The incredible supercell – nature’s atmospheric wonder

Other than hurricanes, there’s only one storm veteran storm chaser and cinematographer Martin Lisius cares about. It’s the supercell thunderstorm, a storm with a persistent rotating updraft. He has been capturing storms on film in his native Tornado Alley for over 40 years and founded Prairie Pictures’ StormStock, a collection of premium extreme weather imagery, in 1993.

“After witnessing so many amazing supercells over the years, all other thunderstorm types become rather uninteresting,” Lisius said. That’s because supercells produce virtually all significant tornadoes and giant hail, in addition to prolific lightning shows. They occur around the world, but are especially common in an area from Texas to the Dakotas.

“I’ve witnessed hundreds of storms from birth to maturity, and the best way to tell the storm has reached supercell status is by looking for motion or shapes indication rotation in the updraft. The best supercells exhibit a ‘mothership’ appearance, taking on a flying saucer look due to the rotary motion,” he said.

Lisius films supercells, and the tornadoes and lightning they produce, on ultra high definition formats like 4K and 6K and licenses the footage for use in feature films, TV commercials and documentaries through StormStock. He’s currently in production on his new documentary about supercells which will be completed later this year.

Contact: Kim George at Prairie Pictures, (817) 276-9500