Monday, June 3, 2013

Twistex Tim Samaras

Tim Samaras, 55, his son Paul, 24, and Carl Young, 45, of Twistex (Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes Experiment) who were scientist and storm chasers were killed in a violent tornado Friday 5/31/13 in El Reno Oklahoma a EF3 tornado with winds up to 165 mph. Tim is known as no cowboy when it comes to storm chasing and certainly with his son and collage Carl in the field with him.  Reports have it that the tornado was a wobblier and changed course and speed suddenly.  Tim was found in his truck with the seat belt still buckled, Paul and Carl were in a second vehicle which the both of them were pulled from the tornado and one of them was found a 1/2 mile from the vehicle.

Tim Samaras
     "He's mostly going to be remembered as somebody who tried to help save lives," Jim Samaras told Reuters, saying his brother had done a lot of research and innovative work with probes and other instruments placed in the path of twisters to gather data.

 ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee knew Tim Samaras well and said his death was a reminder of the power of the storm. "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. 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," Zee said of Samaras.

Samaras holds the world record for "measuring the lowest barometric pressure drop (100 millibars) inside of a tornado that destroyed the town of Manchester South Dakota, on June 24, 2003." Samaras also built a special probe equipped with cameras that "are able to look inside of a tornado safely." The probe allowed Samaras and Young to document the tornado from different angles and speeds when they deployed the device in the path of a twister on June 11, 2004, near Storm Lake Iowa. Just last month, Jim Cantore hit the road and chased tornadoes with the renowned storm chaser, Reed Timmer, one of the stars of “Storm Chasers” on Discovery. The Samaras team was also featured on the documentary series that ran from 2007-2012.

Tim, Paul and Carl
 “This is a huge loss,” Cantore said on The Weather Channel on Sunday. “He’s right up there with other pioneers,” he added about Tim Samaras. Cantore explained that he has studied the maps and diagrams of the deadly tornado and is surprised “that many more didn’t perish.” Cantore’s fellow meteorologist, Mike Bettes, was in the thick of things on Friday night, covering the tornado outbreak for The Weather Channel. He and two others were injured when their storm-chasing vehicle was picked up by a tornado and thrown about 200 yards. Oklahoma's Medical Examiner on Sunday put the state's death toll at 13, including four children. Authorities in neighboring Missouri said there had been at least three deaths on Friday in flooding triggered by the violent storms.

Terry Garcia, Executive Vice President, National Geographic Society said Samaras was "a courageous and brilliant scientist who fearlessly pursued tornadoes and lightning in the field in an effort to better understand these phenomena."

 From Tim Samaras, "The "cop" we were quite concerned about was actually the local EM for the area. We spoke with him the following day, and he was kind enough to allow us to tour the damaged areas and assist/conduct a damage survey. Very glad he was okay!"

Twistex Team Truck
 "The National Geographic Society made 18 grants to Tim for research over the years for field work like he was doing in Oklahoma at the time of his death, and he was one of our 2005 Emerging Explorers. Tim's research included the creation of a special probe he would place in the path of a twister to measure data from inside the tornado; his pioneering work on lightning was featured in the August 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine," Garcia said in a statement. "Though we sometimes take it for granted, Tim's death is a stark reminder of the risks encountered regularly by the men and women who work for us. This is an enormous loss for his family, his wide circle of friends and colleagues and National Geographic."

Samaras's Truck was virtually  destroyed by the tornado 
In his final Twitter post on Friday, Samaras said, “Storms now initiating south of Watonga along triple point. Dangerous day ahead for OK – stay weather savvy.” Tim truly recognized the danger of his work, but was dedicated to his mission.

Meteorologist and weather spotters tribute to Twistex Team 
After the news broke Sunday, hundreds of meteorologist and weather spotters worked together to make the three victims' initials appear on weather radar. These guys were the best we had and it shows.

Videos uploaded by U Tube user TeamTWISTEX

Paul Samaras Ptsamaras 

Tim Samaras Thunder Chase 

Now meet the man, 

the scientist the engineer, who many have come to admire. You will see and feel this man's true passion in his work.

R.I.P. Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young. Thank You Team Twistex for helping all of us!

LabVIEW Community


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