There never was much hope for spectacular storm vistas today. Almost zero shear and only modest instability plus northwest flow added up to my waiting on convection to bloom on radar before taking action. I finally motored down the driveway just after 4 pm as a line of storms was crossing I-81 south of Lexington and chugging toward the Lynchburg vicinity.
I stopped in Bedford to fill the gas tank and check radar again before proceeding east of town to intercept a discrete cell forming south of the main line. After rambling around the countryside searching for a decent vantage point I finally stopped and turned on the live stream. There wasn’t much to see altho’ I was forcefully reminded of lightning danger as a bolt hit nearby just as I stepped out of the vehicle to snap a photo. (Hadn’t seen any lightning prior to this…)
This storm expanded and joined with the line to the north of U.S. Route 460. When the rain shaft (sans hail) approached I conducted a static core punch before rolling back westward to town. Diving south on Rte 122 I stopped just off Joppa Mill Road and watched new storms cross the Blue Ridge.
When these storms developed and approached my position I threaded the needle between them and headed southwest. As I wound my way through them I noticed a rain-free base south of me so I continued south to connect with Rte 122 again. Stopping at the top of a hill just north of Moneta I turned the live stream back on and snapped photos:
Storms really ramped up in this region with heavy rain and plentiful lightning. After the worst of the rain passed me I pushed south a few miles to observe the back edge of the “Tail End Charlie” cell located south of me over Union Hall:
I watched and videoed the low clouds forming below the storm base but saw nothing else of interest. Since I really didn’t want to enter the Smith Mountain Lake area on a busy Saturday afternoon I called it a chase and let the storm go.