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'Tornado' vacation - high risk or not?

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...not referring to the danger from a tornado itself. But I saw some places advertise where you can travel around for one or two weeks with a spotter to spot tornadoes. It sounds very interesting but very hit or miss at the same time. What do you think the risks are that you will spend money and not get to see one? Of course these 'tour packages' are being offered out in tornado alley.

 

As it is, I'm looking at a July vacation to FL, mostly to fish, but also in some hopes of seeing a waterspout. I recall seeing quite a few in the summers back when I used to live in Tampa. Those little 4 O' Clock pop up thunderstorms seemed to always drop down a waterspout.

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a friend went on one of these tornado hunter trips. he is a weather nut, will drive into the path of hurricanes and such.

he was disappointed with the trip. he never saw a tornado. even though it was the right time of year, the storms didn't cooperate. two weeks driving around the mid west,as part of this team wasn't as much fun as he thought.

he said he could do as well watching the weather channel, and driving to where the storms are himself.

the motels he stayed in were not resorts, and were mainly for catching a shower and a nap, as there were many miles of driving involved.

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I personally wouldn't pay to see a tornado. Like you say its hit and miss. If you're there for the right storm you might see 5 in an hour or you might be sitting in one of those stupid trucks eating bear claws and drinking coffee with some weather nut.

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Save your money and watch Discovery channel's Storm Chaser series. The footage is awesome. It's pure luck if you schedule a vacation with a chaser and actually happen to see a twister or two. Unless these guys have openings where you can schedule a day or two in advance when a strong front is forming. Peak months for tornadoes are in the spring.

 

Believe me I know, my sister and our cousins live in Oklahoma, in and around Tulsa. I have purposely scheduled trips out there in April and May in my own little crazy hopes of seeing one. Never did see one, yet have been there during big multi state outbreaks.

Hands down, the most wicked thunderstorms and lightning I have ever seen have been during my trips to Ok. Actually seeing cloud rotation without a twister developing was sick enough for me cwm31.gif

 

Then again, If I had a chance to drive the TIV, I think I would icon24.gif

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I've often said that I would love to do that, but after reading some of the post, maybe not. But I'd sure like to go hang out in the midwest and I'd be happy just to watch some of those supercells build up from a distance.

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View PostSave your money and watch Discovery channel's Storm Chaser series. The footage is awesome. It's pure luck if you schedule a vacation with a chaser and actually happen to see a twister or two. Unless these guys have openings where you can schedule a day or two in advance when a strong front is forming. Peak months for tornadoes are in the spring.

 

Believe me I know, my sister and our cousins live in Oklahoma, in and around Tulsa. I have purposely scheduled trips out there in April and May in my own little crazy hopes of seeing one. Never did see one, yet have been there during big multi state outbreaks.

Hands down, the most wicked thunderstorms and lightning I have ever seen have been during my trips to Ok. Actually seeing cloud rotation without a twister developing was sick enough for me cwm31.gif

 

Then again, If I had a chance to drive the TIV, I think I would icon24.gif

 

 

It sounds like we have a similar situation is someways. My dad is from NY and I more or less consider myself a product of the east coast, although my dad was in the military and in reality, my childhood was spent in a lot of various places outside the Northeast part of the US (never abroad though).

 

My mom, on the other hand, is from Muskogee, Oklahoma - which is about an hour east of Tulsa and I've been out on several occasions to visit that side of my family...and yes, the thunderstorms are a different animal out there. The lightning show they put on is almost biblical compared to our eastcoast variety.

 

While I have seen waterspouts on a fairly frequent basis (and several funnel clouds), I've only seen one land based tornado. The odd part was that it was so weak, it started off as and remained a funnel cloud for a good period of time. The storm drifted so that the base of the funnel cloud was on the far side of a hill to where we couldn't see it (the base of it). But we could still see the upper half that went into the cloud. It was only later on the news that we saw conformation that it had actually touched down and was indeed a tornado. This was back in 1981 or 82 when my dad was stationed at Offut AFB in Omaha, NE. The other oddity about this tornado was that while the parent cloud was indeed a cumulus nimbus, it wasn't a mature thunderstorm - there was no thunder/lightening with this storm...I've always wondered how frequently that happensheadscratch.gif

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View Post...not referring to the danger from a tornado itself. But I saw some places advertise where you can travel around for one or two weeks with a spotter to spot tornadoes. It sounds very interesting but very hit or miss at the same time. What do you think the risks are that you will spend money and not get to see one? Of course these 'tour packages' are being offered out in tornado alley.

 

As it is, I'm looking at a July vacation to FL, mostly to fish, but also in some hopes of seeing a waterspout. I recall seeing quite a few in the summers back when I used to live in Tampa. Those little 4 O' Clock pop up thunderstorms seemed to always drop down a waterspout.

 

 

 

If you are willing to spend a couple grand to drive all over the place to see some clouds, why not just get a CDL and drive a truck for those two weeks? Your chances of finding a tornado aren't much lower.

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