We are excited and proud to announce that once again this May the TSwails team will be hosting its 13th annual tornado chase. Seats are limited and will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis. If you want to see and learn first hand about the science of tornadoes and severe weather this is an amazing opportunity. With Terry's 44 years of professional knowledge and a veteran team of chasers you can bet this will be the adventure of a lifetime. The sights, sounds, and camaraderie are beyond belief.
Every spring since 2007 Terry has scoured tornado alley looking for the king of storms. Over that time there have been some magical moments, not the least of which was spending a week with Tom Skilling back in 2010 tracking down a multiple vortex EF3 in Wakita, Oklahoma!
In this Chicago Tribune image you can see Terry, Tom Skilling, and storm chaser Reed Timmer talking twisters in a Sonic parking lot next to the Dominator. You never know who you'll meet.
Last year was the best chase yet with the team witnessing 2 epic hailstorms and the strongest tornado of the year, (an EF4 beast with 170 mph winds) that ravaged Linwood, Kansas and narrowly missed the city of Lawrence.
Now YOU can have the experience of witnessing natures most ferocious storms by joining Terry and his seasoned team of meteorologists on the 2020 chase. The preliminary dates are May 11-May 17.
For the second year in a row, tswails has up to 11 seats available for this years big event and you will not find a better price or more enjoyable group of people to live your chasing dream with.
Pilger, Nebraska twin twisters 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 at Terry's place. 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 autographed copies of Terry's books, a Terry Swails bobblehead, and at the conclusion of the trip, a group photo and enough memories and highlights to last a lifetime.
A Multiple vortex EF3 tornado captured during the 2010 chase in NC Oklahoma.That's the WGN satellite truck (part of our group) watching the storm pass off to the west.
Throughout the trip, you will have front row access to the daily briefings held by our team of 3 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 explosive 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 van or 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.
One of last years beautiful (brand new) chase vehicles provided by Dahl Ford
The package also includes your lodging throughout the tour. We'll see to it 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.
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 team awaiting a tornado with storm chaser Sean Casey and his TIV (tornado intercept vehicle).
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 "chasecation" 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. Or there is always the Storm Prediction Center, a favorite stop of the team. Two years ago we had a great time visiting Mt. Rushmore and we are open to any of the spectacular national parks that cover tornado alley. Rest assured, we like fun, food, and entertainment as much as you and we'll make the best of a down day should one happen.
Some of our participants as we toured Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Loved chasing with those guys!
A beautiful supercell illuminating the evening sky as seen by tswails chase member Ethan Schisler
THE PRICE OF A CHASECATION:
There are significant costs involved for the cars, gas, hotels, insurance, and equipment to get the job done. All we want to do is cover expenses so we can do what we love and pass the experience along to you. Any money we make is incidental.
For what we've outlined above the cost is $2,300 but you can easily make it less by using the "discount" options below. What you will find about our price is that it's one of the better bargains available for what you get. Most tours average $3,000-$4,000...that's up to $550 per day. With our discount priced package below we're at $280 per day. Why is tswails so reasonable? Because as we indicated earlier, 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...well that's a reason for living. We intentionally keep the group size small and intimate to maximize the experience and keep costs at a minimum.
If you are willing to bunk with a roommate, we'll reduce the price to $1,900 (a $400 savings). Additionally, customers who return for the 2021 chase will receive a $150 discount off that year's price.
To secure your spot we do require a $600 dollar non-refundable deposit and the remaining balance is due by May 1st. You can pay with a check, cashiers check, or money order. We also require you sign a waver to free us of any legal obligations.
WHY DO IT?:
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 (Terry has been at for 44 years), 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 do need to act soon. Spots are limited and it's first come first serve.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or want to make the 2020 tswails storm chase a reality. Roll weather....TS