by Roberta Downing
January 28, 2018
Joel was born on January 6, 1980 in Elk City, Oklahoma and was an avid storm chaser who worked with Reed Timmer in the Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers series. Joel died suddenly on January 23rd at the age of 38. His death brought his family, storm chasers and his fans unbearable grief.
Joel was a kind and loving person, had a wonderful sense of humor as he liked to play practical jokes, had a great smile and wonderful laugh and he sometimes took things quite personally. Many of these qualities could be seen clearly on the reality television series.
Reed Timmer who was Joel’s best friend tweeted “RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner. I am shocked and absolutely devastated. We chased so many intense storms, and I wish we could have just one more storm chase.”
Taylor had a real passion for chasing storms, a deep respect for the tornadoes that a lot of the supercells spawned. He put his life in danger many times as a first responder to help with search and rescue for victims after violent tornadoes.
Joel was also vital in helping to gather data with Timmer to help better understand the how and why tornadoes form and to help increase warning times.
Chasing storms is a dangerous business and it doesn’t matter if you are driving, sitting in the back seat or stopping to get video of a twister that is eating everything it comes in contact with. Joel was cautious and level headed in helping to keep whatever team he was working with safe. Though the look on his face when he actually got up close and personal inside his first tornado was beyond priceless!
With tornado season quickly approaching, many chasers will no doubt be in some city and have a memory of Joel and smile and of course many may also feel out of sorts with his absence. The only thing that can be said to possibly console those who miss him is that he has joined with Tim and Paul Samaras, Carl Young, Matt Hughes, Kelley Williamson, Randall Yarnall and Corbin Jaeger and that all of those people are looking out for the rest of the storm chasers to keep them safe.
Rest in peace my friend. Know that we will always love and remember you.