Reed Timmer

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Reed Timmer
Timmer in 2012
Born (1980-03-17) March 17, 1980 (age 44)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Alma materUniversity of Oklahoma (Ph.D.)[1]
Known forFeatured on Storm Chasers
Designer and main operator of the SRV Dominator[citation needed]
(m. 2015; div. 2018)
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorPeter Lamb, PhD[1]

Dr. 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,[2] as well as in the documentary film Tornado Glory[3] and in the series Tornado Chasers. He also worked with Mike Theiss in the reality television series Storms Rising on Disney+.[4]

Early life[edit]

Timmer was born on March 17, 1980 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[5][6] His parents divorced when he was 10 years old, and he took an interest in science, including weather, at a young age, and was often bullied because of it.[7] He also, at a young age, had astraphobia, and presented weather forecasts at his high school in Grand Rapids, Forest Hills Central.[7] Timmer participated in the Science Olympiad competition in middle school and high school.[7]

In 1998, after graduating from Forest Hills Central High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Timmer began studying meteorology at the University of Oklahoma (OU). In October of that year, he filmed his first tornado.[8]

In 2015, at the age of 35, Timmer completed his PhD in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.[9]



Timmer followed severe weather with his 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 was a storm chaser for KFOR-TV's 4WARN Storm Team, with his SRV Dominator 2 as 4WARN Dominator 4.[10] Timmer left AccuWeather in October 2019 to become a content creator for weather forecasts and storm chasing, mostly on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.[citation needed]


Dominator 1

Timmer created several chase vehicles, each called the Dominator.[citation needed]

Dominator 1[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Dominator 2[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Dominator 3[edit]

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 (20 cm) into the ground to prevent wind from getting underneath.[11]

Dominator Fore[edit]

With a heavy presence on Twitter,[12] Reed was often found chasing in his 2018 Subaru Forester, donning the name Dominator Fore.[13] Dominator Fore featured an increasing number of hail stone dents in its factory sheet metal body, and undergoes several windshield replacements each year due to Reed's attraction to sitting under what he refers to as Gorilla Hail storms.[14] In September 2022, Timmer posted on Twitter that he had abandoned Dominator Fore to the storm surge of Hurricane Ian while tracking the storm at Pine Island, Florida.[15][16] The car was later found battered, and was no longer drivable, although attempts to fix it are ongoing.[17]

Dominator 5[edit]

In December 2022, Timmer purchased a 2016 Subaru Forester to replace Dominator Fore.[18]

Tornado chasing[edit]

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.[19] The incident was documented as part of the Storm Chasers TV series.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Tornado Chasers[edit]

Timmer started Tornado Chasers on his website The first two seasons debuted in 2012 and 2013.[citation needed]

Season 1[edit]

Season 1 included 12 episodes. Few tornadoes struck that year. In one episode, their SUV's windows were shattered by large hail.[citation needed]

Season 2[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

In December 2015, he married meteorologist Maria Molina at the Masaya Volcano National Park in Nicaragua. They divorced in 2018.[20]

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.[21] Timmer was not driving.[citation needed]

Timmer has a dog named Gizmo who often accompanies him on chases.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Relationships between Monthly Agroclimate Variability and Local Crop Yield in the Central and Eastern United States and Southern Canada". May 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Recker, Rachael (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.
  3. ^ "Tornado Glory - Official Movie Site". PBS. Archived from the original on September 9, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  4. ^ "Watch Storm Rising | Full episodes | Disney+". Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  5. ^ Recker, Rachael (October 18, 2009). "Grand Rapids native Reed Timmer leads viewers into the eye of a tornado on 'Storm Chasers'". MLive. Retrieved April 18, 2024.
  6. ^ Shepherd, Jessica (April 21, 2018). "These famous people were all born in Grand Rapids". MLive. Retrieved April 18, 2024.
  7. ^ a b c Hamilton, Terri Finch (October 31, 2010). "Profile: Meteorologist, Discovery Channel TV star and 'Storm Chaser' Reed Timmer". MLive. Retrieved April 18, 2024.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ Lloyd, Amy (August 27, 2018). "Extreme Meteorologist Timmer to Speak". University of the Ozarks. Retrieved March 26, 2023.
  10. ^ "Reed Timmer brings chasing chops to 4Warn Storm Team". April 17, 2013.
  11. ^ "Notable Scouting Alumni P-Z - Scouting Alumni Association". Archived from the original on August 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "@ReedTimmerAccu" on Twitter
  13. ^ "Meet Dominator Fore, the Storm-Chasing Subaru Forester". December 15, 2020.
  14. ^ Timmer, Reed [@ReedTimmerAccu] (October 2, 2020). "Excited to pick up Dominator Fore after being serviced at the @subaru_usa dealership. Many more tornado, gorilla hail, hurricane and flood intercepts on tap for my whip" (Tweet). Archived from the original on October 6, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2021 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "Reed Timmer's Twitter". September 28, 2022.
  16. ^ "Reed Timmer's Dominator Washed Away in Surge from Hurricane Ian," Arlington Cardinal, September 28, 2022. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  17. ^ Marr, Madeline (October 5, 2022). "This storm chaser's supercar took a licking when Hurricane Ian hit Florida. See the damage". Miami Herald.
  18. ^ Timmer, Reed (February 26, 2023). "Storm chaser Flex Tapes sunroof to prevent shattering from Gorilla Hail!". Reed Timmer channel on YouTube. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
  19. ^ "INSIDE a Tornado! Dominator window blow-out and probe animation!". Archived from the original on December 20, 2021 – via
  20. ^ Kaczmarczyk, Jeffrey (December 30, 2015). "Storm chaser Reed Timmer, Maria Molina wed near active volcano". The Grand Rapids Press.
  21. ^ Querry, Kimberly (October 8, 2013). "Reed Timmer talks about seizure during storm". KFOR-TV. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  22. ^ Mussoline, Meghan (October 20, 2023). "Meet the tiniest but mightiest storm chaser: Gizmo the dog". Accuweather. Retrieved November 28, 2023.


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