Tornado kills 3 well-known storm chasers

Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” fans will be shocked to learn that well-known researcher Tim Samaras, meteorologist Carl Young were killed along with Tim’s son Paul when an Oklahoma tornado made an unexpected turn.

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From left to right, Tim Samaras, 55, Paul Samaras, 24, Carl Young, 45.

You can see our coverage of the Oklahoma tornadoes here:

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Tornado kills 3 well-known storm chasers

"The ingredients are coming together for a pretty volatile day," well-known storm researcher Tim Samaras told the Weather Channel last Friday from Oklahoma as he prepared to follow the violent storms that were expected to form shortly.

He was right – and within hours he would be dead along with his son Paul, 24, and Carl Young, 45, a meteorologist with Tim's tornado research company Twistex.

They died when a tornado near El Reno Oklahoma made an unexpected turn and smashed into their vehicle.

Also caught in the same storm was Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bettes who survived a frightening 200-metre tornado ride in his specially reinforced vehicle.

Weather channel’s Mike Bettas was lucky to survive the same storm. Here is a before and after photo of his specially-fortified “Tornado Hunt” car.

Bettas and the elder Samaras, 55, best known for his work on the Discovery Channel's Storm Chaser series, were together a year ago for a Weather Channel special on his work. You can see it here.

That EF3 tornado in El Reno Friday, possibly the same one that flipped the Weather Channel's Tornado Hunt vehicle has claimed the lives of three storm chasers.

That's right, they are identified as researcher Tim Samaras, who is a long-time chaser and a friend to all of us here in the weather channel. Unfortunately Tim's son Paul was also killed Friday in El Reno while storm spotting and renowned researcher Carl Young has also died.

It was a pleasure to work with them, of course, with all three of the storm chasers as part of the Vortex project. Here is a look at the profile piece we filed on storm researcher Tim Samaras just one year ago.

When tornadoes are looming on the horizon, he's usually nearby.

Oh my God, that is incredible.

But make no mistake, Tim Samaras is no ordinary storm chaser. He has much loftier goals.

I'm Tim Samaras and I'm a storm researcher.

We still don't have a clear understanding why some thunderstorms create tornadoes and others don't.

The other thing we are trying to do is measure tornado dynamics. How powerful do tornadoes get near the ground?

Finding out why things happen is Samaras's number one passion – and it started basically at birth.

When I was a small boy, I wound up taking apart my mother's appliances to figure out how they worked. You know, blenders, toasters, television sets, you name it. I've taken it all apart and I've put them back together.

Now, this self-taught engineer and forecaster develops and builds just about all the equipment he uses in his research whether it's taking measurements inside a tornado...

I designed the electronics. I designed the mechanics that hold everything.

Or lightning...

I love lightning I love to capture lightning. I devised some techniques to capture a lightning strike using high-speech photography.

He even moved to his current home because of its weather science connection.

You can actually look out to the horizon unobstructed to watch super-cells rolling across Colorado.

And, as you might imagine, Samaras has seen countless tornadoes, but it's the ones he can learn from that interest him the most.

You can see that some of these black soot things, like this one, actually being lofted into the air almost at a diagonal which clearly shows that we have some incredible vertical motion going on.

In the end, it comes down to one thing:

In collaboration with other scientists that are doing similar research, we can put all of this research together. When that happens, then the ultimate saving lives goal will slowly approach.

So Tim Samaras may offer some help in unravelling Mother Nature's mysteries. I'm meterologist Mike Bettes.

You can see Tim Samaras and Carl Young in action on the Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers program in the episode "No rest for the Weary," "Threat over Topeka"

tornado – a violent storm with very strong winds which move in a circle. There is often also a long cloud which is narrower at the bottom than the top พายุทอร์นาโด, พายุหมุน
ingredients – the substances/conditions that are combined to make something ส่วนผสม
volatile – of something that may change suddenly or become more dangerous ที่ปะทุได้ง่าย
researcher – a person who carriers out a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it นักวิจัย
violent – involving or caused by physical force that is intended to hurt or kill somebody รุนแรง, ร้ายแรง, สาหัส
form – to start to exist and develop; to make something start to exist and develop พัฒนาขึ้น, สร้างขึ้น
meteorologist – a scientist who studies the weather and makes predictions นักอุตุนิยมวิทยา
smash – to break something noisily into many pieces by dropping or hitting it with a lot of force ทำให้แตกเป็นเสี่ยงๆ, ทำให้แตกเป็นชิ้นๆ
survive – to continue to exist รอดพ้น
reinforced – made stronger เสริมให้แข็งแรงขึ้น
elder – older ที่อายุมากกว่า
flip – to turn over into a different position with a sudden quick movement สะบัด,พลิก
claim lives – to kill people
identified – named  ระบุชื่อ
renowned – famous and admired for a special skill or achievement  ที่มีชื่อเสียง
profile – a description of somebody/something that gives useful information  ประวัติโดยย่อ
looming – seeming likely to happen soon  ที่เห็นลางๆ
incredible – difficult to believe ไม่น่าเชื่อ
ordinary – not unusual or different in any way ธรรมดา, ปกติ
lofty – very high; based on high standards สูงส่ง
goal – aim; purpose เป้าหมาย จุดมุ่งหมาย
dynamics – the science of the forces involved in movement พลศาสตร์
passion – a strong enthusiasm or interest ความชื่นชม หลงใหล
appliance – a machine or piece of equipment that you have in your home, for example a washing machine or refrigerator  เครื่องใช้
blender – an electric machine for mixing soft food or liquid เครื่องปั่นผสม
toaster – an electrical machine that you put slices of bread in to make toast เครื่องปิ้งขนมปัง
forecaster – someone whose job is to make a statement about what is likely to happen, especially relating to the weather นักพยากรณ์(อากาศ)
lightning – a flash, or several flashes, of very bright light in the sky caused by electricity ฟ้าผ่า, ฟ้าแลบ, สายฟ้า
devise – to invent a method of doing something คิดขึ้นใหม่
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
horizon – the line in the distance where the sky seems to meet the earth ขอบฟ้า
unobstructed – not blocked; clear; open โล่ง
supercell – a large thunderstorm with winds the circle, sometimes forming a tornado
soot – black powder that is produced when wood, coal, etc. is burnt เขม่า
loft – to throw something high in the air ทำให้เคลื่อนไปในอากาศ
diagonal – straight and sloping, not horizontal or vertical, for example joining two opposite corners of a square or other flat shape with four sides ทแยงมุม
vertical – going straight up or down from a level surface or from top to bottom in a picture, etc. ซึ่งตั้งตรง
motion – movement การเคลื่อนไหว
collaboration – working together with someone else การร่วมมือ
ultimate – final, after a series of things have happened ท้ายที่สุด, ตอนสุดท้าย, ในที่สุด
unravel – to make something mysterious, unknown or complicated to be known or understood แก้ออก
mystery – a quality that makes someone or something difficult to explain, understand, or get information about, especially when it also makes them seem interesting or exciting สิ่งที่ไม่สามารถอธิบายได้, ความแปลกประหลาด

Related search: storm chasers killed, Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, Carl Young

About the author

Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager