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FINALLY…a decent rainfall is soaking our neck of the woods. It’s been sorely needed for weeks and I’m glad to see it. However the current wetness coupled with this week’s upcoming Arctic blast are emphasizing the suspension of storm chasing for the winter.

Thus today’s mental exercise involves poring through my personal storm chasing statistics. I had a couple of versions of older spreadsheets that – I think – I’ve scrubbed to reflect only Virginia chasing (and not results from Great Plains chases). I’ve added data that goes through the 2016 season, meaning I now have 15 years (2002-2016) of results. What follows are some of the numbers.

Average number of Virginia chases per year: 25 (based on my availability to chase, not on the actual storms that may have occurred on a given day)

Total number of Virginia tornadoes seen: 5 (includes those verified by NWS storm surveys plus a few I’m positive that had ground circulation but no survey was conducted)


Sep 29 2016 multi-vortex funnel that I’m positive had a ground circulation (Union Hall VA)

Total number of Virginia funnels seen: 32 (includes 6-8 that may have had ground circulations but were  never verified)


May 8 2008 funnel that may have had a ground circulation (Palmyra VA)

Total number of Virginia wall clouds seen: 157 (whew, more than I expected)

prospective blog header photo

April 28 2016 wall cloud (Pittsylvania county)

Total number of Virginia hail events experienced: 20 (i.e. # times I’ve heard it pinging on the chasemobile)


May 8 2003 hailstones (Fauquier county)

Also included in the overall chase numbers but not broken out in detail are chasing busts. Although it’s enlightening to look back at busts and learn from them it’s too depressing to total them up.

The tornado numbers may seem woefully low to those that chase the Plains all the time (and I’ve witnessed a few out that way as well). However as I’ve stated before I’m a storm chaser, not a tornado chaser. I enjoy the convective activity I encounter in the Old Dominion even if ropes, cones, and wedges aren’t a common occurrence here.