Today’s plentiful instability with dew points in the 70s accompanied by an uncapped atmosphere meant that showers and storms fired early, forming over the mountain ridges before noon. However with no shear the main threat looked to be heavy rain and high winds from collapsing cores along with some chances of hail. Thus the SPC had our area in a Marginal Risk (level 1 of 5) for severe weather:
I had already decided to arbitrarily limit my chasing radius as slow moving storms would pop up just about anywhere…and they did. I headed out just before 2:30 to check out the situation and was greeted with this view across southern parts of the Roanoke valley:
That particular cell dropped “grape-sized” hail in the Cave Spring area (size estimation provided by a friend in that area). Turning a bit more toward the east I noticed this dissipating shower:
But instead of sticking around to observe this action I was drawn toward a storm crawling southwest along the I-81 corridor toward Daleville. I thus motored in that direction to a hilltop sports complex that affords great vistas and was rewarded with this sight of a developing cell just west of the area.
This developed into a linear complex that drifted further southwest so I dove south one exit on I-81 and took position at another favored vantage point near Hollins. There I watched a rain-free base slowly undulate, occasionally sucking scud into the base but without any visible rotation.
As the northern end of the line segment neared I moved a bit south to watch as it intensified and began spitting out noisy CGs. I thought I’d captured at least one bolt on video but a quick review revealed that I’d missed it. When an extension of this complex developed overhead I rolled home to get out of the rain.
So it wasn’t a chase to crow about…but it was something on a hot and sticky July afternoon.