Minneapolis-based storm-tour company F5 Tours is to host week-long tours in both Oklahoma and Minnesota in search of severe storms during the months of May and June, starting in the 2011 storm season.
The company is owned and operated by a network of highly experienced weather veterans who have captured well over 100 tornadoes on film and video over their careers as storm chasers. The majority owner of F5 Tours is Andrew Revering, a weather professional who owns Convective Development, a weather software and data company.
Storm tour companies such as F5 Tours help tourists from all over the world realize their desire – often stimulated by cable TV shows about storm chasers – to witness the awesome power of severe storms, large hail and tornadoes for themselves. It is a passion shared by a growing number of people, according to F5 Tours.
The company says the 2010 storm season saw Minnesota top the list of U.S. states for the largest number of tornadoes. Minnesota’s total far exceeded state totals in all other states, including the traditionally tornado-beset Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Whether this trend continues remains to be seen, but the upper Midwest U.S. often sees a large number of severe storms in May and June, according to F5 Tours.
There are approximately two dozen storm tour companies in the United States, but F5 Tours says its approach is unique. Several of the company’s 2011 tours will be hosted by celebrity TV meteorologists or weather professionals. One such local professional who has committed to hosting tours is Rob Koch, formerly of KSTP channel 5 and now with WeatherNation, a U.S. national weather-data provider owned in part by Paul Douglas.
Education is a focal point for F5 Tours, the company says. One of its primary missions is to educate clients on storm-forecasting techniques and safe chasing strategies. In addition to receiving a handbook designed by the operator, clients are briefed on each day’s severe-weather prospects.
The company’s first 2011 tour will begin on May 1. Tours during May will starts from Oklahoma City, while F5 Tours’ June tours will start from Minneapolis since U.S. active weather patterns shift northward during the spring.
For further information and tour schedules, visit www.f5tours.com.