Joel Taylor, a well-known storm chaser who appeared on the Discovery Channel TV Series, has died a t the age of 38. The famous storm chaser has received many accolades for his work chasing severe storms around the United States.
“RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor,” AccuWeather storm chaser Reed Timmer wrote on Twitter. “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.”
The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore also Tweeted his condolences. Cantore wrote, “I’m heartbroken to hear of the passing of Joel Taylor. My heart goes out to his parents. Long before his Discovery fame, Joel and his parents accompanied us on a trip to Hawaii while we taped our show Atmosphere’s. His passion for tornadoes was infectious.”
The Discovery Channel TV show “Storm Chasers” described Taylor’s passion for weather on their show biography online: “Always fascinated by these phenomena, he attended the University of Oklahoma to study meteorology. There, he met someone who shared his passion for severe weather and storm chasing, Reed Timmer. 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.”
Website TMZ is reporting that his death was due to a drug overdose while traveling on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas. According to a passenger that interacted with Joel and relayed his story onto TMZ, “Joel had consumed enough GHB on the dance floor Tuesday that he was rendered unconscious and taken off the dance floor by two people. Passengers on the Royal Caribbean Cruise tell TMZ that drugs on the party boat were plentiful, and they say 38-year-old Taylor was partaking. Royal Caribbean reports that Taylor was found unresponsive in his cabin on Tuesday and law enforcement was alerted when the boat arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The SpotterNetwork is planning a tribute to Joel Taylor by sketching out his initials on a map of the midwest using their GPS beacons. A similar effort was done when actor Bill Paxton died in 2017. Paxton had played the role of “Bill Harding” in the storm chaser-related hit movie “Twister” in 1996. The Spotter Network is a network of storm chasers, spotters, and public servants and provides real-time positions and storm information to help improve the coordination of severe weather warnings.