A very busy chase afternoon started after the Storm Prediction Center issued a Mesoscale Discussion for my chase region.
I headed down the driveway after a nice cell had fired over Bedford county moving east-southeast. I gritted my teeth and ignored it while I drove south toward Rocky Mount even as the storm went severe-warned. My thought was that staying south of this cell would pay off and it eventually did.
Rolling east on Rte 40 I saw a wall cloud under a storm near Ferrum that wasn’t yet warned. To get a better view I dove south at Glade Hill, eventually finding a spot from which I could watch the storm for a bit.
This was the velocity view on radar at the time:
I live-streamed from this spot for the 5 o’clock news, knowing the storm’s trajectory would require me to vault east and south to keep ahead of the rain. Thus after the news was over I pulled up stakes and headed east along rural routes to reposition.
As I motored toward the hamlet of Sago I crossed a ridgeline that afforded me a view of not one but two storms with wall clouds underneath. The storm I was chasing was to my southwest:
And this was a closeup of the wall cloud underneath it:
But I could also see the rear flank of a severe-warned storm crossing Smith Mountain Lake to the north with a wall cloud underneath it as well.
As “my” cell continued eastward I jumped back in the chasemobile and continued to a spot where I could live stream for the six o’clock news. Two cells approached my location and – fortunately – I was in a seam between the two. This was the southern storm:
That cell eventually bowed out, exhibiting a bit of greenage that I captured in a photo:
This storm exhibited rotation both on radar and visually.
I could have continued ahead of these storms but decided to let them go as a large squall line was forming. I thus extricated myself and headed back north to Rte 40 and points west for dinner. However more cells were firing (likely along a stationary front) so I diverted to watch a couple of them. This was the final cell I observed south of Glade Hill (again!) with a dissipating lowering underneath it: