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.IMG_5049Stopping just before I reached the highway intersection I switched on the live feed and began snapping photos.cell near Altavista

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:Chasing companions

The line expanded enough that I had to reposition after it developed almost directly overhead:Under the line

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.IMG_5055

This was the view to the east as I live streamed from this position:Cells east of Long IslandAnd as more cells back built along the line to the southwest this was a small lowering under one of the updrafts.Lowering S of Long IslandAs 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:Final view near Gladys

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.