I succumbed to the chasing urge today mainly because it’s the first week of February and opportunities to witness convection come few and far between this time of year. I rolled down the driveway at 10 a.m. and pointed the chasemobile toward Blairs, splashing south on U.S. Rte 220 amid already heavy rain in the local area.

Turning east on Rte 40 at Rocky Mount I blasted thru the cold air damming wedge front about a mile west of the intersection with Climax Road in Pittsylvania county. The windows fogged immediately and the wind direction promptly swapped around out of the south. I arrived at my stop in Blairs and gloried in the mid-60s temperatures after leaving the mid-40s at home.

Turning on the live video stream for the local TV station to use during its noon broadcast (which I found out later didn’t work…need to remedy that before the next chase) I continued south to Danville. Heading east on Rte 58 to a hilltop vantage point across from the airport I set up shop to watch and wait. This was the radar velocity data at 1 pm as a convective line headed in my direction:


I kept a close eye on those “fingers” in the velocity field in case rotation popped up but I didn’t see anything. In fact this was about all I saw from my location:

view from Danville cemetery

The wind picked up as this line swept over me and went back over from the north as heavy rain pounded down (sans lightning and thunder). I sat for a bit longer and watched radar but nothing more interesting was within reach in chaseable territory. The closest SPC storm reports were well south of I-40 in North Carolina.

It was a good test run of the chase equipment setup and showed me a few bugs I need to work out. Next time tho’…