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I deliberately didn’t chase today for a couple of reasons, one of which had to do with it being Friday of the Fourth of July holiday weekend and the associated “traffic horribilis”.  However a persistent 500 mb trough across the Mid-Atlantic is lending hope to several chase opportunities this weekend.

With decent upper level winds and a stationary / warm front wandering around the VA/NC state line there is a so-so chance of severe storms each of the next 2 days. SPC already has Southside Virginia marked for a Marginal Risk Saturday and Sunday. One of those days may wind up with a Slight Risk depending on where the surface boundary actually sets up and how much sunshine is available to stir up convection.

Saturday both the NAM and GFS depict a theta-E moisture/heating boundary along the U.S. Route 460 corridor so a Southside VA initial target will be in order. Times will be TBD depending on short range model solutions.

Here’s a GFS depiction of the supercell composite parameter for 8 pm Sunday (from Pivotal Weather):scp.us_ma

A strong cap looks to be in place much of Sunday so things may not fire until late. Extreme southern VA may well be the initial target for dinnertime.

Monday’s forecast looks a bit murkier with several models disagreeing where the warm front will be. Some recent runs are trending it further north, putting more of Virginia in an unstable warm sector as a short wave trough approaches from the west. Indications are that the steadier heavy rains will be north near the Mason-Dixon line which would suggest more discrete storms south into Virginia.

Thus Monday looks like Virginia could receive an SPC Slight Risk and perhaps even an Enhanced Risk in areas along the VA/NC border. Yes, Monday is the Fourth, and yes, traffic could swell to the horrendous stage. But if the setup looks good enough I could be tempted to chase!

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