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Reed Timmer

Title: Storm Chaser
Age: 34
Storm chasing Since: 1997
# of Tornadoes Seen: ~450


Reed was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, and became interested in extreme weather at a very young age. He was also an avid insect, reptile, and amphibian collector and tree identification enthusiast, but decided to pursue his greatest passion and began studying meteorology at the University of Oklahoma in 1998. Reed photographed his first tornado in October 1998, and was addicted to extreme storm chasing ever since. Every spring and summer season, he travels from the Mexican Border to Canada striving to photograph tornadoes from extreme close range (within 1/8 mile), often driving more than 40,000 miles during the spring and summer.

Reed was part of the hit Discovery Channel series, Storm Chasers (2008-2011), and is currently featured on the Tornado Chasers Documentary series. Notable chases include successfully deploying a camera/instrument probe into a fast-moving Kansas twister on May 29, 2008; intercepting five tornadoes during the 2009 season with the radar-equipped Dominator, measuring over 130 mph wind gusts in two of them and losing the driver's side window inside the Aurora, Nebraska tornado on June 17, 2009; measuring vertical velocities approaching 200 MPH in a violent, EF-4 Minnesota tornado on June 17, 2010; documenting the devastating modern-day Super Outbreak in Mississippi and Alabama on April 27, 2011; video-taping the May 3, 1999 F5 tornado west of near Moore, OK; the Manchester, SD wedge tornado that passed only a few hundred yards from the vehicle on June 24, 2003; the May 4, 2007 Ellis Co, OK tornado that ripped trees from the ground 100 yards away; the half-mile wide monster tornado in Manitoba, Canada on June 23, 2007; and documenting tornadic storms in Argentina in early 2010. Reed also chases hurricanes and blizzards, and hopes to expand to Asia and Australian for typhoons and tropical cyclones.

Reed graduated from Oklahoma University with a Bachelor's in Meteorology in 2002, a Master's in 2005 and is working toward his Ph.D. in Meteorology. You can follow along with Reed's chases and the Tornado Chasers; series at

Discuss (5 posts)
About Us
Nov 30 2009 13:56:51
I started wearing a light colored pair of polarized sunglasses while chasing storms. I never see any footage of drivers wearing them while going through a HP storm. Does anyone know this trick? If not, give it a try and youll never go without them. The main reason it gets hard to see in a HP storm is the refracted lignt reflection from the water on the windshield. With a good pair of polarized sunglasses, you eliminate most of the reflection from the water and can see much better. Just make sure you dont get too dark, and make sure its a good quality lens.
Re:About Us
May 30 2013 06:56:10
Was wondering if it was ever an idea to have another vehicle follow the dominator throughout the season to perform service on the dominator on the road to save time or even perform road-side assistance. For instance oil/lube services and tire work or even pull the dominator out of the mud or ditches. I am a certified technician and i love what you guys do. My #1 dream on my bucket list is to see a tornado from 1/8 of a mile away. You guys are amazing and my heroes. Ive been in 2 damaging tornadoes myself. (Not intentional)
About Us
Jun 13 2013 05:15:11
Reed, I got into watching storm chasers because I enjoyed watching your storm chasing style. I think it is awesome how you do not back down from the storms and I love how quick you are to respond when someone needs help. I think you are awesome.
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