Review of "Tour 5" by Extreme Tornado Tours
I would HIGHLY recommend ETT to anyone looking into tours. They are run by experienced chasers and meteorologists, and they do everything they can to ensure that guests not only see great storms but do so safely and while having fun. Not only do you see amazing storms, but you learn a lot of information from the guides and make life-long friends. I have gone the past two years now. In 2012 we had a slow year weather-wise, but the guides worked their tails of to get us to anything worthy of chasing. We all enjoyed it so much that 8 of the 12 of us returned in 2013 together (the other 4 had life reasons, ie babies being born, getting married, not able to get time off work). In 2013 we hit the jackpot weather-wise, and we saw 7 tornadoes, ranging from small and weak to the El Reno tornado. During El Reno, it was obvious how concerned the guides were, and they did their utmost to ensure our safety while doing interviews with tv/news stations to warn others.
We call the ETT vans our home away from home. They are lovingly referred to as Red Van and Blue Van. They are 16 passenger vans that have been modified by Kevin to be the best vehicles out there for tour guests. The last seat is removed, leaving room for luggage, then 2 people per seat - so 6 guests per van - very spacious. Kevin has also cut out the ceilings of the vans (and replaced them with some fancy material) so that guests can see out the tops of the vans at the storms above. The vans are also rigged for Wifi and have power throughout, so guests can bring laptops, iPads, etc to keep themselves occupied. Vans are cleaned, tires rotated, oil changed, etc, between each tour. Occasionally you'll see a cracked window from hail - that makes it all the more fun!
Tour guide review:
There are 5 main tour guides in ETT. Dave Holder is the resident meteorologist on tour, and is kind, funny, extremely knowledgable, and has the tour guest's comfort and wishes at the top of his priority list. Kevin Barton has chased for years, and you will know him as the man who built all of the Dominators (seen on Discovery's Storm Chasers). His eyes light up like a kid on Christmas when seeing storms, and noone explains a storm's structure like he does. Shanda, the lone female tour guide, is the utmost professional. She's been chasing for years, and is not only skilled in chasing, but is an amazing photographer. She makes memory books of the tours for each guest. Blake, another veteran chaser, is also a skilled photographer and loves to explain weather. He is fantastic at breaking down a storm and helping you understand what you're looking at. Matt is new to ETT as of 2013, but his understanding and instinct for storms is astounding. He's very laid back and puts all the guests at ease immediately. He also has a meteorology background.
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