NOAA statement on deaths of storm researchers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young

Date Posted: June 3, 2013

We are terribly saddened by this news. Samaras was a respected tornado researcher and friend of NOAA who brought to the field a unique portfolio of expertise in engineering, science, writing and videography. His work was documented through an extensive list of formal publications and conference papers. 

We extend our sympathies to the family of Tim and Paul, and to the family of Carl Young.  We also extend our sympathies to all victims of the May 31st tornado and the other horrific tornadoes that have recently devastated central Oklahoma and other parts of the country.

As far as we know, these are the first documented storm intercept fatalities in a tornado.

Scientific storm intercept programs, though they occur with some known measure of risk, provide valuable research information that is difficult to acquire in other ways. 

We know storm chasing is also done by local government and media personnel who provide valuable warning information, and by amateur storm chasers who wish to see and photograph storms.  We encourage all who chase to do so as safely and as responsibly as possible in order to avoid danger for themselves and all those threatened by tornadoes.

Any questions or comments should be directed to:
Keli Pirtle, NOAA Communications
Norman, OK
405-325-6933
keli.pirtle@noaa.gov