What is our storm chasing tour transportation?
During the tour we utilize comfortable vans, with no more than six people in each vehicle.

What about food costs on tour?
Tornado Alley has some of the best home cooking. You are responsible for your own food, beverages, and other expenses. The average cost per day is about $35-$75.

Will we have opportunities to eat while traveling?

We will always make time for breakfast. However, due to travel requirements, many meals may be eaten “on the run.” We will always attempt to break for one good restaurant meal each day, which usually takes place at lunchtime. It is important to understand that actual storm chasing usually begins in the late afternoon and continues until near dark. In many places of the rural Midwest, restaurants may close before we finish our chase. Therefore, eating late at night can be difficult and we recommend you keep some extra food and beverages with you for your own late-night snacks.

Supercell in KansasHow do you know where the biggest storms will occur?
Each morning, we analyze forecast models and other weather data. With all that information, we forecast the best severe weather target area for the day. We refine the target as the day goes on with new severe weather information we obtain from our mobile Internet.

What will we do when there isn't severe weather occurring?
We have a variety of things to do during non-severe weather days, such as going to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, local National Weather Service offices, Tornado Museum, Big Texan in Amarillo, Chimney Rock National Monument in Nebraska, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, the Badlands in South Dakota, Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, national parks, and state and local recreational areas. We might even have a barbeque by a lake or at a park! There are miles of open prairie landscapes to explore. Many times, non-severe weather days will be spent traveling to the next hot spot for the next day’s chase.

Will I have a window seat on my tour?
Yes, on our tours everyone has a window seat, with a total of six guests or less in the storm chasing vans.

What do I pay for?
Storm Chasing Adventure Tours will cover the following:
  • The driver and guide
  • Hotel accommodations 
  • Equipment
  • Gas and tolls

You will be responsible for the following:
  • Airfare to and from the Base City if applicable
  • Transportation to and from the airport, if applicable
  • Hotel lodging for your arrival day and last night of your tour
  • Food and beverages while on the trip
  • Incidentals that come up while on the trip

What time should I arrive at the base city?
Guests should try to arrive at the base city by 3 p.m. local time on the arrival day of your tour (before the first chase day) to avoid flight delays due to afternoon storms. You'll check in under your name, mentioning that you're with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours. Bring your bags packed and ready to go to our orientation meeting at 9:00am the morning of the first day of your tour and we will leave to chase immediately following that.

What day and time can I depart from the base city?
You can depart any time on the day following your last chase day. Do not schedule your departure on the last chase day. Click here to see when the last chase day is.

What type of lodging will we use?
We'll stay in mid-range hotels during our tours. We understand how important clean and safe hotels are to you! We'll stay at Quality Inn hotels and other similar mid-range brand hotels. Although we do not have an unlimited budget, we will always do our best to ensure a reasonable caliber of lodging. Please be aware that some hotels may not elevators, so be prepared to carry your bag and belongings up flights of stairs in limited instances.

Who makes tour lodging reservations?
At the end of each chase day, we make hotel reservations for everyone. The logistics of storm chasing often require a late evening arrival at the hotel. You can expect to arrive by 9:00pm. on most nights. We always try to find hotels that are in the path of the severe storms so we can see some good nighttime lightning.
Note that you are responsible for hotel reservations and payment for the arrival and pre-departure nights of your trip, as indicated above.

Can I join a tour if I have a medical condition?

Although we would like to accommodate everyone, it's simply not possible. We are not equipped to handle guests in wheelchairs or anyone who has special needs. During the tour, you will be responsible for quickly entering or exiting a high-step vehicle several times a day. If you require consistent medical attention or are unsure about whether you can physically handle a trip such as this, we recommend you do not join us. In case we need to take cover from a tornado, everyone will need to be personally responsible for moving quickly to shelter.

What do I need to bring?
Guests should pack lightly in one soft duffle-type bag. You may want to bring a small carry-on bag or daypack for inside the vehicle, as well as a camcorder or still camera. Please pack about five days worth of clothing because we will be staying at hotels that occasionally have coin-operated washers and dryers. Pack for warm to hot and humid weather, as well as for brief cold weather periods (pack at least one pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt). If you want to play your own music, please pack headphones with your portable music device.

Are there age requirements for tour participants? Can children attend?
Tours are open to everyone 14 years of age and older. A parent or guardian must accompany children 14 to 17 years old.

Are there group discounts?
Discounts are available for five or more people in a group. This is perfect for educational institutions and families. for discount pricing

Are there storm chasing gift certificates?
Of course! Storm chasing tours make great gifts for birthdays, graduations, holidays and more. Read the instructions and print your own gift certificate by clicking here.

Where can I get Storm Chasing Adventure Tours gear?
Visit the Storm Chasing Adventure Tours Store to get t-shirts, hats, mugs, bumper stickers, and more!