The Man Who Caught the Storm

The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras

The Man Who Caught the Storm

A tale of obsession and commitment, of human versus nature at its worst, The Man Who Caught the Storm is the saga of the greatest storm chaser who ever lived. Vivid and unforgettable, Brantley Hargrove’s debut reads like Into the Wild meets The Perfect Storm.

In a field of PhDs and scientists, Tim Samaras didn’t attend a day of college in his life. He was a lifelong tinkerer and a father of four who made breakthroughs that decades of meteorologists had written off as impossible. In the year 2000, the tornado remained one of the last real mysteries of the modern world. Humanity had touched the surface of Mars but still never pierced the inhospitable core of a tornado to study it. Scientists had tried throughout the 1980s, using weather probes that became the basis for the movie Twister. But the real-life effort failed. Science abandoned it—until Tim Samaras comes along.

With new devices of his own invention and a small team of like-minded obsessives, Samaras pushes closer to the tornado core than anyone else had ever dared. When he finally pierces the core, his data is the first of its kind; it’s as if he has snatched the fire of the gods. But Samaras keeps pushing. He has always walked the line between life and death, but as his ambitions grow so do the risks. In 2013, the chaser finally meets his match: the El Reno tornado—the largest tornado ever recorded, a monstrous 2.6 miles in diameter.

Author Brantley Hargrove delivers a masterfully woven tale, with all the ingredients of an epic: the thrill of the chase, the wild community of storm fanatics, the brewing conflict within Samaras between his obsession and its grave dangers, the captivating science of how tornadoes are born and how we guard against them. This is the mythic life of the man who caught the storm.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476796093 | 
  • April 2018
List Price $26.00
Ships on or around April 3, 2018
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About the Author

Brantley Hargrove

Brantley Hargrove is a journalist who has written for Wired, Popular Mechanics, and Texas Monthly. In his reporting, he has explored the world of South American jewel thieves who terrorize diamond dealers in South Florida. He’s gone inside the effort to reverse-engineer supertornadoes using supercomputers. And he has chased violent storms across the Great Plains, including one of the rarest events in recent memory: twin EF-4 tornadoes that chewed through a small Nebraskan farming village. He lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Renee, and their two cats. The Man Who Caught the Storm is his first book.