Veteran Colorado Tornado Chaser’s Last Tweet
“Dangerous day ahead for OK-stay weather savvy!”
A tweet four days earlier jumps out:
|Tim Samaras Tweets: Look at May 27, 2013
Sadly, four days later, Samaras and his chase team got “too close” to this violent, multiple vortex tornado in El Reno, Okla.:
Samaras, 55, his son Paul, 24, and meteorologist Carl Young, died after the tornado took a hard left turn and hit their car:
|Credit: NWS, Norman, Okla.
When the tornado threw its left hook, other storm chasers, including The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes, were also “too close.” Fortunately, Bettes lived.
Tributes to Samaras, a respected pioneer, came in from around the world.
From KMGH-TV Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson:
“I have known Tim for over 20 years, he was the most brilliant and most careful severe weather researcher of them all. Tim was not a cowboy, he was as cautious as possible about his approach to studying these dangerous storms.”
Dr. Jeff Masters, meteorologist, blogged:
“My condolences go to all of the family and friends of Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young. I hope that their deaths will lead towards safer tornado chasing, and help spur efforts to use emerging drone technology to take measurements in dangerous storms such as tornadoes and hurricanes.”
Tornadoes inspire awe.
Powerful monsters of nature.
Their fury attracts TV specials, twister tubes, a Spielberg movie, spotter networks, “cowboy” chasers.
So much so, we’re in an era of tornado tourism.
A tornado economy.
And the scientists work in it.
Competing with amateurs during tornado outbreaks for room on-the-highways … even escape routes.
Tornadoes excite interest, followers.
But they have no friends.
In this tragedy, Samaras’s own words provide counsel.
Dangerous day ahead?
Don’t get “too close.”
Stay weather savvy.