Addition: The El Reno tornado was a record 2 1/2 miles wide. Video here. It’s easy to see when a few miles wide tornado spins off multiple vortices, hits in the evening, and is rain-wrapped, that even veteran chasers can underestimate it. It’s like the supercell is dragging its belly on the ground.
As a blogger and writer and weather-interested layman:
I suspect everyone’s been moved by the beauty of nature, and felt wonder, fear, and awe at its power and mystery. Some people keep going back and try to figure out how it works as well. There’s an element of thrill-seeking to the hunt, and adrenalin, no doubt. It’s extremely risky chasing down tornadoes time and again, putting yourself so dangerously close, but the goal is to know more, and to stay as safe as possible under the circumstances.
There’s been a lot of data gathered and science done that has drastically improved forecasting, preparation and warning time, and our understanding of tornadoes. That’s no doubt saved many lives. Storm-chasers also bear witness to the death and destruction in the wake of tornadoes, so to everyone who’s suffered, my condolences.
It might be helpful to the Samaras family to visit his site as he has a DVD for sale.
Here’s Tim Samaras discussing his work in 2004. R.I.P.
And Tim Samaras at work:
From The Weather Channel: 3D Image Of The Tuscaloosa Tornado April 27th, 2011…Tornadoes! Some Links…The Greensburg Tornado on Doppler Radar…Tornadoes In Major Cities: Atlanta…From NOAA: Tornado Safety Guide…From CBS St. Louis: ‘UPDATED: Video of the Joplin Twister’