Who is Tempest Tours?
Founded in 2000, Tempest Tours is a Texas-based company specializing in storm chasing expeditions. A significant portion of the staff began chasing storms between the 1970's and early 1990's. The company has established an exceptional tornado intercept history and a solid safety record . Tempest Tours emphasizes safety, education and professional conduct.
What's it like chasing with Tempest Tours?
Watch "Chasing a Tornado Outbreak with Tempest Tours" 8 minute video
Is Tempest Tours safe and responsible?
Yes, we place safe and responsible conduct above all else. Our staff receives an annual orientation which centers around strict safety guidelines. All guides must be approved by our insurance company prior to each season. We have maintained commercial insurance since the start of our company in 2000 (required for National Tour Association membership). All members of our team are licensed radio operators and trained storm spotters. We relay reports of dangerous weather to the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency management. In addition, members of our staff have developed storm spotter training materials used by the NWS to train storm spotter groups nationwide. Spotters are the first line of defense for communities against dangerous weather. Other contributions members of our team have made to our community include: severe weather education presentations to emergency management and forecasters, research which has led to longer warning times for the public, and assisting NWS with tornado event confirmation.
Why chase with Tempest Tours? Click here How do we count tornadoes? Click here
Martin Lisius, President and Founder
Martin Lisius, "The Storm Whisperer," began tracking storms in the mid-1980's. He is a cinematographer, producer and founder of StormStock, the world's largest storm footage library. In addition, Martin founded and chairs the Texas Severe Storms Association (TESSA), a national non-profit dedicated to severe weather education and host to the National Storm Conference. Martin produced, directed and wrote several television programs relating to severe weather including "Chasing the Wind" (1991), "Beneath Stormy Skies" (1994), and "The Chasers of Tornado Alley" (1995). He directed, co-produced and co-wrote "StormWatch" for the National Weather Service, which employs it nationwide as their official storm spotter training video. Martin worked as a technical advisor on the 1996 Warner Bros. blockbuster movie "Twister" and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show with the cast and crew. In 1998, he photographed the first-ever violent class tornado on 35 mm motion picture film at Spencer, South Dakota. In 1999, Martin teamed with Chevy Trucks to help create their "Storm Chaser" commercial for S-10 pickups. Martin has shot and provided Super 35mm and HD storm footage for the Discovery Channel, Weather Channel, National Geographic, "Independence Day," the Academy Award-winning "An Inconvenient Truth," "The Avengers" (2012) and Warner Bros. "Black Sky" (2013). In his spare time, Martin works for the KXAS-TV NBC5 Weather Team. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and member of the legendary "Spencer 4."
William T. Reid, Tour Director - Climatologist
Bill has tracked storms across more than a dozen states since 1991. He is a member of the Texas Severe Storms Association Board of Directors. He acquired a Masters degree in Geography, with emphasis on Climatology, from California State University. He has worked for 11 years as a climatologist for Continental Weather and Earth Sciences, Inc. and has contributed materials used by the National Weather Service to train storm spotters nationwide for 20 years. Bill is arguably the most successful and experienced storm chaser in the world. He is a member of the legendary "Spencer 4."
Brian Morganti, Tour Director - Professional Storm Photographer
Brian is an avid storm chaser and Pennsylvania native. He has intercepted storms from Texas to Montana. His storm photography has been published in Weatherwise Magazine, the Weather USA Calendar and The Old Farmers Almanac Calendar. Brian is a US Air Force veteran and advanced Skywarn storm spotter. Brian Morganti's Homepage
Dr. Bob Conzemius, Tour Director - Wind Meteorologist
Bob earned his Ph.D. from the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma where he chased two seasons with the Doppler on Wheels crew. He has been fascinated with storms since the age of six, and has chased since 1991, intercepting storms from Minnesota to Colorado to Texas. His career in meteorology has included two years as chief meteorologist for KEYC-TV in Mankato, MN, a year of teaching meteorology courses at St. Cloud State University, and a year doing research as a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University. Outside of the chase season, he works for WindLogics, Inc., a company specializing in wind energy resource assessment and forecasting.
Dr. Charles "Chuck" Doswell, III, Senior Lecturer - Research Meteorologist
Dr. Charles "Chuck" Doswell III is a former research meteorologist with the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), and is considered one of the top tornado scientists in the world. Dr. Doswell earned degrees from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Oklahoma, all in meteorology. He has been a dedicated storm chaser since 1972. He has lectured on severe thunderstorms and weather forecasting at the request of the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization. He is an Adjunct Professor with the University of Oklahoma's School of Meteorology and occasionally teaches various courses, including his own course in Advanced Forecasting Techniques, at the graduate level. He wrote the benchmark paper on safe and responsible storm chasing titled "Storm Chasing with Safety, Courtesy and Responsibility." Dr. Doswell currently works as a Senior Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS). Dr. Doswell will lead the Lecture Tour, presenting a comprehensive discussion on storm chasing. He will share his insight on forecasting, logistics, and safety. This special tour is ideal for meteorology students and those who simply want to learn from the best. Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to chase with one of the great veterans of tornado science and the storm chasing discipline.
Chuck Doswell's Homepage
Jenna Blum, Lecturer - Author - Guide
Jenna Blum is an avid storm chaser and New York Times best-selling author of "The Storm Chasers." Affectionately nick-named the "Storm Diva" by fellow Tempest Tours staffers, Jenna is someone who truly gets the romantic side of storms. Read more about Jenna at www.jennablum.com
Keith B. Brown, Senior Guide - Meteorologist
Keith has been chasing storms across the plains since the spring of 1992. He acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma where he won the first Fawbush and Miller Scholarship for Excellence in undergraduate forecasting. Keith also participated in the Severe Thunderstorm Electrification and Precipitation Study with the National Severe Storms Laboratory in the spring of 2000. He has worked as a guide for Graphic Films, Inc., leading an IMAX film crew to a large tornado intercept near Narka, KS on June 13, 2001. He is also a member of the legendary "Spencer 4."
Jennifer Dunn, Guide - Meteorologist
Jennifer has chased with Tempest since 2005. Her storm chasing career began while at Texas A&M University where she received a BS degree in meteorology. When not chasing with Tempest, she works as a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Ft. Worth. Aside from forecasting and her interest in severe weather, she spends time on outreach efforts (educating the public about weather, severe storms, and weather safety) and hydrology. Jennifer has published two papers on case studies of severe weather events. "Bow Echo and Mesovortex Evolution during the 2 May 2007 North Texas Derecho" was recently published in the EJSSM (Vol 6, No 4 at http://www.ejssm.org/ojs/index.php/ejssm/issue/view/29).
Kinney Adams, Senior Guide
The sky is the biggest stage on earth, and that's why Kinney has been chasing storms throughout the Great Plains every spring since 1995, spending 4 to 6 weeks hunting supercell thunderstorms. In the off season, he quells his passion for the hunt by working on what he calls "The Skydance Project." In essence, it's the synchronization of sky images to music, be they benign and full of soothing beauty, or menacing and bursting with unbridled fury. His musical selections range from classical to hard rock. He also enjoys lecturing on the various aspects of chasing and severe storms.
Chris Gullickson, Senior Guide
Chris began perusing storms in 1996 and was able to document his first tornado in May of 1998. An electrical engineer by trade, he is self taught in the aspects of severe weather forecasting. Always armed with a camera, his beautiful storm photography has appeared in books, magazines, art work and training material. Taking a hiatus from his work in 2004, Chris began working with Operation Migration and the endangered Whooping Crane. Each year he helps raise a new flock of young birds and leads them from Wisconsin to Florida with an ultra-light aircraft.
Justin Pletsch - Guide - Meteorologist
Justin graduated from Northern Illinois University in May 2011 with a BS degree in Meteorology. He is a die-hard Cubs fan who firmly believes his team will win the World Series.
Rob Petitt, Guide
Rob has been fascinated with weather since his earliest years, reading about ball lightning before he could walk. He grew up in weather-starved Southern California, built his own backyard weather station at the age of eleven, and began chasing storms in Tornado Alley in 1993. In 1997, he obtained his ham radio license to assist with storm chasing. Rob relocated to Washington state in 2001 and became a weather spotter for Skywarn, where he chases locally whenever the skies appear interesting. Hired on with Tempest Tours in 2005, he has seen several tornadoes on the Great Plains, and is always on the prowl for the Holy Grail of tornadoes
Marcia Perez, Guide
Marcia has long been fascinated by severe weather. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma (which we forgive her for) and an accomplished photographer. When not tracking severe weather, Marcia works as a licensed architect in Dallas-Ft. Worth.
Bob Smith - Guide
Bob has been chasing and photographing severe weather in northern California and southern Oregon for 20 years, and on the Great Plains since 2007. His fascination for thunderstorms started as a child in Arizona where some of his earliest memories were of monsoon thunderstorms and haboobs. When he's not chasing storms, Bob manages wildlife areas for the California Department of Fish and Game in northern California.
Danny Gonzales - Guide - Meteorologist
Danny has been fascinated with weather ever since he was a child. During the summer months, Danny would observe the CU towers going up to his east during the late summer months, thanks to the southwestern monsoon, and would tune in between AM stations to detect lightning static. Danny majored in Atmospheric Sciences at UCLA.
Jon "Woody" Watson
Jon is a former deputy sheriff (K-9, SWAT, etc.) for Sonoma County, California, and when not serving as a guide for Tempest Tours (since 2006), he works as a police academy instructor in Santa Rosa and hunting and fishing guide.
Tempest Tours is a corporate member of the National Weather Association and National Tour Association. Storm footage can be licensed through StormStock. We support and contribute to Autism Awareness and the Texas Severe Storms Association. Trademark and Copyright © Tempest Tours, Inc.