This was one of those marginal looking days. Rain showers through the early morning, a migrating meso low within a larger synoptic low and good shear dynamics in poor chase territory with marginal CAPE. I've seen many setups like this before many times and they either barely work, or fail altogether!
I kept an eye on the surface charts and by noon saw some potential with clearing migrating in from the south and a good forcing point near the center of the meso low.
I figured, why not give it a try! I was resisting the idea since I don't like chasing east of the 404 but whatever, I had nothing else to do!
I targeted a storm that soon formed near Mono Mills (right in the triple point) and continued tracking east through the Keswick area. The storm appeared to be healthy and was the only cell regularly pumping out lightning. Basically it was in the sweet spot and a good play I figured.
I blasted north and intercepted the storm near Udora. It was very underwhelming with no structure and a dirty shelf cloud. The environment ahead of the storm was also very wet and rainy. I was not impressed and left my camera gear in the trunk! It was one of those "well this sucks" moments.
I decided to fall back south and let the storm overrun me somewhat. Again there was no structure or anything! It was looking really blah and there was so much rain I couldn't even dare to get my camera gear out from the trunk and just ended up using my phone to snap pictures along the way. I was really not expecting much at all after seeing the lack of structure.
I stuck with the storm and it had some 30-40 km/h outflow winds at best. Despite looking blah I continued to follow it east hanging on the southwest side of the core. As time went on the outflow winds seemed to gradually get stronger.
As I punched through what I thought was the core I could see what looked to be another core area directly ahead of me. It was strange because what I was seeing and what the radar was showing really did not add up. Also note the wind direction here is northwesterly.
As I entered the new core area I could see some very rapid cloud motion above my head but it dissolved into the rain. So I put my foot down and really blasted east fast. The winds were predominantly westerly with the odd little push from the southwest.
I eventually entered into a part of the storm with calmer winds but there was some scattered tree debris on the road indicating higher winds up ahead. No big deal, the winds were moving parallel with my motion so punching through wasn't all that hard.
I was so distracted driving that I never really payed close attention to the next radar update, and it didn't dawn on me that the storm had an inflow notch region forming.
Suddenly just as I neared the edge of the second core the winds began to really get gusty which was concerning since the road I was on had tons of trees, big trees, which made me uneasy. The winds which were blowing from the west suddenly switched direction and began to blow hard, easily 80+ km/h from the south. This is when I took a proper glance at the radar and was a little shocked.