Joel Taylor, the star of the Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, has died at 38. His cause of death has not been disclosed.


The death was announced by his friends and his co-star Reed Timmer. “RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor. I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend,” Timmer, an extreme meteorologist, wrote on Facebook. “We chased so many intense storms, and I wish we could have just one more storm chase. I can tell you that Joel was at a very happy time in his life, and we’ve been brainstorming non-stop this winter about chasing plans this spring. He has the biggest heart of anyone I know, and has always been there for me through thick and thin. I’ll miss you forever, Joel. My heart goes out to the Taylor family. We lost a legend.”

Taylor and Timmer starred together on Storm Chasers for five seasons, up through its cancellation in 2012. Some of Taylor’s other friends also posted their condolences on social media. One, Mike Olbinski, remembered Taylor’s bright smile. “I was lucky enough to meet Joel a few years ago at Reed’s wedding. He was so kind to me and we got to hang out for a bit during those few days. I snapped this photo of him and that just seemed like who he was. A huge smile. RIP Joel Taylor…you will be so missed,” he said.

Another, Jim Cantore, remembered filming his show Atmosphere’s with Taylor and his parents. “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,” he wrote on Twitter.

Taylor’s storm chasing team of his native Elk City, Oklahoma, also posted a message in honor of Taylor. “Our community of Elk City and the Storm Chasing community lost a great guy today,” wrote Team Western OK Chaser on Facebook, in a now removed post. “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 group said. “Our hearts are hurting for his mom Tracy and dad Jimmy along with his brother and sister and their children. Please know you are in our prayers. RIP Joel.”

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