Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Wonderfully Tornadic Bill Paxton Tribute

A map showing the location of
storm chasers in Oklahoma
and surrounding states indicates
them forming into a giant "BP"
formation to honor the actor Bill
Paxton, who died Sunday.
Paxton starred in the tornado
disaster movie "Twister."
The death of actor Bill Paxton was announced Sunday and tributes for this great actor are pouring in from all over.

One of the most popular films Paxton starred in was "Twister" the 1996 film about storm and tornado chasers in the Great Plains.

A lot of people who were young when that movie came out credit the film for inspiring their careers in meteorology, storm chasing, storm photography, science and related fields.

So it was that a unique and movingly nerdy tribute to Paxton took shape Sunday afternoon.

Hundreds of tornado chasers use their Spotter Network markers to show where they are during tornado chases.

On line, you can see maps showing where as many as a few dozen chasers are clustered near a thunderstorm producing tornadoes during severe weather outbreaks.

Sunday, there were no tornadoes in Oklahoma, where the movie "Twister" was set. But storm chasers there were extremely active, and it all showed up on maps.

Several dozen of them gathered in various places in Oklahoma, so when you looked on a map, as you can see in the image in this post, they spelled out the giant initials "BP" across the entire state of Oklahoma, in tribute to Bill Paxton.

Variety reported that Paxton also made the IMAX documentary "Tornado Alley" and had a fascination with severe weather, having grown up in Texas.

The storm chaser tribute to Paxton was a bit strange, but it was beautiful. Kudos to all those storm chasers who did that.

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