Got in a pretty decent chase to start the fall along the Virginia-North Carolina border on Sunday, as a strong cold front cut into warm, humid air to the east. This wasn't a great setup by any means, as shear and helicity ended up being weaker than they appeared they would be a day or two earlier, but with a Sunday afternoon free, I decided to target the area between South Boston and South Hill, Virginia, on U.S. 58, hoping to find more instability there with insolation. The temperature gradient was strong, with readings near 90 (dew points low 70s) over the coastal plain while temperatures back home in the Roanoke area were barely 70. I watched cumes climb east of South Hill but realized they were struggling and moving too fast east ... I wasn't planning on going all the way to the coast for this marginal setup. So I turned back, thinking the chase might be over, when my nowcaster Dave Carroll pointed out intensifying "gusty showers," as NOAA weather radio described them, to my west and southwest. These "gusty showers" billowed quickly into decent thunderstorms, and one even developed a meso and a severe thunderstorm warning. From this storm, near Lake Kerr on the Virginia-North Carolina state line, I got these pictures of a lowered cloud base (I wouldn't quite call it a wall cloud) and an ominous shelf cloud over a hayfield. Not bad for a September chase that I almost gave up on.
More about my chase here.