I swore I wouldn’t go far to chase today and I didn’t have to: a severe TS watch plus a warned storm wound up right in my neighborhood. I first pushed up to a sports complex on a hill in Botetourt county to watch the oncoming storm. This is the radar view at the time I chose to leave that site (my location is the white 5-sided star not far from Fincastle):
This is the first look I had at the storm base approaching from the west. It had a bit of a lowering under it and the surface wind was flowing somewhat toward the storm.
As a large cadre of softball players began their preparations for what would be a futile effort I watched as this lowering morphed into a shelf cloud, indicating an outflow-dominant storm.
I departed this location wishing the seemingly oblivious softball players luck (it was obvious to me that they weren’t paying much attention to the oncoming storms) and headed south and east. I only made it to the Hollins exit of I-81 just before the rain hit, so I zoomed into a parking lot at the top of a hill to perform a “static core punch” and let the storm do its thing.
By now it was warned, and the outflow winds were pretty stiff.
I never experienced any hail and my best guess is that the wind gusts pegged at or below 45 mph, so I didn’t see anything severe. But, I did enjoy myself!