Storm Chasers Die Doing What They Love… Will You?

Three experienced storm chasers Carl Young, Tim Samaras, and Paul Samaras were killed in Oklahoma when a tornado caught up to their vehicle as they were attempting to gather footage and data about the storm.

Do the names sound familiar? You may know these men from the reality television series Storm Chasers, but just the words “storm chasing” bring up questions:  Why would you chase a storm? What happens when you catch it? Shouldn’t you be headed the other way? Storm Chasing, although obviously extremely  dangerous, is actually an important way of gaining knowledge on tornadoes in an effort to warn the public of an upcoming storm more quickly and therefore save lives.

Tim Samaras, father of Paul Samaras, was considered by many (inside and outside the “business”) to be one of the most cautious storm chasers around. Although their deaths came as a huge shock for those that knew them personally, the family has said that the three men died doing what they loved, and equipment set up by the three still recorded the entire storm. Their salvaged recordings are being looked over to attempt to determine exactly what happened in the last moments of their lives.

Not everyone can claim that they have an important job; Mr. Young and the Samaras certainly lived on the edge, but all their risks were taken in order to extend the warning times for others.  Currently the average warning time for a tornado touch down is still only about 17 minutes; these men died trying to change that.