When the models and forecasts all pointed to early convective initiation today I was able to rearrange schedules so as to leave home by 1230. My aim was to intercept a cell that had been severe (and even tornado) warned while still in the Shenandoah Valley, and I headed to Bealeton to scope out the situation. When I got there it was obvious I needed to drop south to get to the southern edge, so I drove down Rte 29 and turned onto a side road in the Brandy Station vicinity where I saw this wallcloud-like feature crossing the Blue Ridge:
Within a few minutes the storm became outflow dominant and the feature morphed into more of a shelf cloud that quickly faded:
Moving back out toward Rte 29 I heard a severe warning for a cell to my south, so I abandoned this weakening storm and plowed through some rain around Culpeper while noticing several lowerings on the south edge of this new target. In an attempt to stay out of the rain and get to the south side I detoured southeast down Rte 522 and then down a couple of pleasant back roads to the metropolis of Rapidan. With the storm bearing down on the town I began a frantic search for a vantage point where I could watch events unfold, and wound up with this view of the mesocyclone trying to gather scud to form a wallcloud:
After enjoying this view for several minutes I decided to keep ahead of the storm and sped down a couple more country roads to get over to Rte 20 and avail myself of better road options. On the way I had a couple of bad moments when the storm looked like it would intercept me versus the other way around. However it did give me this view which looks very much like a funnel:
Not sure this feature itself was rotating, but this portion of the storm was exhibiting rotational characteristics so this might be classified as a funnel…unfortunately I didn’t stick around to watch as this was bearing down on my position at a pretty good clip. When I finally reached Rte 20 and turned eastward I was able to stay parallel to the storm’s path all the way to Wilderness. By that time the overall system had weakened and I didn’t see any more severe features. This was yet another decent late summer chase, capped off by another cell that passed over our house with some rain and a couple of good lightning/thunder couplets.

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