I wasn’t overly optimistic about today’s setup but I chased since I had the time, my chase partner was available, and there would most definitely be storms despite my concerns about a strong cap. I rolled down the driveway about 2:20, picked up my partner, and headed south on U.S. Route 220 toward Rocky Mount. We paused near Wirtz to check neighboring radars (Blacksburg KFCX is still on the fritz) and scan the skies with the MK 1 eyeball.
Given the visible anvil plus an encouraging radar signature of a cell moving east from Stuart we continued south on Rte 220. We briefly reconnoitered west on U.S. Route 58 but by this time that cell (dead storm #1) was falling apart. I wasn’t wild about straying too far east of the mountains and their available uplift but more convection was visible north and east of us. Thus we pushed east on Rte 58 and then diverted north on U.S. Route 29 at Danville to approached a cell in the Chatham/Gretna area.
However by the time we reached Chatham that updraft had also dissipated (dead storm #2) so we motored further north to a dinner stop just south of the Lynchburg area. More storms were firing both to the west over Bedford county and east over Appomattox county. Keeping with my desire to stick close to the mountains we made our way along back roads after our quick repast to emerge west of Lynchburg on U.S. Route 460. However by the time we neared the activity over Bedford county it too was falling apart (dead storm #3).
Given that new convection was firing over the Roanoke valley and moving east-northeast we pushed west to Montvale to fill the chasemobile’s gas tank before diving south on rural roads. Before killing storm #4 we came across several photo-worthy scenes as the sun sank toward the western horizon:
A bit further south we had this view of storm #4:
Finally reaching VA Route 24 we turned west toward Roanoke and were rewarded with some very nice sunlit updraft scenes:
We wound up 0 for 4 but enjoyed cruising the countryside and seeing the sights. Next up is a good hard look at Friday’s setup to see if it’s worth chasing.