If one goes out to chase with low expectations of seeing anything does that count as a bust? That’s what happened today as I rolled the dice and motored east of the Blue Ridge in hopes of intercepting a prefrontal cell or two per the HRRR and RAP models. But mainly I was checking out this year’s variant of stormchase gear.

Stopping near Wirtz off U.S. 220 I set up shop and waited as the local TV station successfully used my live stream on its 5:00 pm broadcast First Weather. I wasn’t watching anything spectacular but everything checked out:

chasemobile and cloud bases

Chasemobile looking west at the Blue Ridge Mtns

It turned out that this was the best Nature could do in my area. A few decent cells went up north of I-64, morphing into a squall line after 6 pm. However no convection fired ahead of the front where I could reach it.

Finally giving in to the inevitable I rolled westward into the Roanoke valley and parked at a local hilltop vantage point to live stream the front itself. When the rain began I headed home ahead of the heavy stuff. Even though I accomplished the main goal – testing out the gear – a couple rumbles of thunder after dark helped soothe the chaser’s soul.