Best remembered for his appearances on the Discovery Channel weather series Storm Chasers, this engineer, meteorologist, and founder of TWISTEX (the Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes Experiment) was killed by a tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma, while he was in the area conducting storm research.
His love of tornadoes developed during his childhood years, when he watched The Wizard of Oz. He also cultivated early interests in science and engineering, piecing together a radio transmitter at the age of twelve.
Working in conjunction with Applied Research Associates, he investigated such airliner disasters as the crash of TWA Flight 800.
He was born and raised in Lakewood, Colorado. He and his wife, Kathy, raised a son named Paul (who was killed along with his father in the 2013 storm chasing accident) and daughters named Amy and Jennifer.
Following Samaras' death, Jim Cantore praised his fellow meteorologist for his pioneering storm research.