I had to “force” a chase today, but I was rewarded with some great views. Starting out in Culpeper at 2:15 pm I saw that the moisture and instability parameters resulting from the backdoor front hanging over the Blue Ridge mountains formed a corridor just south of town, so I motored down to a rural spot in Madison county to await several cells that were slowly traversing eastward across the Shenandoah Valley. While I was waiting a very noisy cell built literally half a mile north of my position, dumping copious quantities of rain and CGs but leaving me dry. As this cell met up with the ones drifting eastward over the mountains I was rewarded with a clear view of this slowly moving wall cloud:
When the rain filled in around me I moved a bit northward to a position just off Rte 29 near the Culpeper / Madison county line as a hail marker went up on the cell approaching me from the northwest. It had a bit of a lowering on it as well as some indicated rotation on radar:
Following the path of this storm with my trusty laptop / aircard combination I wound through the back roads of Madison county down to Route 15, keeping just ahead of the rain shaft and stopping to photograph features like this one showing gathering scud:
Finally stopping in the town of Orange to take stock of the storm’s motion I decided to core punch the main updraft that had hail indicated on radar.
Thus, I sped south on Route 15 to Gordonsville, then westward on Route 33 to find the midsection of the storm. At Barboursville I turned south on Route 20 and finally found the heavy rain and frequent CG’s of the main updraft, complete with what may have been another wall cloud but was too hard to see clearly. I gave up on the storm just north of Charlottesville to avoid the potential traffic there. Pretty good Virginia chase! Now I have video to review…