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Reed Timmer watching a Tornado
March 17, 1980 |
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Oklahoma (Ph.D.)|
|Known for||Featured on Storm Chasers
Designer and main operator of the SRV Dominator
Reed Timmer (born March 17, 1980) is an American meteorologist and self-described "extreme" storm chaser who starred on Discovery Channel's reality television series Storm Chasers. On the series, Timmer followed severe weather with his TornadoVideos.Net team in their vehicle, the SRV Dominator. He previously starred in the documentary film Tornado Glory and subsequently the TV series Tornado Chasers following the cancellation of the Discovery Channel show. He was featured in an interview on a bonus feature for the "Into The Storm" Blu-ray.
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 previously was a storm chaser for KFOR-TV's 4WARN Storm Team, with his SRV Dominator 2 as 4WARN Dominator 4. Timmer graduated with his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the OU in the spring of 2015. Timmer now works as a meteorologist for AccuWeather.
Storm Chasing Vehicles
Timmer has created several chase vehicles each called the Dominator.
The first Dominator was modified from a 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 was completed in late April 2013. This vehicle, named Dominator 3, began life as a Ford F-350 crew-cab pickup but features a 16-gauge body strengthened with a polyethylene Kevlar composite, thick Lexan windows, and gullwing doors to repel hail. When storms approach, special hydraulic systems lower the vehicle to the ground to prevent wind from getting underneath and drive spikes 8 inches into the ground to secure it.
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Timmer has stated that his passion for chasing is "second to none". He also has said ''I'll travel anywhere from Mexico to Canada, if there is a chance of tornadoes, the Dominator will be going to that place''.
While he was storm chasing 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 himself and fellow chaser 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, Mississippi tornado of April 24, 2010, Timmer and colleague Joel Taylor got into a heated argument as to whether or not they wanted to travel all that way. Timmer was in favor of going, as was Chris Chittick, but Taylor felt the travel distance was not worth the risk, as he said the chance for tornadoes look very slim. They continued to argue while the cameras were not rolling as they were on camera for Storm Chasers season 4 at the time. In the end Taylor decided to go along with the plan and travel to Yazoo City. A large EF4 tornado went through the town the next morning, and the team helped out rescuing people from the rubble of their destroyed homes and businesses. Taylor ended up saying that he is glad he committed to the chase with the team as he got to save lives and help people, and also see and record a powerful tornado.
Timmer started his own webseries called Tornado Chasers on his website TVNWeather.com, starting it with fellow members of his TVN Team. He has created 2 seasons so far: a 2012 season, and a 2013 season, He is unsure whether the series will return at all.
Season 1 was released with a total of 12 episodes. 2012 was a very quiet season, and so very few tornadoes were seen. In one episode, they ended up having their SUV's windows shattered by the large hail. It can be seen in episode 12 of the Season. Timmer and his team also attended a science fair that year.
Season 2 had far more tornadoes and exciting footage than what season 1 had, the most notable tornado being the May 31st El Reno Tornado, which killed Tim Samaras. The season also shows him getting enrolled into the KFOR 4WARN Storm Chasing team. Joel Taylor also returned for episodes 1 and 2, but after a fall out with Timmer he decided not to return for the rest of the season. Jim Cantore and Ginger Zee also appear on the show.
In 2015 Timmer married fellow meteorologist Maria Molina who worked in the meteorology department for Fox. He previously dated Jene Young who at the time was a meteorologist for WKRG. 
- 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
- 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.