Storm Chaser Tim Samaras and Carl Young, two well-known tornado researchers and former stars of the Discovery Channel show “Storm Chasers,” has been confirmed among the casualties of Friday’s deadly tornado near Oklahoma City.
Paul Samaras, Tim’s 24-year-old son, was also among the 11 people killed in the twister and subsequent flash floods that struck El Reno, Okla., on Friday.
A video camera from the totaled Chevrolet Cobalt was blown away when the twister hit. It’s hoped the camera can be found so it can provide some clue of what went wrong.
Tim and Paul were both born and raised in Lakewood, Colo. but most recently were living in Bennett. Tim is survived by his wife, Kathy.
Tim Samaras was considered a leader in storm chasing expertise and tornado research and worked with 7NEWS, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, Boeing, and the federal government.
Samaras and his team starred in the Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” for three years before the show was canceled in 2012.
Tim Samaras was 55 and his son Paul was 24. Carl Young was 45 and was from South Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California – Nevada border.
Jim Samaras told 7NEWS that his brother’s passion for storm chasing began when the movie ‘Wizard of Oz’ would come on the TV.
“He was entranced by the awe and mystery of the tornado,” Jim Samaras said.
“It wasn’t until Samaras was in his 20s that he started chasing the storms, not for the thrill, but the science. The thrills were a sideline. What I mean by that is, he developed several probes that have been deployed in tornados that actually measured barometric pressure,” Jim said.
Those who knew him praised Samaras and his team for the safety precautions they took in chasing storms.
“Out of all storm chasers he doesn’t take chances, he’s the one that puts the probes in the path of the tornado to learn more about them,” “Good Morning America” meteorologist Ginger Zee . “He is not, you know, a young gun running around making bad decisions … so I am so sad and shocked. It is such a loss for the community.”
Samaras and Young were featured on three seasons of “Storm Chasers,” which aired on Discovery from 2007-11.