Tornado science is a risky job, but the results can save lives. Stronger buildings and increased warning times are the desired results, but this sort of research is also highly dangerous. Tim, along with his crew, risk their safety and lives so that others can be safer from tornadoes.
When he first appears on "Storm Chasers," Tim is painted as a successful tornado researcher who also heads the TWISTEX (Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling In/near Tornadoes EXperiment) team. He is a structural engineer by trade but has been chasing tornadoes for over a decade. Tim is also an accomplished researcher with more than 15 published research articles by members of the TWISTEX team.
The TWISTEX team consists of as many as four vehicles equipped with roof-mounted mobile mesonet weather stations and 12 members when at full capacity. Usually, the driver for the main vehicle is Carl Young (who looks a lot like Will Forte), and Tim is usually riding in the front passenger seat. The crew drops off probes, hoping that the tornado will pick them up and provide them information. These probes look like red cones externally, with instrumentation on the inside.
Tim Samaras clearly operates differently from the other two teams depicted on "Storm Chasers." Reed's team is primarily a business that sells the footage they obtain, even though his team begins to focus on science later in the series. Sean's team is primarily about entertainment. Their footage will be used to finish his IMAX film. Even with these differences, you'd think that their personalities would be similar, but they aren't. Sean seems immature, and Reed comes off as being passionate to the point of taking undue risks. Tim is clearly passionate about his work, but he cares about the safety of himself and his crew more than results. He also isn't emotionally driven. You rarely even see him smile, but he is a refreshing deviation from Reed and Sean who can come off as unlikeable. Tim may not be the most exciting guy on the show, but he's consistent. Plus, the footage from their chases is absolutely amazing.
However, the most refreshing thing about Tim and the TWISTEX crew is how they treat others. Like the other teams, they are first responders after a tornado strikes a populated area, but the TWISTEX team also comes across as being good people. When Reed is successful, they congratulate him and his team. They don't have much contact with Sean's team, but they don't bad mouth them and treat them cordially when they do cross paths. Also, they don't bicker and argue amongst themselves. They may have disagreements about their next course of action, but they figure it out. That's the best thing about Tim Samaras on "Storm Chasers." He's calm, cool, and professional nearly all the time, and he runs a tight ship while the other crews rarely do. He doesn't play anything up for the show, and that's something that can't necessarily be said about the other teams.
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