Storm chasing in Colorado

june colorado tornado frequencyColorado is home to some truly magic places when it comes to tornadoes. You probably wont see the monster EF-5 tornadoes as you can see in Texas, Oklahoma or Kansas but the flatland east of the Rockies is much loved by chasers as it is almost perfectly flat. The high terrain can cause storms, and tornadoes, happen from weather that is not “supposed to” provide tornadoes and you have topographic terrain like the Denver Vorticity Zone and the Palmer Divide that are notorious for producing tornadoes. If you look at tornado frequency maps, such as this one, you can notice how a small region of northeastern Colorado is always highlighted.

If you chase in Colorado, don’t be surprised if you see a landspout tornado and truly photogenic tornadoes. Some of the prettiest tornadoes and most beautiful tornado photos ever shot were photographed in Colorado, such as the tornadoes of Campo, Simla or Wray. If you want to chase in Colorado you should probably book your trip in June.

colorado storm
This is a very typical northeastern Colorado view. Two landspout tornadoes are formed in this completely flat region. This photo was taken with a telescope lens from about two miles away with nothing obstructing the view!

Storm chasing tours in Colorado

There are no tours that only do storm chasing tours as storm chasing is not geographically bound – you go where the storms are. However, in June and July you are likely to end up in the Northern Plains and most storm chasing tours base their tours out of Denver in the late season, as they have a great international airport but also because the flatlands outside of Denver is a hotspot for tornadoes later in the season.

Denver


Extreme Instability* - Tour 5 - 7 Days (2020) - by Tornadic Expeditions starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200530

SLT Photo Tour #2 (2020) - by Silver Lining Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200531

SLT Photo Tour #3 (2020) - by Silver Lining Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200628

T5 High Plains Magic (2020) - by Silver Lining Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200531

T6 High CAPE (2020) - by Silver Lining Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200607

T7 Sculpted Supercell (2020) - by Silver Lining Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200614

T8 Rolling Prairies Lecture (2020) - by Silver Lining Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200621

T9 Great North Tornado Hunt (2020) - by Silver Lining Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200712

Tour 5 - Tornado Max Discovery Tour (2020) - by Tempest Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200601

Tour 6 - We Got Cows Tour (2020) - by Tempest Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200608

Tour 7 (2020) - by Extreme Tornado Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200610

Tour 7 - June Tornado Bliss Tour (2020) - by Tempest Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200620

Tour 7B - Late June Small Group Twister Tour (2020) - by Tempest Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200620

Tour 8 - Tornado USA Tour (2020) - by Tempest Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200628

Tour 9 - July Twister Tour (2020) - by Tempest Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200705

Tour Number 5 (2020) - by Storm Chasing Adventure Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200531

Tour Number 6 (2020) - by Storm Chasing Adventure Tours starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200607

Upslope Supercells - Tour 6 - 6 Days (2020) - by Tornadic Expeditions starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200608

Violent Skies - Tour 7 - 10 Days (2020) - by Tornadic Expeditions starting from Denver, Colorado on 20200619

Private tours and on-call tours to chase in, and around, Colorado

The Denver area is, together with Oklahoma City, probably the best to base a one-day tour out of as there is an unusually high frequency of tornadoes in the northeastern part of Colorado due to topographical reasons. In addition, the entire flatbead of Colorado is prone to tornadoes, especially in June, and with quite a few storm chasers living in Denver you have a good chance of going on a one-day tour any day the atmosphere looks primed for tornadoes in that area. 

Tornadoes in Colorado are, however, notorious for happening on “off-days” when you may not really expect tornadoes (due to low moisture for example) but magic things happen in Colorado if there are thunderstorms about. If you specifically want to chase a setup in Colorado or if you would like to chase the storms that exist in Colorado on a specific day your best option is to try a Private Tour.If you cannot find a private tour you can always ask on StormTrack or social media for any chaser in Denver that would accept to bring you along on a chase if you pay him or her.