Martin Lisius is an American filmmaker[1] and storm chaser.[2][3] He founded StormStock,[4] a weather and climate stock footage collection, in 1993, and Tempest Tours,[5] a storm chasing expedition company, in 2000. In 2018, he produced and directed the short film, Prairie Wind, among the first known 16K resolution videos to exist.[6] In 1993, Lisius founded the Texas Severe Storms Association (TESSA), a non-profit who's mission is "to bring together both professional meteorologists and weather enthusiasts in an attempt to better understand dangerous storms through the collection and diffusion of knowledge." Lisius was a finalist for 2023 Footage Person of the Year,[7] an award presented by FOCAL International. He is an alumnus of the University of Texas at Arlington.[8]

American filmmaker Martin Lisius stands next to his mud-covered Subaru Outback after a storm chase in Texas, 2013.
Martin Lisius after a storm chase in Texas, 2013.

In 1995, Lisius directed "StormWatch," a training video for the National Weather Service used nationwide to train storm spotter groups. Lisius co-produced the video with meteorologists Gary Woodall and Alan Moller. It was produced by the Texas Severe Storms Association with support from the Meadows Foundation of Dallas, Texas.

As TESSA chairman, Lisius co-developed the DFW Tornado Scenario with National Weather Service Ft. Worth meteorologists Alan Moller, Gary Woodall, and Bill Bunting in 2000. Later, North Central Texas Council of Governments analyst Scott Rae created detailed versions of the scenario titled, Tornado Damage Risk Assessment.[9] Their objective was to create scientific scenarios in which major tornadoes tracked through the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex in order to be better prepared for those potentially catastrophic events.

Lisius published a book in 2014 titled, "The Ultimate Severe Weather Safety Guide."[10] In the book, he states his purpose for writing it is to share what he has learned as a storm chaser to help others stay safe when severe weather threatens. Chapters include safety tips for tornadoes, lightning, hurricanes and flash flooding.

In an attempt to demonstrate the danger of flying debris in a tornado, Lisius took some common household objects to the Debris Impact Facility at Texas Tech University in Lubbock to be launched by their pneumatic cannon in 2019. One object, a small handheld camera, became the fastest projectile to be tested at the facility reaching a speed of 264 mph.[11]

In 2023, Lisius wrote and directed the Acura "Storm Chaser" Commercial (Director's Cut), which has won several film awards.[12]

Lisius is listed on the Notable Alumni web page for the Department of Communication at the University of Texas at Arlington.[13]

He is sometimes called, "The Storm Whisperer"[14] and occasionally appears in articles about film gear and techniques he uses.

Notable storm intercepts


June 8, 1995 Pampa - Hoover, Texas tornadoes, F4-F5.[15]

May 30, 1998 Spencer, South Dakota Tornado, F4.[16]

Hurricane Katrina (Category 5) Mississippi - Louisiana coastal landfall, August 29, 1995.

Hurricane Harvey, Southeast Texas, August 2017.[17] Lisius' aerial footage of Hurricane Harvey appears in his short film, "Buffalo Bayou Rising," an official selection by the 2017 Flying Robot International Film Festival.[18]


  1. ^ "Martin Lisius". FilmFreeway. Retrieved 2023-09-27.
  2. ^ Patoski, Joe Nick (1996-07-01). "Riders on the Storm". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2023-11-17.
  3. ^ Valdez, Andrea (2009-04-01). "How to Chase a Tornado". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2024-03-27.
  4. ^ Seevers, David (2017-01-06). "Cinematographer Martin Lisius Explains What Makes StormStock Unique". Stock Footage Newsroom. Retrieved 2023-09-27.
  5. ^ "Cool companies". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2024-01-26.
  6. ^ "'Prairie Storm' Could Be The First 16K Film Yet -- And Its Stunning". Digital Trends. 2018-11-24. Retrieved 2023-09-27.
  7. ^ "FOCAL Awards 2023 Shortlisted Nominees". Focal International. Retrieved 2023-11-17.
  8. ^ "Weather is Business for Alumnus Martin Lisius". UTArlington - The University of Texas at Arlington Magazine. Retrieved 2023-12-28.
  9. ^ "Tornado Damage Risk Assessment". Retrieved 2024-03-27.
  10. ^ "The Ultimate Severe Weather Safety Guide: What You Need…". Goodreads. Retrieved 2024-01-29.
  11. ^ Zhang, Michael (2019-03-11). "Watch a Camera Get Smashed to Bits in a 264mph Tornado Projectile Test". PetaPixel. Retrieved 2024-03-27.
  12. ^ Carleton, Will (2024-01-05). "Photo library owner Martin Lisius wins at Cannes Film Festival - Best Commercial". Photoarchivenews. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  13. ^ "Notable Alumni". Notable Alumni - Communication - The University of Texas at Arlington. Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  14. ^ "The Storm Whisperer". Retrieved 2024-01-29.
  15. ^ "Pampa, Texas 6/8/95 Tornadoes". Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  16. ^ "Reid story on Spencer SD intercept". Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  17. ^ "StormStock captures the wrath (and kindness) of Hurricane Harvey". Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  18. ^ "Flying Robot international Drone Film Festival - FRiFF 2018". Retrieved 2024-01-09.