The title refers to the fact that I somehow managed to chase between two line segments today, staying on the southern “Tail End Charley” cell of the northern segment before the line closed up east of Halifax.  But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Even though the SPC had most of Virginia under a Slight Risk today I wasn’t convinced I was going to have anything to chase.  Several consecutive runs of the HRRR showed nothing at all between the Blue Ridge and I-95 south of I-64 today and a couple different RAP runs didn’t look much better.  However when an east-west line of discrete cells – that neither short term model showed – began popping up over southwest VA shortly after noon I took the plunge and headed east to the U.S. 29 corridor.  I ran under a developing cell near Penhook on Route 40 and ducked south on the Climax Road to get out of the rain and possible hail.  Before reaching the metropolis of Climax I stopped to photograph another cell building to the west:

Smith Mtn is the ridge to the right of the rain shaft

Continuing south to Rte 57 I motored east through Chatham and across 29 to catch up with the end cell of a growing convective line and caught this view over a rural farm:

Jumping back out on Rte 57 I kept heading east and photographed a developing lowering a few miles later, complete with striations on the updraft that indicated rotation:

Looking closely you can see the indications of a hail shaft to the left of this lowering and sure enough I continued east, rounded a corner, and observed this obvious hail shaft:

As I drove further toward Halifax several oncoming vehicles flashed their headlights at me to warn of two separate trees that had fallen across my lane of Rte 57.  I tweeted this one to the NWS Blacksburg office as a storm damage report (AFTER stopping later):

When I reached the Rte 360 intersection west of Halifax proper I noticed on radar that the southern line segment was growing and moving in my direction, so I jogged west a couple of miles to check it out.  This is the northern cell on the southern line:

Retreating through Halifax I finally decided to let the convection continue on its merry way and stopped a couple miles east of town to photograph the small remaining seam between the two line segments before they joined:

And naturally, just after I pulled off the chase to head east and north a cell just west of I-85 went tornado-warned.  But that’s okay…I enjoyed myself!

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