Storm Chasers Oklahoma

Storm Chasers Tim Samaras, 55, his son Paul, 24, and crew member Carl Young, 45,  were the three men  who were killed during Friday’s tornado El Reno, Oklahoma.

Storm Chasers killed in Oklahoma

The three men all veteran and experts in their field were well known for their daring work on Discovery Channel show Storm Chasers. Tim and Paul  Samaras  a father-and-son team  and their long-time partner and Carl Young  were heard on audio screaming ‘we’re going to die, we’re going to die’ on highway patrol radio moments before they were killed by one of the savage twisters they’d devoted their lives to following.

The tornado that claimed their lives packed winds of up to 165 mph picked up their car and threw it,   somersaulting through the air for around a half a mile.

The elder Samaras’ body was still belted into their Chevrolet Cobalt, which was found on an county road parallel to Interstate 40. The other victims’ bodies were found half a mile to the east and half a mile to the west.

Tornado patterns

Meterologist Mike Nelson, a friend, said  ‘Tim was not a cowboy, he was as cautious as possible about his approach to studying these dangerous storms’

This latest deadly twister, which killed at least 13 people  came just two weeks after  an EF5  tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma and killed 24 people.

Canadian County under-sheriff Chris West said he believes the experienced storm chasers were attempting to parallel the storm on the county road and it either changed course or another vortex appeared.

Tim,  described as a courageous and brilliant scientist who fearlessly pursued tornadoes and lightning in the field in an effort to better understand these phenomena.

The National Geographic Society made 18 grants to Tim for research over the years for field work like he was doing in Oklahoma at the time of his death, and he was one of our 2005 Emerging Explorers.
Storm Chasers Killed
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Related  Tornado Information:


A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as twisters or cyclones,  although the word cyclone is used in meteorology, in a wider sense, to name any closed low pressure circulation. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, but they are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust. Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour (177 km/h), are about 250 feet (76 m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating. The most extreme tornadoes can attain wind speeds of more than 300 miles per hour (483 km/h), stretch more than two miles (3.2 km) across, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100 km).

Tornado's Oklahoma

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