The 2016 storm season proved to be challenging with many ups and downs. Our persistence and knowledge kept us one step ahead and the reward was epic views of tornadoes and lifelong memories. Let's take a look at some of the amazing tornado days we encountered this year.
For many 2016 was frustrating and fruitless. Many great looking days that provided great disappointment, but for Tornadic Expeditions it was an amazing year for tours. We are happy to say that our vacation tours hold a 100% success rate on observing tornadoes for the season!
One of the biggest days for us and our guests was the May 24th Dodge City, Kansas tornado outbreak. This storm was incredible in every aspect and put down one tornado after another. One of our guests had been participating in storm chasing tours for 6 years and said he had never seen anything like it and was the day he had always dreamed of. In all honesty it was the "perfect chase". When your storm has 3 tornadoes on the ground at the same time, you don't really know where to point your camera!
Three tornadoes south of Dodge City, Kansas
Another tornado day worth noting is the June 11th Baker, Montana EF3 Tornado. Tornadic Expeditions was the ONLY storm chasing tour company to document this tornado! Our guests and I experienced a superb chase day on the 10th. Structure maniac heaven, jaw dropping structure from 3 separate supercells, all day long, but no tornado! That would all change the next day! After much frustration due to storms not organizing and things looking like a bust, we stuck to our gut. Many chaser went after a large north west propagating supercell but our experience and knowledge of storm relative environment suggested that a supercell with a more easterly track would have the greatest tornado potential given the shear vectors that were in place. We took note of a storm just to our north among the cluster of struggling cells that was becoming dominant and moving more eastward. In just minutes the storm was showing supercell characteristics, BOOM it went nuts. We were in fantastic position and it planted a tornado right in front of us. It was the guests first tornado and my first Montana tornado. Unfortunately this tornado went into the town of Baker. Our thoughts are with everyone who was affected. Fact: Montana averages 10 tornadoes a year!
Baker, Montana EF3
May 9th Southern Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak. I am going to admit, I have made my family addicted to storm chasing! Since I began chasing many years ago it slowly started to rub off on them. At this point in time we were between tours and my family wanted to get in on the action. So we all got together before tours would resume. Due to timing and schedule conflicts we missed the Wynnewood, OK EF4, which was a real bummer but I was able to pick a secondary target area that I had much faith in. After some time our storm was starting to get it's act together and soon the show would begin. Near the town of Boswell, Oklahoma we got our first tornado of the day. It was a real beauty! A white cone tornado against the green backdrop of the hail infused core. Several vorticies danced around it's center. It was really special to share this with my family, as it was my nephews first tornado. This tornado was on the ground for 13 miles and was rated an EF3. It was one of three tornadoes we encountered on this day shared with loved ones.
Boswell, Oklahoma EF3
There are many more tornadoes and days I could go over and highlight but it's these three that really stick as being special. Every tornado seen is special, tornadoes are rare. We have dedicated our lives to pursing tornadoes and as many that I have seen over the years it never gets old. The little kid inside me that got excited when PBS would feature NOVA Tornado or the sound of the weather radio sounding off comes screaming out of me with each encounter. The best feeling in the world though is seeing the smiles on my guests when they witness something they have only dreamed of seeing. It gives me purpose to my life. This is why Tornadic Expeditions runs small group tours. We want you to have an intimate experience with mother nature. The memories you make when you're a guest with us will be special just like they are to us. Storm chasing is a deep experience for a lot of people, it can bring life to those who think they have seen everything. The bond you make with us and the other guest is for a lifetime. In short, storm chasing brings people together.
If you are considering booking a tour, please do not hesitate to sign up for our 2017 storm season.
Our tours are popular and will book quickly. Several of the scheduled tours already have limited seating. As always, if you ever have any questions at all please contact us and we will be happy to help you. Our goal is to give you the best storm chasing vacation of your life.