Weather and storm watching trips and tours, including storm chasing and tornado tours, and storm watching holidays and vacations.

 

Atricles & features

Storm chasing:
Directory
Where to chase storms

Choosing a package

Featured video

• Lightning
Storm watching:
Directory
Canada & the US
• UK storm watching
Top tips

Tips for choosing a weather watching trip:

This section is for anyone wanting to see and experience the power of the weather (a 'weather tourist'), be it watching the crashing waves and wild winds of a winter storm or experiencing more dangerous weather like thunderstorms, tornados, ice storms and hurricanes.

Weather focused adventures come in two main flavours:

• Firstly the trips and tours focused on extreme weather in the form of hurricanes, twisters, tornados, supercell thunderstorms and lightning – and where the aim is to follow the weather. Chasing the storms to take photos and video or simply to experience the forces and watch the spectacle. This type of trip is listed in the first part of this page. Also see the article here.

• The second type of weather trip is a little more sedate (safer too!); while still experiencing dramatic and impressive storms first-hand, guests do so from a comfortable base, often a strategically situated luxury hotel, in an area known for its impressive weather action. These holidays can be found in the second part of this page. See the article here.


 

 

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Tornado, hurricane & storm chasing trips

 

Extreme Chase Tours – tornado and storm chasing tours in Tornado Alley [MORE]

Check the storm chasing directory from the top»


Where to go storm watching

North America experiences some of the most extreme and violent weather in the world and most commercial storm chasing tours take place here. Its popularity is aided by a good road network, which makes following a storm easier, the availability of plenty of accurate weather data, and flat open landscapes offering panoramic views.

 

The infamous 'Tornado Alley', with its exceptionally high number of tornadoes, is the most popular destination. This covers an area made up of much of the Great Plains and a large chunk of the Midwest and generally includes the states of: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming and the Dakotas.

The main US storm chasing periods are the spring tornado season, which runs from April to June, and the hurricane season, running from June to November.

 

Tips on choosing a storm chasing package
• Check that the company uses experienced storm chasers. A good team can teach you about the science behind the storms, as well as just getting you to the weather, and may include meteorologists or climatologists in the mix.

• If your principal aim is recording the storm, be it in still photos or on video, look out for packages specifically dedicated to this. Some tours include instruction from professional weather photographers who will be able to provide tips on getting the best shots.

• A lot of storm chasing time is spent travelling, using mini-vans, 4x4's and SUV's, and driving anywhere between 100 and 500 miles per day, so make sure the vehicle used is a comfortable one!

• Remember that not all days are stormy, a good tour company will arrange for visits to local sights and attractions at times when storms aren't expected. Look for this detailed on their tour descriptions.

 

Lightning
Then there is lightning ... You'll get lighting in the US of course, but if you want the the very best lighting destination you'll need to head for Venezuela, with its Catatumbo Lightning – an amazing storm that's active each year for between 140 and 160 days. During peak periods the storm can last nine or ten hours a day, with up to 270 lightning discharges an hour! A few tour operators run trips in the area (see right), not generally specifically chasing the lighting storms, but taking them in as part of a bigger trip in Venezuela.


Check the storm chasing directory from the top»

 

usa flag Extreme Chase Tours

located: Montana, USA

video: view video
website:
extremechasetours.com
Offering a range of different stormchasing tour packages catering for the changes through the severe weather season, also tours for special requirements such as a specialist severe weather photography tour. They have tours available right through the season from April to July.

| storm chasing | USA |

 

uk flag Netweather

located: Surrey, UK

website: netweather.tv/...

Sociable 7 or 10-day storm chasing tours from the UK going out to the US midwest to witness incredible storms. Tours are lead by experienced chasers, forecasters and drivers, and tour vehicles carry the latest tracking technology. Pre-tour meets are also arranged through the year.

| storm chasing | USA |

 

Osprey Expeditions

located: Caracas, Venezuela

website: ospreyvenezuela.com

2 and 3-day tours to see the amazing Catatumbo lightning phenomenon near lake Maracaibo, the largest lake in South America. Mixing jungle exploration with lightning viewing.

| storm chasing | Venezuela |

 

usa flag Storm Chasing Adventure Tours

located: Montana, USA

website: stormchasing.com

Tornado Alley storm chasing tour company. Offering six-day tours covering a number of states in the US in Tornado Alley and Great Plains area, using well equipped vehicles with up-to-date radar, mobile broadband and state-of-the-art communications.

| storm chasing | USA |

 

Stormchasing.ca

website: stormchasing.ca

Severe weather and tornado tours in Canada and the US, with a very experienced weather consultant, tornado chaser and US/Canada certified storm spotter. All tours include transport, storm target briefing and lessons in severe weather forecasting and navigation.

| weather watching | USA | Canada |

 

usa flag Silver Lining Tours

located: Texas, USA

website: silverliningtours.com

Complete tour packages to view tornadoes, storm structures and lightning displays from safe vantage points in the heart of Tornado Alley. Learn about the formation of the weather as well as chasing and forecasting skills.

| storm chasing | USA |

 

Thunderbolt Tours

based: Australia

website: thunderbolttours.com

Facilitating storm chasing adventures in Australia and the United States; offering educational training covering forecasting techniques, storm safety and storm chasing field experience. Including supercell thunderstorms in NSW and Queensland, and US tours in Tornado Alley.

| storm chasing | Australia | USA |

 

Discover Venezuela

based: Venezuela

website: discovervenezuela.net/en/tours/adventure...

Offering short 2/3-day tours to witness the Catatumbo lightning phenomenon (Relampago del Catatumbo) at the mouth of the Rio Catatumbo.

| storm chasing | Venezuela |

 

Isafold Travel

based: Gardabaer, Iceland

website: isafoldtravel.is

Isafold Travel specialises in personal service and private tours for small groups in Iceland.

| winter walking | bird watching | freshwater fishing/angling | storm chasing | Iceland |

 

usa flag Storm Chaser

based: Arizona, USA

website: stormchaser.com

Tours with top storm interception specialist and severe weather survival expert, Warren Faidley.

| storm chasing | USA |

 

usa flag Windswept Enterprises

based: Nebraska, USA

website: chasetours.com

Private, customised storm chase experiences.

| storm chasing | USA |

 

Check the storm chasing directory from the top»
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Weather & storm watching holidays

 

CANADA: Storm watchers package


The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, British Columbia is the original and ultimate winter storm watching destination on the West coast of Vancouver Island. Here they really know how to do it, here every room has a view of the ocean, here they provide rain gear boots and oilskin hats, guided nature walks, fireplaces and hot drinks. Their dedicated 'Storm Watchers Package' is ideal for a short break.
    For a unique close-up experience of the storm, we recommend taking a massage in their cedar cabin located right out on the edge of the ocean.


Dates, price and full details ...


Check the storm watching directory from the top»

 

Canada and the US

The NW Pacific coasts of America and Canada are the origin of the newest trend in autumn and winter breaks, that of storm watching from the safety and comfort of a well positioned hotel, B&B or holiday rental. The West coast is exposed to the strong winds and crashing waves of Pacific weather, so is prime winter storm territory with many places along the Washington, Oregon and British Columbia coast now actively promoting the pastime with dedicated packages. These Pacific storms generally rage from November through to April.

The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino (on Vancouver Island in Canada) was one of the first to set up dedicated storm watchers packages and now the small towns of Tofino and Ucluelet, long battered by Pacific storms, are at the heart of the activity.

 

UK storm watching destinations

Storm watching packages as such haven't yet taken off in the UK, but with the weather we've been having recently it can't be long coming! Already you'll find it suggested as a winter activity by a number of holiday sites, many of which are listed in the directory section on the right.

So what are the top destinations? The UK doesn't have the consistent extreme weather you'll find on the American/Canadian Pacific coast, but it does have a number of locations that experience particularly wild weather and above average numbers of winter storms.

One of the stormiest part of England is Cornwall, where the Atlantic weather pounds the North Atlantic coast, offering up crashing rollers and gale force winds for keen weather watchers. Storm season is from November to March, with December and January being the best months.

Then there is the dramatic coastal scenery of South Wales, including the Gower Peninsula and Pembrokeshire which gets a good share of winter gales. Scotland too is a good bet, including the islands and particularly the remote and exposed Hebrides, which feel the effects of North Atlantic storms and gales.

 

Tips for a storm watch holiday

Once you've chosen your location, make sure your accommodation offers what you need, that's:
• Watching spots and big windows with good ocean and cliff views.
• Helpful aids like binoculars, wellie boots, umbrellas and rain gear.
• Comforts from the storm like hot chocolate, open fires, hot tubs and big comfy sofas.

If you venture out into the storm to lean into the wind and feel the rain and spray on your face, stay safe by keeping:
• away from cliff edges,
• off of driftwood piles,
• out of the water,
• and by remembering not to turn your back to the ocean least a unexpected wave catch up with you.

Enjoy the aftermath of the storm, the (sometimes) sunny post-storm weather that can be great for photographs, long walks and beachcombing, as you discover what's been hurled up the beach by the wind and waves.


Check the storm watching directory from the top»
Check the entire weather section»

 

 

Blackrock Resort

located: Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada
website:
blackrockresort.com/.../storm-watching-package

Ucluelet storm watchers vacation package, this oceanfront resort is in a prime spot for guests to enjoy winter storms and the wild Pacific landscape. View the weather from the resort's floor to ceiling windows.

| storm watching | Canada |

 

uk flag Headland Hotel (The) Featured Site

located: Newquay, Cornwall, UK

website: HeadlandHotel

In an unrivalled location for UK storm watching, this stylish Victorian hotel sits perched on a rugged wave-lashed headland in Newquay, on the stormy Cornish coast. The hotel overlooks Fistral Beach, Cornwall's surf capital and boast it's own spa, 9-hole golf course, surf school and sea-view terrace.

| storm watching | England |

 

usa flag Bryan Hansel Photography

based: Minnesota, USA
website:
bryanhansel.com

For great storm and lake images, a dedicated 'Gales of November' photo workshop held at Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior, Minnesota. These take place in Nov, the stormiest month and the one offering best opportunities for photographing the explosive weather of this inland ocean.

| storm watching | photographic | USA |

 

Pacific Sands Beach Resort

located: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada
website:
pacificsands.com/.../...winter.php

Pacific storm-watch package, combining exhilarating adventure with winter comfort, enjoy beach-side and fireside storm viewing. Cox Bay suite and lodge accommodation, on the edge of the Pacific Rim National Park.

| storm watching | Canada |

 

Snug Harbour Inn Featured Site

located: Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada
website:
SnugHarbourInn

Luxury B&B in Ucluelet, south of Tofino, on Vancouver Island, world famous for its winter storm watching. The inn is in a prime spot on a cliff above rugged Pacific coastline. Book a room with an ocean view, where you can relax by your own fireplace or on your private deck and watch huge waves as they pound the shoreline.

| storm watching | Canada |

 

Wickaninnish Inn

located: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

video: view video
website:
wickinn.com/stormwatching.html

A luxurious and comfortable hotel set in a spectacular spot for storm watching and experiencing the power of the areas renowned winter storms, gales and 20 ft breakers.

| storm watching | Canada |

 

Anchors Inn

located: Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada

website: anchorsinn.com/storm-watching-season-is-here

Storm-watching packages for cosy cabins in Ucluelet. Enjoy the storm the way you want, be that from in front of the fire, or while soaking in the hot tub.

| storm watching | Canada |

 

uk flag Caerwenfor Cottage

located: Caerwenfor, Ceredigion, Wales, UK

website: cliff-holiday-cottage.co.uk/tag/storm-watching/

Cliff-top holiday cottage set 300 m above the sea with stunning views of the Cardiganshire coast, offering storm watching weekends at excellent rates.

| storm watching | Wales |

 

uk flag Clachtoll Cottage

located: Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK

website: clachtollcottage.co.uk

A comfortable coastal holiday rental with stunning views in NW Scotland, in an ideal location for Oct to March storm watching.

| storm watching | Scotland |

 

He-Tin-Kis Lodge

located: Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada

website: HeTinKis Lodge

Storm watching from the privacy of your own ocean front suite at the He-Tin-Kis Lodge in Ucluelet, on Vancouver Island.

| storm watching | Canada |

 

usa flag Oregon Storm Tours
based: Oregon, USA
website: oregonstormtours.com
Short tours experiencing the power of North Pacific storms. Visit beaches and headlands, see crashing waves, old storm damage and places where the wind can reach over 100 mph.

| storm watching | USA |

 

uk flag Rubha Charnain

located: Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK

website: rubhacharnain.co.uk

Traditional cottage right on the shores of North Bay; Barra is exposed to winter Atlantic gales and makes an excellent location for storm lovers.

| storm watching | Scotland |

 

uk flag Stonechat Cottage

located: Polzeath, Cornwall, UK

website: polzeathcottages.com/stonechat.html

Self-catering semi-detached beach cottage 30 yds from Polzeath beach and including a storm-watchers arbour.

| storm watching | England |

 

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