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|Born||March 17, 1980|
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
|Alma mater||University of Oklahoma (Ph.D.)|
|Known for||Featured on Storm Chasers|
Designer and main operator of the SRV Dominator
(m. 2015; div. 2018)
Reed Timmer (born March 17, 1980) is an American meteorologist and storm chaser. He is known for starring in the Discovery Channel reality television series Storm Chasers, as well as in the documentary film Tornado Glory and in the series Tornado Chasers.
Timmer became interested in the weather at a young age, after experiencing a severe thunderstorm that reportedly dropped golfball-sized hail in his yard. After graduating from Forest Hills Central High School in Grand Rapids, MI, in 1998, he began studying meteorology at the University of Oklahoma (OU). In October of that year, he filmed his first tornado.
Timmer followed severe weather with his TornadoVideos.net team in their vehicle, the SRV Dominator. He was featured in an interview on a bonus feature for the Into the Storm Blu-ray. Timmer also appeared in a 2004 episode of Nova.
Timmer was a storm chaser for KFOR-TV's 4WARN Storm Team, with his SRV Dominator 2 as 4WARN Dominator 4. Timmer left accuweather in October 2019 to become a content creator for weather forecasts and storm chasing, mostly on Facebook and Twitter.
Timmer created several chase vehicles, each called the Dominator.
The first Dominator was a modified 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe that was used during the 2008 storm-chasing season and debuted in the 2009 chase season.
In early 2011, Timmer and other members of TVN purchased a 2011 GMC Yukon XL, which would be the base vehicle for a second Dominator vehicle named Dominator 2.
A third Dominator vehicle debuted in late April 2013. This vehicle, named Dominator 3, began life as a Ford F-350 crew-cab pickup featuring a 16-gauge body strengthened with a polyethylene Kevlar composite, thick Lexan windows and gull-wing doors to repel hail. When storms approach, hydraulic systems lower the vehicle to the ground and drive spikes 8 inches into the ground to prevent wind from getting underneath.
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While chasing storms in 2009 in Aurora, Nebraska, a tornado strengthened while passing over the Dominator and blew out the driver's window. Its exterior Lexan window failed to roll up. Timmer and Chris Chittick suffered lacerations to the face from the flying glass. The incident was documented as part of the Storm Chasers TV series.
The day before the Yazoo City tornado of April 24, 2010, Timmer and colleague Joel Taylor got into a heated argument as to whether or not to make the trip. An EF4 tornado went through the town the next morning, and the team helped rescue people from the rubble. Taylor ended up saying that he was glad he committed to the chase as he saved lives.
Timmer started Tornado Chasers on his website TVNWeather.com. The first two seasons debuted in 2012 and 2013.
Season 1 included 12 episodes. Few tornadoes struck that year. In one episode, their SUV's windows were shattered by large hail.
Season 2 had far more tornadoes and footage than season 1. The most notable tornado was the May 31, 2013 El Reno tornado, which killed Tim Samaras. The season showed Timmer enrolling in the KFOR 4WARN Storm Chasing team. Joel Taylor returned for episodes 1 and 2. Jim Cantore and Ginger Zee also appeared.
On October 4, 2013 Timmer suffered a seizure while storm chasing in Nebraska as part of the KFOR-TV weather team, and was rushed to a hospital by his team. According to Reed, it was his second seizure. Timmer was not driving.
Timmer has a dog named Gizmo who often accompanies him on chases.
- Rachael Recker (October 18, 2009). "Grand Rapids native Reed Timmer leads viewers into the eye of a tornado on 'Storm Chasers'". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
- "Tornado Glory - Official Movie Site". PBS. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
- "2009 Keynote Speaker - Reed Timmer". Northwest Council for Computer Education. February 20, 2009. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
- "Reed Timmer brings chasing chops to 4Warn Storm Team". April 17, 2013.
- "INSIDE a Tornado! Dominator window blow-out and probe animation!" – via www.youtube.com.
- Querry, Kimberly. "Reed Timmer talks about seizure during storm". kfor.com. KFOR-TV. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- Owen, David (1 November 2010). "The Talk of the Town: Here to There Dept.: Tornado Man". The New Yorker. 86 (34): 40, 42. Retrieved 6 November 2011.