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Storm Chasing / Spotting Information

Storm spotters are often not storm chasers; and many storm chasers are not storm spotters.

Storm spotters are trained by the National Weather Service (the Skywarn™ program), and are required to repeat that training every year. They provide timely and accurate observations to local forecast offices, who use that information to provide better, more specific severe weather warnings, perhaps even with greater lead time.

Storm chasers may be trained spotters, but anyone can chase storms regardless of their training or educational background. Storm chasers may be involved in scientific research, but most are primarily interested in photography, videography, or the adrenaline rush. There is nothing wrong with seeking an adrenaline rush (or photography/videography), as long as it is done respecting everyone else's rights, and safety, along the way (see the links at Responsibilities of a Storm Chaser below).

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are extremely dangerous weather phenomena.
If you are not a trained spotter, please seek shelter immediately when you hear warnings or notice threatening weather approaching you. Do not use your car or other vehicle as shelter. Do not seek shelter from high winds or tornado under a bridge or overpass.

NOAA's Severe Weather Awareness resources
Protect Your Home: Tornado Preparedness


Lightning typically kills as many people each year as tornadoes.
Lightning can strike up to 10 to 15 miles away from a thunderstorm, without any warning.


Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard.

Heat: A Major Killer

Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year. In fact, on average, excessive heat claims more lives each year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined.

Storm Spotting

Strategies and Guidelines for Chasing

How to Chase

Responsibilities of a Storm Chaser

Has Storm Chasing Become Evil?

Storm Chasing Websites / Forums

Storm Chasing Tours
listed alphabetically, no recommendation implied, caveat emptor

If you wish to begin storm chasing, your first chases should either be with a tour group, or riding along with a veteran storm chaser. Severe weather is not only severe, it is chaotic and unpredictable. Even seasoned veterans occasionally find themselves in life-threatening situations; what chances do you think you have?

Do not expect every day of your tour or chase to be (severe weather) excitement all day long. There are hours of tedious driving before and after the chase; and most chases end with absolutely no memorable weather along the way. During any tour there will be days with absolutely no interesting weather within driving range. Good tour groups offer interesting things to do on these off days (visiting state and national parks, and other activities appealing to the majority of the tour guests).

I have gone on a tour with only one of these providers. This list of storm chasing tour companies is provided as a convenience; no recommendation is implied by inclusion in, or omission from, this list. This list is ordered alphabetically, no ranking should be implied from the ordering. For reviews and comparisons of several (but certainly not all) storm chasing tour operators, visit Storm Chasing USA.

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