This year will be the 10th consecutive year for the tswails.com tornado chase. Over that time there have been some magical moments, not the least of which was spending a week with Tom Skilling in 2010 tracking down a violent EF3 in Wakita, Oklahoma!
Now YOU can have the experience of witnessing natures most ferocious storms by joining Terry and his experienced team of meteorologists on the 2017 chase. The dates just announced are May 26-June 1st.
Below you can see Tom Skilling and Terry talking to world class chaser Reed Timmer following a day of chasing in a Sonic parking lot. That's the dominator in the foreground! Chaser convergence.
For the first time, tswails has 2 (perhaps 3) seats available for this years big event and you will not find a better price or more enjoyable group to live your chasing dream.
Pilger, Nebraska tornado taken by tswails chase team member Ethan Schisler
HERE'S WHAT YOU GET:
The package includes a meet and greet orientation session on arrival day. The team will go over the goals of the trip and and the things you can do to get the most value out of your experience. Just as important, we'll go over safety and travel practices that are essential to make sure the trip is safe, comfortable, and enjoyable.
Each participant will get a 2017 tswails chase t-shirt, autographed copies of all 3 of Terry's books, a Terry Swails bobblehead, and at the conclusion of the trip, a group photo and professional quality video of tour highlights.
Throughout the trip, you will have front row access to the daily briefings held by our team of 5 meteorologists to determine the days target destination. You'll get to watch and learn firsthand the art of severe weather analysis and forecasting. We believe firmly (and it's the teams goal) that you'll come away with a greater understanding of meteorology and how the atmosphere reacts in its most volital state. This is a unique opportunity for you to learn about the formation, structure, and dynamics of severe weather.
You will travel in a spacious SUV that is equipped with the latest technology to keep your phones, laptops, and computers powered and connected to the internet. We'll also have private channel radios for vehicle to vehicle communications. We of course take care of fuel costs.
The package also includes your lodging throughout the tour. We'll go out of our way to see that you get a clean, comfortable room each night you travel with us. In general we try to stay at mainstream accommodations such as Fairfield Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Quality Inn, Super 8, Comfort Inn, etc.
Illinois tornado taken by tswails chase team member Kholby Martin
WHAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR:
To keep the fees as minimal as possible we do require that individuals pay for their own meals. We have found that with the diverse tastes and appetites of our guests that this works best. You can spend as much or as little on food as your hunger dictates. Be advised that we are on the go and there will be times when fast food is going to happen. We encourage you to bring snacks or sandwiches if you so desire. We take frequent breaks for gas, analysis, and personal needs so food and drink is usually plentiful.
With space at a premium, guests will need to pack light. We suggest a duffel travel bag and one small personal bag. Since the chase occurs in late May it should be mild to warm but a light coat, hoodie, or sweat shirt can come in handy after a big hailstorm.
The tswails chase team awaiting a tornado with storm chaser Sean Casey and his TIV
WHAT WE CAN'T GUARANTEE:
Even though the chase will take place during the peak of the season, there can be down days where the pattern becomes unfavorable for regular (daily) severe weather episodes. In general, storms are found in some part of the Plains or Midwest but if the distance is too great or it makes sense to hold tight for a better opportunity, we may have a down day or two. If that's the case and we get into what's called "severe clear", we come up with alternatives that will still make for a great personal experience.
For example, we may tour a place like the Tornado Museum in Wakita, Oklahoma where much of the movie Twister was filmed. We may visit towns like Joplin, Missouri, Moore, Oklahoma, or Greensburg, Kansas where violent EF5 tornadoes have changed the landscape and culture of the communities. We may swing by the memorial for the late Tim Samaris who was killed by the massive 2.5 mile wide El Reno tornado while doing research. Or there is always the Storm Prediction Center, a favorite stop of the team. We might even visit Mt. Rushmore or one of the great national parks that cover tornado alley. Rest assured, we like fun and entertainment as much as you and we'll make the best of a down day should one happen.
A beautiful supercell illuminating the evening sky as seen by tswails chase member Ethan Schisler
For what we've outlined above the cost is $1,500. What you will find about our price is that it's one of the best bargains available for what you get. Most tours average $2,500-$4,000. Why is tswails so cheap? Because we're not out to make money. For the tswails team, chasing is a passion that we look forward to each season. To be in the wide open spaces and witness the spectacle and power of a supercell in action is awe inspiring. We intentionally keep the group size small and intimate to maximize the experience.
However there are costs involved for the cars, gas, hotels, food, and equipment to get the job done. All we want to do is cover most of the expense so we can do what we love and pass the experience along to you. It's not about making money!
We do require a $600 dollar non-refundable deposit and the remaining balance is due by May 15th. You can pay with a check, cashiers check, or money order. We also require you sign a waver to free us of legal obligations.
T. Swails himself in the chase vehicle surveying the lay of the land and sky
If you are looking for an exciting adventure, if you'd like to spend a week with one of the Midwest's most respected meteorologists, if you want to learn and understand the dynamics of severe weather, if you want to get out of your box and be "kinda cool", you've got to take advantage of this opportunity. We would love to have you but you need to act fast. Spots are limited and it's first come first serve.
Please send an email to carolynswettstone at yahoo.com if you have questions, concerns, or want to make the 2017 tswails storm chase a reality. Roll weather....TS