Even though short range models predicted that MCS-driven storms would weaken quickly once east of the Blue Ridge this afternoon I had already decided I would give chase today. When the mid-day SPC convective outlook with a small Marginal Risk over Virginia came out I felt a bit justified:VA_swody1 1231EDT update

I waited until convection closed in from the west before heading out since it was too hot and miserable to sit very long while awaiting action. Unfortunately the NWS Blacksburg radar was hiccuping  this afternoon so I left home using the MK 1 eyeball to maintain situational awareness.

Models had indicated better parameters along and north of U.S. 460 so I rolled to Bedford where I paused for a while at a local park. When towers began building over the Blue Ridge mountains I motored to the Visitor’s Center where I had this view of a wall cloud under the convection:Wall cloud W of Bedford

This feature quickly dissipated as the cells moved away from the mountains.

I dithered a bit on which way to go when the rain approached and wound up heading east on Rte 460 and then diving south on rural roads. (I discovered yet another gravel road in Bedford county (!) that appeared on the map to be paved.) I eventually made my way down to VA Route 43 which I followed south and east to the Mentow vicinity.

By this time the convective line had weakened both on radar (it was working again) and visually so the models had been correct. I experienced cool outflow winds of 15-20 knots at this final stop on today’s chase. Although this sunshaft was a cool sight it was another indication that the action was over for the day as the convection began breaking up.Sunshaft near Mentow

However tomorrow is another (chase) day!

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