Summer is the season for dramatic weather such as thunder, lightning, and tornadoes. It’s also the season for taking a vacation. Some people think that storms + vacation = the ultimate summer experience.
Storm chasing is a popular and growing hobby in America, especially throughout the midwestern states, where tornado activity is high. Storm chasers follow storm systems and get as close to them as they possibly can. Some storm chasers want to get photos and video of tornadoes; others are conducting meteorological research. For some, the thrill of getting up close to powerful storms is all the reason needed.
Recently, some experienced storm chasers have begun to offer guided tours of “tornado alley” – the area in the central United States where tornadoes are common. If you would like to spend your vacation chasing storms across the American plains, you can book an adventure tour with Robert Hill (pictured above).
Getting so close to the tornados that he can hear their roar and see debris flying inside them, Mr Hill likes to give his customer the full twister experience.
‘They can move at up to 60mph and they turn at up to 300mph,’ he said.
‘They can be over one mile wide and they can destroy entire towns and uproot entire villages.
‘On one occasion one tornado has shifted direction so rapidly that it has cut right between two of our three buses on the road.
‘That was a scary experience.’
I don’t think I will book any storm chasing adventure tours. While I love to experience dramatic thunder and lightning from the safety of my porch, I don’t want to experience a tornado. Watching one on video is thrilling enough for me:
Have you ever taken an unusual vacation?
Would you enjoy storm chasing?