An afternoon chase recon into Franklin county yielded a nice drive thru the countryside accompanied by a good friend and rookie chaser but we saw no storms. Despite very respectable shear and CAPE values none of the updrafts over the Blue Ridge Mountains held together.
The Storm Prediction Center even issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for our region so we were hopeful. Robust cells were firing over West Virginia but they weren’t due to cross the mountains until after dark. Thus my chase partner and I called it by 6 pm and headed back toward our respective homes.
While my wife and I waited for our food at a busy local burger joint I watched one discrete storm split on radar just west of the Roanoke valley. Following our repast we stopped in a parking lot near the airport and watched as the southern split slid just west of the valley. As it approached I could see a lowering underneath that soon gusted out into a shelf cloud.
Rushing home as twilight neared I dropped my wife off, switched to the chasemobile, and headed back out to a local vantage point with chase gear to watch. After a couple of stops I rendezvoused with fellow storm chaser Kevin Myatt and we watched the action from a local hilltop. As darkness fell we caught up on life while lightning flashed and illuminated storm features.
Not a productive chase from a storm perspective but it was an enjoyable day nonetheless.