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SPC had most of Virginia under either an Enhanced or a Slight Risk today:VA_swody1

An approaching trough provided shear plus cooler temperatures aloft while a surface cold front fired several line segments along and ahead of it. The first line popped up before noon so I rolled down the driveway at 11:45 am to get ahead of it in the vicinity of Bedford.

What followed was such a mish-mash of convective activity that I’m not even going to try to detail everything that happened. Instead here are a number of photos that are – hopefully – in chronological order with brief descriptions of what was going on.

Storm #1 Bedford county

This was storm #1 in western Bedford county just off US Rte 460. I let this one go on its merry way northward into undesirable chase territory and of course it went severe-warned.

After a gasoline and comfort stop I dropped south to a vantage point along Joppa Mill Road and spied this lowering under the next cell on this first convective line. I’m pretty sure this was at least briefly a wall cloud as surface winds were at my back, i.e. they were flowing into the storm.

funky scud under southern end of line

After the first line went by with several cool renditions of shelf clouds I cooled my heels a while at a local park. When a second convective line crossed the Blue Ridge I motored back to the Joppa Mill Road location to watch. The above photo shows a SLC (scary looking cloud) under the shelf cloud on the southern end of the line.

Meanwhile the northern end produced a very mean-looking shelf cloud that I left behind when it approached too close. I leap-frogged ahead of this second line into eastern Bedford county and watched for quite a while.

Third storm near Blairs

When the rain approached again I dove south along VA Rte 43 to Altavista and then continued south on US Rte 29 past Chatham to check out a third line segment. This was the view I had of a very interesting feature from the Blair truck stop on the eastern slope of White Oak Mountain just before the rain closed in. Was it a mesocyclone signature? Perhaps, but I only had a few seconds to observe it.

Shelf cloud under fourth storm near Blairs

Yet another line segment (#4) moved toward Danville from the southwest. This was the southern edge of it with another shelf cloud. I motored a bit south and east to stay ahead of it but wound up conducting a static core punch a couple miles east of Rte 29.

Calling off the chase I grabbed dinner and then headed home up Rte 29. I turned off on Old Mine Road to cut the corner to VA Rte 40 and as I rolled along that rural route I caught a glimpse of Kelvin-Helmholz waves. KH waves from Old Mine Road

Not a bad way to bookend a busy day!