Monday, 3 June 2013

Storm Chasers Killed

Storm Chasers Killed - Three storm chasers were among the nine killed in the deadly EF-3 tornado that ripped through El Reno, Okla., Storm Chasers Killed, on Friday.Colorado storm chaser Tim Samaras, 55, his son Paul Samaras, 24, and his longtime chase partner Carl Young, 45, were killed, Tim Samaras' brother confirmed in a statement posted to Facebook on Sunday.

"It truly is sad that we lost my great brother Tim and his great son, Paul. Our hearts also go out to the Carl Young family as well as they are felling the same feelings we are today. They all unfortunately passed away but doing what they LOVED. Chasing tornados," Jim Samaras wrote.

 Tim Samaras, a 30-year veteran of storm chasing, was a regular contributor to National Geographic and was also featured on the Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers alongside Young, a California native.

Samaras also founded TWISTEX, the Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes Experiment, to better understand tornado formation and increase warning time, according to its website.

TWISTEX's page boasts Samaras holding "the world record for measuring the lowest barometric pressure drop (100 millibars) inside of a tornado that destroyed the town of Manchester South Dakota on June 24, 2003."
 In Samaras' final post to Twitter on Friday, he recognized the dangers his team were facing that day, writing: "Storms now initiating south of Watonga along triple point. Dangerous day ahead for OK--stay weather savvy!" Storm Chasers Killed,

Only three days earlier he similarly tweeted having experienced a close call north of Lebanon where two large tornadoes allegedly came down upon him.

 "Intercepted large tornado 4 N of Lebanon--two large tornadoes at once--too close--wow!" he tweeted.

On Sunday fellow meteorologist and storm chaser Tony Laubach confirmed Samaras' death on TWISTEX's Facebook page as a "devastating loss to the meteorological, research, and storm chasing communities.

"I ask that you keep the families in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. There is some comfort in knowing these men passed on doing what they loved. ... Your support means the world. Thank you," Laubach wrote.

As of Sunday morning few details into the storm chasers' deaths were being publicly released.

The Iowa Storm Chasing Network responded to the tragic news of Samaras, a former colleague, by speculating "poor judgment or an unexpected tornado played a role, but we just don't know."

 "There are a lot of people who get way too close to these things but I never thought Tim was one of them. He was greatly respected for his focus on the science rather than simply capturing video," the website wrote.

In a dramatic video taken from another group of storm chasers attempting to flee the tornado's crosshairs near Oklahoma City on Friday the storm's massive strength is harrowingly seen with these men lucky to have made it out alive.

Several cameras positioned inside the vehicle capture the passengers' brush with death as they terrifyingly do their best to out drive and maneuver flying debris that eventually smashes their windshield.

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