Discovery Dedicates Oklahoma Tornado Documentary to Storm Chasers Killed on Friday

Storm Chasers Killed in Oklahoma TornadoDiscovery Channel is dedicating tonight’s documentary premiere, Mile Wide Tornado: Oklahoma Disaster, to Tim Samaras (pictured) and Carl Young, cast members of the defunct Storm Chasers series who were killed on Friday while tracking the EF3 tornado that tore through El Reno, Okla.

Samaras’ 24-year-old environmental photographer son Paul also died during the storm.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Tim Samaras his son Paul and their colleague Carl Young,” reads a statement from Discovery. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”

Though neither Samaras nor Young are featured in Mile Wide Tornado — airing at 10/9c and chronicling the deadly twisters that have ravaged Oklahoma this season — a dedication card has been added to the telecast, reading: “In memory of Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras who died Friday, May 31st doing what they love, chasing storms.”

In addition to his contributions to Storm Chasers, which ended in 2011, Samaras worked for Denver, Colo.’s 7News, National Geographic and the federal government. He also founded TWISTEX (Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes EXperiment), which was dedicated to researching tornadoes so as to better warn citizens in targeted regions.

Young had a masters degree in atmospheric science from the University of Nevada, and with Samaras tracked more than 125 tornadoes.

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38 Comments
  1. Chelle says:

    Oh wow…I used to love that show. So sad to hear :( RIP

  2. Joe Hogan says:

    David. Zaslav, CEO of Discovery has to be elated. Ratings will be through the roof. That greedy Mutha Faaaka has only one thing on his mind…. MONEY! He turned Todd Hoffman of the Gold Rush series into a cocaine addict, he destroyed the entire Teutul family from American Chopper and is in the process of messing up the lives of pretty much anyone he can talk into it so he can MAKE MORE MONEY!!!!!!

    Too bad for that families of these people who will be left with a hole in their lives, but I have little sympathy for the guys themselves. Their EGOS led them into it and they got what we all knew could easily happen.

    Sure, I’d love to be a tornado chaser, but I put my ego in check and do something that doesn’t put my life in NEEDLESS danger.

    NOTHING these guys were doing was necessary. THEY DID IT FOR THE GLORY.

    There are all kinds of clowns on TV right now claiming this is necessary. One word…. BULLLLLCRAAAAP!

    • Bill C. says:

      I don’t know about Discoveries CEO, but you sound like a jerkoff yourself. To say nothing that he was doing was necessary, he was collecting research on tornadoes to make it safer for all of us you moron. It wasn’t for the glory. You obviously have never had passion for anything in your life, just sit there and ridicule others. Hope a tornado blows your ass away.

      • Tammy says:

        You can obviously see on the show that the research done can never make a tornado safer. NO ONE can collect research and predict a tornado. Tornados come down & hit where they want to and any given time. Sorry. But I do agree with you this guy above has no sympathy for the families that is hurting right now and also is rude with his posting. If you watch episode 7 of Season 3 (I think it is episode 7). They almost got swept up in one too. They pushed it too far and it just caught up with them but if they would have been using their data & research on tornados right….you would of thought they would have known where the limits were. That’s what blew my mind when I heard about them getting killed while trying to intercept in a tornado. With Tim’s knowledge & research…..& he was a very smart man…..he knew what to do….so this incident goes to show you that his research does not make tornados safer or predictable. I feel sorry for the families of these guys & pray that they can accept the issues with poor judgement with this horrible tradgedy.

    • Don says:

      You are one ignorant jerk. Did you even read the article. They did not chase tornados for the glory as you claim. He founded TWISTEX (Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes EXperiment), which was dedicated to researching tornadoes so as to better warn citizens in targeted regions.

    • JP says:

      Get your FACTS straight…Samaras and Young were not egotistical at all. They were SCIENTISTS who wanted to understand the how and why of Tornadoes.
      Take your trash talk somewhere else-

    • Are you KIDDING ME? He wasn’t a ‘tornado chaser’, he was a scientist who intercepted tornadoes to gather data for his research! That’s part of why Tim was one of the safest chasers out there! He didn’t do it for the glory, he did it for the science! He died because the storm turned unexpectedly.

      Please, don’t ever chase. Your attitude says that you’d do nothing but put those of us who want to actually do scientific research in danger.

    • Peg says:

      Hey, Joe, is this how you want people to talk about your family when something happens to them?

    • Samantha C says:

      Its not bull crap for the family who lost there love ones! Show a little respect! Not EVERYTHING is about ratings!! Sometimes its just about paying TRIBUTE to those that were lost!

    • JustMe says:

      Thirty years ago we were lucky to get 10 minutes’ warning of a tornado, and those warnings came primarily from storm chasers and storm spotters that called in the tornado on the ground. I grew up in a small town in Nebraska and there were people in the emergency services whose job was to sit on the edges of town watching for tornados. That is how sophisticated the system was. Today there is better radar thanks to the work of the engineers and scientists who study these storms. Importantly, there is a lot more understanding of what the radar is showing and predictions are much more accurate, thanks to the scientists who go out and collect data on these monsters (which involves getting much closer to the storm than most people would be comfortable with). My parents now live in St. Louis and they had more than 30 minutes’ warning the other day. Amazing and brave work by these scientists makes all of us living in tornado prone areas much much safer.

      • Angela says:

        Thank you. Perfectly stated. I find tornadoes fascinating to study and learn about, but I don’t have the guts to track them the way these people do. But I admire their bravery.
        Very sad to hear the news about these three losing their lives like this. I thank them for risking their lives to help others, though. And my heart goes out to the state of Oklahoma in general, the poor citizens, my god. My heart sank on Friday when I turned on the Weather Channel and heard about the storms that were hitting some of the same areas. And the storm team for that channel also got hit directly by a tornado, frighteningly enough. Thankfully, though, they’re all okay.
        Here’s hoping the people of Oklahoma can get a (nice long) break from the nasty weather so they can properly begin to rebuild and mourn those they’ve lost.

    • Brandon says:

      Apparently you have issues of your own, Tim was only trying to save people by better warning times…think that next time something like this hits home for you

    • ggdub says:

      I’ve seen many episodes of Storm Chasers and the Twistex segments were not the high-risk, high-excitement ones. Tim often broke off a chase he felt was unsafe and I never got the feeling that he changed his behavior one bit for the camera, other than to explain the science. Oh yeah, Storm Chasers is no longer being produced so I fail to see how a show Twistex was involved in 2 years ago was involved in this sad incident. My heart goes out to the Samaras and Young families.

    • ShanaB says:

      You shouldn’t open your mouth when you don’t have a clue to what you are talking about, because it just makes you look like a jackass!!!! Living in tornado alley I am thankful for storm chasers and how they put their lives out on the line to protect mine and my family’s. Radar doesn’t tell everything that’s why you have storm spotters!!! Educate yourself before you bash someone who has died by helped saved many lives!!! Idiot!!!

    • ziggy says:

      I’m sorry I’m a little confused. Long before there were reality shows we had storm chasers running up and down torando alley sending video and data to scientist and meteorologist all over the world. From what I understand from the article the Discovery channel was no longer airing Storm Chasers. It was defunct. So what does David Zaslav have to do with anything about the circumstances of these brave men?

    • Cj says:

      You obviously don’t live here. These guys are trained and not in it for the glory. Their bravery saved many lives in the Okc metro area tfe last two weeks where we have been ravaged by tornadoes EF1-5. They have been able to tell us where the tornadoes are going so that WE Can get out of the way. My prayers are with their families and mine and my children’s gradltitude as well.

    • brad g says:

      joe hogan eh, what a little man syndrome you have , cause your obviously small everywhere, because that dribble you typed is typical of your type, nerdy internet weasel with a big keyboard

  3. tahina says:

    Was watching it Friday as the tornado was raging through Oklahoma,again, and there they were the chasers, and I was like, OMG!RIP those heroes.

  4. Babybop says:

    What exactly is “Storm Chasing”? I’ve never heard of that before… Sounds interesting. Prayers go to out to the families.

    • Dav says:

      Storm Chasing is just what it sounds like. Storm chasers deliberately try to put themselves as close as possible to tornadoes (they chase other storms too but tornadoes seem to be most popular.) While there are groups who do this for scientific reasons there are also just a lot of people who do it for the thrill of the chase and to get pictures and video to sell to the news stations or to brag about on YouTube.

    • ziggy says:

      They are like the Navy Seals of meteorology. They give an eye wittness account of where the tornado is, what direction it is heading and who is in it’s path. They feed video and data to the weathermen at the television station who then relays that information to the general public. They are able to pinpoint what highway, road and neighborhood block these monsters are heading. We have great radar and other instruments but sometimes that is not enough. If you see a storm chaser vehicle on the road, head the opposite direction.

  5. There are great people ,who truly make this earth a better place ,Tim,Paul,Carl,and there are those who really is ignorance that can’t be explained,educate yourself you babbling dumb ass and think before you speak ,and if you don’t know what your talking about be silent .

  6. Although I really hate to hear about the tragic deaths of these brave men, I would like to mention a few concerns. I don’t know all the details of the incident that took their lives but would bet that they were caught in their cars.Just how many times have we heard the experts tell us to never get into a car when there’s a tornado approaching. I know that they were “storm chasers” but they were not ” let the storm get us” men.
    It amazes me to see weather men-especially from the Weather Channel-stand outside during a Hurricane and scream “this is horrible and I can’t hardly stand it”. Mark my words, one of these days, there will be one of these people severely injured of even killed. I pray that this don’t happen but if it does, we will hear about the same thing that if being said about the three that just lost their lives-they were doing what they did for our safety. Kind of makes me wonder. May they rest in peace.

  7. Lfire28 says:

    Saddened to hear thenews of Tim , Paul and Carl, but, THANKS to each of them and the others who put thier lives in danger for us. It’s be ause of them that there probably were not multitudes of deaths dues to the weather over the last couple weeks…. Their research has made early warning something incredible…. Them and the other chasers are HEROS in my book!

  8. Linda Hewer says:

    Some may think these three men were idiots for putting themselves in danger. They were brave like the firefighters, police officers, military personel, or average Joe citizen. Those who were trying to save lives. That makes them pretty heroic in my book. My advise is, “Until you have walked in someone elses shoes – don’t judge what you don’t understand. If you don’t have something good to say, don’t say it.” At some point in our lives we have to make sacrifices. These gentlemen gave the biggest one ****their lives****.

  9. JBC says:

    My prayers go out to the families of these men and the many other families who have been devastated and lost homes and lives in these recent tornados..
    These storm chasers are inspiring to me as they had a real passion in their lives and were willing to pursue it, in spite of danger.

  10. Mistress of Carrots says:

    1. No one from Discovery ever forced anyone to be stars of a reality TV show. If the “stars” of these shows succumb to drug or alcohol dependency or family discord from the stress of filming, it is very unfortunate but not ultimately Discovery’s fault. “Just Say No” applies to a lot of things.
    2. Using Navy Seals as an analogy is going a little too far, IMO.
    3. Whether pursuing one’s passion or not, there are certain activities in life that require protective gear. Motorcycle riders and horsemen and bicyclists wear helmets, for example. Wondering what, if any, protection they used.
    4. Wondering what benefit actual witnessing by the human eye has versus data gathering equipment that is not manned by a human.
    5. Nothing I have written discounts how terribly sad I am for these men’s families, and how appreciative I am for any contributions their work provided.

    • Joe Hogan says:

      Discovery preys on peoples weakness’. They knew Todd Hoffman’s insatiable and dysfunctional desire to be a big time player in gold mining and they milked it. Discovery edits/produces the shows to inflate the egos of the characters of desperate people like Todd Hoffman, again feeding their insecurities and need to be seen as a big time star. In his desperation to meet Discovery’s expectations (at which he failed miserably) you enflamed his drug addiction. Is Discovery going to pay for Todd’s rehab?

      And what about the Teutuls? That family is emotionally and psychologically destroyed. Discovery shamefully encouraged and played up family infighting, you are a liar if you deny it. Building motorcycles was almost an afterthought on that show. Is David Zaslav proud of what he did to this family? Do all the coins jingling in David’s pockets make him proud? Maybe he should stop by Mikey Tuetel’s home some time and witness the personal destruction he has caused.

      I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the program development meetings at Discovery……’Reality shows need drama to get ratings and I don’t care how many people’s lives we ruin to get them. I want you people to needle them, encourage them to fight and do self destructive things, THATS WHAT SELLS BABY!

      Now you have three dead men who drove their car into a tornado in hopes of coming out with some footage that might be good enough to get them a new show on Discovery. Are you proud? Really? And now you are going to dedicate a show to them? That’s precious. The typical American is clueless as to how scripted, edited, and manipulated supposed ‘reality’ programs are. Many will undoubtedly think Discovery’s dedication to these three men will be sincere. Those who know what goes on behind the scenes know better.

      I’m not sure who is worse, Mark Burnett or David Zaslav, both have ruined dozens of lives and sold their souls for the long dollar.

      • Peg says:

        Ok, so what level of personal knowledge do you have of the Teutels, or the storm-chasers? We know these shows are scripted, and unfortunately we know what sells. But do you really have the other side of the story, or are you just ranting based on what others have claimed? If the latter, save it for a more appropriate setting.

      • jmj42 says:

        Tim Samaris was a scientist and engineer who spent decades designing equipment to investigate severe weather. He wasn’t out chasing because he wanted to be on tv and it is wrong to suggest that that was his motivation. There is so much that we don’t yet understand about these storms and people like Tim Samaris and Carl Young search for answers. Those answers may one day help to increase warning lead times or help engineers design safer structures. There are chasers who are thrill-seekers and glory hounds but these men were not.

        I am not a fan of reality television and I agree with your points on how it exploits and destroys people but I don’t think it played a part in this tragedy.

  11. Alex says:

    One thing I think people should understand about these 3 men getting killed is that this tornado changed direction very fast which they normally don’t do. It took like a 60 degree turn and a lot of chasers were caught in the path unexpectedly. I don’t believe these guys were being stupid or negligent. They were just tracking the wrong tornado. Sad to see anybody die in these storms and it’s especially sad when they were trying to find more information about tornadoes to save others!!

    • Angela says:

      Good point. Tornadoes can be frighteningly unpredictable things.

    • ziggy says:

      Thank you ALex. I might also add that these guys were not doing this for our entertainment. They were not doing a reality show. This is the actual reality we face here in this part of the world during this time of year. I’ve lived my whole life in tornado alley. As many times as I’ve heard the sirens go off trust me you become complacent. These storm chasers drive the point home when it is time to take cover or in the case of an FE5 get out of its path.

      • Larc says:

        This was a very costly way of teaching a lesson that most people with common sense should already know.

  12. candie says:

    The El Reno OK tornado was actually an EF5 tornado. It reached an unprecedented width of 2.6 miles. It was the largest tornado to be ever recorded. Some vortexes were rain wrap which was very hard to see. It was first reported as an EF3 because the tornado did not cause much damage. The Fujita scale does not measure the actual winds of the tornado but the damaged it causesT aerially & on the ground. Thanks to mobile Doppler radars manned by the University of Oklahoma’s RaXPol Doppler radar, positioned at a nearby overpass we now know the actual size & the magnitude of this monster that killed Tim, Paul, & Carl. There is still no early warning system we have today that can pinpoint where & when a tornado touches down which makes it even more important the services of the storm chasers.

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