This post was originally published on psuchase.org
Ever since I was a young boy, I have been fascinated by severe weather. Growing up, I watched several "storm chase" videotapes, as well as the movie Twister and other specials that would appear on television. I especially loved the show Storm Chasers on the Discovery Channel. It is through this passion for storms that got me to the point where I'm now webmaster for the Penn State Storm Chase Team.
Up until Friday, most knew that storm chasing was an incredibly dangerous activity, but no major losses of life had occurred directly during a storm chase. We knew on Friday that a Weather Channel chase vehicle had been flung by a tornado far from the road, but that no major injuries had occurred. This prompted a discussion about the dangers of storm chasing on Saturday.
Then, the news of the Twistex team hit. Going to bed Saturday night, rumors were swirling that tornado research legend Tim Samaras had perished storm chasing on Friday. This news was sadly confirmed overnight. He died in the El Reno, OK Friday night alongside his son Paul and their longtime chase partner Carl Young. The rest of this post is a Storify I created to memorialize these true tornado research pioneers: