Mara Davis, a meteorology major at the University of Oklahoma who was also friends with the students, said by phone on Saturday night that those in the meteorology cohort were all close and had formed a “20-person best friend group.” On Saturday, she texted friends to come to her apartment so they could be together.
For much of the evening, Ms. Raffel and Ms. Davis reminisced about their friends: how Mr. Nair, who was described as hilarious and outgoing, would sing a little song with his great voice, one he had hoped to use as a broadcaster someday — a good choice, since he had been a lousy cook, his friends joked.
How Mr. Short, whose latest research project was about hurricanes, was “the most intelligent person” Ms. Raffel said she had met, and someone who wanted his friends to succeed.
And how Mr. Brooks, a latecomer to the friend group, had quickly won everyone over with his quick wit and his love for all things meteorology, especially forecasting.
“Their passion for weather and just the safety for everybody and love for the whole world — they were just loved so much,” Ms. Raffel said.
Daniel Carter, a friend in the group who also studies meteorology at the university, said via Facebook on Saturday that they were planning a candlelight vigil in the coming week.
The College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences at the University of Oklahoma said in a statement on Saturday that its community “is very much a family,” and that its members were “deeply saddened.”