Today’s instability and shear values were better than yesterday’s but obviously not enough to create a lot of strong convection. The SPC thus had most of Virginia under a Marginal Risk for good reasons:
Westerly surface winds were likely a factor in today’s lack of severe weather as they tend to suppress convection. Also the stronger upper level winds and better shear lay well to the north.
Even so I had to clench my teeth and ignore a nice looking complex scooting eastward along the NC/VA state line from the I-77 corridor. I deliberated whether to chase or ignore it before deciding to let it go. Good thing I did as the next time I dared check radar the section of that storm in Virginia had weakened while the southern tip had built further south into undesirable chase territory in NC.
I finally rolled down the driveway around 2:30 and headed into Bedford county via VA Route 24. Towers were already going up across the area with one raining itself out near Smith Mountain Lake before I could get to a spot to watch.
I sat at this vantage point just north of the Huddleston area until another robust cell built east of the Blue Ridge and headed toward me. I found a rural spot from which to stop and live stream which turned out to be directly in the path of this slow moving but picturesque storm.
I kept an eye on the rain free base on the left (south) side of the updraft and saw at least one lowering that wasn’t obviously rotating.
When the rain from this cell impinged on my location I made a big loop south, east, north, and then back west again to miss most of the precipitation. Another storm trailing this one looked cool but had no distinguishing characteristics so I maneuvered around it and wound up at the intersection of Rte 24 and VA Route 122.
Dithering a bit on what to do next I finally headed south across Smith Mountain Lake to the VA Route 40 corridor to intercept what looked like the storm of the day as it crossed the Blue Ridge near Floyd. I wandered around the countryside a bit to find a vantage point and finally stopped just off U.S. Route 220 south of Rocky Mount. There I noticed another lowering under the southwestern edge of this complex as dusk approached.
At this point all the convection was to my south and east with little chance for strengthening given the approach of sunset. Thus I called it a chase and motored to Rocky Mount for a late dinner. It was a decent day but it left me wanting more.