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May 8 chase in North Texas

May 8 we went out in search of what Mother Nature could provide. Compared to what it was ten years ago (see 2003), it was not the severe weather outbreak it could have been. Even still, we drove through Lawton, Altus, and Hollis, Oklahoma before heading into the open expanses of the Texas Panhandle. We first sat north of Childress and watched a supercell form and then die in northern Hall County. This storm was not without some fanfare as it did carry a severe thunderstorm warning from NWS Amarillo for the duration of its life cycle. It also produced large hail and some very interesting structure. In the picture below, there appears to be a cone tornado under the rain-free base of a large rotating thunderstorm. But you can’t always judge a book by its cover. We had been on this cell for some time already and had noted several instances of rising scud clouds that appeared from our vantage point to be in contact with both the cloud and the ground. What looks like a tornado in this picture is actually a harmless condensed area of rising air. It takes a lot of storm chasing experience to properly discern what’s what out there, and even very seasoned storm spotters and chasers can occasionally be fooled. We knew what we were looking at did not report this as a tornado.

The "fakenado" in Hall County, TX

The “fakenado” in Hall County, TX

We (and a bevvy of other chasers) watched this storm for some time, as it was the most dominant supercell in the area. But out of thin air, the storm almost completely dissipated. We dropped further south on Highway 83 towards Paducah, Texas and another developing supercell. We got there with a good visual on the back side of this rotating cell, witnessing a small lowering and some larger hail on the side of the highway just outside city limits. This wasn’t a day for tornadoes, but there were certainly some interesting storms out there!

Storm structure near Paducah, TX

Storm structure near Paducah, TX

Fragmented pieces of a baseball-size hailstone near Paducah, TX

Fragmented pieces of a baseball-size hailstone near Paducah, TX


Daily tours are a go!

Well folks, it’s April. Springtime is here, most of the snow is gone, and severe weather is right on the doorstep. Next week is looking volatile on the latest model runs, and this is your first chance to ride along with us in pursuit of nature’s fury. If you live in or are willing to meet us in central or southern Oklahoma or northern Texas on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, and you want to experience storm chasing during potential severe weather outbreaks, then let us know! We take people on a first-come first-serve basis, and space is limited.

Here’s a look at the three severe weather days on the horizon. These three images show CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) in the southern Plains on Sunday, April 7, Monday, April 8, and Tuesday, April 9 respectively. At this time, Monday looks to be the most volatile of the three, although severe weather is certainly possible on the other two days as well (images courtesy We’ll quite possibly meet up and chase with Tornado Titans on one or more of these setups as well!


If you want to chase with us on one or more of these days and you’re available to be in these areas where we can meet you, please fill out the form below! It’s free to get on the notification list. If you decide to join us when we contact you, daily tours are $350 per person per day. It’s almost certain we’ll see tornadoes, and you can be there with us taking in this experience! You must give us valid contact info, or we can’t get in touch with you. And remember, space is limited. If we can’t take you this time, check our blog often and follow us on social media. We will also announce upcoming chases on Facebook and Twitter!







Just a few weeks to go!

It’s March. It’s meteorological spring. Snow is melting, the conventions are over, forecasts are out, and storm season is knocking on the door. I don’t know about you, but we are very busy getting prepared for it! So far this year we have chased the blizzard in northwest Oklahoma on February 25 and a linear mess of a storm setup in north Texas on March 9. Nothing too spectacular yet this year, but it’s technically not even spring for another week!

If you want to join us on the road this spring, now is the time to act! We’ve got weeklong and daily tours available that are the best value you’ll find anywhere. Come join us and experience something you’ll never forget. That guy you know at work is going to the beach? Who cares. You’ll be on the open road with us hunting down tornadoes. That’s much cooler!

It’s a little over four weeks until weeklong tours start, and daily tours are starting very soon. When we have daily spots available, we will call those on our interest list, and then post them here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. It’s free to get on the interest list. Just click “Storm Chasing Tours” on the menu above, choose “Day Tours,” and fill out the form.

To keep up with us this year, follow us on Twitter and on Facebook!

Making the Rounds: Chasercon & the Minnesota Storm Chasing Convention

Minnesota Storm Chasing Convention

In the past few weeks, Rapid Rotation Tours has been doing some traveling! On January 26, Chris McBee and Rachel Sager traveled to Big Lake, MN for the 5th annual Minnesota Storm Chasing Convention. Many chasers from all over the U.S. were there, including filmographer and TIV I & II creator Sean Casey, attending as the keynote speaker. It certainly was cold, but it was a great convention.

Sean Casey's TIV2 vehicle, made for driving into and photographing tornadoes.

Sean Casey during his keynote speech.

The trip home proved pretty arduous, as a large crippling winter storm was plaguing the Northern Plains. The snow in Minneapolis resulted in long airline delays for our flight back to Denver. Chris didn’t arrive back to Norman, OK until nearly 3 a.m.

A Southwest Airlines jet being de-iced at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport on January 27.


15th Annual Chasercon!

Cut to a few weeks later when Chris, Damon Bearden, and Rachel attended the 15th annual National Storm Chasers Convention (Chasercon) in Denver from February 15-17. It was a great time as always, storm chasers from around the world were in attendance. Some of the many speakers included Dr. Greg Forbes from The Weather Channel, Tim Samaras of Team TWISTEX and Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, engineer and legendary chaser Tim Marshall, and Brandon Sullivan of Tornado Titans. We took a look back at the 2012 storm season, learned more about chasing safety, were informed and entertained by Tim Marshall’s Star Trek-themed presentation (the latest in a line of movie- and TV-themed hilarity), and listened to a very well-done overview of sounding data by Brandon Sullivan.

The culmination of Chasercon is always Video Night, held late on Saturday night when chasers can submit their best videos of the previous year for everyone to see. It’s the best time before storm season to view up-close high-quality tornado footage, and is looked forward to by everyone.

Rapid Rotation Tours was a part of Chasercon for the first time! We rented booth space in the vendor area among some of the most well-known companies in the storm chasing world (ChaserTV, KDR Media, Tornado Titans, Baron Services, and more). Below is a picture of Rapid Rotation tour guides Chris (right) and Damon (center). On the left is Kansas storm chaser Dillon Killoren, a friend of ours who volunteered to help us out with the booth. A big thanks to everyone who stopped by! We met some great people, got to talk with lots of severe weather enthusiasts, and of course got to socialize with other storm chasers! Can’t wait for next year!

Some pictures from Chasercon:

Our booth space in the vendor area.

Tim Marshall, as Spock's brother Spark, giving a very logical account of his 2012 season.

Tim Marshall, as Spock’s brother Spark, giving a very logical account of his 2012 season.

Brandon Sullivan of Tornado Titans, analyzing sounding data.

Brandon Sullivan of Tornado Titans, analyzing sounding data.

Dr. Greg Forbes of The Weather Channel, speaking about the 2012 severe weather season.

Dr. Greg Forbes of The Weather Channel, speaking about the 2012 severe weather season.

Our Upcoming Season

We don’t know about you, but we are getting excited for spring 2013! We have big plans for storm season, and we’d love for you to be a part of it as well. We plan to chase everything we can between April and June, and we hope to observe as many tornadoes as possible.

By now, you’ve probably heard that we’ve lowered our prices. $2,250 will now get you a full week on the highways of America with experienced storm chasers. If you’ve ever wanted to get out there in the elements and see Mother Nature at her angriest, this is your answer. You don’t have to worry about navigation and trip planning. Leave all that to us. Book your seats soon though!

If you still have some questions about our mission, check out this video just released today! In December, Rapid Rotation’s lead storm chaser Chris McBee met with Chris Sanner of Tornado Titans for an interview. They spoke about the upcoming storm season, and what our guests can expect on the tour.