Typically a strong cold front arrives in Virginia on or near the Veterans Day holiday and finishes off the convective season. Sometimes these boundaries trigger severe weather themselves resulting in an “end of season” chase. This was my account of such an event back in 2002, my first chase season. I was based in the Fredericksburg area.
There are no photos as I didn’t have a digital camera at that point. I kept very close tabs on times and locations to compensate. (All times referenced are in Universal or Z time.)
|“Given SPC convective outlooks for 11/10 and 11/11, anticipated chase on Veterans’ Day. Left home at 1320 to intercept line of storms traversing NE at 50+ mph from Lynchburg area. At 1343 stopped in King George county at intersection of Rte 605 and Rte 3 to intercept line. Saw CG and heavy rain but was 8-10 miles too far west under restricted visibility for severe TS that hit Dahlgren at 1400. Left location at 1405 and arrived in Port Royal at 1430. After some nowcasting by my son in Richmond, we decided to meet in Tappahannock to chase east and southward. At 1510 stopped 15 miles north of Tappahannock to view possible wallcloud moving rapidly NE. At 1529 was in town at edge of Rappahannock River to watch line cross river. Under much improved visibility saw many interesting mammatus features with some suspicious bulges underneath. White wispy features on far side of river may have been rotating wallcloud or just cloud debris moving swiftly with line. At 1625 stopped 20 miles south of Tappahannock to watch another “bulging” mammatus feature that appeared to be lowering. Turned east off Rte 17 onto Rte 33 to get ahead of line again, then turned north onto county Rte 634 which ended at river. At 1650 watched as line crossed river, kicking up waves and producing heavy rain along with more “bulges”. Left there and headed east on 33 again to Stingray Point on Chesapeake Bay to get ahead of line one more time. By 1730 line had dissipated and fallen apart, so we left for home. While headed back to Tappahannock on Rte 17 North, saw wallcloud to SW at 1815; we reversed directions, parked, and watched for 10-15 minutes, seeing minor rotation features but no funnels. Left location for home, arriving at 2000.”|
This was the SPC’s preliminary severe weather report for that day: