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Tempest Tours

Arlington, TX, USA
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About Tempest Tours
Founded in 2000, Tempest Tours is a storm chasing expedition company based in Arlington, Texas. We offer weather learning adventures for guests who want to explore our fascinating atmosphere. Each tour is staffed by a team of experts who lead tours into the field to view and study weather as it evolves. We offer one day tours from Arlington. Six to eleven day tours available in Oklahoma City.
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Vicki B wrote a review Jun 2020
South Farmingdale, New York8 contributions7 helpful votes
I just finished my fifth year with Tempest Tours. Because of COVID-19, I wasn't sure if they would be hosting the tours, but was pleasantly surprised that they hadn't cancelled. I received emails from Kim George & Martin Lisius, the owners. They assured me that all safety precautions were being taken. Since I had toured with them before, I didn't need any more assurance. My tour was in early June, and by then, a lot of the restrictions were eased. Still, they made sure the van was sterilized and there was plenty of hand sanitizer. While there were less guests than usual, I enjoyed it immensely. I saw a landspout tornado this year, on the same day as my first one last year. In addition, there were amazing lightning displays, hail and a squall line that may have produced a rain wrapped tornado. Bill Reid, the tour director, has an uncanny knack of finding storms and tornadoes, even if the weather report looked bleak. Chris Gullikson, the other tour director, subbed for Bill the first few days and he too was able to take us to amazing storms. On days when we were waiting for a storm to hit, we went to Badlands State Park and saw beautiful formations, as well as Pronghorn sheep & buffaloes. We went to Wall Drugs, a fun tourist stop in South Dakota, and visited cute little towns. We always stayed at comfortable motels & hotels. Touring with Tempest, is like going to summer camp for adults. Every year you have some of the same people, other years you meet new people. Although you are storm chasing in the Northern Plains, in the 5 years I have been touring, I have never had the same experience, even if we visited a town we had been in before. I highly recommend Tempest Tours to anyone who is into tornadoes & storms, and wants a unique experience. I am already booked for next year.
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Date of experience: June 2020
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Response from kimg904, Guest Relations Manager at Tempest Tours
Responded Jun 16, 2020
Hi Vicki, Thank you for your review. We are very pleased that you felt safe with Tempest Tours in this very unusual year. We tried our best to make this a safe and wonderful trip for the guests that were able to venture out, like you. You are what makes what we do worthwhile. Thank you also for already booking for next year. We look forward to being your host. Kim George
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cakelady1964 wrote a review Sep 2019
Algonquin, IL USA34 contributions23 helpful votes
My husband and I went on the tour after having read about tornado tours in the Chicago Tribune. We were the only couple on the trip. Everyone else came individually (men and women). We had an amazing trip with Tempest Tours! We saw so many different weather phenomena. Rainbows, haboobs, Anticrepuscular rays, lightning storms, and yes, tornadoes! Each day begins with a weather briefing and the plan for the day. We drove a couple thousand miles over the course of a week. Stayed at a hotel in a different city every night. Food is catch as catch can. Sometimes truck stop gas station for dinner. (They do have fresh fruit cups, sandwiches, etc. There are healthy choices available and lots of unhealthy one too! I was happy I brought a book on tape to listen to while on the road. Others brought downloaded movies on ipads. Good idea for self entertainment on the long stretches of highway. The Tempest staff were great. They got us positioned to see awesome weather, kept us safe, and were so helpful. We will always remember this trip for the grand lifetime experience it was!
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Date of experience: June 2019
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Response from Kim G, Guest Relations Manager at Tempest Tours
Responded Sep 17, 2019
Thank you for the wonderful review. We appreciate our guests so very much. Your review captures our tours to a T. We hope you tour with us again.
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ABQtravel wrote a review Sep 2018
Albuquerque, NM26 contributions14 helpful votes
After having so much fun on our first storm chasing experience over the July Fourth Holiday in 2016, despite not seeing a tornado, we decided to sign up for tour 7 in late June 2018. As other reviewers have noted, storm chasing is addictive. We apparently witnessed the best tornado day of the season on June 28, as we followed one storm in far eastern MT that spawned six tornadoes including one that was a likely EF3. Watching Mother Nature at its best (worst?) is hard to describe. Kudos to our guide Bill Reid for an unforgettable experience. While the tornadoes and storms were the highlights, the experience as a whole is what "made" this trip, including the comradery of the group, experiencing life in Middle America, the lack of crowds and tourists (with one exception) the enthusiasm of the guides and driver and the educational aspect, especially the morning storm briefings. Given the nature of storm chasing, there is often no way around the long drives (one day was over 700 miles) late evenings and often Spartan lodging and meals which were often on the run in gas station convenience stores or fast food establishments . However I offer a few suggestions for improvement in these areas to make a great experience even better. Some of the accommodations did not appear to meet basic standards of comfort or cleanliness as evidenced by loose or unplugged electrical fixtures, or functional climate control. We do not expect luxury and Tempest (like all businesses) must to adhere to a budget. Perhaps " two star" lodgings may be reasonable where available (Holiday Inn Express vs Super 8). Given the minimal opportunities for exercise, lodging with a basic fitness center such as the Base Hotel in Denver and first night in Belle Fourche, SD would be an added bonus. Low or no cost suggestions for an improved and healthier dining experience include Tempest providing a cool water jug and/or snacks e.g. chips, pretzels in each van and if feasible, selecting an actual restaurant, if we plan to pass through a sizeable town around lunchtime and ordering takeout in advance of our arrival if we are short on time. Many places have online menus. Or pick up a meat/cheese/fruit tray in the morning at a local supermarket. Besides a more pleasant and healthy option this would support the local economy vs Corporate establishments such as McDonalds. As another reviewer noted, the ride in the rear of the older van was a bit of a roller coaster, suggest replacing shocks/struts for next season The decision to visit Wall Drugs for a second time (we also stopped on the first tour) was a bit of a disappointment. This place is best described as an over-hyped tourist trap complete with crowds and difficulty parking. Probably more people there than on all the rest of the places we visited combined with the exception of Denver. Again these minor issues did not detract from one of our most memorable holidays, and are looking forward to our next storm chasing adventure. Keep in mind that many of the 2019 tours are already booked.
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Date of experience: June 2018
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Response from Kim G, Guest Relations Manager at Tempest Tours
Responded Sep 17, 2018
Thank you for you in depth review of Tempest. We are glad you have a memorable experience and appreciate all the comments. We will take your suggestions into account and will try to improve in those areas. We hope you will travel with us again as we always look forward to being your host for your next storm chasing experience.
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pabloWall_Nj wrote a review Jul 2018
wall, nj13 contributions6 helpful votes
+1
I like to start of by say I'm a weather enthuasist and always wanted to chase a Supercell and see a tornado first hand. Recieved this tour as a gift and was super excited. I did the five day tour out of Denver. My tour guides were Chris and Kim and they are great people. They always out the group first and what I mean by that is they would ask us about what places we would like to go to eat and stay. Always asking if we needed to use restrooms and if we are ok. I want people to understand storm chasing is a on the go experience meaning that its fast pace action when on a storm so you may be limited to eating breaks or bathroom breaks so get snacks and take advantage of those fuel stops they are always stopping for gas fill ups. When I received my gift for the tour Kim answered all my questioned ahead of time and made it very comforting. Chris the guide is very knowledgable and very informative as a guide. He did briefings every morning telling us the game plan for the day. Also explaining weather models and weather charts and so on. He would answer all questions with no issue at all and if he was not sure he will go out of his way to get you the answer. We did not see a tornado on the ground but we saw a supercell that was amazing and it did produce a ef1 tornado in plentywood,Montana which was confirmed by the nws. You can find the info online about that storm July 9. We also so beautiful scenery and took plenty of pictures. This company is awesome and I would recommend them to anyone!
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Date of experience: July 2018
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Response from Tempest_Tours, Guest Relations Manager at Tempest Tours
Responded Jul 19, 2018
Thank you for your excellent review! We appreciate our guests and are very glad that your tour with us was memorable. Most of all we appreciate your recommendation. We hope that you will find time to come and chase with us again.
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Vicki B wrote a review Jun 2018
South Farmingdale, New York8 contributions7 helpful votes
After all of the fun on last year's Tour 5, I booked it again for 2018. It was great seeing the Tour Director Bill Reid, and drivers Justin Pletsch and Steve Pekich again. While no guests from last year's Tour 5 were on this year's tour, it made no difference. There were a few people who had chased on other tours with Tempest, some who had chased with other tour companies and those who had never chased before. Everyone was extremely friendly and we all got along great. There were guests from U.K., New Zealand and Newfoundland, as well as some locals from CO, and the rest were from CA & NY(me). We drove over 700 miles the first day to be in position, and for four days we had chases with very little down time. Our main chase area was SD and WY, with some in ND and NE. Each day the storms got better and better, culminating in the June 8 storm, which we think had a tornado that was rain wrapped, as it was radar indicated. I experienced atomized rain, which is usually seen with a tornadic supercell. I also got to see rapidly rotating clouds, mothership supercells that looked as if aliens could come out of them, mammatus clouds, and a spectacular lightning display. Bill has a knack for placing us at the storms he feels has the best chance to produce tornadoes. In fact, the June 8 storm re-intensified and chased us to our motel in NE. While we did have a strong diet of convenience store food, it was worth it to be on so many great chases. The June 8 storm was a 4 1/2 hour chase! We did have some nice sit down lunches and a delicious dinner in WY at the end of the tour. Our safety was top priority. There were times when the lightning strikes got a little close and Bill made sure we got to the van safely. He would brief us in the morning, and I learned how to read the radar and all of the other charts that help to produce tornadoes and storms. I am booked for Tour 5 again for 2019. Storm chasing is a unique experience. If you are fascinated by tornadoes and storms, Martin & Kim will make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime.
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Date of experience: June 2018
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