Welcome to our July 2023 edition, Gregg!

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$50 Monthly

Merchandise Draw

Starting today and in the middle of every month, F5! Tornado Safaris will be conducting a digital draw to give away $50 in merch from our online store. The catch? You have to be on our monthly email newsletter list. If you're a monthly winner, you'll be contacted on the day of the drawing by F5! founder Gregg Potter (check your email) to arrange your personal shopping tour of the F5! digital store.

Our July drawing winner is . . .


Hey Gregg: How did you get into the chasing game? Do you have to go to school for that?

-- Shelley Grimes (Norman, OK)

If you ask my mother, I was born to be a meteorologist. Although I thought about several other career paths (geology, oceanography, and astronomy) early on, by the time I was in 7th grade I knew I needed something that moved much more faster. I was fascinated by the atmosphere, where you can be looking at clear skies one minute and huge storms with hail and tornadoes less than 15 minutes later! 


I grew up in Castle Rock, Colo. with the storms blowing up east of the Rockies, and that front-row seat to the action really drove me to this career.  Even before I got a driver's license, I would harass my mom into driving while I tracked down storms near our home.

As for schools, there are now hundreds of colleges and universities around the world offering degrees in atmospheric science. When I was attending college in the early 90s, there were far fewer. I chose the University of Kansas because of its reputation as a pioneer in the field of weather (ask Dorothy and Toto about the Kansas tornado experience).

Once I got to KU, I joined the Storm Intercept Team and really fell in love with chasing storms. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Science in 1995 and immediately moved to Austin, Tex. to start a weather company with a couple of college buddies. That company became AnythingWeather Communications, which I have run for 28 years with a focus on severe-weather alerting for lightning and hail storms.


In 1999, I formed a new company called F5! Tornado Safaris and officially started taking clients storm chasing. Our first week out included the monster F5 tornado that tore through Moore, Okla. on May 3, 1999. Needless to say, we were hooked.

Back then, we had no radar in the truck, no updated forecasts on the road, and were lucky if we could get dial-up internet in the hotels at night. Over time, technology improved. We now have radar and weather observations on our laptops in the chase vehicles, and there are armies of chasers on the road. My team and I look forward to the weeks each year when we get to chase and enjoy our passion with our clients -- and we plan to be out on the Great Plains every spring until the end of (our) time!

Below: Gregg and daughter Rosie, sporting Kansas Jayhawks caps in tribute to Gregg's alma mater, stop into their favorite Kansas burger joint -- Cozy Burgers in Salina -- during a chasing trip in 2019.

Roommate and Loyalty Discounts are based on remitting $750 down payment. Early-Payment Discount is based on the date of full payment, although $750 down payment will hold your seat.

Balance due by March 1, 2024. Maximum discounts per client = $500.

Early Payment Discount of $250 expires 11:59 p.m. Pacific on July 31. Subsequent Early-Payment Discounts shrink by $50 each month: August ($200); September ($150); October ($100); November ($50).

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Questions? Email Gregg!

ONLY 12 SEATS REMAIN (6 in each week)!

Let's face it: There's a lot of down time between our adrenaline-pumped chases each May. Half the fun is revisiting old road haunts and discovering new locations to eat, drink and be merrily entertained. Because F5! goes where the wind blows, we've cataloged hundreds of restaurants, bars and hospitality venues over approximately one million square miles of the Great Plains in the past 24 years. Each month, we'll revisit some of our favorites.



Amarillo, TX

Last F5! visit: 2023

You don't have to be a big eater to enjoy The Big Texan, which might best be described as a museum-themed restaurant celebrating all that is grand in the Republic. But if you do have a Texas-sized appetite, this is the place to see how you stack up against the legends.

The Big Texan is famous for its 72-Ounce Steak Challenge, a straight-forward proposition that invites patrons to finish off a 4-pound, 8-ounce steak, baked potato, side salad, dinner roll and three breaded shrimp in under an hour -- in exchange for tearing up their $72 check, (and some cool door prizes).

Nearly 100,000 have tried, but only about 10% have succeeded. That includes seven F5! chasers who have gone down in charbroiled flames over the years.

There are countless videos out there detailing the thrill of victory and the bloated agony of defeat, but the one below is our favorite: 125-pound bodybuilder-turned-competitive eater Katrina DeJarnett from Spokane, Wash. taking on the challenge on June 20, 2020 for her YouTube channel, Katrina Eats Kilos. Beyond Katrina's obvious rapport with the camera, we love this video because it has great interior shots of The Big Texan, and visually defines the parameters of the challenge. Enjoy!