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Nearly 200 storm chasers have paid tribute to the late actor Bill Paxton by spelling out his initials using GPS coordinates on a map depicting the heart of Tornado Alley.
The effort coordinated by Spotter Network spelled out 'BP' on Sunday to honor the leading man in the disaster movie 'Twister,' which inspired a generation of storm chasers.
Paxton - Titanic - Aliens - Saturday - Stroke
Paxton, who also worked on the Titanic and Aliens, unexpectedly died on Saturday aged 61 after suffering a stroke because of issues stemming from his heart operation.
In the 1996 Twister blockbuster, Paxton played a storm chaser who was researching tornadoes during a twister outbreak in Oklahoma.
Paxton - Helen - Hunt - Data-collection - Probe
Paxton and co-star Helen Hunt scrambled to release a data-collection probe into the funnel of a tornado as they competed with another, better-funded research team that used similar technology.
Storm chasers and storm spotters have spelled out the initials of fellow chasers in the tight-knit community four or five times before, but never for someone who hasn't directly 'made a significant contribution to the field'.
'This - Time - Way - John - Wetter
'This is the first time we've gone way outside of that,' said John Wetter, president of the nonprofit that tracks the positions of tornado chasers and works with the National Weather Service to update weather forecasts.
'There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of meteorologists today - myself included - who were impacted by the movie 'Twister' and the role Bill played in that.
'Twister - Kind - Time - Mass - Media
'Twister was kind of the first time in a mass media marketplace the meteorologist became cool, if only for a little while.'
The storm chasers spelled the initials on a map that was centered around Wakita, Oklahoma, a real town in the heart of Tornado...
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