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Storm chasers have paid tribute to ‘Twister’ actor Bill Paxton – who died on Saturday, February 25 – by checking in on a US map to spell his initials BP.

Twister star dies, storm chasers unite for fitting tribute

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Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 7:37 PM - Storm chasers from around the world united to honour the late Bill Paxton by creating a virtual tribute.

The 61-year-old Twister star died due to complications from surgery, his family said in a statement issued Sunday.

By marking GPS coordinates, about 200 storm chasers worked to spell out the actor's initials on a map of Tornado Alley, according to The Associated Press.

The map below shows the red dots covering parts of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.


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The tribute was coordinated by Spotter Network, a system that utilizes storm spotter and chaser reports in a centralized network for use by emergency managers and the National Weather Service.

Paxton's portrayal of Bill Harding in the 1996 blockbuster Twister inspired many meteorologists to start storm chasing, including The Weather Network's very own Mark Robinson.


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"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," president of Spotter Network John Wetter told The Associated Press. "Twister was kind of the first time in a mass media place the meteorologist became cool, if only for a little while."

Graduate student of Oklahoma State University Jake DeFlitch was one of few storm chasers to grab his gear and drive to a point to mark his GPS dot, The Associated Press reports.

"I waited until all the letters lined up," DeFlitch told the news agency. "I was part of the 'P,' right below one of the connections, where the half-circle came back and connected with the straight line."

Paxton also starred in the 1986 thriller Aliens, Apollo 13 and Titanic. 

SOURCE: The Associated Press 

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