Colby Ward

Location: Fayetteville, AR
Started Chasing: 1998
Tornadoes: 30
Web site: http://www.allaccessweather.com

Bio: I started chasing a little back in the mid 90s but really got into it after moving to Norman in 1998 to study Geography and Meteorology. I graduated from The University of Oklahoma in 2002 but continued to chase off and on over the past 15 or so years. I moved back to my hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas in early 2012 and began chasing for KNWA/KFTA, the local NBC and Fox affiliates for Northwest Arkansas. I am also a Realtor with my family’s company Realty Concepts, Inc.

Chaser Q&A

How did you realize your love for weather?

I am typically only happy when the weather is interesting and have been that way my entire life.

When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?

Well before the movie Twister came out.

How long have you been actively chasing (in years)?

17

Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?

Usually with a group

Have you ever considered going on a storm chase tour?

Not really. Although it would be nice to not drive for once.

How far are you willing to travel for a good set up (in miles)?

300

What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?

Northern and western Oklahoma are my favorite areas. I don’t have any interest in chasing Dixie Alley.

What is your most memorable chase? Least memorable?

Most memorable was 11-7-11 in SW Oklahoma. A decent set up provided an amazing storm that just kept on producing doing little property damage.

I don’t remember my least memorable but there have been hundreds…

Have you ever feared for your life?

Yes. May 3rd 1999 in South OKC.

Are you afraid to make dangerous maneuvers while chasing? (I.E – core punching/hook slicing/living in the bears cage)

I prefer not to core punch but have spent a lot of time in the bear’s cage.

Would you sacrifice a salaried job with full benefits, but only 2 weeks out of the year to chase for a paycheck to paycheck life with unlimited chasing?

No

Are you currently doing anything job related to the weather?

Storm Spotter for local TV station but that is not really a job.

Have you ever been to ChaserCon?

Yes. 2014.

Are you more likely to hang out with other chasers while waiting for initiation, or sit alone on a country road watching the sky?

I do a little of both but more than likely by myself or just with my group.

What is your favorite storm chase and why?

4-14-12 was one of my favorites. A textbook storm with multiple tornadoes. I chased with only one other person that had no experience and was able to catch one of my favorite pictures of all time.

How did you learn what you know about forecasting and meteorology?

Watched everything I could on tornadoes growing up. Then went to the University of Oklahoma to study Meteorology.

How you do you feel about the media in regards to the weather and chasing?

Who are the most influential people to you out in the field?

What do you fear most about a storm?

Hail! I don’t like being anywhere near the big stuff.

Do you have a job that supports storm chasing?

I am in real estate so I typically can set my own hours.

Do you have a family that supports storm chasing?

Yes, I can usually chase when I really want to. It may not be every event but enough of them.

How long do you plan on chasing?

Until I no longer enjoy it.

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