Reed Timmer, one of the stars from Discovery's “Storm Chasers” series, which ran 2007-2011, spoke to Examiner.com on Sept. 25 for an exclusive interview. During our enlightening chat, he expressed his thoughts on the unusually violent 2013 tornadoes that struck Oklahoma last May, the debut of the bigger and stronger Dominator 3 last spring, and intercepting a tornado with the legend of extreme weather, Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel.
Timmer also talked about his new Webby Award nominated hit series, “Tornado Chasers,” which debuts its second season on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. “This season is going to be ridiculous, with all facets of storm chasing and production taken to a whole new level,” Timmer explained on Wednesday. “It includes jaw-dropping tornado intercepts with all three armored Dominators in the field for the first time ever.”
“Tornado Chasers” season two highlights include Reed and his team launching parachute probes into an EF4 tornado on foot with shoulder mounted air cannons, plus the fortified hood of Dominator 2 being ripped off and carried away by the widest tornado in history. According to Fox News, Timmer dodged a major bullet in that particular, history-making tornado.
With such extensive content this year from an unprecedented number of unique camera angles, the 12-16 episodes of storm chasing insanity captured in cinema quality will make the viewer feel like they're actually in the Dominator intercepting tornadoes as a part of the team.
“Tornado Chasers” 2013 episodes will be available for streaming and download starting on Sept. 30 with a new episode added every week at TVNweather.com.
The Weather Channel's extreme meteorologist, Jim Cantore, certainly brought some fire and invaluable expertise to Timmer and his team during the 2013 season. During one of his first storm chases in the Dominator 3, Timmer’s team made a direct tornado intercept in May. “Our first chase with Jim on May 19 was intense right out of the gate,” Reed said during our exclusive interview. Minutes after picking up Jim underneath a supercell storm, the team intercepted a strong tornado that ripped trees out of the ground just feet in front of the Dominator 3.
“Intercepting a tornado with Jim was an incredible experience” Reed stated. He added that Cantore is even more passionate about weather than even what people see on TV. His number one concern is to warn people in the path of the dangerous storms. Reed and Jim streamed live video and provided reports to NBC's KFOR and The Weather Channel from inside that Oklahoma tornado on May 19, and shortly after they came across a path of destruction through a small town. The two seasoned weather professionals and Reed's team went door-to-door looking for survivors. “Everyone was OK,” Timmer stated. To see a sneak peek of Reed Timmer and Jim Cantore intercepting a tornado, be sure to watch the video clip (above and to the left).
Different than 2012, this season was a tragic, sad, and destructive one - especially around the Oklahoma City area. An EF5 tornado tore right through the heart of Moore one day after the intercept with Jim Cantore and Dominator 3. Sadly, over 20 young students lost their lives from this tornado as they were taking shelter in their school buildings.
Reed also talked about the death of his mentor and friend, Tim Samaras. He, along with his son and chase partner, all died on May 31 when they were overtaken by a multiple-vortex tornado in El Reno. Timmer was also in the field that day and remembers the tornado vividly and described it as a "freak of nature." He explained that the El Reno tornado was the widest in history (2.6 miles) and that it split into smaller tornadoes without any notice. “It looked like a massive octopus,” he stated.
Concerning the death of Samaras, a renowned researcher and fellow storm chaser, Reed said, “We lost not only a pioneer in our field of severe weather science, but also a hero in storm chasing and saving lives. His data and legacy will live on forever.” Tim Samaras designed, built, and deployed instrument probes to measure atmospheric variables such as pressure and wind in the path of tornadoes. He holds the Guinness World Record for recording the greatest pressure drop ever measured inside a tornado. Samaras also founded and ran a scientific field research program dubbed TWISTEX (Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes EXperiment).
To catch storm chaser Reed Timmer and the Dominator Team in action during the 2013 tornado season that will never be forgotten, be sure to tune into the new season of “Tornado Chasers" that premieres on Sept. 30. It promises to be one of the best yet. To watch new episodes online, head to TVNWeather.com/ondemand.
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