SOURCE: Prairie Pictures

March 16, 2005 13:32 ET

Man's Forty-Year Passion for Storms Benefits Others

ARLINGTON, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 16, 2005 -- It all began on a stormy night four decades ago, as blazing flashes of lightning and fierce thunderstorm winds besieged the house of 5-year-old Martin Lisius. Growing up in north Texas meant growing up with severe weather, and nights filled with drama.

"I used to have nightmares where I was being chased by a tornado, and couldn't run fast enough to escape," said Lisius. "I would wake up just as the tornado reached me."

Times have changed for the 45-year-old Texan. Severe weather still frequents his nights, and days, but he is the one doing the chasing now.

"There has been a role reversal for me," he said. "I now have nightmares where I'm chasing a tornado and it gets away from me."

Lisius is known for his involvement with severe weather, especially as a veteran storm chaser. He produced the first television documentary to explore his unique discipline titled "Chasing the Wind," which aired nationally on PBS in 1991. Lisius followed with more storm-related programs, each designed to teach viewers about severe weather.

In 1993, he founded the Texas Severe Storms Association, a national non-profit dedicated to severe weather education. And he produced a video in 1995 titled "StormWatch," used by the National Weather Service to train storm spotter groups nationwide.

Today, storm footage shot by Lisius can be seen around the world, on television and in movie theatres. His images of tornadoes, lightning, and hurricanes are incorporated in TV commercials, TV programs, Hollywood features, music videos, and theme park exhibits. The footage is licensed through StormStock, the stock footage library he created in 1993.

Lisius' latest endeavor is Tempest Tours, Inc., a company that provides storm-chasing expeditions to guests from around the globe who come to witness and learn about the dramatic storms of Tornado Alley. The company, comprised of Lisius and 10 fellow chasers, has become the most successful storm chasing team in the country, intercepting a record 23 tornadoes in both 2003 and 2004.

"My passion for storms has driven me to pursue some of nature's most dramatic weather and to enjoy the spectacle that comes with it," Lisius said. "But chasing storms isn't enough. It's important to share what I've learned to teach and help others."

For more information, please visit or contact Erin Brown by phone at (817) 276-9500 or by email at

Photographs for use with this story are available at

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