Given that the approaching potent cold front is forecast to slide through the area Friday morning it would seem that chasing would be a futile exercise. However since I’m determined to salvage something from this mess I’ve been considering two options, the first of which would involve a Thursday evening chase into northern North Carolina – beginning near High Point – in hopes of catching a pre-frontal cell. Unfortunately that would lead directly into a night chase on unfamiliar roads and that tends to rule against option #1.
The second option is to chase the front eastward Friday morning along the VA/NC border. The little bit of good news I’ve discovered is that both this morning’s GFS and NAM runs have slowed down the front by a few hours, more in line with what the Euro has been showing all week long. Moreover the NAM shows this CAPE (instability parameter) forecast for Friday at 18Z:
The bit of light blue shading centered on the VA/NC line indicates a minimum of 1000 j/kg surface-based CAPE. Of course the 18Z NAM output reduces this amount of CAPE but I’ll wait for the 0Z run before discounting it.
The other parameters (shear, helicity, etc) don’t look very promising at this point for either option, and neither do the respective simulated radar reflectivities. So is this all grasping at very thin straws? More to follow tomorrow when I have to make a final decision…