Today’s cold frontal passage was the first hope I’d had of chasing in September but I didn’t go out. Even though the low level shear was very robust the widespread overcast and low ceilings suppressed instability and produced ghastly visibility values.  Near sunset there were three severe TS warnings plus a tornado warning within my general chase area but the restricted visibility coupled with a lack of lightning from low-topped storms rendered chasing virtually impossible. 

As it turned out my son with was heading north from Danville VA along Rte 29 when the tornado warning was issued and he and his family observed a funnel and wall cloud near Blairs.  (This was a case of accidentally being in the right place at the right time.)  Due to the lack of both daylight and lightning he was not able to capture any photos of the features.

Pondering the next potential for severe weather I just checked the models and frankly don’t see much chance for chasing over the next 10 days.  The recent dry pattern looks to hold sway and even plain old rain may be hard to come by for a while.  Given that my model perusal took me to the end of September I now wonder if this pattern will yield any more chasing this year.  Of course there’s always the chance that a tropical system could shake things up but the tropics are pretty quiet right now and we’re a week and half past the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Typically I hold out hope for an occasional chase here in Virginia through Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11th) so I shouldn’t panic yet based on past seasons.  But I can hear the footsteps of the winter chase doldrums approaching ever so quietly…

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