Storm Chaser Andy Gabrielson, killed February 4th in a car accident while simply driving home, was honored by the storm chasing community in a unique way that Gabrielson would have appreciated: creating his initials on a map using their GPS location devices.
Those who participated gathered to represent his initials “AG” in Kansas, which according to Andy’s friend Kory Hartman in a tribute broadcast on the Weather Channel was “one of Andy’s favorite places to chase.” GPS location information is a valuable resource for storm chasers, making it a fitting way to remember their late friend. “We lost not only the best close-range tornado chaser in the world, but such a caring, loyal friend,” said Reed Timmer, Discovery Storm Chaser.
The chasing community coordinated the first of its kind, GPS location-based tribute using the Spotter Network, the website officially trained storm chasers use to report any storm activity. “Andy was a new breed of storm chaser that pushed the limits of what any of us thought was possible. He inspired an entire generation of chasers to pursue their passion,” said the Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes, meteorologist and tornado chaser.
A crash involving four cars claimed the life of Gabrielson on Saturday, February 4 th. According to weather.com, he was traveling home from Texas after chasing a storm when a driver traveling westbound in Sapulpa, OK crossed into the eastbound lane. Besides Gabrielson, one other person was killed in the accident.
Donations are being collected by the chase community. All proceeds will go to Gabrielson’s three year old daughter. Also in the works is a possible scholarship fund for students of meteorology, being coordinated by Gabrielson’s parents. Meteorology was his passion: “Weather is ever changing, my friend. That’s why I keep coming back.” He was 25 years old.