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"Mile Wide Tornado: Stormchasers Tribute" to air June 5 on Discovery Channel

Melissa Hayer Published: June 3, 2013
From left, Carl Young, Tim Samaras and Paul Samaras.- Discovery Channel Photo
From left, Carl Young, Tim Samaras and Paul Samaras.- Discovery Channel Photo

Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras will be honored in “Mile Wide Tornado: Stormchasers Tribute,” which airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, on Discovery Channel.

Details on the program, provided by Discovery Channel, are as follows:

In order to honor the lives of Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras who were killed during the May 31 tornado outbreak in Oklahoma, near El Reno, Discovery presents an enhanced episode of MILE WIDE TORNADO: OKLAHOMA DISASTER that will include highlights and special scenes of all three men from Discovery’s series, STORMCHASERS. MILE WIDE TORNADO: STORMCHASERS TRIBUTE will premiere at 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 5.

Tim, Carl and Paul were entrenched in the learning gained from the science of the storm. Tim founded tornado research unit Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling Tornadoes Experiment (TWISTEX), and spent more than 20 years following storms. His career was spent intercepting storms, assessing their power and helping to further the research to advance tornado warning systems. Carl studied tornado dynamics and earned a master’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of Nevada, Reno. While attending a meteorological conference, Carl met Tim, who encouraged him to collect meteorological data from inside tornadoes as the principle focus of his research. Every spring since 2003, Carl chased storms with Tim, and together they tracked down over 125 tornadoes. Tim’s son Paul Samaras had become TWISTEX’s videographer, providing vivid details of the team’s intercepts and research. Paul was also an accomplished photographer and shared his father’s zest for science and exploration.

In addition to providing highlights of Tim, Carl and Paul from STORMCHASERS, MILE WIDE TORNADO: STORMCHASERS TRIBUTE chronicles the EF5 tornado that traveled over 17 miles and left mass devastation within its 45 minute reign of terror in Oklahoma on May 20. Via in-depth interviews with scientists and the latest data, it looks at how this tornado formed, how it was different from a similar EF5 tornado that hit in the same area in 1999 and the role the warning system had in saving lives. Discovery interviews meteorologists, storm chasers and emergency management who battled to save lives during that fateful day with exclusive footage of now condemned areas. This special provides one of the most comprehensive collections of user-generated footage of the Oklahoma tornado to date and conducts original interviews with those who recorded those first-hand accounts.

MILE WIDE TORNADO: STORMCHASERS TRIBUTE is produced by Pioneer Productions with Kirstie McLure and Robert Strange serving as executive producers. For Discovery Channel, French Horwitz and Julie Meisner-Eagle serve as executive producers.