When one of nature’s most violent storms ravages the earth, Dr. Reed Timmer attacks. Driven toward discovery in the “wild west” of meteorology, Timmer is determined to solve the mysteries of tornadoes and hurricanes, his ultimate goal being to collect data that saves lives.
Forty-eight lives were lost on May 3, 1999 in the Moore, Oklahoma F-5 Tornado. Reed Timmer was less than a quarter mile from the beast, filming the whole thing. It wasn’t his first storm chase and certainly would not be his last. Since then, Timmer has chased more than 1000 tornadoes and hurricanes, becoming one of the world’s leading experts on severe weather forecasting, research, and safety.
For Dr. Timmer, it’s more than just experiencing extreme storms. In 2003 he established TornadoVideos.net (TVN), which has become the premier source of weather footage for news and production companies worldwide. He then launched TVNweather.com, which has grown to be a world-renown platform for live streaming video of severe weather and warning residents in the path of these dangerous storms, receiving 100s of millions of viewer minutes every storm season. Reed also launched Extreme Tornado Tours in 2007, offering weather enthusiasts from across the world the opportunity to safely experience the most extreme weather on the planet from custom vans with bullet-resistant windows. Completing a PhD in Meteorology at The University of Oklahoma in 2015 after starring on Discovery Channel’s hit TV series, Storm Chasers, for four seasons, Reed continues to lead his team from TVN to intercept tornadoes in their armored tank-like vehicles called the Dominators. For Timmer, the ultimate goal is to better understand the complex dynamics behind tornadoes and other extreme storms so safer and stronger structures can be designed to withstand their destructive power.
Presently, Reed provides live coverage from severe weather across the world as the lead storm chaser for Accuweather since April 2015, and continues to provide life-saving reports from the field in Oklahoma for KFOR, the NBC news affiliate in Oklahoma City. When he’s not chasing storms, he can often be found in university lecture halls and civic auditoriums speaking on severe weather preparedness and the science of extreme storm chasing, or researching the seasonal climatology of severe weather and its teleconnections with the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and Gulf of Mexico.