Storm Chaser Interview: Paige Vincent

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Name: Paige Vincent

Storm chasing name: N/A

What influenced you to start storm chasing? 

Vincent: I started seeing storm photos on social media about 5 years ago, and being from Texas I was immediately drawn to storms and wanting to see them up close. So, I began chasing with friends as a passenger. 

How many storm chases have you been on and what’s your favourite to date?

Vincent: I’ve lost count how many chases I’ve been on, but I’ve seen about 12 tornadoes. My favourite to date was the Lockett, TX tornado on 23rd April, 2021 or the Palmer, Iowa event last week on the 12th April, 2022. 

During a chase, what excites you the most?

Vincent: I get so much adrenaline from watching what beauty mother nature can create and destroy in such a short amount of time, and knowing that no storm will ever be the same as another.

What is the most dangerous thing you’ve had to deal with whilst chasing?

Vincent: Following a chase in 20221, while heading to the hotel we were caught in intense straight line winds from a QLCS. The winds got up to about 65 – 70 miles per hour (mph) and I was afraid the car was going to roll, luckily after a bit of shaking they passed over us. 

Photo credit: Paige Vincent

– LET’S DISCUSS CHASING IN DETAIL –

When do you start planning for a chase?

Vincent: I begin comparing weather models and preparing for a chase about 5 days leading up to the event. I typically will decide only 24 hours before what my move is because storms change so rapidly. 

What steps do you take to plan out where your severe weather (tornado) target will be?

Vincent: I compare different storm prediction (National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center) models to get a general idea of what town I want to position myself in and than watch the live radar once I’m in a good position to see how they’re trending. I never chase specifically for tornadoes, but rather good structural storm, and if there’s a tornado that’s just icing on the cake. 

What do you take when you go chasing?

Vincent: I always have my camera gear first and foremost, a full tank of gas in my Subaru, and enough water and snacks to last me all afternoon. Most importantly, my phone with radarscope, which is the only tool I use while chasing.

What equipment do you use to chase?

Vincent: I currently shoot with my Nikon z6ii and a 15-30mm lens to make sure I capture the full structure of the storm. I also have my Nikon z50 with a longer lens for getting a little closer and capturing detail of the storm, or if I can’t get as close as I’d like.

Photo credit: Paige Vincent

If someone wants to start chasing, what should they learn or do and what should they expect?
Vincent: The most important thing I recommend to new chasers is to go with an expert! I would recommend going multiple times and for a few years before ever considering chasing on your own. The is my 5th yer chasing and first year to go alone and I know I still have much to learn! The National Weather Service (NWS) and Skywarn classes are 2 great resources to learn the basics of what dangers you can face during a storm and how to properly report inclement weather, but nothing prepares you like being in the field. 

Stay tuned to Discover Tornadoes for more tornado news, information, and more. Stay tuned for more storm chaser interviews.

If you’re a storm chaser and would love to be interviewed! Email us at discovertornadoes@gmail.com.

RELATED: Storm Chaser Interview: Zachary Hall – Vortex Chasing

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