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chase log

April 2014 East Coast Chases

I’ve had a few opportunities to chase storms in April, and I grabbed a handful of images and uploaded them to Flickr. They’re in my 2014 East Coast Chases album, which I will keep updating with images if/when I get more.

20140422_lightning02_crop1080

I head out to the Plains for two weeks… IN two weeks! Same crew as last year, but with my own new-to-me personal vehicle (2010 GMC Terrain) instead of a rental. Like last year, I will be posting daily blog on the U.S. Tornadoes site, and I’ll have a post with the link and details later on.

Fredericksburg, VA storm damage

Jason and I originally intended today’s chase to be more local to our homes in Montgomery County, MD, but as storms kept popping up to our south we kept dropping south with them. We initially crossed over into Virginia near Leesburg as a promising storm was moving into the area to our west. As that storm diminished, new storm after new storm would develop nearby and we went after them, but each storm pulsed out just as we approached the main core. Our goal for the day was getting into a hail core, but we only managed to get a couple of rounds of pea-sized hail. Eventually we ended up in the Fredericksburg, VA area and intercepted the storm that passed through there. After the main core diminished, I saw a tweet reporting damage in the Fredericksburg area and we went to investigate it.

Here is a video and a couple of pictures of the storm damage just southwest of Fredericksburg along US 1… I might get some more pictures and video processed later, but most of it has already been covered.

UPDATE:

The NWS at LWX have completed their survey and concluded that a microburst with winds of 80 mph hit the area.

000
NWUS51 KLWX 092131
LSRLWX

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT…CORRECTED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
530 PM EDT MON JUL 09 2012

..TIME… …EVENT… …CITY LOCATION… …LAT.LON…
..DATE… ….MAG…. ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. …SOURCE….
..REMARKS..

0520 PM TSTM WND DMG 3 S FREDERICKSBURG 38.26N 77.49W
07/08/2012 SPOTSYLVANIA VA NWS STORM SURVEY

*** 7 INJ *** A MICROBURST WITH 80 MPH WESTERLY WINDS
TORE THROUGH AN AREA 3 MILES SOUTH OF FREDERICKSBURG. ON
FLEMING ST BETWEEN LAFAYETTE BLVD AND ROUTE 1… A ROOF
WAS TORN OFF A GYM AND THE WALL COLLAPSED. THERE WERE 7
INJURIES IN THE GYM. THE ROOF WAS THROWN ONTO A HOME
NEXT DOOR. A FEW OTHER BUILDINGS IN THE INDUSTRIAL AREA
HAD ROOFING DAMAGE. THE INTENSE BURST OF WIND BLEW INTO
A RESIDENTAL AREA WHERE DOZENS OF TREES WERE SNAPPED OR
UPROOTED. MANY HOMES IN THE SUBDIVISION WERE DAMAGED BY
FALLING TREES.

&&

CORRECTED EVENT TIME…INJURIES…REMARKS…SOURCE

EVENT NUMBER LWX1200867

$$

STRONG

Just going to log some external links at the bottom here…

Sites that have used my media:

Alex Liggitt’s WJLA ABC 7 Blog
WeatherNation (shared on Facebook, Twitter)
Accuweather

Thank you everyone for all of the re-tweets and mentions on Twitter and Facebook!

26 May 2011 Storm Chase – Chase log and pictures

Had some fun chasing in southern PA… originally had targeted further east to stay out of the more mountainous terrain, but we worked over to I-81 S from Hagerstown, PA late in the afternoon as cells were getting tornado-warned in MD and WV. We intercepted a cell that ended up producing a tornado about a mile away from us to the NE of Marion, PA, but unfortunately rain obscured our view of the tornado yet again. Prior to the tornado east of I-81, there was also downburst damage west of I-81, which also included an overturned tractor-trailer on the interstate. It was a messy (weather-wise) day, but it was a fun day. We got a glimpse of a loosely-organized funnel cloud, but it didn’t turn out well in my video, so that’s been left out of the captures.







23 May 2011 Storm Chase (Pt. 1 of 2) – Summary and videos

After debating between a PA and southern VA target, Jason and I decided to head south towards the better instability. While several tornadoes were reported in PA, the day was not a disappointment as we caught multiple funnel clouds and a possible tornado on video.

We started the trip stuck in traffic. After heading out from home just after 1:00pm, we got on I-495 and had just gotten on the American Legion Memorial Bridge when traffic halted in front of us. Apparently, there was a serious accident just before the exit to I-395, and the accident basically blocked all of the lanes. We were on the bridge for over an hour until emergency crews re-opened one lane (not even a lane… just on the right-most part of the pavement) and we got through just before the real rush hour traffic hit the southern end of D.C. around 3:00pm. We made good time getting down past Richmond into SE Virginia.

After watching storms initialize in SE Virginia (as we were arriving into the area), we could see more storms popping up along a SW-NE oriented boundary (the short wave?) stretching down into NE North Carolina as the afternoon was coming to a close. We headed into North Carolina and tracked a storm for nearly two hours while it kept up a wall cloud and tried to produce tornadoes here and there. We can’t really know for sure whether or not we got tornadoes on camera since the terrain blocked us from seeing any possible ground circulation, but there were a few times where we thought it was pretty darn close.

I might make a clip video later, but Jason already accomplished that with a lot of similar footage, so I might just be lazy and go for the screen grabs instead. The first video is my continuous footage of the rotating wall cloud and funnel cloud(s)/possible tornado. Jason’s video takes us through most of the exciting part of the chase, with a nice funnel cloud starting around 8:21 on the video (shortly after I stopped filming to get our location to report the funnel cloud). These parts of the chase took place about 2-3 miles WNW of Ahoskie, NC along Rt. 561.

You can skip past the little FBI Copyright Warning screen in the beginning of his video…

April 28, 2011 Chase Pictures

Just the one quick upload for now… will add more to this post as I get through footage. Finishing up the final prep. for the Plains chase!

Got in a tornado-warned cell just SW of Elizabeth City along Rt. 17. It looked like it could be fun, but aside from some vivid lightning and a non-rotating wall cloud it wasn’t much to see.

This one was the last cell of the day for me… I think it was severe-warned but definitely not tornado-warned. I was in a tornado warning in an earlier cell and was in perfect position along Rt. 17, but it didn’t produce. Lots of lightning, and even a double rainbow at the conclusion of the last cell. It was a long 14-hour chase by myself, but it was fun and I had a good day despite the lack of tornadoes.

16 April 2011 Storm Chase (Pt. 3 of 3) – Chase Log

Jason Foster and I left Gaithersburg, MD a few minutes after 8am to make the trek down to North Carolina for what turned out to be one of the biggest East Coast tornado outbreaks in history. The plan was to be near Wilson, NC around 12:30-1:00pm to eat and begin our chase. However, being the first day of Spring Break for many, I-95 southbound was clogged with traffic, sometimes coming to a complete stop all the way from Washington, D.C. down through northern NC. At one point we even resorted to using back roads to help make up for the time lost in transit. We finally arrived at our target destination over an hour later than planned after 2:00pm when discrete supercells were just starting to get organized to our south and west. Having no time to stop and eat, Jason and I quickly fueled the car, grabbed some snacks and headed towards the cell that was tracking towards Raleigh.

We headed towards the Raleigh cell as the Raleigh metro area was getting tornado warned. Being a bit behind the cell, we had to play catch-up. Visuals weren’t spectacular as the circulation was rain-wrapped as it pushed through the southern suburbs. The cell showed signs of cycling, so Jason and I continued with it into eastern Raleigh, where we spotted a funnel cloud and possible tornado. Since trees were in the way, we could not see whether or not the circulation had reached the surface while we were observing it. Shortly after this circulation became rain-wrapped as well, so we headed back south to catch the nearest of several storms that had active tornado warnings.

After dropping south to come in through the western edge of the core, Jason and I turned back onto I-95 to get to the second storm’s circulation, which had also become rain-wrapped. The cell weakened substantially and didn’t look like it was going to cycle, so we dove back to the southeast to get behind another storm.

The third storm had produced a tornado over Snow Hill not too long before we had arrived in the outskirts of the town. A couple miles NW of town we came upon 3″ hail, took some quick photos and measurements and headed SE. We were stopped just short of town where many emergency vehicles were already on scene. A small community and a couple of commercial buildings had taken heavy damage by a small, concentrated tornado. Some of the homes had very little damage, but two homes in the direct path of the tornado had been completely ripped off of their foundations. One of these houses was still relatively intact within the property lines, but another house was pretty much gone.

Jason and I spent some time documenting the damage before hearing of another storm entering the area. This storm passed us to the east, and we headed off to try to catch the cell as it traveled NE at ~50 mph, which was actually one of the slower storm motions we had seen from the many warnings that had been issued in NC that day. Alas, the road network was not favorable for an intercept, so after a short chase with the daylight fading we started to trek back towards I-95 to get back home.