DO NOT USE January 2015 : Page 23

eters suggest an early departure, he informs the group the night prior. However, the group must be ready to depart for a chase target with lit-tle notice. This is one of the many things that make storm chasing both challenging and exciting. The goal of each chase day is to forecast and in-tercept the most signifi cant weather expected to develop on the plains lat-er in the afternoon. Along the way, the team educates guests about the many dimensions of storm chasing including meteorology, logistics and photography. The company concentrates on fore-casting and intercepting supercell thunderstorms, a rare type of storm that is identifi able by a persistent ro-tating updraft. When they develop as forecasted, the group will intercept and view them from a safe distance. Some chase days continue after dark when nature provides guests with a brilliant lightning display. There are some days during a tour when no storms occur on the plains of Tornado Alley. Atmospheric phys-ics require “recovery” days in be-tween stormy periods. It is the “order follows chaos” principle of weath-er. During this time, the group vis-its points of interest on their way to the next day’s storm target. Some of the sites include the National Severe Storms Laboratory and Storm Pre-diction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, the Twister Mu-seum in Wakita, Oklahoma, the Cadil-lac Ranch, Palo Duro Canyon and Big Texan in Amarillo, the world’s largest ball of twine in Kansas, Chimney Rock National Monument in Nebraska, and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. “For many of our guests, this is the adventure of a lifetime,” Lisius said. “They take a tour with us as a one-time ‘bucket list’ experience, and then return year after year.” To book a storm chasing expedition with Tempest Tours, visit their registra-tion page at or call (817) 274-9313. Tours operate during the spring and early summer, and often sell out by March. You can view spec-tacular storm photos captured by the group on the company’s Facebook page at Spectacular lightning, like this giant bolt near Madison, Kansas, is a nightly treat for guests. Martin Lisius/Tempest Tours. Tempest Tours prepares to reposition as a large supercell in eastern Colorado approaches. William T. Reid/Tempest Tours. A photogenic tornado tracks across the open prairie of eastern Colorado. William T. Reid/Tempest Tours. Tempest Tours staff and guests watch a developing supercell in Oklahoma. This storm later produced a tornado near Piedmont. William T. Reid/Tempest Tours.

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