Tours to learn how to forecast and chase storms

Storm chasing tours are a great way of learning how to forecast and chase storms. Many storm chasing tours have a crash course in forecasting and storm chasing in the evening of arrival as well as morning briefings when they go through the forecast in order to show why a certain target is selected and what you can possibly expect from that day. The amount of time spent on this morning briefing range from 2 minutes to 45 minutes. This highly depends on the tour company, how complex the forecast is, the size of the group and the amount of time you have in the morning.

Most, if not all, tour guides are also happy to explain what is going on while you are actively chasing or standing by a storm. As such, you will learn a whole lot by just going on a normal storm chasing tour if you are interested.

If you want to learn even more, especially if it is not your first tour, you have a few options in order to learn even more and really dig deep into forecasting. A few tour companies offer “Learning Tours” which are specialized in order for you to understand and learn how to forecast storms yourself and your involvement in the forecasting process is much more thorough.

Your options (as of 2020) are:

  • College of du Page – All of College of du Page’s tours are aimed at teaching you how to forecast storms. You can expect long morning briefings where you draw your own weather maps etc. These tours are somewhat special compared to normal tours as you depart and arrive in Chicago which means 1-2 days, the vans are completely filled (i.e. no window seat guarantee), you get school credit and the tours are also among the cheapest.
  • Silver Lining Tours “Lecture Tours” with Roger Hill – A “normal” tour in many ways but this tour is focused on teaching you how to chase and forecast storms. You will be highly involved in the forecasting process and be among other tour guests who are committed to learning forecasting. 
  • Tornado Alley Chasing – These are not tours per se but David Williams of Tornado Alley Chasing have a chase outfit where you chase as partners and you are expected to be involved in the forecasting process. You can be a rookie in terms of chasing and forecasting but you have to have an active interest in learning and being involved as an active member in the chase. Tornado Alley Chasing do not offer scheduled tours and costs are shared.