The holiday weekend turned out to be a complete bust for chasing. Saturday’s action all happened too late to see anything. The generic cells I had observed during the late afternoon intensified after dark, growing into genuine discrete storms.
Sunday I chose not to go anywhere as things didn’t look interesting enough. However Monday’s setup looked rather intriguing on several models that showed discrete storms interacting with the retreating wedge / warm front during daylight hours.
The SPC issued a Slight Risk for much of Virginia on the Fourth and based on the models I thought there might be a chance for a bump up to an Enhanced Risk. I was seeing several examples of rotating cells on model solutions with strong low level and bulk shear values. And I didn’t base my optimism on one solution…I pored thru different runs of several different models to gain an appreciation for overall trends.
Alas all was for naught as “Da Wedge” hung on a lot longer than indicated (there’s a surprise…NOT!). Low overcast and easterly winds persisted everywhere except far southwest Virginia, throttling instability and holding strong convection at bay until after dark. (The gloomy wet weather also forced postponement of many Fourth of July fireworks displays.)
This was the radar view just before 11 pm:The discrete cell circled in blue was out ahead of a squall line and showed definite rotation as it crossed the NC/VA state line headed northeast. The cell just to its north merged with the squall line somewhat later with more hints of rotation.
As I tell newbies chasing is a four dimensional activity. Good location isn’t enough as being there at the right time is crucial.