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AccuWeather's Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer: Why does storm chasing matter?

Before AccuWeather's own extreme meteorologist and storm chaser Reed Timmer could drive a car, he knew he'd spend endless hours on America's highways hunting epic storms.

At 16 when he got his license and first car, he set out for his first hunt. Since then, he hasn't stopped chasing.

Now a storm-chasing expert, Timmer will combine his passion and expansive meteorological knowledge as an official part of the AccuWeather team.

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Timmer holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Oklahoma. Chasing is just as much about the science behind storms as it is the adrenaline rush.

"So much energy and effort goes into storm chasing," Timmer said. "I do love the beauty of the storms. I love the science of the storms."

In the pursuit of a storm, whether it be a severe cell, hurricane or blizzard, Timmer sends detailed information back to forecasters at AccuWeather, enhancing real-time observations.

Chasers can use unique equipment to gather essential data that is used to improve forecasting and warning operations.

His next challenge will be to collect intel from inside a tornado, gathering data that will be immeasurable when breaking down the nature of the phenomenon.

Timmer plans to work with AccuWeather to learn as much as possible about the life and intensity of a tornado, all from the inside out.

With that information, he hopes to improve warnings and ensure that people stay safe.

"These storms are still some of the most beautiful forms of nature you'll ever see, but they're also some of the most devastating," he said.

As Timmer is as close to the storm as he can safely be, he and other chasers often end up at damage sites before emergency personnel.

"Whenever that happens, we drop everything, end the chase and help out in the rescue effort," Timmer said.

It's during such moments of devastation that Timmer values his role in the weather community.

"In the end, it's about helping people," he said.


AccuWeather, the global leader in weather information and digital media, announced on Nov. 10 that veteran Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer has formally joined the AccuWeather staff.

"I am thrilled to continue reporting on the country's most extreme storms with the AccuWeather team while delivering the most captivating in-field severe weather video coverage available, seen on the AccuWeather Network, AccuWeather apps and AccuWeather.com," Timmer said.