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The ingredients are – almost – all there for some decent storms tomorrow (Friday). Over the Piedmont afternoon CAPE values are >1000 j/kg, deep layer shear is >50 kts, and surface dewpoints exceed 60 degrees. The other main ingredient – lift – is the determining factor for this setup.

Thus after looking at this morning’s 12Z model runs my tentative chase plans are as follows:

First, an early departure will be on tap to intercept convection resulting from lift provided by a passing shortwave (circled in blue on the Pivotal Weather graphic below):500hvv.us_ma

This activity will approach the Blue Ridge crest around dawn Friday per the 4 km NAM. With that in mind I may head to the Rte 460 corridor to observe what happens east of the mountains during the mid- and late morning hours.

After this clears away conditions appear to ripen quickly, but there is no obvious lift available until the cold front approaches late afternoon.sfctd_b.us_ma

The past few runs of the 4 km NAM have insisted that a few discrete cells will fire along this front, most likely along the VA/NC border. Thus after a several hour hiatus back at the barn I will likely head back out to the Danville vicinity by mid-afternoon.

Having said all this there is still a chance that outflow boundaries from the morning activity could fire storms in the juicy conditions earlier than the models are showing. That’s something worth keep an eye on.

Now to wait for the shorter term models to come into range.