Born in Big Flats, New York, Stormes was appointed midshipman on 15 June 1920 and graduated on 15 May 1924. He was assigned to USS Nevada (BB-36) and subsequently served in USS Chewink (AM-39) and USS S-33 (SS-138).
Stormes served with Submarine Division 20 in 1929 and 1930 and then attended a post-graduate course at the United States Naval Academy in 1931 and 1932. His next tour of sea duty was as commanding officer of USS Talbot (DD-114) followed by a tour in USS Chicago (CA-29) as damage control officer.
Stormes became commanding officer of USS Preston (DD-379) on 31 October 1941 and was promoted to commander on 20 August 1942.
Comdr. Stormes was killed in action during the night of 14 and 15 November 1942, when Preston was sunk in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Comdr. Stormes was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross as "his coolness and courage in the face of grave danger, inspired his men to supreme efforts of determination and endurance to carry on the attack."
The US Navy ship USS Stormes (DD-780) was named in honor of him.