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!