Missouri and Illinois around St. Louis were also hit by 12 tornadoes, at least 100 people are injured and 'numerous homes' have been damaged. I have a feeling that Scienceblogs will not last long without me. Samaras was killed along with his son Paul and storm chaser Carl Young in Friday's tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma.
An engineer by training, Samaras was known for devising instruments that offered the first views inside live tornadoes. The Friday storm, however, brought with it much more severe flooding. The scene was eerily like that from last week, when blackened skies generated a top-of-the-scale EF5 storm with 210 mph winds. Of those areas mentioned in this quote, Downtown OK city has about 7,600 people living in it. 'That's a very unwise thing to do because it's the absolute worst place you can be during a tornado.'. But what about big storms that dont drop tornadoes? I have not suggested that storm chasing be illegal. The region was fortunate because the storm touched down mostly in rural areas and missed central Oklahoma City. One thing in your favor: Tornadoes do not have politically powerful, wealthy backing, so it should be easy to enact laws regulating how people enjoy them :-), "I suggest that law makers in tornado alley states consider legislation making it a violation to intentionally drive into or near the path of known or likely tornados. 'There is very low visibility with the heavy rain so we're having trouble getting around. The . Inside was Tim Samaras, one of the country's most respected tornado scientists, who had built his career by placing sophisticated probes in the paths of oncoming tornadoes. The majority of schools are built from concrete blocks that are not reinforced. The Samaras' and Young were pursuing an EF3 tornado as it bore down on a metropolitan area of more than 1 million people. The traffic could have been created for any number of reasons. But if the Acme Office Building, on Main Street, is on fire, broken glass is blowing out of windows and fire trucks and other emergency vehicles are trying to gain access to the building and nearby fire hydrants, and ambulances are trying to get in to pick up injured, and out to bring them to hospitals, you cant walk down Main Street. 'Tim was a courageous and brilliant scientist who fearlessly pursued tornadoes and lightning in the field in an effort to better understand these phenomena. - May 31, 2013 (his death) Other works book: "Tornado Hunter: Getting Inside the Most Violent Storms on Earth". When the winds were at their most powerful, no structures were nearby, said Rick Smith, chief warning coordination meteorologist for the weather services office in Norman. Photo by George Johnson. Having grown up in Wichita, Ks., I'm well aware of the unpredictability of tornadoes; though technology has greatly improved forcasting, tornadoes will remain highly unpredictable. A new book chronicles his harrowing last days Maya Wei-Haas April 4, 2018 The tornado that touched down near El. Photograph by Carsten Peter, National Geographic. Oklahoma schools are not properly educated on how to shelter children. Countless hikers have fallen to their deaths from cliffs. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
Storm chaser Tim Samaras doing the work that made him so well-known: following tornadoes. I don't think anyone's rights need to be taken away Too many people clogging the roads in a chase situation makes it difficult for anyone to get away when a storm turns on them. tornado disbursement tactical teams should be flown in by helicopter and then flown out after the job is done, its much safer this way. A Carrollton High School Claims Employee Gave Student Prescription Drugs, Rep. Nate Schatzline, Under Fire for 'Drag' Video, Accused of 'Doxxing' Keller ISD Mom, Another Carrollton Fentanyl Arrest and an On-Campus Overdose at R.L. The US has several cities along hurricane prone coasts which are larger (including Houston, Miami, and New York). There are too many chasers/gawkers on the road these days.get use to it and prepare for it. This is not an especially enforceable regulation but having such a thing on the books would probably encourage amateur storm chasers to think twice about putting others in danger by contributing to blocked roads. And again. There are places in this country that I have almost no tornados This law would only allow people who "***work***" for the government to be there. Friday night's storm formed out on the prairie west of Oklahoma City, giving residents plenty of advance notice. It truly is sad that we lost my great brother Tim and his great son, Paul. They were essentially targets just waiting for a tornado to touch down,' Ms Randolph said. We've received your submission. 'It's not even close to anything like what we had last week,' Smith said. El Reno Mayor Matt White said that while his city of 18,000 residents suffered significant damage including its vocational-technical center and a cattle stockyard that was reduced to a pile of twisted metal he said it could have been much worse had the violent twister tracked to the north. In reply to by Tom McDonald (not verified). He was found hanging in his Wichita, Kansas home. One more thing: at the point the tornado lifted, it was heading more or less directly eastward along I-40 (again, Jeff Masters is my source here). I could not agree more with the statement in this article saying that driving away is not the best option. Of the mother and baby who were tragically killed, Betsy Randolph said: 'We know that the storm picked them up and swept them away.' Murdaugh is heckled as he leaves court, Alex Murdaugh unanimously found GUILTY of murder of wife and son, Pavement where disabled woman gestured at cyclist before fatal crash, Missing hiker buried under snow forces arm out to wave to helicopter, Insane moment river of rocks falls onto Malibu Canyon in CA, Fleet-footed cop chases an offender riding a scooter, Two Russian tanks annihilated with bombs by Ukrainian armed forces, Isabel Oakeshott clashes with Nick Robinson over Hancock texts, Do not sell or share my personal information. This one didn't. 'He was either washed off the road or tried to get out of his car. Storm chasers with cameras in their car transmitted video showing a number of funnels dropping from the supercell thunderstorm as it passed south of El Reno and toward downtown Oklahoma City. Terry Garcia, executive vice president of the National Geographic Society, said: '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. Following their passion: Storm chasers Tim Samaras (right), his son Paul Samaras (left) and Carl Young (second left) were killed on Friday by a tornado. :) I am not a believer in public shelters, so we need more people to take advantage of state and county rebate programs to get their own shelters. If you know several hours in advance that there is a high probability that a tornado will come through your area, then it is a good idea to just go away and be somewhere else. More than half of those were people who had been cut or pierced. Your freedom ends at my nose if your presence endangers me. Furthermore only a tiny handful of "trained" spotters have ever been killed either and the only two I know of was back in 2011 on a single tornado. But the agency upgraded the ranking after surveying damage from the twister, which along with subsequent flooding killed 18 people. They said to stay at work if you had better shelter there. This advice sounds reasonable, but it really isnt. Join the Observer community and help support Then we get the micro information they are hunting, reliably and in a timely manner. What is wind chill, and how does it affect your body? Using the unfortunate but unrelated deaths of well known storm chasers to rail against people trying to seek safety from a storm by getting out of the way strips any slight merit or credibility from your already weak and less than well thought out argument. I made the decision to go home since I have a shelter, and i was able to leave work and be home close to 4pm. Other professional meteorologists, from The Weather Channel, were injured. But, since we (we here discussing this) don't really know the laws and how they work regarding emergency response, traffic, etc. "Samaras was a respected tornado researcher and friend who brought to the field a unique portfolio of expertise in engineering, science, writing and videography," the center's statement said. Doppler imaging pegged the tornado's width at 2.5 miles, the widest ever documented. In a tribute, Mr Samaras' brother Jim wrote on Facebook: 'Thank you to everyone for the condolences. https://twitter.com/SenJeffMerkley/status/, While perusing the New York Times over the weekend, I was disturbed to see an article by Paul D. Thacker that basically advocated using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request e-mails from scientists in search of undisclosed industry ties. Another two or three miles east and we would have been looking at a death toll in the hundreds. "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.". The bodies of another motorist and the Discovery Channel storm chasers, Tim Samaras, his son Paul, and Carl Young, were found in a three-mile diagonal path near N.W. -Benoit Mandelbrot Bats and agaves make tequila possibleand theyre both at risk, This empress was the most dangerous woman in Rome. Thanks for contacting us. category. I don't think people realized how deep and strong the water was.'. . A National Geographic team has made the first ascent of the remote Mount Michael, looking for a lava lake in the volcanos crater. The forecast quality will always be better than for small-scale phenomena like tornadoes. I'm not sure about your claim that there was not a traffic jam, that conflicts with everything else I've heard. Three experienced tornado chasers actual meteorological scientists were killed when their truck (one of the vehicles depicted above, probably) was destroyed by the tornado. would have made the storm hard to recognize up close. ScienceBlogs is where scientists communicate directly with the public. A mans world? Their deaths may not seem surprising; storm chasing, as you might expect, has its risks. This storm was erratic and there will be more storms just like it in the future. Drivers were encouraged to stay off the roads on Saturday, as emergency crews started to repair the flood-damaged roads and bridges, and began clearing trees and other debris from roadways to make it easier for first responders to get to the areas hit by the tornadoes. As of this writing, the death toll stands at 13 with another 6 (though Ive also heard 7) people still missing. It isn't just the clouds that appear smooth, but aren't if you zoom in close. The breathtakingly fast subvortex -- the tornado within a tornado -- is visible to the south in footage captured by fellow chaser Dan Robinson's rear dashboard cameras as he fled several hundred yards ahead of Samaras. These devices, which he . Please make a tax-deductible donation if you value independent science communication, collaboration, participation, and open access. I think the only way to deal with these weeks-long tornado outbreaks is to build high-quality shelters in every community and make sure people know where they are. For the record, an "enigmatic" lack of shelter in Oklahoma has to do with cost. Here's the before photo, of Mr. Samaras' car. They were screaming, Were going to die, were going to die,' Randolph told USA Today. This probe registered a world-record 100-millibar drop in pressure inside the twister. But the hundreds, or even thousands of non-professional storm chasers are probably not contributing to the science of tornadoes and tornado safety. So it's quite the conundrum we find ourselves in. This spring's tornado season got a late start, with unusually cool weather keeping funnel clouds at bay until mid-May. According to his Discovery Channel biography, Young and Samaras tracked down over 125 tornadoes together. I was in the northern part of the metro and we were nervous because most tornadoes through here track NE eventually. Amateur chasers don't want there to be strong evidence that what they do endangers themselves or others, so they want chaser-enhanced traffic jams to be taken out of the picture. Being stuck in traffic during a tornado outbreak is obviously unfortunate, but unless you can find a way to outlaw tornado formation in cities during rush hour, sporting events, concerts, accidents,or anything else that causes traffic to snarl, getting hit by a tornado while stuck in traffic is simply a risk one assumes by living in tornado alley and choosing to drive a car. Damage from Friday night's severe weather was concentrated a few miles north of Moore, the Oklahoma City suburb pounded by an EF5 tornado on May 20 that killed 24 people. None of them contributes to the scientific research and experimentation going on. Writing new laws on the books is useless, even before the news agencies started this new trend which is disturbing you have people hiding under overpasses and pulling stupid stuff, Chasers have complained about this issue for years, notice numerous videos of truck drivers who even drive into the funnel, enforcement will be non existent because this puts law enforcement in a position of risk and is irresponsible, i agree with the tours, but again many people cannot afford the tours that are out there now and so they figure its cheaper to go it themselves, we can blame people for the groups death but the fact is that there were several unusual factors that caused this. Take your time.'. In Missouri three people died in three counties after rivers rose to dangerous levels, and in Arkansas a sheriff was killed by flooding in Scott County on Friday. That was the sound of nuance rushing by your libertarian ear. That might be preferable because making a new law to address particularistic new circumstances that are already covered by existing law, regulation, and best practice is probably a bad thing. Tens of thousands were without power, and only eight minor injuries were reported. The amateur storm chaser who was killed mentioned, in the cell phone conversation he was having with a friend (who was in a safe location and urged the storm chaser to get out of there), two local TV news vans passing him. Renowned researcher and storm chaser Tim Samaras, 55, his son Paul Samaras, 24, and his chase partner Carl Young, 45, passed away after they were overtaken by the multiple-vortex tornado, which appeared to be in the midst of a sharp change in direction. "He was a groundbreaker in terms of the kind of research he was doing on severe thunderstorms and tornadoes," Dr. Forbes said on The Weather Channel Sunday morning. After a large and violent tornado went through Moore Oklahoma a few days ago, several people in various media outlets including CNN mentioned that given the (seemingly enigmatic) lack of good shelter in homes and public buildings in Oklahoma, that a good option to protect yourself in case a tornado comes your way is to drive away. Well before Oklahoma's first thunderstorms fired up at late afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman was already forecasting a violent evening. And what of its width? In his twenties, he began to chase tornadoes for the science and humanity's safety every spring all over the United States until his tragic death. (MORE: Tornado Hunt Team Takes Direct Hit by Tornado). October 1, 2013 His body was found but the wildlife officer is still listed as missing. Enough said. Enforcement is difficult, but not impossible. Officials described parts of Interstates 35 and 40 near Oklahoma City as 'a parking lot.'. Published: 23:27 GMT, 3 June 2013 | Updated: 08:30 GMT, 4 June 2013. Hail and heavy rain pelted the metro area to the point that emergency workers had trouble responding to 'widespread' reports of injuries. It will NEVER happen. I remember Pa wearing this Civil Defense helmet and he was chirping on this big ol' walky talky! I also think its called natural selection. He set a world record in 2003 which still stands today when he recorded an 100 millibar pressure drop from an F-4 tornado. Take multiple pictures of vehicles "in the way" of emergency responders at tornado or other emergency sites. The Weather Channel issued the following statement: It was with great sadness that The Weather Channel learned of the passing of Tim and Paul Samaras and Carl Young as a result of the El Reno Tornado. I decided to let the comments speak for themselves, because, after all, this post was written three or four days after the event, and the comments reflect more recently available information and analysis. If they had tried to drive away their cars would have surely been torn apart, and again just last summer a tornado ripped through the forests close to home demolishing hill sides and houses in its path. Sher told ABC News: 'When the troopers found them, they were both deceased.'. People found driving on closed roads are fined over $1000.00 per wheel. Samaras attended Lasley Elementary and O'Connell Junior High in Lakewood. Long story short, I and many others took cover in the hotel bathroom as the tornado headed straight toward us (to hit at 7:05). 'There was just no place to go. A 51-year-old teacher's assistant who also tried to run from the storm said she quickly regretted her decision, after becoming stuck in traffic in the path of the tornado. Even if the people who are at risk of vehicular projectiles are innocent bystanders, chances are they're at more risk from the tornado than the cars in them. Thacker, as you might recall, wrote a highly biased article with Charles, Every timeyou follow the motion of a spacecraft, moon, planet or other object through the Solar System, you're putting the theory of gravity to the test. Carl Young, a California native, joined Samaras in the field in 2003. I will not comment at all in regardess to the death of Tim, Carl, or Paul, as they were close personal friends of mine and I am not reading to speak on that subject currently. They were probably thinking, "somebody should do something about this situation.". Terrible things they are! "This is a very sad day for the meteorological community and the families of our friends lost. How did Matt die in Storm Chasers? These conditions being a tornado being the widest in history (with only one other tornado in recorded history coming close to the same size) and the abnormal path the tornado took. I think one suggestion if such a law could ever be enforced to weed out the average thrill seeker is maybe require one, a first aid type certification. At Will Rogers World Airport, 2,000 people spent the night sheltering in underground tunnels, reported News 9. Flood waters up to 4ft deep hampered rescue attempts and frequent lightning roiled the skies well after the main threat had passed to the east. Helium is a precious, non-renewable resource. In other words, it is now probably legal and appropriate for police or fire departments to close off roads or direct traffic or tell people not to drive in a particular area where there is currently a major fire, explosion, storm devastation, and so on. 'The car was probably about 60 to 70 per cent of its normal size because it had been pushed and mauled and compacted as it was tumbling down the road. Nine were confirmed dead in the Oklahoma City area on Friday evening, though the death toll has since risen, and flash floods in Arkansas caused additional fatalities, including a sheriff trying to rescue people from rising waters. 'I'm a seasoned tornado watcher but I just could not see staying and waiting for it to hit,' she said. In this country, if a cyclone alert is issued, all roads are closed. In the future I will be blogging at Greg Laden's blog, located at its original home at gregladen.com. He knew what to look for. Also, we all have to take responsibility for our own safety and try and do what's best for you. I do not understand the need for 'storm chasers' when we have the 503 WRS that routinely punches holes in tornados and drops sondes. The debris field created by Samaras' wrecked car, the report concludes, corroborates the footage, which shows the subvortex moving across the face of the larger tornado at about the time Samaras' headlights disappear. That's two more vehicles going into the danger zone. The violent winds enveloped Tim Samaras, 55, his son Paul Samaras, 24, and his colleague Carl Young, 45, toppling their car like a toy in a breeze. But yes, I agree that people deliberately in the wrong place at the wrong time should be penalized. 1) "Three experienced tornado chasers actual meteorological scientists were killed when their truck (one of the vehicles depicted above, probably) was destroyed by the tornado." The people who drove away did find shelter after what sounded like a very fearful drive. Tornado warnings were also posted Friday night near Tulsa and near St. Louis. But I'll just say that I think there are less extreme solutions than putting a ban on all amateur storm chasing. Why not outlaw sky diving too? Okay, fair enough. @Hamish: One reason that can work in Australia is because most of the region that is vulnerable to tropical cyclones (a hurricane is a tropical cyclone with sustained winds of at least 64 kts/74 mph/118 km/h) is sparsely populated. Large, long-lasting thunderstorms known as supercells are responsible for producing the strongest tornadoes, along with large hail and other dangerous winds. I appreciate that, it is a good idea. Why wetlands are so critical for life on Earth, Rest in compost? Television images showed downed power lines and tossed cars as the storm systems dumped at least three inches of rain, stranding motorists in flood water. This tornado was also pretty unique in that the forward speed of the sub vortices in it were at or above 150mph. With the regulation that you are proposing, what would you suggest to someone who doesn't have the tools or money to contribute their chasing to science, but simply would like to witness the beauty of mother nature, and is educated enough on storms to make smart decisions to not pose a danger to others? What's eerie is that the subvortex becomes stationary on the road, like it chose to stop right on top of them. Roughly speaking, this is the equivalent of driving down the highway at several tens of miles an hour and suddenly flipping, three or four times. Waiting: Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport was evacuated. The National Weather Service said the severe weather threat would shift into neighboring Illinois and Missouri, where Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency on Friday. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph heard the panicked voices of the crew over her patrol radio right before the storm turned into their car. You argued that your car could become a dangerous projectile if you intentionally drive into a strong tornado, but so could cars in parking lots. It wasn't what I would consider a traffic jam under normal circumstances, but when you have a tornado coming straight at you those seconds are important. This advice sounds reasonable, but it really isnt. We need infrastructure built! That seems to be what happened here. Sheltering in place should always be recommended. They are acting in the interests of public safety. But that. The network said though Betts was hurt, he and the car's two other occupants were wearing safety belts and were able to walk away from the banged-up vehicle. I've always been told never to try and outrun a tornado, it is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Numerous vehicles were damaged in the storm and that many motorists were left stranded. Can we bring a species back from the brink? He will be missed. ISBN 978-1426203022 Did you know Edit Traffic will back up in the places rush hour traffic normally backs up, and some others that usually don't see such backups. It truly is sad that we lost my great brother Tim and his great son, Paul. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin told CNN that motorists faced great danger when stuck on any freeway in the path of a twister. Pre-school teacher, 29, who lost one of her legs in Boston TIM SAMARAS: THE VALUABLE LEGACY OF A STORM CHASER, Isabel Oakeshott receives 'menacing' message from Matt Hancock, Dozens stuck in car park as staff refuses to open gate for woman, Incredible footage of Ukrainian soldiers fighting Russians in Bakhmut, Pro-Ukrainian drone lands on Russian spy planes exposing location, 'Buster is next!' Also, hurricanes tend to follow predictable paths and show up on sattelite. Those media outlets need to do a more professional job and take their responsibility as journalists rather than entertainers more seriously (generally, not just with respect to tornadoes). His graduation was at Alameda International High School in 1976. I was visiting OKC from Kansas City that day. Though the state's transportation authorities strongly advised citizens not to drive, some interstate highways in Oklahoma were jammed with stalled traffic, as heavy rains drenched roadways and flooded low-lying areas. This was one of the highways that really did have a traffic jam thanks to the TV people who encouraged locals to attempt to flee in their cars. The rest of the report deals with how we quantify El Reno, which surprisingly can be pretty subjective. From the Texas border to near Joplin, Mo., residents were told to keep an eye to the sky and an ear out for sirens. Today three brave, highly experienced, storm chasers were honored in El Reno. Why are you so quick to blame the TV and not the idiots living in the heart of tornado alley who chose to get in a car when they knew there were already tornadoes in the area? "We're trying to collect as many observations as possible, both from outside and from the inside. At 6:23 p.m. on May 31, 2013, Samaras, his 24-year-old son Paul (a photographer), and TWISTEX team member Carl Young (a meteorologist), 45, were killed by a violent wedge tornado  with winds of 295 mph (475 km/h) near the Regional Airport of El Reno, Oklahoma. As for highway patrol and local police their cars NEED to have radar installed and they need lessons on how to use it. Police believe the woman was driving an SUV near El Reno when the powerful twister flipped the vehicle over. But let us not let the fact that Samaras and his crew were killed in a manner that did not relate to traffic obviate further consideration of the "drive to the fire" problem. And, I've argued that telling people that the safest thing to do is to get in their car and drive is wrong. Here's a new law we can make: Whenever there is an emotional tragedy, no laws related to it can be made for at least 5 years. local news and culture, Brantley Hargrove ", In reply to by Danny Caputi (not verified).