Timothy P. Marshall
October 17, 1956 |
Evergreen Park, Illinois, USA
|Fields||Structural engineering and meteorology|
|Alma mater||Northern Illinois University (B.S., 1978)
Texas Tech University (M.S., 1980, 1983)
|Known for||Tornado damage analysis, wind and hail engineering|
Tim Marshall (b. October 17, 1956) is an American structural engineer and meteorologist concentrating on damage analysis, particularly that from wind and other weather phenomena. He is also a pioneering storm chaser and was editor of Storm Track magazine.
Early life and education
Marshall was born in Evergreen Park near Chicago, Illinois, in 1956 and raised in Oak Lawn, then in Oak Brook. Oak Lawn was heavily damaged during the historic 1967 Oak Lawn tornado outbreak of April 21, 1967, when he was 10 years old. The F4 "Oak Lawn tornado" touched down about 4 mi (6.4 km) west of his family's home and killed 33 in town, including some of his classmates. This experience served to strengthen his interest in meteorology, and he focused his studies on tornadoes.
Marshall attended Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, attaining a B.S. degree majoring in meteorology in 1978. As an undergraduate student there, he and classmates surveyed some tornado damage paths of the 1974 Super Outbreak during informal travels to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) to collect severe weather data.
Marshall went to Texas for graduate school, seeing his first tornado a few hours after entering the state. In 1978, he began storm chasing in West Texas and Oklahoma. In 1980, he earned a M.S. degree majoring in atmospheric sciences from Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock, then went on to earn an M.S. degree in civil engineering from the same university. At TTU, Marshall worked part-time at the Institute for Disaster Research where he began surveying tornado and hurricane damage. His first official tornado damage survey was in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1980 and his first hurricane damage survey was Hurricane Allen in south Texas later that year.
In 1983, Marshall was hired by the leading Texas firm Haag Engineering. At Haag, he travels a great deal surveying storm damage across the United States. He has conducted more than 100 damage surveys of hailstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Some of the famous tornadoes he surveyed include the F5s at Jarrell, TX (1997), Bridge Creek, OK (1999), Greensburg, KS (2007), Alabama (2011), Joplin, MO (2011), and Moore, OK (2013). Some of the famous hurricanes he has surveyed include Alicia in Texas (1983), Hugo in South Carolina (1989), Andrew in Florida (1992), Opal in Florida (1995), Katrina in Mississippi (2005), and Ike in Texas (2008). Marshall became a Professional Engineer in 1989.
Marshall still finds time to pursue his hobby storm chasing. During the past 30 years, he filmed more than 200 tornadoes and experienced 17 hurricanes. In 2004, he rode out Hurricane Ivan in Pensacola, Florida and, in 2005, Marshall rode out Hurricane Katrina in Slidell, Louisiana. In 2008, he rode out Hurricane Ike on Galveston Island. Marshall appeared on dozens of television programs including those on The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, National Geographic, The History Channel, and The Weather Channel. He was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show twice and appeared multiple times on NOVA.
Marshall was selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to serve on their Quick Response Team (QRT) where he has surveyed tornado damage in Alabama and Georgia in 1994, Nashville, Tennessee, in 1998, La Plata, Maryland, in 2002, the April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak, and the 2011 Joplin tornado. He was on the development team of the Fujita Scale Enhancement Project which produced an Enhanced Fujita Scale to update the original Fujita scale of tornado intensity. He has been a principle trainer in damage surveys for the National Weather Service (NWS). In 2006, Marshall was elected to serve on the Severe Local Storms committee for the American Meteorological Society. In 2009, he was part of the government sponsored VORTEX2 experiment. His job was to deploy in-situ pods in the paths of tornadoes.
During his early years in Texas, Tim met his future wife, Kay, at a concert. Kay is a natural history museum exhibit designer as well as ornithologist. She sometimes accompanies Tim on storm chases. Marshall played music as a youth and enjoys mountain climbing.
Marshall has authored and coauthored numerous scientific publications in the realm of meteorology and civil engineering. In addition to editing and writing for Storm Track (1986-2002) and writing various articles for Weatherwise, he wrote the following booklets:
- Storm Chase Manual (1979. 1983, 1986, 1998)
- Storm Talk (1995)
- Tornado Talk (1998)
- Tornado Forecasters Workbook (1998)
Marshall also released the following DVDs through Storm Track: 1991 Kansas Tornadoes, 1995 Wedgefest, 1998 Octoberfest, 1999 Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak, 2000 Millennium Chases, 2002 Chase Highlights, 2003 Chase Highlights, 2004 Midwest Mayhem, 2005 Spin Summer, 2007 Tornado Chases, 2008 Tornado and Hurricane Chases, 2009 Inside VORTEX 2, 2010 Tornado Chases, and Tim Marshall's 25 Years of Tornado Chasing.
- Marshall, Tim (Nov-Dec 1998). Storm Track (Flower Mound, TX) 22 (1).
- Marshall, Tim (Nov-Dec 2001). "Diary of a Storm Chaser". Storm Track (Flower Mound, TX) 25 (1): 16–38.
- Hoadley, David (Jan-Feb 1986). "Commentary". Storm Track (Falls Church, VA) 9 (2): 1–2.
- Marshall, Tim. "Tim Marshall's STORMTRACK Shop". Storm Track. Retrieved 2011-10-20.