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Tim Samaras, Storm Chaser, Dies: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


Storm chaser Tim Samaras, 55, was killed Friday, May 31, in the tornado that ravaged El Reno, Oklahoma. Here’s what you need to know.



1. Tim Samaras Was Considered a Storm Chasing Expert

According to ABC-affiliate 7NEWS The Denver Channel:

Tim Samaras was considered a leader in storm chasing expertise and worked with 7NEWS, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, Boeing, and the federal government.

Samaras was also the founder of TWISTEX (an acronym for Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in/near Tornadoes EXperiment). And according to Digital Meteorologist:

He was known throughout the show and the chase community as a conscientious and safety-minded chaser, and TWISTEX research has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.


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2. He Was Killed Alongside His Son, Paul Samaras, and Chase Partner Carl Young

They are among five people confirmed dead from the tornado that rocked El Reno, including a mother and young child.



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Jim Samaras, Tim’s brother, took to Facebook to confirm the deaths:


tim samaras, twistex, death


Paul Samaras was 24 and Carl Young was 45.



3. TWISTEX Also Confirmed the Deaths

Per their Facebook page:


tim samara, death, twistex, tornado



4. They Died in Their Storm Chasing Vehicle

According to the Washington Post:

An Oklahoma news organization says these deaths occurred in vehicles. Numerous tractor trailers were overturned and multiple cars flipped in the destructive storms. And several storm chasers, including a crew from The Weather Channel, experienced vehicle damage while narrowly escaping serious injury or death.


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5. They Are the First Confirmed Storm Chasers to Die in Action

According to Digital Meteorologist, they are the first people known to be killed while chasing storms.


Huffington Post adds:

Discovery will dedicate the Sunday, June 2 special “Mile Wide Tornado: Oklahoma Disaster” to the trio’s memory. They don’t appear in the series, but the memorial card will read: “In memory of Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras who died Friday, May 31st doing what they love, chasing storms.”

tim samara, storm chaser, death

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