Cloud 9 Tours

Cloud 9 Tours allows you to safely travel around Tornado Alley in search of the most spectacular storms on Earth. Ride with some of the most experienced storm chasers around. Cloud 9 Tours is the oldest storm chase tour in operation today. We offer two week storm chase vacations in the prime of storm season. You can ride along and be part of the chase.  -Cloud 9 Tours

Logo
Chase blog
No
Established
1996
E-mail
cedwards@cloud9tours.com
Phone
(405) 323-1145
Reviewed by StormChasingUSA.com?
Yes
Tour Guides & Staff
Brian J. Spencer (tour guide), Charles Edwards (tour guide, director), George Kourounis (tour guide, director), John Guyton
Vehicles used
  • cloud 9 white van
  • cloud 9 silver van
  • cloud 9 suburban
  •  
Why choose Cloud 9 Tours?
Company name
Cloud 9 Tours(Shawnee, OK)

Scheduled group tours

Tours in 2018

Tour Name Start Date End Date Price
Tour 1 2018-04-29 2018-05-12 $3100
Tour 2 2018-05-13 2018-05-26 $3100
Tour 3 2018-05-29 2018-06-09 $3100

Please note that...

  • All information given about the tour operator and their tours are second hand information and could be outdated and erronous. The latest, and most correct, information can always found and validated on the Cloud 9 Tours website
  • The start date does not necessarily mean it is a chase day, although this is typically the case. The end date could be a chase day but typically, it is not.
  • Do not schedule your flight according to the dates given here. Always double check this with the tour operator before you book your flight!
  • Prices could be subjected to discounts.
  • The tours could be full and you may not be able to book it.

Write a review of Cloud 9 Tours

If you have been on a tour with Cloud 9 Tours, please write a review.

Reviews of Cloud 9 Tours

The reviews here have been validated, meaning that the reviewer has proven that he or she participated in the actual tour.


Name: Christoffer Björkwall
Tour: Tour #3
Year: 2009
Blogged about the tour: Read more

General review

I went on my first storm chasing tour ever with Charles & co in 2009 on Tour #3. The first two tours this year had been quite unlucky with several down days but we were really lucky with the weather. We managed to see everything from one spectacular tornado in Wyoming, some beautiful supercells, hail the size of oranges and so on. Cloud 9 tours feels very friendly. It's, to some extent, like going on a tour with friends rather than a company (both for good and bad). I appreciated this but I guess it could be seen as somewhat unprofessional as well. On the negative side, there was quite a difference between going in one van or the other. The driver in one van was always falling behind, which could be **really** frustrating when you are chasing a storm and every minute counts. When we found our tornado, our driver drove much, much further away from the tornado than Charles's van. All in all, I truly recommend going with Cloud 9, you get a lot of bang for your bucks!

Tour guide review

It is of course easier to have a tour when the weather is beneficial but I believe Charles Edwards and Cloud 9 made a good job finding the storms as well. I enjoyed this trip immensely and Charles was an excellent guide. I appreciated that Charles was very eager to respond to my flood of questions. I learned quite a lot by asking but it would have been great to get some of this information beforehand as well. Charles is, I have learned afterwards, very well-known and respected among storm chasers and I can see why. He is also a friendly, fun guy.

Vehicle review

The vehicles were quite decent but still one downside of this tour. When we came in on tour #3 it seemed like they haven't had time to clean out the van from the previous tours. They were not dirty, but a bit messy. Our tour was not full and I can't imagine sitting in one of those vans when they are full. You need a bit of extra space after 14 days in the van! I wouldn't mind having neck support in the seats either, both for comfort and safety. I appreciated that they had WiFi and even a DVD-player. It was cool to be able to tell your friends back home to follow your trip through their web-cam as well.
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Name: Campbell Rousselle
Tour: Tour #2
Year: 2000

General review

I'm from New Zealand and I've toured with these guys twice. Once in 2000 and once in 2004 and I can't wait to go again. In 2000 I traveled with a group of roughly 25 people, 2 vans of of 10 participants and 2 lead vehicles with a few extra experts. I really loved this trip. I had never been to USA before and loved traveling around the mid-west. It was great to hang out with lots of new people from America, England and other places. Everyone was really interesting and super nice and the mid-west is beautiful. There aren't any open expanses of flat land in New Zealand, so it was new and interesting. On that trip I learnt a ton about the meteorological effects that create tornados, saw tons of lightning and whilst I only saw 3 small tornados, I was totally hooked and went back in 2004. On the 2004 trip I tagged along on the last day of the previous tour and saw 10 tornados in one day in Kansas, including a massive one. The rest of the trip was just myself an American lady and the tour guide. We saw another 4-5 tornados and got up close and personal with a big one. Charles is super professional and I trust his knowledge of tornados implicitly. He's also really nice and heaps of fun. I can't wait to see him and the other chasers again soon. Chase with Charles and Cloud 9. You owe it to yourself to do something like this at least once in your life. Cheers Campbell Rousselle
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Unvalidated reviews of Cloud 9 Tours

The reviews in this section has not been validated. This means that no evidence has been shown that the person actually was on the tour. Read them with a healthy dose of skepticism.

- This review has not been validated -

Name: Stuart Wilson
Tour: Tour #2
Year: 2008

General review

**The set-up** 2 vans with 8 seats (4 sets of 2) each and a 4x4 (don’t know how many seats). Van 1 was driven by George Kourounis (well known storm chaser and adventurer from Canada (don’t hold that against him!)) who has many, many hours experience of being in and driving through and out of severe weather situations. Van2 was driven by Mike Theiss (a well know hurricane chaser from Florida (now you can hold THAT against him if you like!). The 4 x 4 was driven by John Guyton a retired fire-fighter with many years storm chasing experience and an extremely cool head in a crisis. Our tour was made up of people who were on their first chase (like me, though I had been on DIY chases with a mate before), and people who were almost veteran Cloud9 customers – that certainly speaks volumes for the Cloud9 ‘experience’ **The technology** The vehicles were kept in touch via radio. Internet access was available via mobile phone (cell phone to you if you’re American) access and an amplifier – we had pretty good coverage most of the time. Charles ran GRlevel3 (Google it dude!) and obviously SPC et al. **Getting to the storms** Charles is a trained meteorologist and a very experienced storm chaser. He managed to pick the right areas to head for on a given day and was almost uncannily good at getting on the ‘best’ storms. We were incredibly lucky during tour 2 being treated to an outbreak that lasted for 4 days but hardly moved at all. This meant that ‘down time’ was much less than you might normally expect – sadly this meant we missed spending more than 5 minutes at the world’s largest ball of string! We normally stayed at motels such as Motel 6 – perfectly adequate with the world’s worst booking in systems (I’ve been to Romania and believe me it’s worse at Motel 6 for booking in). Charles runs a forum on his website which is private for his customers and that is excellent for general banter, bad jokes and reports. I have no doubt that Cloud9 are amongst the best (and it’s a very small group) of tornado chasing tour companies and gives it’s customers as much chance of seeing and experiencing severe weather as any other company. Cloud9 has a reputation for getting closer than other tour companies – not having chased with other companies I can’t tell you if this is true or not, but I can tell you that we were taken quite close to some awesome weather, but at no time did I feel that this was at the expense of our safety or Charles’s for that matter. Cloud9 exists, as far as I can tell (and I apologise to Charles if this is not true), as a vehicle (no pun intended) to allow Charles to do what he loves – storm chasing. He runs 3 tours each year with a maximum of 18 guests on each – figure the expenses and there’s no way he’s retiring within the next 5 years. Why not a 10?. The only aspect of the tour that was lacking is that Charles does not really do an 'educational' tour. He doesn't explain his reason for his target choices - either the night before nor the initial morning target. Also, in the back of the van you can feel a bit isolated from what is happening if you don't pipe up. That's not to say that Charles isn't forthcoming but you do have to ask him why, what, where and when.
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Name: Sean Scott
Tour: Tour #3
Year: 2012

General review

Tour 3 June 2012. I planed this tour for a year following a less than average tour with Silverlining last year so I`ll go from the start, no problems or difficulties with booking, paying for or organising this tour. All of my queries answered promptly, You won`t meet a nicer guy than Charles Edwards, and he has a great way of conducting his business. The Guest Inn was fine, as were all but one of the motels we stayed in on the tour. Unfortunately we had a fairly quiet two weeks, only 5 chase days, and that would have been the same whoever I toured with. On those 5 days though....wow, supercells, lightning, flash floods, massive hail (and steaks),in fact if it was there to be experienced, boy did we experience it. I will say that I felt safe at all times but Charles is definitely not afraid to get in amongst it, even driving into a hail core that he knew was going to cost him a small fortune in windshields. It seemed also that his choice of overnight motel stops were based on where the weather might put on a show, with awesome overnight lightning most nights. There was only one thing that happened on tour that did not please me and I have to mention it in the interests of a fair review and that is on day 10 our driver drove us over a railway crossing when the barriers were down. I was most angry about this and did make mention to Charles. I don`t think he`d be silly enough to allow this to happen again SO I SAY.... Take it from a VERY hard to please Englishman, Book a tour with Cloud 9. You`ll love it. (no after event fuel surcharges either, shame on you Silverlining....)
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Name: Daniel van Os
Tour: Tour #2
Year: 2008
Blogged about the tour: Read more

General review

Like Stuart (see review) I was one of the lucky participants of the 2008 edition of Tour 2. My choice for Cloud 9 was quite simple: most days for least money. Most days: I think that is the real key to seeing a tornado as probably most of the experienced companies will be able to show you tornadoes if they are there. Motels were good, transfers from and to the airport were well arranged. Charles even drove me to a pharmacy when I run into 'some' trouble with my stomach. I do agree with Stuart about the lack of information regarding chase targets. Especially in the back of the secondary van, where it was almost impossible to follow communications between the drivers. I did bring my own laptop and was able to maintain some situational awareness through that. Would I join Cloud9 again? Most certainly, in fact I will do so in 2011.
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Name: Rachel Chambers
Tour: Tour is not registered
Year:
Blogged about the tour: Read more

General review

I have gone with Cloud 9 Tours for a total of 6 years. I have seen what it is like when there are many storms to chase and when there are no storms to chase. Charles and the drivers try very hard to find things for everyone to do when there are no storms to chase. When there is something to chase they will do their best to be on the stomr that has the best chance of producing a tornado. They also answer any questions a tour participant may have about storm chasing. All of the drivers and Charles are very knowledgable about storm development and storm chasing! They like to have fun, but when it is time to be serious they are. They want to see a tornado as much as the participants do. They are concerned about safety. This is a group that I love to go with and highly recommend to anyone interested in storm chasing. Cloud 9 is one of the oldest storm chasing tour groups.
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Name: John Wright
Tour: Tour #1
Year: 2009

General review

I was on Tour 1 2009 . Collection upon arrival and return to OKC airport from the Guest Inn was good. It was a poor start to the season and never really livened up until June but every effort was made to get us to any potential tornadic storms that there were. We covered hundreds of miles and even went as far north to get within 238 miles of Chicago,many storms just mushed when we got there. On May 13 we arrived at Kirksville MO just too late to see two tornadoes, one an EF-3 and the other an EF-1 but we did get to drive through a severe storm that evening with torrential rain and a lot of intense lightning- a great experience which will stay with me as a great memory. I also felt safe,there was no risk taking. Because of the lack of storms we got to see places we wouldn't have otherwise seen, Palo Duro canyon, downtown St. Louis,downtown Dallas and George K. was good enough to take a few of us photographers into Dallas late evening to photograph the city lights and that was much appreciated. Our driver was Mike Theiss, a very personable and friendly guy as well as being a well respected chaser and he would always be ready to answer any questions or get an answer (like where we were heading because sometimes it was a case of following the lead van) So,10/10 for effort and getting us to the few potentially tornadic storms there were but only 3 out of 10 for communication in all areas of the trip including the communications by e-mail and one telephone call left unanswered prior to flying from the UK. In reality this should be zero,that was my experience. The unanswered mails/telephone call was about booking my return flight. In the event there wasn't a problem so the the lack of response caused unnecessary stress. Stuart W.(above review) has also highlighted this lack of communication with regards to information, the most obvious being no morning briefings. Both Tempest and SLT have comprehensive morning briefings and updates throughout the day. Each morning we got in the van my first question was,' Where are we heading today ?' otherwise it would have been akin to a Magical Mystery Tour. I mentioned this lack of a briefing to Mike who told Charles but to no avail. The nearest we got was a pre-Tour briefing about the do's and don'ts with regard to safety. Rachel C (review below) mentioned that they had 'fun' but the kind of fun they had was not really something I personally enjoyed but each to their own. Overall it's a 5 out of 10 from me. As I say,it would have been so much better to have had a morning briefing before we set off and be updated throughout the day. This lack of communication was the biggest let down for me.
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