Storm chasing in Colorado

june colorado tornado frequency

Colorado 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, Colorado

TourTour companyStart date
Extreme Instability* - Tour 5 - 7 DaysTornadic ExpeditionsMay 30 2020
SLT Photo Tour #2Silver Lining ToursMay 31 2020
T5 High Plains MagicSilver Lining ToursMay 31 2020
Tour Number 5Storm Chasing Adventure ToursMay 31 2020
Tour 5 - Tornado Max Discovery TourTempest ToursJun 01 2020
T6 High CAPESilver Lining ToursJun 07 2020
Tour Number 6Storm Chasing Adventure ToursJun 07 2020
Tour 6 - We Got Cows TourTempest ToursJun 08 2020
Upslope Supercells - Tour 6 - 6 DaysTornadic ExpeditionsJun 08 2020
Tour 7Extreme Tornado ToursJun 10 2020
T7 Sculpted SupercellSilver Lining ToursJun 14 2020
Violent Skies - Tour 7 - 10 DaysTornadic ExpeditionsJun 19 2020
Tour 7 - June Tornado Bliss TourTempest ToursJun 20 2020
Tour 7B - Late June Small Group Twister TourTempest ToursJun 20 2020
T8 Rolling Prairies LectureSilver Lining ToursJun 21 2020
SLT Photo Tour #3Silver Lining ToursJun 28 2020
Tour 8 - Tornado USA TourTempest ToursJun 28 2020
Tour 9 - July Twister TourTempest ToursJul 05 2020
T9 Great North Tornado HuntSilver Lining ToursJul 12 2020

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.