During yet another morning of remnant MCS convection I harbored doubts about whether a chase would be worth it today. After dithering a bit on whether to believe any of the models I decided to leave it up to the radar. When that showed an obvious mesoscale convective vortex – MCV – whirling over West Virginia and spinning out bands of showers and storms I headed down the driveway shortly after 1:30 pm.
Dismissing my first inclination to head to Rocky Mount for an east/south option I instead motored east of the Blue Ridge via VA Route 24. I wound up diving south on VA Route 43, pausing northeast of Huddleston to watch a cell pass by just to my west. More convection was building over the U.S. Route 29 corridor so I dove east in that direction to intercept a cell near Altavista.Stopping just before I reached the highway intersection I switched on the live feed and began snapping photos.
I followed this storm north via Rte 29 as other cells began to fill in behind and overhead me. Again dithering a bit on whether to stay with this storm I finally decided to pull off and head south to either get a better angle on this developing complex or intercept the next batch of convection coming up from the southwest.
It turned out that I did the latter, pushing east across northern Pittsylvania county to parallel a growing convective line. I stopped a couple of times to watch the slow moving action with companions at one point:
The line expanded enough that I had to reposition after it developed almost directly overhead:
Traversing familiar rural routes I wound in the Long Island (Virginia version) vicinity where I parked for quite a while to watch the line continue developing as individual cells moved northeast.
This was the view to the east as I live streamed from this position:And as more cells back built along the line to the southwest this was a small lowering under one of the updrafts.As the line slowly pushed north and east I wandered a bit further north to near Gladys where I parked to allow the TV station to use the live stream during the top of their 5 o’clock broadcast. This was my last clear view of the northern edge of the line:
All in all the afternoon was enjoyable even though none of these cells exhibited any lightning or thunder. More vigorous activity built just south of the VA/NC state line (per earlier model solutions) but much of that terrain is terra incognito for chasing, containing lots of trees and hills and very few roads. Thus I called it a chase by 6:00 pm and wandered back toward home base.