Storm Chasers Risk Their Lives to Gather Research

Tim Samaras, his son Paul and colleague Chris Young were killed in the Oklahoma tornado outbreak.
3:00 | 06/04/13

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Transcript for Storm Chasers Risk Their Lives to Gather Research
While some dogs like to stick their heads out of car windows at eighty miles an hour some people. Like to skinny dip in thunderstorms and some meteorologists. Like to get as close as they can to monster tornadoes. But after the tragic loss of three Storm Chasers in this -- spate of Oklahoma twisters. -- their exploits up to adrenaline addiction. Seems really unfair as ABC's own storm chaser ginger -- tells us the man who lost their lives are driven by the pursuit of life saving science. And sometimes even most cautious professional is no match for mother nature. Right yeah. -- It was a cruel twist. The second deadly storm to -- local. In its wake eighteen dead among them six children and three respected scientists. Veteran storm chaser -- -- -- his son Paul and their colleague Carl young. It's a loss that it -- the meteorological community. The fourteen -- dead set out to track the powerful EF three tornado in El Reno Friday night ten spoke at MSNBC and keep this eerie premonition. Audience into coming together for a pretty volatile day. In the aftermath of the storms so Marist was found dead still strapped in his car the rest of his team sucked into the twisters 165. Mile per hour winds. The Storm Chasers are -- special breed of scientist when everyone else is driving in the other direction they hurl themselves directly into the heart of the storm. -- -- -- They say their mission is to better understand nature's destructive and deadly force. But this tragedy has shaken the storm chasing community to its core and left many wondering how it could have happened to this meteorological hero. -- get a story that news is. It's horrifying it's like a nightmare. Reach him -- was also in El Reno and -- -- Carl well -- for a -- work together on the Discovery Channel show storm chases. We knew Tim as one of the most cautious chasers in the business. There's some that doesn't make sense because he knew exactly it is doing and he's always been controlled -- just doesn't make sense something. It's not right. Tim with a two pioneer in the field who -- technology that continues to help -- measure and predict tornadoes. His quest to learn and inform always inspired him to give states. I had the honor of joining him on a recent expedition to study his other love lightning. -- -- -- -- How beautiful. For the price measurements on teased him it's really easy -- your car -- -- go here -- with undergo park up next to a cheering. Well it's not basis sometimes is almost as difficult. Chasing a trail is as good lightning storm. I'm gonna go see -- -- -- always on the cutting edge Tim built this ultra high speed camera in the hopes that he could capture the birth of a lightning strike there's actually 82 campers on his instrument you're taking. One picture of the lightning and one -- -- second steps time. -- and -- percent critics said it was impossible but him has never been one to shy away from town. -- to give up until this is done especially as the naysayers tell me this can't be done that distracts me harder. Before we left that day he kissed his -- could die his son Paul joined his -- on the tapes that then he was a new addition to team twist -- -- was eager to learn the family business. In all we covered -- states on our journey more than 800 miles with plenty of pop in -- disappointing storm. This storms this storm kicked out several lightning strikes they were probably about five minutes apart hardly worth. Foreign equipment over but it's pretty. Yeah. -- -- scored the F five. But then just as -- settled and we got lucky. -- do norte a classic thunderstorm bursting with lightning. Happening in the. -- -- -- -- And with -- -- watts and Tim and Amy camera they managed to snag a beautiful image numerous branches than the first one. Hits the ground then return stroke. Starting lightning starting tornadoes. Are warranted final frontiers in the urology you know -- of these things there because -- so fleeting they're so very difficult to study. Do you have to get up close and you have to collect imagery you have to collect data. To feed these models and maybe a computer prediction model -- tell you down the road how much lightning in particular thunderstorms can generate. It's that philosophy to get close to storms that drives meteorologist like us to keep chasing despite the obvious risk. But now some say tornado Alley is saturated with an increasing number of untrained un educated Storm Chasers. -- -- blamed for storm chasing traffic jams and unsafe conditions in the past officials say that might have been the case Friday night. I think it's probably -- the amateur Storm Chasers that calls more of an issue because we've got a lot of people that need to be out there the first responders. News organizations and legitimate Storm Chasers they're trying to get information out. But legitimate storm chasing scientists like ten and -- to -- aren't just after the thrills in 2007. Tamer captured this breakthrough video in Ellis county Oklahoma. And freezing. Right there. Those are essentially -- tornadoes inside the bigger tornado. Called suction -- -- seats before this video scientists had suspected they exist but had no exact -- And then there's -- turtle -- that he would bravely put in the path of stolen. In 2003 -- measured the biggest pressure drop ever recorded in the heart of a tornado incredibly valuable data for a generation of engineers. Ultimately his goal was actually. Saving lives through the technology that he's been able to develop Jensen Marist solace in the fact that his brother. His nephew and their colleague Carl -- died doing what they love the biggest thing that he could have done was he gave his life for others. Oh look back. How beautiful. And pretend it was my night -- he has to kind of passion that fueled his every chase. I don't know how many storms I've seen in my lifetime that every single one of nice of him pretty excited. The little boy in me just want to come out here in just watch and stand for Nightline engine Jersey -- El Reno Oklahoma.

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