The 2011 season was the inaugural year for StormGroup Chasers - many thanks to the first 16 guests who took a leap of faith and decided to come out with us.

In 2017, the 26 people pictured to the right shared this unique journey together.

Over the past seven years, many have rebooked year after year to renew and expand the chasing experience with us - some of these people haven't missed a season with us for 7 years!

This gypsy experience chasing Mother Nature for miles across the Plains is addictive! :-)

Testimonials, some 33 of them from their first tours with SGC, reflect this unique experience through the eyes of some good friends of StormGroup Chasers - the people who share this fantastic road trip are what make it so special.

Hope that you enjoy reading through these varied perspectives, and that they encourage you to join this storm chasing fraternity.

 



2017 - Storm chasing might be a misnomer sometimes ... in actuality, storm chasing can more accurately be described as road-trip roulette aided by meteorology.

 

There is no defined destination, no idea where you will wake up, what you will see, who you will meet and what you will experience out there. You might be in the middle of a Kansas cornfield one day and the heart of Cajun country the next. There is a constant sense of adventure and a giddiness to waking up in the morning having no earthly idea where you might end up next.

 

Some of what ends up happening is determined by the delicate, baffling mix of land, water, air and temperature that can only be confidently predicted in the broadest of terms. A good guide uses science, experience and hunches to point the group in the right direction, to the next location. The rest is determined by chance, serendipity and the energy of those who are along for the ride.

 

It was an immensely gratifying, fun, exciting and wonderful week out there in America, bounding from town to town looking for history around every corner and every taste and sound that this great land produces when it's at its best.

Brad (United States)

2017 - I had the unique opportunity to join SGC on Tour 1 in 2017. Before choosing SGC I extensively researched the different tour groups available. I chose SGC because not only does Peter have a fantastic record for finding the right storm while offering one of the least expensive weeks around, but also because of the SGC's model of a small group which allows close interactions and great flexibility during the chase. It was an unforgettable experience...despite the fact that mother nature did not provide us with many opportunities during the week, the experience of visiting many unique venues and seeing parts of the US I don't normally visit, plus the friendships and memories that will last a lifetime, made for an unforgettable week. If you have a fascination with weather and a desire to experience it up close, I HIGHLY recommend SGC...whether you have chased before or for a first time, you will not regret choosing SGC!!

David (United States)

2017 - As Ron Weasley might say “Bloody brilliant …”.  There are other people who can and will write reviews more eloquently.  All I can say is that I could not have asked for a more enjoyable week.  It was educational, humbling, let me see parts of the country I’d only read about or seen in films, enjoy some very good company and most importantly experience some of the most awe inspiring weather.  From start to finish Peter was a commensurate professional and this was reflected in the guests I was lucky enough to share the tour with.  I have certainly come away feeling that I made the right choice choosing StormGroup Chasers.  It’s akin to that feeling you have when you encounter anything which is high quality, you just know.  Many thanks everyone on Tour Six 2017.

Marcus (United Kingdom)

2016 - I was fortunate to have been subbed into Tour Five this year at late notice, and I couldn't have hoped for a better experience for my first storm chasing tour!


Peter was the consummate storm chasing tour guide, full of both knowledge and wisdom, and quick to dispense both. He has a keen eye for developing storms and a passionate interest in the field.


During inevitable down times during our weeklong tour (i.e. several mornings), he has a considerate concern for his guests' interest levels and planned entertaining diversions for us, whilst always maintaining an eye on the forecast timing to ensure we were still "positioned" properly when it came time for active chasing.  Peter also possesses a scholarly wit, and can regale his tour group with both weather facts on-the-move as well as personal tales of adventure that border on Indiana Jones-ish.

 

Accommodations were secured every night at motels that were safe and clean, thanks to advance planning, we never stayed anywhere inadequate. Our food choices were a mix of interesting local finds (fantastic Creole food in Montana... who knew?) and grab-and-go when there was a need to well, grab and go!

 

Because Peter's tours are limited to 6 people -- including himself and his co-driver -- it remains a compact, flexible, intimate, fast-moving group dynamic. With all due respect to the large caravan-style tours on the market, I much prefer this self-contained tour method.

 

The other major difference of course is that Peter does not run this operation as a for-profit tour company. It's more like "splitting the costs" of storm chasing, which means that he's doing this to pursue a passion instead of dollars.

 

In addition to Peter's knack for storm-finding and tour planning, I found Rick to be a courteous and competent co-driver, also knowledgeable and well-equipped to help gauge the skies. Brad, Jody and Lena were delightful companions making for a congenial backseat experience, even over a 4,000-mile road trip week.

 

Thanks to all involved for a great experience! Already looking forward to next year! <returned in 2017>

Mike (United States)

2016Chasing storms across the wide plains of mid-west America is one of those ‘bucket-list” holidays.  I flew from Australia to spend 7 days in a car with total strangers, and it was the most interesting vacation I’d ever had!  Peter is such a Storm guru – he was able to get us to see the most amazing storms, and I am forever grateful for this chance of a lifetime.  Great people, amazing landscape and a real group adventure!  Can’t wait to go again!!”

Kate (Australia)

2015 - My husband and I chased with Storm Group Chasers for the first time in May 2015. We chose them because of all the positive reviews we found online. We had previously chased with another tour group and were eager to experience this one.


One of the things that attracted us to SGC is the fact that they use only one vehicle – a large SUV – as opposed to 3 or 4 vans that other groups use. The SUV we were in was roomy and comfy, and it was a pleasure to have a cooler onboard so that we could store drinks and munchies for snacks and picnic lunches. Another benefit to having a single vehicle with 6 passengers was that we had more options for breaks and lodging – no scrambling to find places that could accommodate large groups quickly. We ate and stayed mostly at smaller, “Mom and Pop” – type diners and motels. Another thing we liked about touring with SGC was that, owning to the small group size, we were able to do some mighty fine sightseeing at a leisurely pace, such as the Buddy Holly museum and the Mineral Wells Hotel; the latter is on the National Register of Historic Places.


The bottom line for many chasers is, did you see any tornadoes? The answer is yes, we did: a nice stovepipe/elephant trunk from a safe distance.


I would be remiss if I didn’t give props to Peter Wharton himself. He is a professional and a gentleman, truly caring and hospitable, knowledgeable, and a delightful traveling companion. Thanks for all you did to make ours a memorable chase tour, Peter!

Lauren & Al (United States)

2015 - What an amazing tour! Thank you so much, Peter, for one of the most amazing experiences of my life!  I could not have picked a better tour! SGC's tours are personal, informative, and packed full of adventure; I call it the best road trip ever!  Days are full of whatever the local sights are (and there are lots - museums, parks, hiking and picnics, and Peter always knows what to see) and then late afternoon for the storms.  His ability to get us to the right place at the right time was spot on (personally, I think he is a wizard).

 

Whether stopping to shoot buffalo or pronghorn, deserted farmhouses or rock formations, or the most amazing storms I've ever seen, we were all of one mind.  The small group made travelling a joy, and I made lifelong friends that love nature and photography the same way I do.

 

I will be returning for next year! <returned in 2016 & 2017>

Valerie (Canada)

2015 - If, like me, you find clouds beautiful, weather fascinating, and storms exhilarating, then there are few experiences you'll find better that a week with Peter Wharton and StormGroup Chasers.  In Peter, I found unmatched passion for the phenomena and the chase.  Along with that passion comes expertise and intuition.  Peter continuously studied forecasts, data, and analysis from multiple sources to put us in the best position for spectacular storm chases; in one case, we followed a storm from its beginnings as a mere puff of a cloud through a severe-warned stage until it ultimately spawned a funnel.  The very next day Peter put us in the sweet spot again - in position to safely watch the complete life-cycle of a major storm.  The biggest surprise I received during the trip, though, was the experience outside of the chase itself: through Peter, I met and shared a week with a fantastic group of people, seeing wonderful sights, telling fascinating stories, and building life-long friendships. <returned in 2017>

Randy (United States)

2015 - The storm chasing tour was truly just awesome.  It was my first chase and I'm so happy I picked StormGroup Chasers.  I loved the small group experience as opposed to the larger commercial tours.  Peter was communicative the whole time, so I really felt I understood both what I was seeing and why we were doing what we were doing.  He actively pursued all promising storms in the area, but I never felt as though I was in immediate danger.  As a first time chaser it was exactly the experience I had hoped for.  Incredible storms of course and I learned so much that books or video just can't teach you.  It was also an incredible great American road trip to some truly unique sites I never would have seen otherwise.  I'm looking forward to next year! <returned in 2016 & 2017>

Lena (United States)

2015 - My boyfriend (can you still say that if you're over fifty?) is very into storm chasing, and he invited me to join him this year, for a week.  I enjoyed it very much, saw lots of beautiful scenery, impressive skies, spectacular lightning shows, hail the size of golf balls, and even a tornado!  The tour was organized very well, and though my friends at home were a little concerned I would make it home in one piece, I felt very safe during the tour, thanks to two great drivers!  I will certainly recommend StormGroup Chasers to people who are interested to experience a storm chase.

Linda (Netherlands)

2015 - All I can say is Wow!  What an awesome experience and team, with both the great expertise of Peter (one of the best in the industry) and skilled assistant/driver, Brad.  It was one of the most exciting experiences in my life, and what great storms and pictures to show all.  In fact I have already let Peter know that I will be back in 2016 for some more StormGroup Chasers.

 

P.S.  When there are no storms to chase, Peter and the team take you to some wonderful and beautiful places in this great USA.  Also special thanks to Trudy, Rick and Jackie for showing me the ropes as it was my first time chasing and travelling solo! <returned in 2016>

Denise (United States)

2014 - This was my first year chasing and I am hooked. Despite being late in the season, every afternoon delivered another jaw-dropping encounter with a gigantic, beautiful, swirling storm. I saw the most intense lightning display I've ever seen, and was introduced to many types of weather I'd never imagined.

 

Our leader, Peter Wharton, gets full credit for getting us into the right places at the right times. He demonstrated a great mixture of knowledge, planning, instinct and caution that kept us excited, but never scared. I am a landscape photographer, and came away from the trip with images that have inspired more positive reaction than almost any other work I've made.

 

I've already signed up for next year. <returned in 2016 & 2017>

Don (United States)

2014 - My experience with Storm Group Chasers was nothing short of awesome. The thoughtfulness and expertise shown by Peter and his crew during our week together was so very impressive. We saw amazing weather (of course!) and had such a relaxed and entertaining time together as a group. I cannot wait to get out there and do it all over again! <returned in 2016 & 2017>

Jody (United States)

2014 - Thanks to Peter for an unforgettable week of amazing storm chasing. He is a rock star, a gentleman and has the best music mixes to help pass the many hours in the vehicle. I will post photos when I get back home and have time to edit the hundreds of images I made while chasing. Thanks again, Peter, and I hope to see you again next year. <returned in 2017>

Alison (United States)

2014 - I've always had a great experience when chasing with StormGroup Chasers. Peter is an experienced storm spotter and leader getting us on great storms while keeping safety a priority. Having a love for photography, most photo opportunities are accommodated as long as it doesn't interfere with the timing of the chase. For anyone who is interested in the technical aspects of targeting severe weather, Peter is eager to share his knowledge.

 

SGC tours are unique in that it is a small group. We are able to get to know one another, unlike some tour companies who have larger groups of people. By the end of the week you will have made lifelong friends as well as have a camera full of great memories. <has toured with SGC in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015>

Anne (United States)

2014My StormGroup Chasers tour was fantastic. From start to finish, it was a fun, engaging experience. We were on all storms of any significance. SGC would always position well for any potential storm outbreak and take the necessary actions to get us there in time, safely and without incident. You feel with SGC that if there was a storm to be seen, we’d be there.

 

Peter Wharton runs a professional, engaging and fun tour. You always feel that you're in good hands. From initial booking to tour end and follow up, you feel that you were part of a professional, experienced tour group. Peter takes the time to make sure even the little day to day details of tours are covered and you feel in the know at all times. Additionally, the daily Facebook update provides you a great reminder of your tour. <has toured with SGC in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017>

David (Canada)

2014The two main reasons why we think this group suits us is there is only 6 people at once. The other reason is our Tour Leader, Peter Wharton. He always manages wherever possible to get us in the right place at the right time, but without taking undue risks. Peter is very friendly and approachable and has a vast knowledge and a sixth sense for the weather, probably due to instinct and experience.

 

We have already booked for next year which will be my 8th and my wife's 7th year of storm chasing. I thoroughly recommend this for anyone interested in severe storms! <have toured with SGC in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017>

Jo & Stuart (England)

2013 - Without a doubt, this was the best adventure vacation I’ve ever had!  It was both an educational and exciting experience! The team lead, Peter, is very clever and willing to share his wealth of knowledge in an easy to understand, interesting manner.   Anything you want to know about weather phenomena, he is happy to inform. Importantly, safety is always at the heart of any decision made and because of his understanding of storm dynamics (and perhaps some good old fashioned intuition) Peter always placed us at the “right place, at the right time”. 

 

What better way to see places in the US that you may not otherwise visit?! The photographic opportunities were boundless and the laughs and the friendships made with like-minded persons will last a lifetime.  The smaller, nimble group approach allows you learn and see much while greatly simplifying travel logistics.

 

If you’ve ever given any thought to storm chasing, StormGroup Chasers is most definitely the way to go! <returned in 2016>

Jeffrey (Canada)

2013 - A fantastic job of finding tornadoes, sand storms, hail, lightning etc etc – was really spoiled and it would be tough to repeat or better it. The weather interpretation and positioning were truly outstanding and despite the severity of the weather systems, I felt in really safe hands. 

 

We were also unbelievably well looked after. The eclectic choice of unique breakfast venues, the picnic lunches and the effort to provide variety in our evening meals was indicative of how much the focus was on us and providing a truly holistic experience - customer service par excellence! All in all a great experience - thank you.

Russell (United Kingdom)

2013 - I think there is a Peter Pan hiding just under the surface for most of us, quote, "adults". Watching the storms, clouds, lightning and rainbows and hearing the crack of thunder, torrential rains and hail is quite magical, like being 12 years old again!! We visited so many wonderful places. It was an exceptional experience for me and a great deal of that can be attributed to Peter where safety was paramount and any question or concern was treated with courtesy and respect. And a thank you to Brad (our co-driver), Anne, Victoria and Tim who made the trip just perfect. <returned in 2015, 2016 & 2017>

Jean (Canada)

2013 - Day 1. Sunday afternoon. Picnic lunch in a strategically located park. Then a short drive to watch a supercell grow from origin to 52000' in less than an hour! Reposition a few times to observe the attached tornados, including a massive wedge. And the rest of the week was just as amazing! Peter's knowledge and experience, along with his clear-thinking and relaxed communication style, made for an unforgettable time on the Great Plains. <returned in 2014, 2015, and as a co-driver in 2016 & 2017>

Malcolm (Australia)

2013 - Excellent trip and overall experience. The combination of being part of a like-minded group, with great leadership, education and driving from Peter and Brad; being in the right places for the best storms; the sheer beauty and power of the storm and cloud systems; and the hospitality of rural America plus the scenery stops along the way all makes for a compelling week. Most of all the confidence in knowing that we were in the right-place at the right-time, spot on each day, meant we had made the best of opportunities for observation without unnecessary risk. Thanks again for a great week.

Tim (New Zealand)

2013 - We started chasing in 2010, and have been with StormGroup Chasers since its inception.  With Peter's keen understanding of storm formation and interpretation of weather data, we have been fortunate to chase some of the most notable storms in recent years, including Joplin and El Reno.  Of course, safety is the first priority and while we always strive to be in the best position to witness tornadic activity, making sure we do not wind up in harm's way remains paramount.  The camaraderie with the people we have met over the years is what makes each chase week unique, and we are fortunate to have made friends from all over the world. Thanks, Peter <have toured with SGC in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017>

Trudy & Brad (Canada)

2013 - When I travel with Peter Wharton I feel like one member in a small team. I like that we learn about the data and science as we go. Safety is a priority; I feel safe and relaxed. I keep coming back because it’s the right combination of fraternity with liberty. It allows me the space to make powerful images without feeling like I am a sheep herded into a van. If you want to learn, be part of a small group, need to feel comfortable and safe, and see amazing things, this is the group for you. <has toured with SGC in 2012, 2013 & 2014>

Camille (United States)

2013 - Thank you, Peter for a most outstanding week! 3 tornadoes and a camera full of amazing moments. Your organisation and care made for a very terrific experience. We will be back! <returned in 2015>

Rebecca & Iain (United Kingdom)

2013 - Thoroughly enjoyed the week I spent storm chasing with StormGroup Chasers. Great professionalism and camaraderie with a strong  commitment to safety. Intelligent, informed choices on which storms to intercept.  Overall, a satisfying experience. <returned in 2015 as a co-driver>

Steve (United States)

2013 - This year was our third year with Pete and again we enjoyed ourselves immensely. When there were storms we chased and saw some awesome sights, but even when there weren't we still managed to have a great time due to the company of Pete and Brad! Bottom line is that if there are storms Pete is the man to get you into the right place at the right time. <have toured with SGC in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017>

Lee & Dave (England)

2013 - Chased with SGC for the 3rd year in a row and I want to express my gratitude to Peter again a great week of chasing. Very well organized and lots of fun! Peter must have a 6th sense for severe weather because wherever there was a good storm with tornado potential we were already at the best spot. Also a big thank you to my friend Glenn for co-driving us safely. And to the rest of the group- Rick, Jeff and Ed, it was great getting to know you and I am happy to have 3 new friends-for-life. We took all opportunities to get us to severe weather, and with enough time to enjoy other entertainment. We really did have a holiday feeling. <returned in 2015 & 2017 as a co-driver>

Jan (Netherlands)

2012 - I went with StormGroup Chasers in 2012 as they were offering a different experience to the other tour operators I'd been with before and will be coming back for more with them. I also saved in the region of $1000 on the trip which is a bonus.

 

So what's different? You get a great storm chasing experience but combined with a well thought out and engaging road trip. Bearing in mind the 3000 or so miles travelled in a week there's so much more to the Plains than just storms (don't worry you will see some) and cliched tourist stops: great scenery, photo opportunities, quality food stops and picnics, meeting the interesting and friendly folk of the Mid-West - in short some authentic Americana.

 

SGC also has a lot of returners so there's usually a lot of experienced travellers to share stories and photos with. You also have the advantage of being on an agile tour with only 6 of you which makes for easier chasing. On this tour you're not just a "passenger".  I saw super cells with amazing structures and rotating wall clouds, gustnadoes, hail fog, stunning lighting, mammatus clouds, and breathtaking sunsets. <returned in 2014, 2016 & 2017>

Adam (England)

2011 - A truly unique and awesome experience where you can meet people that share the same passion about severe weather.  Peter has all the tools and an uncanny ability to consistently predict and pinpoint the best storms. His small group approach gives everyone a window seat and an opportunity to communicate, be involved, learn and ask questions. <have toured with SGC in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 - Rick as a co-driver in 2015, 2016 & 2017>

Richard & Kathleen (Canada)

2011 - My passion is not only watching nature in its fury, but understanding and learning why and how it happens. After taking a few storm chasing tours with another company I was able to observe some great storms, but didn’t learn anything. That changed when chasing with Peter – not only is he able to find storms (if they are happening), he is more than willing to share his knowledge about storms, weather, and how it all works together. The tour is a collaborative approach, and the limited number of participants makes it a great experience for like-minded storm chasers! <has toured with SGC in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017>

Victoria (United States)

2011 - Thank you Peter for a spectacular chase. My goal each year is to chase storms wherever they are located.  Chasing farther East than most chasers, allowed our group to witness a tornado that others just watched on the 11:00 news. The one car format makes it easier to go where the storms are and not waste time while 15 people eat lunch. I know that we will be at  the right spot, at the right time for any storm worth chasing. <returned in 2012 & 2016>

Paul (United States)

2011 - During our week out, we chased those storms up one side of Tornado Alley and down the other. Literally. Had there been a tornado, we would have been there to see it. But storm chasing is more than tornado chasing, and we saw a lot of beautiful clouds, awesome lightning, and rolling countryside. It was a very enjoyable trip, with enjoyable company, and I can't wait to go again! <have toured with SGC in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 - Lisa as a co-driver in 2016>

Leslie & Lisa (United States)

2011 - This was my fourth storm chasing tour (had been with other tour groups in prior years), and this was the first where I saw a tornado. I owe that to Peter's ability to read dewpoints, dry lines and more and be able to estimate where things might kick off. Peter doesn't hesitate to drive far and long to see blockbuster weather. <returned in 2012>

Gwen (United States)