I have noted several times that Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11th) is my empirical cutoff date for the storm chase season here in the Old Dominion. Averaged over a number of calendar years the distribution of my personal chases begins with one or two in late March and ends with one in early November. It doesn’t always play out that way but that is a justifiable Virginia chase season length based upon experience.
The autumnal storm chase finale is typically associated with a strong November storm system and its accompanying cold front that is known across the Great Lakes region as the “Witch of November”. This powerful weather phenomenon is known for swamping and sinking ships in the Lakes. The most famous instance of this was the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975, forever immortalized in Gordon Lightfoot’s hit song by the same name.
Per the forecast models another such storm will wrap up this week. Here’s the GFS output for 15Z (10:00 am) this coming Thursday, 11/12:
At the moment the convective setup along the cold front trailing across Virginia doesn’t look favorable for storms. Although shear values are off the charts there is little or no instability forecast. But it’s worth keeping an eye on if for no other reason than analogues from past seasons.
One last 2015 chase?