Skip to comments.Discovery channel's storm chaser Tim Samaras killed in El Reno tornado
Posted on 06/02/2013 9:29:32 AM PDT by jimbo123
Storm chaser, Tim Samaras, his son Paul and crew member, Carl Young were killed Friday in a tornado that ripped through El Reno, Oklahoma.
Samaras followed storms for over 30 years. His fascination with tornadoes began when he was about six years old and saw the tornado in The Wizard of Oz. Samaras once stated, My passion for storm chasing has always been driven by the beautiful and powerful storms displayed in the heartland each spring."
(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...
“Don’t fool with Mother Nature”
Were they in that demolished TWISTEX vehicle they showed on the news Friday night? I thought Shep had said they escaped with minor injuries. Guess not. Dangerous work.
Samaras was my favorite chaser. He wasn’t in it for the fame and never usually tried to get closer than close.
One of the met boards I frequent seems to think he was at a ‘safe’ distance and then the storm took a 90deg turn and they lost control of their vehicle trying to get away.
At least he died doing what he loved best...
And another group of three (grad students) came damn close.
Sad. Very Sad.
Ina twister of fate...
Sorry the guy and his son didn't make it. I choose not to engage in risky behavior unless it's really required.
This man and his son were VERY experienced...and yet, they were unable to avoid death.
These tornadoes are fast and unpredictable while on the ground...and deadly. If you are in their path, and the road you are on does not give you a chance to get out of the way...they will run you down. The best thing is to seek a place of shelter that is underground, with a strong structure around you. If it is a large enough tornadoe, and strong enough, hiding under a bridge for example, will not save you, even if your place of refuge is below ground there. Winds too strong...forces too strong...too much deadly debris in the air.
No, you have to either leave soon enough, or have a strong place below ground with a strong door designed for this to be sure of surviving.
God rest the souls of these men, and comfort their families. These crews have brought us some of the most unbelievable images of these storms at deadly peril to their life. As this stroy illustrates.
I have worked for two storm chasers.
These guys are really pretty smart, but sometimes they are too smart by half.
Gotta get to the action.
A guy one his own.. get in.. get out..
Flashback video of Samaras:
He’s the God of Creation - not a Wiccan “Mother Nature”
These guys got steel grapes.
Nature always has the final word.
This was the guy who was always dropping probes in the path of the storms to get various types of data. He was more than a thrillseeker.
What’s the point of chasing storms? What’s the advantage of being in hsrm’s way as opposed to a safer distance?
Problem is “If you screw with the bull, you get the horns!” Something’s are better left alone. Perhaps you want to pet the Polar bears? Or feed the Sharks? Break into the Leopards/lions den (like the guys did in San Diego). Here’s a good one: Try to file a Non-Profit status with the IRS with the word “Patriot” in your name!!
Two separate incidents. The demolished vehicle shown on the Weather Channel Friday night was Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bettes and his crew. They have minor injuries. This is the first I have heard about Samaris.
Reed Timmer’s Dominator was also damaged Friday night as was Sean Casey’s TIV.
I’ve noticed with the increase of net videos and tv shows on this subject that they’ve been getting a lot closer to the actual storms than they used to. It used to seem like it was somewhat of a ‘safe’ thing to do. As they got closer and closer for better video this was inevitable.
I think Mayor Doomberg will outlaw storm chasing in NY.
Our Haunting Last Interview With Storm Chaser Samaras
Tim Samaras and his son died in Fridays El Reno, Oklahoma tornado.
What are you trying to figure out about tornadoes?
We still don’t know why some thunderstorms create tornadoes while others don’t. We’re trying to collect as many observations as possible, both from outside and from the inside [of tornadoes].
This tells us several things. If we understand the [storm’s] thermodynamic profilewhat’s the temperature, what’s the humidity like, how cool is the air outside of the tornadothese are clues that help us to measure a thunderstorm that may produce a tornado.
If we better understood some of the final mechanisms for tornado genesis, our forecasting will be greatly improved.
We’re also trying to address tornado dynamicshow powerful the winds are near the surfacewhich will help us address some of the engineering issues with home building.
Maybe there are some simple things we can do to a house that would help it withstand a [lower-intensity] tornado.
People always say that sort of thing and then I think, “Yes, but most likely they died in absolute terror.” Whatever enjoyment they had chasing storms was pushed out of their rapidly-running-out-lives by sheer terror.
Suddenly, dying in bed of old age doesn’t seem so bad.
Samaras was on a Discovery Channel show that ended two years ago. He worked for himself.
Our Haunting Last Interview With Storm Chaser Samaras
How many people are out there chasing storms?
There’s lots and lots of storm chasers out there, but you can probably count on one hand the number of people who go out into the field and collect data from tornadoes.
We run into [storm chasers] all the time. On a big tornado day in Oklahoma, you can have hundreds of storm chasers lined up down the road.
Oklahoma is considered the mecca of storm chasing. We know ahead of time when we chase in Oklahoma, there’s going to be a traffic jam.
IMHO, he was a dedicated meterologist/scientist, trying to collect data to better improve our knowledge of these storms. He was doing good...albeit very dangerous, work.
Well The folks I know do it because they are adventurous and have scientific minds AND there 8i money to be made.
I got hit with a mesocylone, it ripped the wall off a steel building like peeling a sardine can open, it sucked up 3 remote buildings, and when I woke up at 4 AM I saw the video on the weather channel LOL
The Boss had already filmed the damage and sold the film LOL
My wife and I are certified Stormwatchers. But I tell people we took the class so we would know when to run away, not so we could chase the damned things.
They were probably so terrified. I’m sorry they had to suffer that. God bless them.
Hundreds of dedicated “meteorologists/scientists” collecting valuable data out there? What would we do without them?!
It’s not really all that dangerous a “profession” - though for most it’s a “hobby.”
It’s been going on for 40 years and these would be the first chasers to EVER be killed by an actual tornado (though it seems unclear how exactly they were killed) - a few chasers have died in traffic accidents.
It’s not nearly as dangerous as Alaskan crab fishing. Or climbing Mont Everest.
And really the movement of tornadoes are pretty predictable 99% of the time - look at the map of most tornado outbreaks, and they’re a bunch of straight, parallel lines, usually SW to NE; there’s a characteristic storm motion on any given day driven by upper level winds that changes quite slowly.
This movement predictability is what allows chasing to be pretty safe for the most part.
Last Friday was an exception -the El Reno tornado had a very erratic U-shaped path, and also had suddenly forming satellite tornadoes.
The only comment (in Feb) for the link. Crazy...
Omg.. Wow. Brave, well it’s your life... goodluck with that XDD
The source doesn’t give much information, but I recall one vehicle of chasers were relaying live reports and said they were caught up in the massive traffic jam in the I-40/I-35 area.
Some of those chasers are alone and some are in small groups to 2 or more.
Per some news cast 9 people were killed because they were in their vehicles in that same area.
One of the reporters/chasers for The Weather Channel was injured the night before, IIRC, in the Moore tornado.
Lord knows what happened, but I am guessing this fellow was egress restricted.
I had Two drop on each side of Tx FM 6 coming into Caddo Mills Tx.
I was about to shit. The sky turned green,
There was so side road anywhere to go to.
Then just like they touched down, Voom! They where gone.
Quite an adrenaline rush.
Wish I had, had a camera.
I’ve experienced earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricane-force winds flying in a small plane over water, wildland fires, floods, and mountainside thunderstorms.
That being said, tornados absolutely terrify me and I will not live in an area where they are common.
It's also a good thing to do for the local neighborhood. Neighbors call or stop by to ask if the weather gets iffy here.
The night that Grandbury got whacked, I told them I was putting on my pants and boots, and everyone scurried home to their secure spot.
Civilian storm spotters (trained and NWS certified, and radio operators) are a benefit to the community.
That huge weather channel logo on the wrecked vehicle looked pretty tacky to me. I guess these tragic events are now just a great “branding” opportunity for these businesses.
Bet my insurance is cheaper...
God Bless those that wade into that mess.
A jaywalker eventually gets hit by the car.
Although the overal storm cells themselves, and the overall movement of the tornadoes are indeed from SW to NE, once on the ground, tornadoes move eradicately...varrying that general SW to NE movement by zig zaggibng around, hopping up into the air and coming back down. A dog leg of 1/4 mile is not all that uncommon, though those doglegs are rarely an extreme movement. But if you are in the path, thinking you are going to be 1000 ft away as it passes, a quarter mile can be the difference.
My point is simple. It was tragic...but it is dangerous. This man was extremely experienced, and I doubt he did anything rash or wrong...things just took a terrible turn for him and those with him.
God bless the ones that rush into where angels fear to tread. I won't do that on storms. Not my calling.
Wifey and I joke on road trips, that if we see storm chasers, we’re gonna reverse course quicklike.
Fine Samaras video explaining his vehicle and why he chased these monsters. Sounds like he was pretty careful. He must have been stuck with no way out.