Veteran storm chasers Tim Samaras (left) and Carl Young (right), best known to general audiences as cast members on the Discovery Channel’s “StormChasers” reality series throughout the series’ final three seasons, were both killed, along with Samaras’ 24 year old son Paul, when they were caught by the monster EF3 tornado that ravaged the El Reno, Oklahoma area again this past Friday.
Samaras and Young were the leaders of one of the teams featured on the series, known as Team TWISTEX, and was generally known as the most cautious of the teams on the show; the other two teams, headed by IMAX filmmaker Sean Casey and veteran storm chaser Reed Timmer respectively, were more known for taking dangerous risks.
Samaras’ contributions to the science of tornadoes started nearly 30 years ago, and he had become world-renowned as one of the top people in his field alongside peers like Dr. Joshua Wurman, Dr. Greg Forbes, and Dr. Howard “Howie” Bluestein. He developed the “turtle” tornado probe, a device which sat low to the ground and was designed to gather scientific data from within the path of a tornado.
It was Samaras who also became the first of the show’s teams to acknowledge that Discovery had cancelled the series after five seasons in January 2012.
TC and Kim send our prayers to their families – and to Tim, Paul, and Carl: RIP, and thank you for your years of selfless service trying to save the lives of many many others…you will be missed, and remembered…