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Thread: Oklahoma tornado deaths include three veteran storm chasers

  1. #1
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    Default Oklahoma tornado deaths include three veteran storm chasers

    It's how they lived, I suppose. Maybe for a moment they forgot that tornadoes aren't deadly -

    Oklahoma tornado deaths include three veteran storm chasers - U.S. News

    By M. Alex Johnson, staff writer, NBC News

    Three professional "storm chasers" were among the 13 people who died in the tornadoes that ripped through the Oklahoma City area Friday, the research project they ran confirmed Sunday.
    Tim Samaras, 55, founder of the tornado research project, called Twistex, based in Lakewood, Colo.; his son Paul, 24; and their chase partner, Carl Young, 45, all died after they were overtaken by a multiple-vortex tornado that sharply changed direction near El Reno, Okla., The Weather Channel first reported.
    Twistex confirmed the news Sunday in a statement.
    "This is a devastating loss to the meteorological, research and storm chasing communities," Twistex meteorologist Tony Laubach said in the statement. "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."
    The Twistex researchers were prominent members of an odd, close-knit community of meteorologists and storm chasers who race to the locations major tornadoes, hoping to gather scientific data and record the massive funnel clouds on film and video.
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    The Samarases were well known to TV viewers, having been prominent subjects of the Discovery Channel series "Storm Chasers" and frequent contributors to The Weather Channel. They weren't working for either channel last week, both networks said.
    The Weather Channel a unit of NBCUniversal said in a statement Sunday that many of its meteorologists had worked with the Samarases and Young "and have great admiration for their work," which it said "will help to save countless lives."
    Greg Forbes, a severe weather expert for The Weather Channel, called Tim Samaras a "pioneer in terms of taking scientific measurements."


    While radar is a vital tool, "we need to know what happens right down at ground level," and Samaras was "a groundbreaker in terms of the kind of research he was doing," Forbes said.
    "It's a tremendous loss to the community," he said.
    A fourth storm chaser in the same area was also seriously injured Friday when the SUV of a crew led by Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bettes was blown over and flipped several times before coming to rest in a field 200 yards away.
    The driver of the SUV, Austin Anderson, suffered several broken bones and is expected to undergo surgery in the next few days, The Weather Channel said.
    "As soon as I felt the vehicle tumble, I knew we were in trouble, Bettes said Sunday on TODAY.
    "I just saw my wife's face and I thought, 'You know, that's my life; I don't want to give that up just yet,'" he said.
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    Silver Member PrincessMoFo's Avatar
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    Tim Samaras was actually one of the few who were very careful and cautious.. the tornado took a sudden unexpected left and caught even veteran chasers by surprise. i do not fault him at all unlike others (amateurs) who were acting the ass and getting too close then not getting away quick enough.. I have much respect for that team.

    example of the dumbasses that were out that night that made it hard for the experienced chasers:



    Our very own Mike Morgan from Channel 4 was telling people to leave their homes and drive south causing traffic jams and mass chaos, then the tornado turned south into the very people who were told to flee.. I went to work as they have a basement garage underground and weathered it out with my kids but my mom went south and got trapped in an underpass the worst place to be.. I told her what's what and made sure she knew to come to my work in the future..

    Then the flooding!!! this is from my house an hour after the tornadoes when the flooding commenced.. it rained straight until almost the next morning..




    The next morning:



    It was crazy y`all and the scary part was it wasn't even nearly as bad as May 20th but the mass chaos and confusion just was insane..
    Last edited by PrincessMoFo; June 3rd, 2013 at 01:23 AM.

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    OMG. What a piece of Hell this spring has been.
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Really horrible. And it certainly does cause some concern for what's to come.
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    Wow,...that video is intense!!! I have to give it to that little guy driving. He sure kept his cool driving in that and having the guy in the passenger seat screaming at him the whole way. Scary shit!!!

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    If I was the one in the backseat, I'd be tempted to choke the front seat passenger into unconsciousness.

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    Elite Member JadeStar70's Avatar
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    Yea,...the guy screaming out all the commands woud have flipped me out worse than the storm. I get more tense and nervous when people freak out and scream. You could tell he was scared shitless, though. lol

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    Princess- so sorry you are going through this. You all are right- it's been a shitty spring all around.
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    These idiots aren't doing "scientific research" (news flash: tornadoes are unpredictable and very windy). They are adrenalin junkies who want to get on YouTube. The squealing girly passenger is very annoying but I don't blame him for screaming at the driver to go faster than 40mph when they need to get outta there quickly.
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    Silver Member PrincessMoFo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    These idiots aren't doing "scientific research" (news flash: tornadoes are unpredictable and very windy). They are adrenalin junkies who want to get on YouTube. The squealing girly passenger is very annoying but I don't blame him for screaming at the driver to go faster than 40mph when they need to get outta there quickly.
    Yeah the trucks that were passing them were real storm chasers.. Those guys were lucky they didn't die..

    The cooler temps this summer is what's causing it.. It's usually hitting around 100 by mid-may and it hasn't even really cracked 90 yet, mostly in the 80s and lower which causes this kind of weather..

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    Princess, I'm glad you're making it through this hellish spring in one piece!!!

    It sounds like the Channel 4 guy bears some responsibility for the fatalities, in that he sent a ton of people out in their cars--something you should NEVER do in a fucking tornado! The glut of would-be escapees created even worse traffic and apparently that's how Samaras got killed (and Bettes almost bought it too) when the tornado turned; there was no way out, no maneuverability.

    I gather this is actually the first time any storm chasers/researchers/meteorologists have actually been killed by a storm. I was sorry to hear about Samaras, who was one of the best and most serious, committed researchers. One point I remember him making is that we need to understand so much more about tornadoes than Doppler radar can tell us, because that depicts what exists way up in the air, whereas tornadoes do all their terrible damage at ground level. He made tornado proof probes to record information inside an actual twister, information that literally couldn't be gathered any other way. Then he would put himself in harm's way to place the probe where he knew the tornado would run right across it.

    What all the serious researchers seem to be most focused on is increasing warning times for tornado strikes as much as possible. Samaras felt much more work was still to be done. Sucks he won't get to do it.

    Those guys in the video upthread are idiots but I have to give them credit, they're idiots who can film without wobbling the camera all over. That was some terrifying but well-done footage. O HAI FLYING TREE!!! AUUUGGGHHH!!!blargle!!! haha. IDIOTS.

    I like this time lapse video they did of the Oklahoma City supercell, though:



    (Also, quite an achievement: that dude in the front seat was almost as irritating as fucking Reed Timmer! Almost.)
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    Elite Member Kathie_Moffett's Avatar
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    And, because the "admin" (THANKS JAMES!) won't let us put two videos in one post, I shall double post:

    Here's a good video with Samaras, following the formation of a Kansas tornado not long before he died. Stunning imagery--it's odd how tornadoes are so terrifying but they can also be kind of beautiful. There's a bunch of great stuff w/Samaras on YouTube, a lot of it for Discovery or National Geographic, who funded his efforts.

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