The Discovery Channel will air “Mile Wide Tornado: Storm Chasers Tribute” on Wednesday to commemorate a trio of experienced television “storm chasers” who died during a string of deadly tornadoes late last month.
Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras died while gathering scientific data about the May 31 tornadoes in Oklahoma City, which claimed 18 lives and where winds were recorded at 165 mph.
Though helping to popularize the idea of “storm chasing,” Tim Samaras was a knowledgeable scientist who was a 20-year veteran of following storms. He also founded TWISTEX (Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling Tornadoes Experiment), a tornado research group.
Young’s specialty was tornado dynamics — he had a master’s in atmospheric science — and he helped Tim Samaras track down more than 125 tornadoes. The two met at a meteorological conference and had been working together since 2003.
Paul Samaras, Tim’s son, served as videographer, documenting their encounters with turbulent weather. The series, “Storm Chasers,” which chronicled their adventures with storms, had built a loyal following of viewers.
The special will pay tribute to the three men with highlights from past episodes. It will also focus in particular on the May 20 tornado in Moore, Okla., which was categorized as an EF5. It created a 17-mile path of destruction that left 24 people dead.