Given that we were under yet another SPC-issued slight risk for severe weather today I kept a close eye on the convective situation and the associated pre-frontal trough. I was able to leave work a bit early and ran by the house to change, grab the chase gear, and check out radar to determine where I would go. Seeing two cells moving SW-NE from Culpeper toward Warrenton I chose to head west out Rte 3 in case the southernmost cell decided to go supercellular (is that a word?) and turn right; that way I could stay south of the Rappahannock River and still keep up. I wound up near Lignum on a side road watching as a small wallcloud tried to wrap up just west of me on a severe-warned storm. I sat there for 15 minutes or so enjoying the view and the lightning as the cell traversed left to right in front of me. Just before I decided to move and get a different view a pretty good hailshaft manifested itself. I wasn’t able to get into a really good position on the storm and stay on paved roads (a recent qualification I’ve added to chasing here in Virginia), but I did get a neat view of a rainbow. I then returned to Rte 3 to head further west to view another complex that was growing to the southwest, but I just had to stop and snap another photo of the now distinct hailshaft on the first storm.
For the second storm I parked in a favorite viewing spot near Stevensburg and enjoyed the quiet of a late June afternoon. Another severe-warned storm was moving along the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge, and I watched as a singular cell grew on the flanks of this storm and then joined it. This cell had a very obvious inflow so I watched carefully for signs of rotation, but it merged with the other complex before I could determine anything. However as a possible result of this merger I did see a lowering (not necessarily a wallcloud) that showed up under the temporarily rain-free base between the two systems. Unfortunately the rain filled in before I could get a better view, so I beat feet eastward to meet my son at Wilderness after he got off work.
While I waited for my son I noticed the storm to the west that I had abandoned was pushing out a shelf cloud in my general direction. When he arrived we watched as this feature also exhibited a lowering that we lost sight of as the storm headed further northeastward. Somewhat uncertain where to go next we headed south on Rte 20 to catch a radar-indicated storm moving north, but that cell wound looking pretty ragged and uninteresting. We eventually motored back to Lignum where we could see the eastern storms marching off across Northern Virginia while we could see towers building to the west of the Blue Ridge that were probably associated with the cold front itself. We sat there quite a while, watching as systems built around us and slowly drifted off in the distance. It was a very pleasant time, capped off by our following the storm that dropped rain over the city and eventually over my housing area just before I arrived home: