People/Biz

Discovery, Nat Geo pay tribute to storm chasers killed in Oklahoma

U.S. net Discovery Channel is to honor Carl Young (pictured, left) Tim Samaras (center) and Paul Samaras (right) - respected storm chasers who were killed in last week's Oklahoma tornado outbreak - with a special, airing this week.
June 4, 2013

U.S. net Discovery Channel is to honor Carl Young (pictured, left) Tim Samaras (center) and Paul Samaras (right) – respected storm chasers who were killed in the Oklahoma tornado outbreak – with a special, airing this week.

The channel will air an enhanced episode of its show Mile Wide Tornado: Oklahoma Disaster that will include highlights and special scenes of all three men, taken from the Discovery series Stormchasers. The three men were killed during the tornado outbreak last week in Oklahoma, near El Reno.

Entitled Mile Wide Tornado: Stormchasers Tribute, the Pioneer Productions-made special will premiere tomorrow (June 5) at 10 p.m. EST.

Tim Samaras founded tornado research unit Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling Tornadoes Experiment (TWISTEX) and spent more than 20 years following storms, while his son Paul was a videographer for TWISTEX. Young, meanwhile, studied tornado dynamics and earned a Master’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of Nevada, Reno.

In addition to showing footage of the three men, Mile Wide Tornado: Stormchasers Tribute chronicles the EF5 tornado that traveled over 17 miles and left mass devastation during its 45 minute reign in Oklahoma on May 20.

The news comes as the National Geographic Society’s exec VP Terry Garcia also paid tribute to Tim Samaras.

“We were shocked and deeply saddened by the news that longtime National Geographic grantee Tim Samaras was killed in a tornado in Oklahoma on Friday, along with Tim’s son Paul and their colleague Carl Young,” Garcia said in a statement.

“Tim was a courageous and brilliant scientist who fearlessly pursued tornadoes and lightning in the field in an effort to better understand these phenomena. 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.

“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.”

Mile Wide Tornado: Stormchasers Tribute is exec produced by Kirstie McLure and Robert Strange for Pioneer, with French Horwitz and Julie Meisner-Eagle serving as executive producers for Discovery.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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