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Reed Timmer recording 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 storm chaser who starred on Discovery Channel's reality television series Storm Chasers. On the series, Reed 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. In April 2013, Reed joined KFOR-TV's 4WARN Storm Team as a storm chaser, and his SRV Dominator 2 as 4WARN Dominator 4. Reed graduated with his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the OU in the spring of 2015. He is married to Fox News Channel meteorologist Maria Molina.
- 1 Web Series
- 2 Storm Chasing
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Storm Chasing Vehicles
- 5 Passion for Chasing
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Reed Timmer started his own webseries called Tornado Chasers on his website TVNWeather.com, he started 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 if 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. The best tornado they shot was a massive tornado in South Dakota on June 22, 2012,with monster hail, they were not in the Dominator at the time, which ended up seeing their SUV's windows shattered by the large hail. It can be seen in episode 12 of the Season. Reed 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 Reed he decided not to return. Jim Cantore and Ginger Zee also appear on the show.
Season 3 had far more tornadoes
Moore May 3rd 1999 Tornado
The Moore 1999 tornado was the first tornado that Reed has ever filmed on camera, he said that when he saw the tornado coming down on him, and all the debris, he was not scared of it but more mesmerised by it. But when we realised all of the damage that was done he said that it then sinks in that lives are being lost.
Yazoo City April 24, 2010
The Yazoo City Tornado is one of the deadliest Tornadoes that Reed has ever chased, it ripped a 1.5 mile wide path through the town, killing 4 people in the process, Reed, Joel and Chris came across a man who was thrown from his house and was laying under the rubble, he looked deceased at first but when suddenly moved with agony, Reed and his crew helped him out and he was airlifted to Hospital, he was paralyzed after the incident, but thanked the team for saving his life.
Reed Timmer is married to fellow Meteorologist Maria Timmer who works in the Meteorology department for Fox News. Reed has been storm chasing for over 15 years and has a degree in Meteorology. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma. Reed is a very pasionate Storm Chaser and often lets his excitement get in the way of his decision making, which led to one of his TVN Team mates Joel Taylor to leave the team in 2012. Chris Chittick also left TVN In 2012 for the same reason, and has since joined Canadian Chasing Team Tornado Hunters, whom appear on the CMT Network.
Since, Reed has acquired a new driver for the Dominator 3 in the name of Sean Schofer, who appears in Season 2 of Tornado Chasers. His replacement comes in the form of Stormchaser Mike Scantlin. In 2013 Reed Timmer and His crew intercepted a 2.6 Mile Tornado just South of El Reno, Oklahoma, the Tornado turned out to be the widest in History, and in the process killed the much respected Storm Chaser Tim Samaras, His son Paul and Friend Carl Young, all who appeared on the TV Show Storm Chasers. Reed says the worst moment of his Chasing career has to be the Tuscaloosa County, Alabama tornado, his reasoning being that he was unable to report the Tornado due to Internet service and Cell Towers being down, and that so many lives were lost.
Reed has been in one near death experience while storm chasing, in 2009 in Aurora, Nebraska, a tornado unexpectedly strengthened right over the Dominator and blew out the driver's window, when its exterior Lexan window failed to roll up. Reed Timmer and Chris Chittick suffered lacerations to the face from flying glass.
Storm Chasing Vehicles
Reed has created several chase vehicles which come at a large cost, stating that they cost upwards of 100,000 dollars.
The Dominator was modified from a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe that was used during the 2008 storm chasing season and debuted in the 2009 chase season. The modifications included adding bulletproof sheet metal and transparent Lexan armor to protect against flying debris near tornadoes, and an external roll cage and NASCAR-style safety harnesses in case of a vehicle roll.
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. Changes from the first Dominator are said to include a flex fuel engine, improved aerodynamic streamlining, swiveling rear passenger seats, improved hydraulics, and upgraded armor protection as well as anchoring spikes that could allow it to engage tornadoes stronger than those the original Dominator could safely face. Timmer also stated that both vehicles would be used with one going into tornadoes to gather data from inside the funnel while the other would collect data from just outside the tornado, with the intention of comparing the two sets of data. The second generation Dominator features reinforced sheet metal and transparent Lexan has been strengthened with higher-quality steel and an additional LINE-X coating. This shell is firmly affixed to the frame and chassis of the GMC Yukon. The new model retains a roll cage and racing-car safety seats with full-torso belts for added crew protection. hou
A third Dominator vehicle was completed in late April 2013. This vehicle, named Dominator 3, was built using a Ford Super Duty pickup truck as the base vehicle. The vehicle features an electric winch, hydraulic anchoring spikes, and gull-wing doors (which were augmented with touch-activated actuators in early 2014) for the driver and front and rear passengers. It is also the first Dominator vehicle to utilize a Diesel powerplant.
Dominator 3 first saw action during the May 18–21, 2013 tornado outbreak, making three separate intercepts on an EF4 tornado near Shawnee, Oklahoma on May 19.
Passion for Chasing
Reed says his passion for chasing is second to none, he feels no one else out there is as crazy, and as passionate to get close to and report tornadoes. He said this is one of the reasons Joel Taylor left the team, due to the fact that Joel did not share the same amount of passion as Reed, causing them to conflict over whether to chase or not. Reed is 100% on traveling to any place where there is a tornado threat, Reed once said ''I'll travel anywhere from Mexico to Canada, if there is a chance of tornadoes, the Dominator will be going to that place''.
The day before the Yazoo City, Mississippi tornado, Reed and Joel got into a heated argument as to whether or not they wanted to travel all that way, Reed was all for it, as was Chris Chittick, but Joel 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 Joel decided to go along with the plan and travel to Yazoo City. A large EF5 Tornado went through the town the next morning, and the team helped out rescuing people from the rubble of their destroyed homes and business'. Joel 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.
- 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. Retrieved December 31, 2009.[dead link]
- 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.