After yesterday’s frustration I headed out earlier today to get ahead of the convection that was to fire ahead of a very strong July cold front. I stopped by the local TV station and picked up their summer intern who helped with navigation and social media information transmission. We located just east of Glade Hill in Franklin county to await convection along the lee trough.
When things did begin happening the action was further east than I’d expected so we pulled up stakes and blasted east on Rte 40. A line of discrete storms went up ahead of us, necessitating our continuation eastward through Gretna. We turned southeast on the Cody Road and gained position on the northern cell:
As this cell steamed eastward we turned south on Rte 501, pushing through Halifax and then east on Rte 360 to keep up. As we did so we noticed a storm south of us with radar-indicated rotation on it. Thus when our chosen storm didn’t look very promising we dove south toward South Boston to give chase to this other cell.
Continuing south out of town we caught brief glimpses of lowerings underneath this next storm until we finally found an open field. From here we turned on the live stream and snapped photos of the wall cloud and mesocyclone signature underneath the cell:
As this storm pushed further east and south we stayed ahead of it as best we could, stopping just west of Virgilina for this view:
Pushing east on Rte 96 – just above the North Carolina line – we passed through Virgilina and then stayed eastbound on Rte 49 toward Clarksville. Just east of the former town we paused for another look at the southern edge of this cell as it crossed right to left in front of us:
As we rolled eastward the rain filled in, nipping at our back bumper until we decided to turn northward to get back to the Rte 58 corridor. We stopped briefly at one vantage point to observe yet another rain-free base to the southeast with a lowering developing underneath it:
When the rain began filling around this feature we pulled back out onto our northward route, eventually reaching Rte 58 and turning west toward South Boston. After filling up the chasemobile’s gas tank there we motored toward Danville with an eye toward dinner and then heading back home…but the storms had another idea.
As we rolled along a couple of cells south of the North Carolina border began exhibiting significant rotation on radar and of course we couldn’t ignore them. Turning south toward Milton and then southwest toward Yanceyville we had tantalizing glimpses of a large lowering. Finally managing to find a rare open spot we saw this ground-scraping wallcloud a few miles north of Yanceyville:
We live streamed from this location for a few minutes while this feature came more or less right toward us. Wanting a clearer view of the underside of this very low-hanging feature I finally pulled up stakes and wandered along several routes before giving up in frustration due to the limited sightlines. There was another storm further south and west that showed a bit of rotation but by this time we were done for the day. Dinner awaited us in Danville!