As suspected Wednesday (4/5) and Thursday (4/6) featured a storm system that arrived at the wrong time on the clock for me to give chase. The Day 1 SPC convective outlook did hold promise of interesting things to come, especially with this tornado probability graphic in place:
The 2 and 5% tornado probability contours were close enough to entice me to keep track of the action and have my gear ready to go at short notice. Of course with forecast storm motions in the 50 knot range it would have been stop and watch as the cells flew by.
The approaching upper level trough and accompanying short waves / jet streaks combined to fire up thunderstorms across the western part of Virginia during the wee hours Thursday morning. I awoke at 2 a.m. to a couple of loud peals of thunder and heavy rain but after checking radar I wasn’t even tempted to step outside for a peek.
I got up just after 6 a.m. Thursday in case something fired close enough for me to check out during daylight hours. A Mesoscale Discussion was issued just about that same time for most of eastern Virginia with a Tornado Watch following an hour later:
Around 8 o’clock I moseyed to a local vantage point to check out a couple of cells that actually heralded the passage of the surface cold front. One developing complex just north of me looked interesting with hail indicated on radar but it was flying northward at a brisk pace. I chose to stay put and never saw anything else worth even photographing.
Meanwhile two separate regions of Virginia experienced severe weather as it developed later in the day. Both the Tidewater area east of I-95 and sections of Virginia north of I-64 bore the brunt of straight-line winds and several brief tornadoes. Tree and structure damage occurred across a wide swath in both areas as a strong squall line (QLCS) marched through.
The severe potential over the southern part of the Old Dominion was effectively squashed by a cold pool of air and overcast skies left behind by a large area of rain across North Carolina on Wednesday. That created an in situ cold air damming wedge which held down dew points and suppressed instability in my usual chase area. So given little desire to travel 3+ hours one way to chase storms along a grungy fast-moving squall line I stayed home and missed all the action. (I’m not unhappy about that decision.)