Two Offerings:
June 18-25, 2011
June 25 - July 2, 2011

"Supercells, Lightning, Tornadoes, Hail, Wind, and Rainbows"
"The Journey Is The Destination"
Activity Information:

Experience Mother Nature’s Raw Power, Beauty, and Extreme Side as we travel the area known as “Tornado Alley” in search of Supercells, Thunder, Lightning, Tornadoes, Hail, Wind, and Rainbows.  Your Guide and American Odyssey Director is certified as a National Weather Service Sky Warn - Advanced Weather Spotter and Sky Warn - Storm Chaser and holds numerous certifications in Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Management. You will learn a tremendous amount about Meteorology as we seek the “Wild Side” of the Great Plains.  
Each of our expeditions will start and end in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 
This is considered our “Base City”. 
Plan on arriving on the first day of your selected expedition prior to the briefing held at our “Base Hotel” at the evening meal.  There is a complimentary Shuttle to and from the Airport and the hotel. 
I will advise the name of the Hotel as soon as possible HERE on the website. 
We ask that participants use double occupancy in the Hotels/Motels
that we use to save expense and the number of rooms that we need to book. 
We will send a list of participants and contact information to all well in advance of departure so that roommates can be selected. 
We will also have a Spring Meeting in Landis, NC for participants to meet and get to know each other
in May of 2011 prior to the expedition.   

Our Storm chasing expedition includes 6 days of storm chasing, 7 nights of lodging, and ground transportation during the tour. 
You will also be provided with an exclusive chase team T-shirt.
Tour price does not include airfare to and from the base city or food during the tour.

We stay in comfortable hotels/motels such as Super 8, Best Western, Red Roof Inn, and others.
Occasionally, we are required to stay in nice "Mom & Pop" motels
so we that can be in position to follow the severe storms as they move eastward.
We Do Not Stay In Run-Down Motels At Anytime!!

Airfare is not included with our storm chasing tour.
To Search for your airfare now, Click here.
Airport Code “OKC”

Each tour usually experiences Super cell thunderstorms and lightning shows at night. However, we Do Not Chase Tornadoes at night.  When conditions warrant, and tornadoes form during the day, we chase them until they dissipate. We never get close enough to compromise our guests' safety, but we do position ourselves so that we can get extremely good photos. This allows for the maximum tornado experience and the pictures you'll take will be out of this world. We cannot guarantee that you will see a tornado because they happen on 25 to 30% of tours, but we can say that you will have a great experience seeing great storm structure and the beautiful scenery of the Plains. We usually get to our hotel/motel later in the evening and we depart later in the morning after a good breakfast and a weather briefing.  During mornings and days with no severe weather, we will find our own unique locations to visit such as:
A tour of the TWISTER Movie Museum in Wakita, OK,
The Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK,
The Oklahoma City National Memorial,
The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX and more….

The Chase Territory is Tornado Alley and beyond…
We will travel as far as necessary to have the best chance for Extreme Weather and Tornado viewing and photography. This area covers Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Eastern Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Eastern Montana, Eastern Wyoming, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota and other Midwestern states.

The Journey really begins the moment you decide to accept this challenge. It makes it more enjoyable to educate yourself as much as possible to be truly prepared to understand the amazing sights and natural weather formations that you will be experiencing.  There are lots of Links at the end of this web page that will assist you in your studies.  Further, you may want to take a photography class or study the Free Online Digital Photography class linked on the Links page so that you will be prepared to document your experience. 
You will definitely want to bring your Camera, Video Camera, Lap Top and plenty of digital storage and batteries. 
On American Odyssey expeditions, we normally share all of the photos taken with all participants. 

Maximum/Minimum # of Participants
16 Maximum and 8 Minimum per expedition
The goal is to have 2 – 15 passenger vans
with only two persons per bench seat permitting each participant a window seat. 
Staffing will include at least 2 Staff members per van
to share the driving, navigation, and to operate the radios, radar, and other technology. 

$1795 for Teaching Fellows.
(above the $200 escrow)
$1995 - for Non - Teaching Fellows.
You may choose to participate in both expeditions offered. 
A $200 discount is offered for attending both.

Plus the Participant provides Transportation to and From OKC Airport. 
All Food and Trip Incidentals.
Remember, this Expedition is Open to other College and High School Students. 

Please help Recruit!
We offer a Recruitment Discount
Just ask Dave!

"Fees and Other Details”

Initial Deposit of $500 is due not later than Feb.1, 2011
or within 2 weeks of acceptance if after this date.

Second payment of $500 is due by March 1st, 2011. 
Final payment is due not later than the Spring meeting in May. 
Keep in touch with David Barlow - Director and Expedition Leader regarding financial details. 
This price does not include travel to or from Oklahoma City or any meals or other incidentals.  

There will be a meeting of all participants prior to the experience in May of 2011.
The exact date will be determined and participants will be notified.

College Credit may be available for this trip. Check with your advisor.

How much do I need to know about severe weather?
No previous storm chasing experience or weather forecasting knowledge is needed!
The Staff will teach you a lot, but you can also study the links at the end of the page and become  very knowledgable. 
Usually each person in the vehicle has a separate job to make the chase easier.
You can be involved as much or as little as you like. 

What to Bring:
Guests should pack lightly in one soft duffle-type bag. This is needed since we will not maintain any long term motel rooms.
We will be mobile in order to find the best storms and need to carry all luggage with us each day.
You may want to bring a small carry-on bag or daypack for inside the vehicle, as well as a camcorder or still camera.
Please pack about five days worth of clothing because we will be staying at hotels that occasionally have coin-operated washers and dryers. Pack for warm to hot and humid weather, as well as for brief cold weather periods (pack at least one pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt). If you want to play your own music, please pack headphones with your portable music device.
Remember, less luggage allows for much more comfort during the chase.

Contact Information:


Sign up on the Teaching Fellows Website if you are a Teaching Fellow.
Then Contact David Barlow to request more information and do a telephone Interview and fill out an Application. 

If you are not a Teaching Fellow, contact David Barlow to request more information,
have a Telephone Interview, and fill out an Application.

The Application is HERE on the website and may be printed, filled out, and mailed. 

General Interview Questions are found HERE.  Feel free to ask as many as you like as well. 
We need to get to know each other before doing a Trip such as this.

David Barlow, American Odyssey Director
PO Box 198
Landis, NC 28088
704-855-2511 Home
704-239-3706 Cell
Also:   Checked more frequently

Chief Barlow has been actively involved in the Fire Service for 33 years as well as having been a distinguished Science Teacher during that same time. He currently serves as the Chief of the Concord High School Fire Academy which is a very successful pilot program being jointly offered by the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the NC Department of Public Instruction. 
The Concord High School Fire Academy is one of only three Fire Academy programs operating in the state of North Carolina. 
Chief Barlow has worked with the NC Teaching Fellows program since its inception serving as the Co-Director of Discovery for the first 12 years and has been offering Junior Enrichment experiences since 1996 with expeditions throughout the American West, Alaska, New England, Yosemite, Tetons and Yellowstone, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  After retiring from public education in 2008, he backpacked the entire length of the original Blue Ridge Parkway.  More can be found about this experience at

Please spend time and Study these links so that you will have a good understanding of Storms and know what to expect.

Frequently Asked Questions about Stormchasing
Frequently Asked Questions about Stormchasing and Tornadoes - Doswell
Storm Chasing Handbook - MESO   Required Reading for All Participants
MESO Library  Great information on many Extreme Weather Types
Personal Lightning Safety
Getting Started as a Spotter and Stormchaser
Selected Internet Resources for the Beginning Stormchaser
Chaser Safety - Chuck Doswell
Intro to Lightning and Lightning Safety
Chaser Ethics - Alan Moller
What is a Tornado?
Skywarn Online
SKYWARN SPOTTER GUIDES ONLINE  These are the Storm Spotter Classes Online
The Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity
Texas Severe Storms Association - TESSA
National Warnings - NOAA
Severe Studios - When Weather is News
Team MESO Links
Storm Links
Atmospheric Optics
Jetstream - An Online School for Weather - NOAA
Severe Storms Online Meteorology Guide

Photography Sites
Jim Reed Severe and Unusual Weather
Jim Reed Blog
Guide to Digital Cameras
Storm Photography
Lightning and Night Photography

Historic Tornadoes
Greensburg, KS
Greensburg, Kansas Tornado Study Complete
Greensburg - MESO
Aerial Photos of the Greensburg Damage
The" Big Well"
Pampa, Texas
Pampa Tornado, Doswell

The Tornado Project Online
The Top Ten US Killer Tornadoes
The Storm Cellar
Sam Barricklow's Storm Chase Page

On Television
StormRiders on the Weather Channel

The Fine Print

Stormchasing and Extreme Weather Photography
Can be VERY Dangerous.  Any person should
Approach these activities with caution and
Appropriate Supervision and Training.
Travel with someone who knows what they are doing.

With us, chasing is what we do. However, chasing ALWAYS takes a back seat if there is a public emergency. If we should come across a disaster scene, we will report to whoever is in charge and offer whatever assistance we can.  If no one is in charge, we will take charge till an authority gets there, and then offer to help.
Large Super Cell just South of Badlands Nat. Park
Rotation dropping from Mesocyclone - South of Wall, SD
Click on the Links above to take the Online NWS Spotter Class Modules