4/03/06 NOW: NC/SC/VA

Starting a now thread as convection from last night has crossed the mountains and is intensifying in W/WC NC. Warnings issued already from both GSP and RAH. Mostly a hail/damaging wind threat as MCS intensifies as it moves E, but sfc based storms can't be ruled out later this afternoon. SPC has a MDT with 15% tornado, 45% hatched hail, and 45% damaging wind. We'll need some isolated sups ahead of the sfc cold front later to have this verify...

Watching convection moving toward Triangle. Quasi-MCS beginning to take shape, and cell in W Chatham County has ~60 dBZ at T4. These cells will affect the RDU area in the next couple of hours.
 
Spotted for NWS RAH as quasi-linear multicell line came through the RDU metro. Couple of small hail reports NE of the city, but nothing to write home about. Clearing to the W ahead of the front evident on visible imagery...will wait to see how boundary layer recovers from our second shot of morning convection.

Target is east of RDU out on Hwy 70 later this afternoon (assuming all ingredients come together...). Fewer trees and better visibility play as much a role as actual kinematic/thermodynamic evolution! :)
 
TOR Watch 147 for GA/SC/SW NC as differential heating boundary becomes better established, jet impinges, and cf sweeps in.

Surface obs not incredibly terrific now except pretty far E...BL still has quite a ways to go in E NC before recovering. Outflow from morning convection should help establish that same diff. heating boundary more solidly farther E and hopefully will serve as a focusing mechanism later this afternoon.

Still targeting E/SE of RDU later this afternoon.
 
Same target here for later this afternoon, though exactly where yet is still 'up in the air'. The outflow boundary oriented NNE-SSW in eastern NC would be a good place to start, but from looking at the satellite loops it appears this feature may be pushed off too far to the east by 4-5 pm to be effective. Currently DPs are ~60 over most of the warm sector in NC, except along the coastal counties where values in the 63-65 range are evident. I think we still have another hour to hour and a half at least before the nose of the 500mb jet begins to increase UVVs and lapse rates over eastern NC, so will just play the waiting game from the house until then.

Edit: One thing is for certain, these storms will be trucking ENE at over 50mph (or more)...the line segment that passed through Wayne county at noon reached the coast at 2pm. Even with a straight shot down US70E, it takes me about 2.5 hours to reach the coast. Unless we can find a good east-west road near a storm it'll be more of an intercept than a chase. With the exception being any right movers that may occur, which is what i'll be keeping a close eye on once storms do develop and begin heading ENE (or existing storms that may come out of upstate SC and move into southeastern NC.
 
Same target here for later this afternoon, though exactly where yet is still 'up in the air'. The outflow boundary oriented NNE-SSW in eastern NC would be a good place to start, but from looking at the satellite loops it appears this feature may be pushed off too far to the east by 4-5 pm to be effective. Currently DPs are ~60 over most of the warm sector in NC, except along the coastal counties where values in the 63-65 range are evident. I think we still have another hour to hour and a half at least before the nose of the 500mb jet begins to increase UVVs and lapse rates over eastern NC, so will just play the waiting game from the house until then.

Edit: One thing is for certain, these storms will be trucking ENE at over 50mph (or more)...the line segment that passed through Wayne county at noon reached the coast at 2pm. Even with a straight shot down US70E, it takes me about 2.5 hours to reach the coast. Unless we can find a good east-west road near a storm it'll be more of an intercept than a chase. With the exception being any right movers that may occur, which is what i'll be keeping a close eye on once storms do develop and begin heading ENE (or existing storms that may come out of upstate SC and move into southeastern NC.
[/b]

Brody, I'm worried about the same thing. CU going up N of RDU along this "thermal gradient"....also flow and bl has yet to fully recover in SE NC, where I am still seeing some convectively influenced wind obs. Flow has remained backed E of DAN along the NC/VA state border, and dewpoint depressions there and to the S are less than 10F. RDU has recovered nicely from this morning's convection, and there's still quite a bit of time to go.

Man I wish this setup was in the Midwest. :(
 
From lastest vis. satellite, there appears to be a cumulus/TCU field developing along a line from just south of Raleigh southwest to near McBee, SC. Kinda hard to see under the cirrus deck that's right over it. Not much on reflectivity yet, but that may change in the next 30-45 minutes.
Storms are also developing along two separate NE/SW oriented lines along the southern Appalachian foothills in western parts of NC and SC, and northeast GA.

Edit: Since it's almost 5pm now with under 3 hours of daylight remaining, I'm making a decision on a target and heading out now. Facing a choice of either SE NC, where SBCAPE is approaching 2500 J/kg in spots, or NE NC/SE VA where helicity values are higher but instability not as great (500-1000 J/kg atm). Almost a coin flip, but I think I'll go against my original target of northeastern NC (probably a bad idea) and instead try to intercept and then chase the isolated cells coming out of upstate SC into southeastern/eastern NC. Good luck to all chasing today and be safe, looks like it could end up being a few hours after dark before the warm sector moves offshore.
 
here on Rt. 17 northeast of richmond ... hoping for some pre frontal dbz ... can see that happening yet ... good visibility in tidewater so that's where I'm camped attm. once the boundary falls off the blue ridge/appilc. hopefully we can get fired up out here.
 
I am sitting in a parking lot (Burger King) watching storms on XM. Bill Coyle and Jesse Bass are also here. It is 5:15PM and the storms to the west are already lining out. This is the only area of backed winds and best dewpoints., almost all the other stations have changed to SW. There are some more isolated storms to the far south butthe y are too far. So much for the giant watch box.I will keep to the original target and hope something forms ahead of the approaching line.

We did see a chaser go by on 58 heading east in a pickup truck. Very rare to have this many chasers in Virginia.

Waiting...

Bill Hark
 
I am sitting in a parking lot (Burger King) watching storms on XM. Bill Coyle and Jesse Bass are also here. It is 5:15PM and the storms to the west are already lining out. This is the only area of backed winds and best dewpoints., almost all the other stations have changed to SW. There are some more isolated storms to the far south butthe y are too far. So much for the giant watch box.I will keep to the original target and hope something forms ahead of the approaching line.

We did see a chaser go by on 58 heading east in a pickup truck. Very rare to have this many chasers in Virginia.

Waiting...

Bill Hark
[/b]

Bill...I don't know where you are right now [besides the Burger King :)] but the Eastern and Southeastern 1/4 of North Carolina looks primed for a flare-up of supercells. The best moisture, lift and dynamics are in these areas and the storms are not yet linear. So an enhanced threat for supercells and possible tornadoes may exist in these areas. Where are you guys positioned right now?

PS: There is some outrageous instability and supercell parameters in place near and east of Raleigh, NC. Significant tornado enhancement may be especially possible in this area.
 
Well I figured I would resort to staying in downtown Raleigh and wait for some photogenic lightning, but the initial line collapsed into a very strong gust front (I could barely stand at about 6 stories up) where I was and then refired along it on the other side of Wake County. Still some decent lightning to the south though.
 
I chased the storms in southeastern NC this evening. Have to say I was pretty much unimpressed with any of the cells I intercepted, as they all were relatively high-based, probably owing to dewpoints only at or near 60 degrees in the area. But it was great to get the first chase of '06 under my belt - guess a mediocre chase is better than no chase at all, heh. I added a short chase summary with a few photos at www.tornadohunter.net
Follow the "April 03, 2006 - Southeastern North Carolina" link off the homepage to get to the report.
 
Back
Top