Storm chasers show others the beauty and danger of severe weather.
Long before Dorothy was sucked up inside the twister to Oz, tornadoes have been both fascinating and terrifying people around the world. Although most folks would just as soon never encounter this titan of turbulence, a small collection of hardy souls known as storm chasers seek out severe weather in order to experience the awesome power and beauty of a tornado firsthand. One particular group chases storms better than anybody else.
Texas-based Tempest Tours offers guests the adventure of a lifetime, leading five tours each spring into the heart of Tornado Alley, an area stretching from Texas to Canada where more tornadoes occur than anywhere else on the planet, all in search of nature's most spectacular weather.
"Our mission is to introduce both the science and romance of storm chasing to the world," said Martin Lisius of Tempest Tours. "Being there, on the open prairie, with all of the motion, the colors, the sounds, and the smells surrounding you is like touching the sky and leaving those surely bonds of earth for a brief moment."
Founded by three friends, StormStock has the world's largest storm footage library. Martin is a photographer who's best know for his high quality motion picture footage of storms, Bill is a climatologist and respected storm chaser who spends the off-season in Colorado working in a family business, and Chuck is a former researcher with the National Severe Storms Laboratory and is considered one of the top tornado scientists in the world.
Because of the group's vast amount of experience and expertise, Martin insists that Tempest Tours is completely safe, and they've never really been faced with a life-threatening situation. But they've had their share of scares.
"We can't guarantee that guests will actually witness a tornado," Martin said. "But we can promise them the opportunity to live the life of a real storm chaser for a few days. That in itself is an adventure of a lifetime for many of them" he said.
From a Dewar's Profile.
Courtesy of John Dewar & Sons Company
Tempest Tours is a corporate member of the American Meteorological Society, National Weather Association, National Tour Association and the National Safety Council. Storm footage can be licensed through StormStock a division of Prairie Pictures. We support and contribute to Autism Awareness and the Texas Severe Storms Association. Trademark and Copyright © Tempest Tours, Inc.