Do you have a
"thrill seeker" on your holiday gift list? Is it hard to get them to come away from the window during a storm? Are they the
last ones down to the basement when there is a possibility of a tornado? Do they watch the weather channel's storm stories
over and over again?
Have they enticed you to
watch the movie “Twister” until you know the entire script by heart? Then you have a prime candidate for the gift
of a storm chasing adventure!
although definitely not inexpensive, is without a doubt a once-in-a-lifetime thrill. The trip can run well over $2,000.00
which usually includes lodging, but not food or transportation to and from the base motel. Some companies will offer you discounts
for things like booking more than one trip, room sharing or filling the last couple spots on a trip.
Tempest Tours and Silver Lining Tours are just two of dozens of companies
that offer storm-chasing trips. These companies hire storm chasers with years of experience as guides. They offer trips of
one to two weeks. Before the actual chasing starts there is classroom-type instruction so you will know what to expect and
what is expected of you.
There are usually
at least half a dozen guests in each trip. Besides being instructed on the art of storm chasing, you will find you also learn
a great deal about meteorology and the discipline necessary to be a successful storm chaser. Although the staff does try to
figure the times you will need to head out the night before, you do have to be able to be ready to go at a moment’s
You will normally leave in the morning
and your leaders will recalculate your target throughout the day as new weather information becomes available. Most companies
operate within Tornado Alley (Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and the Dakotas).
During the time between storms, the instructors will take you sight
seeing through miles of gorgeous scenery. Some days the chase will continue after dark when you will be awed at the sight
of fantastic lightning displays. Even though some companies provide you with a video of your trip, you really want to make
sure you have your own camera equipment with you.
will spend 10 or so exciting days living the life of a storm chaser. Although no one can guarantee that you will see a tornado,
due to the fact that trips are scheduled during the peak storm season, you can be pretty sure you will at least see some incredible
If by chance the person on your gift list
is an avid storm fan but not quite daredevil enough to want to actually get in a car and chase them, there are numerous videos,
books, and virtual storm chasing CD's out there to keep them happy for many holidays to come.
Storm chasing is a memorable holiday gift that will be re-lived and appreciated for
many years to come.