Rapid Rotation Storm Tours Blog page 2

Visit Us Tomorrow at the National Weather Festival!

The National Weather Festival is this Saturday at the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma from 9-1! Are you ready to meet and greet with storm chasers from all over the country? Rapid Rotation Tours will be there, so look for our booth!

Storm chasers Chris McBee and Damon Bearden will be there to answer questions, as will Rapid Rotation’s designer and photographer Rachel Sager.

If you RSVP to our online event and stop by the booth, we’ll have SWAG for you! You’ll also be able to sign up for a week-long storm tour from our booth so you’ll leave the NWF ready to chase Storm Season 2013. Plus, our promotional $200 off all tour dates ends after this weekend. This is the best time to sign up!

RSVP here and stop by for your free SWAG tomorrow!

Superstorm Sandy

LaGuardia flooding from Superstorm Sandy

How many lives were affected by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy? The answer is easy: just about everyone.

The NYSE closed yesterday and won’t reopen until tomorrow. Largely populated areas of the Mid Atlantic are deserted as locals wait for the flood waters in their neighborhoods to recede. LaGuardia and JFK airports are still closed, with flood waters reaching as high as some airline gates. Although many of us went to work today, our thoughts were still focused on the chaos and aftermath of the weather back east.

One thing remains true about natural disasters: it’s never about one person, it’s about everyone. We all come together in time of need, whether it’s rescue efforts or donations. Weather brings us all together like nothing else. What was your Sandy experience like?

I received many first-hand reports from back east last night. I have family and friends in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York. Everyone is okay, several are still without power. Flooding and wind were the main pests. The late night report from my brother in northern Delaware was: “Rainy and dark. And windy, we’re definitely getting pounded from the north.”

My mom lives in Pennsylvania, just northwest of Philadelphia. When I asked her how the weather was earlier Monday afternoon, she only had one word for me: “Lousy.”

Her power went out around 8pm Eastern Time. My brother’s never went out. Even family just south of Atlantic City never lost power. Back east it always seems like luck of the draw when severe weather strikes, you never know who will draw the short straw!

What matters now is the rebuild and recovery of the homes lost and lives torn apart. Although Sandy was no Katrina, she was still costly and cost lives. There is a reason I don’t quite feel ready to chase hurricanes: they’re just so BIG. You can get the perfect shot but you can’t get back out. Always leave chasing to the professionals, and if you do decide you want to chase, do it the right way! Catch a ride with an experienced chaser that’s willing to let you ride along. Or take a tour with a company like Rapid Rotation. The safest way to be a part of the action is to be a part of it with the right people.

But I have to ask—if given the chance, would you consider chasing a hurricane?

National Weather Festival 2012

Will we see you at the National Weather Festival? The fun goes from 9am-1pm on Saturday, November 3 at the National Weather Center in Norman, OK. Stop by the Rapid Rotation Tours booth and chat with the team! You can meet the tour guides, get information about tours, and ask us any questions you might have. Enjoy a day among like-minded weather enthusiasts!

Tour guide Chris McBee has been a part of the NWF in past years, and has entered the storm chaser car show on more than one occasion. He even won an award for best-looking chase vehicle at the 2009 festival!

For more information about the National Weather Festival, visit: http://www.norman.noaa.gov/events/nwf/

Chris McBee at the 2009 National Weather Festival










Social Media

Let’s get social. Are you on Twitter or Facebook? We’d love for you to join the conversation! Get the latest about upcoming tours, and live updates during storm chases in progress. Did you see weather happen where you live? Snap a pic, send it to us on social media, and we’ll be happy to post it. We’re listening, and we want to know what you think!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RapidRotationStormTours

Twitter: @RapidRotation, www.twitter.com/rapidrotation

Be sure to follow us on both for information about tours as we approach storm season! We’ll also talk about severe weather in general, warn people in areas where severe weather is occurring, and make sure you know about the latest developments and updates here at Rapid Rotation.

West Texas storm chase, October 12, 2012

Damon Bearden and I journeyed to eastern New Mexico and west Texas on October 12 for a fall chase. We spent some time in Clovis, New Mexico meeting up with Kris Nation, a meteorologist with KFDA News Channel 10, the CBS affiliate in Amarillo. We’ve chased with the KFDA team on several occasions in the past. We find the opportunity to chase with members of the news media very rewarding. It enables us to better document the severe weather we observe, and it provides the media with more information about the weather situation to relay to their audience.

True to 2012, the day started out slow but we, along with many other chasers, stayed patient and waited. However, the storms did not begin to strengthen until after dark, and that’s not the safest time when you would want to chase storms. Tornadoes were spotted that night, but by a select few chasers. We took the daylight footage we had of the slowly developing storms and began the long journey back home to Norman.

We briefly chased a supercell near Plainview, Texas. It was quite picturesque at the base of the panhandle. While we didn’t see any October tornadoes that day, we witnessed some great storm structure and met up with some fun folks in the media.

KFDA’s storm chase vehicle in Clovis, NM









Tornado Season

Have you ever wondered why the weather world seems to be all about severe weather from April to June? Why does one part of North America appear to get more storms than others, only for the bullseye to shift geographically a month or so later? This is the phenomenon of Severe Weather Season. We’ll chase from Dixie Alley to Tornado Alley, and that’s why our tour home base relocates at the end of the season.


Get ready for hills and humidity; the greatest threat for tornadoes lies in the Deep South. From Austin, TX to Sweet Home Alabama, we’ll take a trip almost as far as the Great Smoky Mountains. Don’t let the beautiful terrain fool you, however. This is some of the most dangerous chasing territories. The storms are fast and the foliage is dense, so we’ll play it safe and try to get you the best view…from a distance.


Less travel and more twisters? We may not travel far to see picturesque tornadoes and supercell thunderstorms. Severe weather begins to shift westward and makes itself right at home in the center of the country. While April may be a little more focused on Arkansas and May goes vertical (South Dakota to Texas), the bullseye stays firmly planted on Oklahoma. There’s a reason these tour dates sell out the fastest!


Rocky Mountain High-based supercells should be on everyone’s bucket list. While the tornado risk is still greatest from Nebraska to Oklahoma, we don’t like to rule out the risk of a High Plains outbreak. Most common in June and still possible in July, Colorado’s Palmer Divide and Continential Divide make great backdrops for slow-moving, picturesque supercells. What’s this area’s secret? One word: Upslope.

Curious as to your city’s tornado risk each month? The Weather Channel has the tornado threat mapped out as accurately as Mother Nature allows.

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