I really didn’t expect the sheer scope of Wednesday’s storminess, but I took full advantage of it. In one of my longest geographical chases I started the morning in Florida on a business trip, flying back into Reagan National around noontime in hopes that the SPC-issued Moderate Risk would pan out for chasing. As I rolled down I-95 south I heard the ominously pitched voice of the NWS’s computer voice pronouncing the entire region to be under a tornado watch and immediately phoned my son at work who verified the situation, providing me with additional information on CAPE values (instability), helicities (rotational values), and the like. At that point the afternoon errands I had planned were immediately shoved aside and planned out a chase as soon as I got home. An MCS (mesoscale convective system) was approaching the area from the northwest, so I headed into central Stafford county at 2:40 pm to position myself on the southern edge, hoping to miss the extreme winds and hail while being able to view the system’s passage. I was able to do just that, watching as the leading edge zoomed by just to my north accompanied by some stiff winds and sizzling CG’s. I didn’t see anything severe from my vantage point but I enjoyed the opportunity to experience the weather itself. I arrived home around 4:00 pm and wound up napping with my laptop literally on my lap, having been on the go for a number of hours at that point. More on the next post.

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