PHOTOS: Discovery's 'Storm Chasers' captured deadly tornado outbreak, special planned -- EXCLUSIVE

stormchasers

April’s deadly tornado outbreak that claimed more than 300 lives was captured by Discovery Channel’s docu-series Storm Chasers and now the network is readying a special presentation of its exclusive footage.

In its fourth year, Discovery’s Storm Chasers was filming their regular show with its trio of “chase teams” in Alabama and Mississippi on April 27 when nearly 200 tornadoes occurred in the region  — the worst tornado outbreak since 1974. “In all my years of chasing tornadoes, this was hands down the most unforgettable day,” says  Storm Chasers’ meteorologist Reed Timmer. “The intensity of the storm activity and the sheer number of tornadoes that touched down is overwhelming and heartbreaking. By studying this historic day we hope to learn more information for our research and help better predict tornadoes and save lives.”

Discovery will present their footage and their stories in a documentary special, Tornado Rampage 2011, which will air Sunday, May 22 at 9 p.m. Here’s some stunning pics and video from the special:

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  • JCK

    I was actually wondering about these storm teams when the outbreak occurred. I like this show and was saddened last fall when they revealed that the one guy on one of the teams had committed suicide in May 2010. Only person I don’t like is the weird older guy who always straps himself into the 360 degree chair. Something is off about him. Then again, they are all a little wacky for doing this job, imo.

    • Allen Whitehead

      I would love to do this job. I am an ameture weather spotter through the fire dept here. I have always loved watching tornadoes. I make my mom nervous everytime they have tornado warnings out for my area

  • Doug

    Love “Storm Chasers.” I know the teams got some great footage, and sure there was a lot of heartache to go along with it. Looking forward to the special. Will be watching, for sure.

  • Jason

    Love the show; was also wondering if they were there when I heard the news. Storm CHASERS, not Storm CATCHERS, btw.

  • Mary

    There are references to “Storm Chasers” in the article, yet the title says “Storm Catchers.” Proofread your stuff, EW!

    • tiffany

      I noticed that. I thought for a minute they were talking about a new show. How on earth do you “catch” a storm anyway???

  • Katja

    Wow. Those things are just terrifying.

    • Liz Lemon

      Tell me about it. One of them destroyed my hometown.

  • RK

    I love how the video of killer tornadoes says “Entertainment” on it.

  • Kristina

    I love this show. It will be interesting to see their reactions to the storms in the south, especially Tuscaloosa. If any of them were there when it happened, you know they’d stop what they were doing to help.

    • Bob

      And film it, for ratings.

      • Kristina

        If you watched the special episode on the production crew then you’d know that they do regret filming those scenes. Sure they may boost ratings, but it’s necessary to show the impact the destruction has on people. You don’t get coverage quite like that on the news, at least not where I live.

  • Pan

    Really scary what those guys do I wouldn’t caught dead out there with that storm so close.

  • chris

    un-freekin beleavable cant wait 2 see it!

  • RosaRita

    I live in St. Louis and the damage the F4 tornado caused here was incredible, we were very fortunate we did not lose any lives. Those in the south were not so lucky and I pray for them.

  • hesham2070

    the camera man isn’t professional enough…i saw a lot of videos more exciting than this

  • melinda

    Tuscaloosa wasent the only town obliterated by those storms phil campbell hackelburg east limstone harvest hillsboro arab mt hope cullman molten and many more were leveled hundreds of people died thousands were left homeless and now don’t know how they are gonna receive help because they don’t even have a mail box left to know when help is coming

  • nunnya

    I’m obsessed with this show. As someone who lives in Dixie Alley, I am super excited to see this.

  • dani

    Melinda – way to represent, try some punctuation next time! I know some people in Tuscaloosa and several others who have gone to help with the clean up. It seems to early to be showing these videos, as if Discovery is exploiting the pain of the people affected by this disaster. I only hope that by showing it so soon it causes more people to donate to causes to help with the recovery effort. On another note, who is the “narrator” of this video? He needs a Xanax!

    • Lynn

      I don’t know if you realize this, but the majority of storm chssers are involved in some kind of relief work, storm spotting for the Weather Service, and most will help out the communities in which they shot their video. Exploiting and gawking is frowned on in the chaser community, big time. And the Discovery Channel airing this could actually help these areas get more help by publicizing what happened. Most news is off people’s radar within a week or two, but the need in the stricken areas might exist much longer. Consider Haiti or Japan? Out of the news, but definitely not “fixed” yet!

      Lynn in New Orleans, LA.

  • Bubba

    I was in Smithville MS working when the F5 come through town. Worst experience in my life. Please pray for them.

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