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Eye of the Storm

If funnel clouds packing winds upward of 100 mph don’t scare Reed Timmer, why would the prospect of striking out on his own in the spirit of entrepreneurship?

Best-known from a starring role on Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, which ended in 2012, Timmer and his fearless team decided last spring to create an independent web documentary series about their adventures in Tornado Alley, making each episode available at TVNweather.com and via Roku streaming devices. To raise the money for all their filming needs in season 2 (debuting this fall), including gas for the armored and decked-out “Dominator” vehicles, Timmer went the crowdfunding route.

Raising enthusiasm in the project by sharing videos of past twister chases, he easily surpassed his initial Kickstarter goal of $75,000, and thanks to more than 2,500 backers, eventually picked up north of $135,000 in time for storm season (from March to August in the Great Plains and Midwest).

Some people would call Timmer’s career and independent venture “crazy.” But the only thing crazy to this “extreme meteorologist” would be to take time off from his passion while he is negotiating his next television deal.

“I consider the ‘crazy’ label a compliment because that’s what people call those who pave their own path and go against the grain,” Timmer says. “Without someone willing to push the limits, the research and study of tornadoes would lag behind.”

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