Saturday, December 20, 2014

Anybody for a high shear / low CAPE setup on Christmas Eve?
Skew T sounding near Danville VA

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Potential poster photo from 15 Jul 2014 chase

Each winter over the past several years I have chosen two storm chase photos that I've taken and have printed and framed them to hang in my "chase gallery" (one wall of the garage). Typically one picture is from a Great Plains chase and the other is from a Virginia chase. This photo is a strong candidate for the 2014 Virginia photo:
This view is looking south at a storm approaching from the southwest. The location is about a half mile west of the metropolis of Virgilina VA.

Oh, in case you were wondering I had stopped the chasemobile in the middle of this decidedly unbusy country lane before snapping this photo.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Hailstorms of Apr 2 2005

Given that the 2014 chase season is officially over I needed something to help stave off SDS (supercell deprivation syndrome) so I'm using the blog to republish this Fredericksburg area chase account from 9 1/2 yrs ago:

"April chasing opened with a bang on the second day of the month when the Storm Prediction Center outlooked eastern Virginia for a slight risk of severe storms and a 5% tornado probability, a significant figure of merit for the Mid-Atlantic. The first action of the day was focused on a warm front lifting northward as I chased east of Fredericksburg during the late morning, catching only a glimpse of a small shelf cloud. After lunch I rendezvoused with my son in Thornburg where we parked his car and consolidated our gear into mine. From there we rolled west and then south on Virginia Route 208 underneath a low overcast, hoping that an approaching upper level pool of cold air would provide the impetus for some strong updrafts.

We covered only five miles of two lane macadam before breaking into brilliant sunshine, immediately glimpsing hard-knuckled convection boiling up to the south in response to the aforementioned cold pool. Our interception course led us across Lake Anna into Louisa county, and somewhere south of the metropolis of Mineral we gloried in our first pea-sized hailfall of the day. Continuing east and then south to stay with the most active cells we enthusiastically enjoyed three more hailfalls, one of which occurred with the sun shining and thus enabling the following cool photo:
Photo by Nathan White
In an attempt to keep up with the best convection we looped through the town of Louisa while tracking a feature that appeared at first to be a ragged wall cloud but was really another shelf cloud from an outflow-dominant storm. Not having mobile internet and thus without radar access we then miscalculated the convective line’s movement, thinking it was headed due north when it was quickly steaming northeastward. As a result we wound up out of position to catch up with a very interesting lowering at the back of the southernmost cell. However, we were afforded a great view of the overall storm structure and witnessed multiple rainbows while thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

The 5% tornado probability didn't verify for us as we saw no funnels and heard no tornado reports but we really didn't care. This early April chase proved to be one of the bright spots of an otherwise abysmal 2005 Virginia chase season. Serendipities come when they come!"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Storms not likely Sunday & Monday

Thought so. The convective action that earlier GFS & Euro runs hinted at for Sunday and/or Monday now looks unlikely for southern Virginia. There could be some storms east of the I-95 corridor but that's well out of my chase range, especially for a weak off-season setup. I'll still keep an eye on things but I have no plans to chase at the moment.

Not really a disappointment since I didn't put much stock in the earlier model hints. Now I have my fingers crossed for an early start to the 2015 chase season. Mid-March, anyone?

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Thanksgiving week chase????

Normally I don't pay much attention to convective potential this late in November, especially after extended bouts of Arctic air, but there are hints of SOMETHING possible on Monday 11/24. On both the GFS and Euro there appears to be a high shear / low CAPE setup early next week altho' the two models disagree on timing.

Could there be a late November chase in the cards? I'm not holding my breath, and if it occurs it could likely be a nocturnal setup. That in itself is dicey with low-topped convection and a dearth of illumination from lightning. Still, it is fascinating to consider the possibility....