TWISTEX Lead Principal Investigator
Tim Samaras and Carl Young, formerly of Discovery Channel's series Storm Chasers, as well as Tim’s 24-year-old son Paul, were lost during Friday, May 31, 2013’s tornado outbreak in Oklahoma. Discovery Channel is deeply saddened by their loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to their friends and families.
Chasing was a part of Tim's life for over 25 years. Ten years ago, he developed his own tornado probes to record meteorological data inside of tornadoes. On June 24, 2003, Tim dropped a probe in the path of an F-4 tornado where it measured an astounding 100 millibar pressure drop — a record that still stands today. Tim ran the scientific field program, TWISTEX (Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes Experiment, www.twistex.org). Their mission is to help understand why tornadoes form in order to increase warning times in Tornado Alley.
Tim had a successful probe deployment on the last chase of the season in Grand Island, Nebraska. In the following season, TWISTEX introduced new instruments to help them meet their scientific goals, including a new probe called TOWER. This new probe featured multiple anemometers to measure wind speed and direction, cans of smoke to track circulation, and a brand new 360-degree camera mount. In addition, Tim conducted research for Boeing, testing the effects of large hail on the company's new aircraft.
A Message from Eileen O'Neill: Remembering Tim Samaras and Carl Young