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UK - Denver or Dallas?

Discussion in 'Introductory weather & chasing' started by Chris T., Feb 7, 2019.

  1. Chris T.

    Chris T. Lurker

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    Hello everyone,

    First of all, as a newcomer it's been really helpful looking through this forum. So much great information about storm chasing, thanks for sharing.

    I have a simple question - I'm looking to head over to chase in the states from the UK this coming May. My two best options as it stands is to fly to Denver or Dallas ($).

    Denver is looking way more affordable but would you say it's a bit out the way? A friend told me that most of the action will most probably be around Texas or Oklahoma at that time of the year. I'm happy to drive the drive but just wondering if it's worth the extra expense to get myself to Dallas instead...

    Thanks very much for you time,

    Chris T
     
  2. Devin Pitts

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    It's kind of a gamble to be honest as both are viable starting points for starting a chasecation in May depending on where the action decides to be. Granted this year the drought situation is at a very good level compared to the last few years, which should allow for the Dryline to hang out much further west than it has in recent years so Denver might not be a bad choice at all.
     
  3. Warren Faidley

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    I would say Denver. Climatology is currently favoring northern and northeastern portions of the alley. In addition, you have some very nice landscapes in the Denver region or a day / half-day drive away. You also have some increased chances of orographic generated storms if all else fails.
     
  4. Jeff House

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    After May 15 I like Denver. Before May 15 it is a toss up. Perhaps let air fare break the tie before May 15?
     
  5. Marc R. O'Leary

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    Denver...because I live and chase in CO. If you get hung up on a down day, shoot me a PM and I'll give you a place to chill out and make you a good meal.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Chris T.

    Chris T. Lurker

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    Thanks guys! really appreciate your thoughts on this.

    Denver I think it will be. Really looking forward to it!

    Best,

    Chris T

    Will do Marc! Nice one.
     
  7. Bonne van der Veen

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    Hi Chris,

    We're from the Netherlands and flew to Dallas for the last 5 years, which was quite ok. This year we're trying Denver for a change. As said by others, the scenery is utterly beautiful, the drive towards your target area great and it's as good a starting point as Dallas. And no worries about your starting point, you'll be driving 600-1000 miles a day anyway. =)

    Hope to meet you somewhere, we're flying the 4th of May from Amsterdam.

    Greetz Bonne
     
  8. Chris T.

    Chris T. Lurker

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    Hey Greetz, that's good to know! How long are chasing for?

    Best,

    Chris T
     
  9. Bonne van der Veen

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    Hi Chris,

    We'll be there for ten days only. But that's good, because it's three days more than we got in the last 5 years of chasing. ;-)

    Bonne
     
  10. Paul Knightley

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    Hi Chris - a fellow UK chaser here (been heading over since 1998!).
    It was always Dallas for me for many years - usually modulated by the cost of the flights rather than the location - once you've arrived you'll be on the road and so it's not really that big a deal where you fly into and out of.
    The last couple of years have seen us use Denver, as the cost of flights to Dallas seem to have rocketed (at least with BA out of Heathrow).

    Denver has a better chance of severe weather in May, overall, I would say - quite often thunderstorms can be ongoing nearby when you land, which can be a nice way to start the holiday. Also, Denver Int. airport is on the eastern side of the city, on the Plains, and so there is no messing around getting through traffic - DFW is BUSY!
     
  11. JamesCaruso

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    I think I have flown into Dallas only once in 20+ years of chasing. I am usually able to stay flexible and pick a flight within a week of starting my chase vacation, and I am able to connect to other airports like Amarillo, Wichita or Oklahoma City (which I assume you do not want to do coming from the UK), and I *still* end up choosing Denver as a starting point most years. Dallas is pretty much in the extreme southeastern portion of chasing territory, and a lot of places will be out of range for you on your first day if you start there. Now Denver is also on the outside edge of tornado alley, but at least latitudinally it is a little more centrally located - same latitude as northern Kansas. It may not seem like it, but getting to Amarillo takes only an hour longer from Denver than from Dallas; to Dodge City is only an hour longer from Denver than from Dallas. This may seem like a big difference when already driving so much, but from Denver you are also within better range of the central and northern Plains, and may luck out with targets relatively nearby in eastern Colorado or southeastern Wyoming. You’ll be happy you started in Dallas only if the first day’s activity is roughly in a region bounded by OKC to Dodge City to Amarillo to Lubbock. The southern Texas panhandle toward Lubbock has been very quiet in recent years.

    As Warren said, Denver is very scenic. Almost immediately after leaving the airport, we are on the Plains! It’s a great way to start a trip, and if there’s no severe weather you can enjoy yourself in the foothills of the Rockies, go check out Boulder or Colorado Springs, etc. We enjoy being able to end our trip in Denver too, it’s a nice way to transition back to reality.
     
  12. Chris T.

    Chris T. Lurker

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    Hey Paul!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Denver. Are you heading out this year? We just booked flights a couple of days ago so really looking forward to it! I'm presuming you rented a car? If so do you have any recommendations?

    Cheers Paul,

    Chris T
     
  13. Chris T.

    Chris T. Lurker

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    Hey James,

    Great to know! thanks for sharing. We're gonna be out there for 12 days so hopefully, it will be enough time to experience some storms and to explore on the down days.

    Cheers,

    Chris T
     
  14. Bob Schafer

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    I don't know if it's even possible for someone from another country to join AAA, but if you can it might be worthwhile. I live in Colorado, and I belong to AAA Colorado, which IIRC costs about $60 per annum. When I look for a rental car I almost always find the best deal from the AAA Colorado website, even in other states and even in Ireland. While you might not save the $60 on car hire, you would also get 10% discounts on motel rooms and some meals and other stuff. Only one person need buy the membership, not everyone. Plus, even though the rental companies provide a phone number to call in case of car mechanical problems, it would give you a number to call in case of other roadside emergencies and towing short distances would be free.
     
    #14 Bob Schafer, Feb 16, 2019 at 1:12 PM
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019 at 1:21 PM
  15. David Mayhew

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    I am from Ipswich but I’m based in Fort Collins CO now for chasing. Denver to UK now has Norwegian Air which I have heard is good and cheaper than BA. also Icelandic air is very nice and I can recommend a stop in Iceland if you can too!

    One thing to keep in mind is when in May you are coming. Prime season for the Colorado high plains seems to hinge either side of June 1. So late May I’d definitely say yes. Plus if your chasing window lands you in a death ridge there are the mountains to kill time in. As a photographer I also find the high plains produce more photogenic storms. My main chase area is CO, Wyoming, Nebraska and western Kansas. I have chase all over but haven’t even chase Oklahoma since the 2013 El Reno tornado!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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