Sweet Redemption! Tour 3 - 2019!
Sometimes things don't always go our way and we must be flexible and persistent to overcome those challenges we sometimes face. Failure is not an option! Tour 3, 2019 went from zero to hero real fast! Though we were living life while waiting for our special moment!
The start of a long lived EF3 tornado near Fowler, Kansas.
As guests arrived for Tour 3 the outlook for the week was looking pretty bleak. Tour 2 had started things off with a bang and the entire week was filled with chasing but Tour 3 did a 180 on us. An unfavorable upper-level pattern was setting up and putting a hurt on supercell and tornado probabilities. We managed to chase some marginally severe storms in New Mexico and had a really nice chase in West Texas, near Odessa for the first half of the tour. The second half of the tour was going to be a dud but I had come up with a fun idea to make up for the lack of weather!
Severe Thunderstorm near Odessa, Texas.
Since there would be no weather to chase during the second half of the tour, I had discussed my idea with the guests to see if they would be up for it. It was a short discussion and everyone was super excited! We then traveled into the Texas Hill Country and rented some beautiful cabins! All of us guys get our own big cabin and the girls with their own! After looking around and admiring the area and facilities we went into town for groceries and drinks! For the next few days we hiked, rested, ate amazing food, and sat around a fire enjoying one anothers company and eating smores!
The boys cabin!
The girls cabin!
It was some of the guests first time to eat a s'more! Even though the purpose of our tours is to see storms and tornadoes some guests get to scratch off other things on their bucket list. Like staying in a cabin in the United States! Tour Guide - Adam Lucio's marshmallow fell into the fire! LOL!
The amazing Tour 3!
While staying at the cabin, myself and guide Adam Lucio were keeping an eye on the guest's departure day for severe weather in SW Kansas. Of course, luck would have it that way for these amazing guests! We told everyone about the outlook we had and it looked like things would turn back on the day they would leave from the tour, but we don't give up that easy at Tornadic Expeditions! We go all the way! Adam and I were fairly confident in guests getting what they came for if they could reschedule their flights a day later. After some emotional roller coasters in sorting flights, everyone was able to stay for one more day! I did not charge anyone for the extra day! It was a day for REDEMPTION!!!!! And redemption is what we got.
After departing our wonderful cabins we headed back to Oklahoma City to our base hotel to prepare for our big chase. Upon arriving, some of our Tour 4 guests had also got in a couple of days early! We told them of the game plan and had them join in on the bonus chase day in SW Kansas! For the first time ever we had guests from two different tours out chasing at the same time! One van was loaded up with Tour 3 and the other Tour 4.
And. Here. We. Go. Chase DAY! May 17, 2019. After some analysis from Adam and I, we decided to head to SW Kansas and stage near Meade, Kansas. There was some concern the cap would hold and prevent storms from firing but the setup was a classic SW Kansas dryline event and we were confident we would get a storm and if we got one it would be a good one! The atmosphere would test our patience but then it happened.
Watching towering cumulus along the dryline in South West Kansas. Guide Adam pointing to what would be the storm of the day.
The storm to our south was rapidly organizing in the highly sheared and highly unstable atmosphere. It was time to get moving! The chase begins!
We quickly got into position on our storm and she was a real beauty! The storm even exhibited rapid low-level rotation!
South of Meade, Kansas. Beautiful LP tornado warned supercell with beaver tail.
We continued to stay with the storm and soon watched it produce our first tornado of the evening! First of several! We continued to chase the storm into the night across SW Kansas where we paralleled a large wedge tornado for nearly 40 minutes along the highway!
Our second tornado of the evening! We were so surprised that this tornado would remain on the ground for 45 minutes and travel over 25 miles! Fowler, Kansas.
Our final tornado of the night! The end of another long track wedge tornado as it dissipates north of Greensburg, Kansas. There was a lot of happy tears and hugs, dreams came to life this amazing evening!
And there you have it! From Zero to Hero! Tour 3 got it done and some Tour 4 guests got an early start! With flexibility and persistence, we were able to make dreams come true for our guests. Truly an experience none of the guests or tour guides will ever forget. We will do anything for our guest, we chase harder and go further than anyone.