Well, today was not the day for “six o’clock magic” to work. The setup was definitely Marginal as designated by the SPC but with CAPE > 1500 j/kg and deep layer shear >40 knots I figured it was worth giving it a shot.
I wound up puttering around the Rocky Mount vicinity during the late afternoon and early evening, chasing convective showers that produced no lightning I could see. Cells went up along the Blue Ridge with a southeast wind pushing moisture upslope but the mid level lapse rates just weren’t robust enough to keep these towers growing into strong storms.
This updraft base just west of Rocky Mount caught my eye so I followed it for a while as it interacted with other cells.Pausing in Glade Hill I made a navigational error, projecting the showers’ position to be north of Burnt Chimney by the time I could drive there. The updrafts back built and effectively slowed down so I ended up in the midst of an active rainshaft (thankfully without a hail core).
I let most of the rain push past me before motoring west toward Wirtz to take a look at the backside of the southernmost cell. I did snap a few decent photos but saw nothing exciting storm-wise.
Unless Sunday’s setup changes dramatically from what it currently appears I doubt I’ll head out tomorrow. Need to save up energy to chase Monday’s setup!!