Joel Taylor, the star of Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers,” has died at age 38. His co-star Reed Timmer took to Twitter to confirm the news, writing: ““I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend. We chased so many intense storms, and I wish we could have just one more storm chase. I’ll miss you forever, Joel. We lost a legend”
Joel was always fascinated by storms and studied Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma where he first met his future co-star Reed Timmer. He joined Storm Chasers in 2008.
Joel’s final Facebook post was a happy family announcement welcoming his new niece on January 15, sharing news of his niece’s birth, he wrote: “My first niece arrived this morning!”
The cause of death is still unknown but thought to not have been related to storm chasing.
On Facebook, Western Oklahoma storm chasing group Team Western OK Chaser posted a tribute to the late star saying: “Our community of Elk City and the storm chasing community lost a great guy today. Joel Taylor was truly an inspiration to myself and many who knew him. He was one of the most level-headed chasers on the roads and truly a classy guy outside of chasing. He didn’t chase for the glory he chased because he had a true passion for storms. In the last few years, he’d load up with his dad and go chase and not even take a camera.”
The Discovery Channel bio for Joel speaks to his passion and reads: “Growing up near the heart of tornado alley, Joel had a front-row seat to plenty of severe storms and tornadoes. Always fascinated by these phenomena, he attended the University of Oklahoma to study meteorology. The two have intercepted countless tornadoes, and with Joel’s keen knowledge of the back roads of the Great Plains, he has long been the trusted driver of Reed’s TVN team.”
Co-workers, celebrities, and fans alike are taking to Twitter to eulogize the young star, and thank him for the work he’s done for the meteorology community.