Actor Bill Paxton has been memorialized by storm chasers in Oklahoma after the Twister star died at the age of 61. More than 200 people used GPS coordinates to spell out “BP” over Wakita, Oklahoma — the town where much of the tornado-centric movie was shot — in honor of the actor, who died after complications from surgery.
Some storm chasers manually registered their GPS coordinates on the map, but others actually drove out to the location, in the middle of the United States’ “Tornado Alley.” The memorial was arranged by Spotter Network, a nonprofit that uses updates from the National Weather Service to track storm chasers, guiding them to potential tornadoes and helping to keep them safe.
John Wetter, Spotter Network’s president, told AP that the group had recorded similar memorials four or five times before, but only for for people who had made significant contributions to the field of storm chasing. “This is the first time we’ve gone way outside of that. 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,” Wetter said. “Twister was kind of the first time in a mass media marketplace the meteorologist became cool, if only for a little while.”