For a non-chase today wound up being a shelf cloud-palooza!
We were in Charlottesville on family business so I knew today wouldn’t be a standard chase day. But when we headed home just after 5 pm storms had already lined up west of the city so we dove south on U.S. Route 29 to parallel the slow moving line.We almost made it to the intersection with VA Route 6 at Woods Mill before running into extremely heavy rain. Just before we ran under the rain shaft this was our view of the approaching shelf cloud (photo by my wife):
We pulled off for a bit at Woods Mill to let the deluge ease and watch for possible hail to scoot by via radar:
After the core passed we pulled back out onto the highway only to stop at the county high school south of Lovingston to watch another shelf cloud approach:
There was a bit of wind with this cell as shown on this velocity frame:
We pulled off the highway yet again at the crossroads of Colleen when water ponding on Rte 29 led to hydroplaning even at reduced speeds. Once this latest deluge slacked off our journey south continued. Jumping onto the Rte 29 bypass around Amherst and Madison Heights we soon squirted out from under the growing storm complex. However when we reached the – closed – truck scales on the bypass I HAD to stop and snap some photos of the shelf cloud on the southern edge of the storms that I could see in my rear view mirror:
But even then the action wasn’t finished. After I jumped back in the vehicle and continued south on Rte 29 this showed up ahead of us under a cell south of Lynchburg:
My wife tweeted for me this photo to NWS Blacksburg as an obvious lowering (likely a wall cloud). If I’d been truly chasing I would have diverted eastbound on U.S. Route 460 but – alas – I wasn’t chasing so we turned westbound for home.