Tour #2 by Cloud 9 Tours in 2017

  • Starts: 2017-05-20 (This tour has already been executed)
  • Ends: 2017-06-04
  • Price: $3000
  • Chase days: 14
  • Price per day: $214 / day
  • Departure city: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Description: No description available

Discounts and deals available on this tour

$500 discount for those who choose to share a room ($250 per person).

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Name:
Tour: Tour #2
Year: 2000
Rating: 5 of 5

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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  •  
    shaun scott

    I think this review is a perfect summing up of everything about the cloud 9 crew. I toured with them in 2012 and as I write this I am currently participating in this years tour number one. Day three today and we are having a fantastic time already...

     
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Name:
Tour: Tour #2
Year: 2008
Rating: 4 of 5
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:
Tour: Tour #2
Year: 2008
Rating: 4 of 5

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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