The models two days prior had already indicated that today was going to be a long chase day with a slow moving cold front and pre-frontal trough sparking off convection as it crept into a warm southwesterly wind field. By 11AM storms had already started to quickly form and by midday the action was in full swing.
So I had to fix my computer. Long story short, it was in the shop for a week, I needed a new motherboard and the part finally came in from Montreal. Perfect! I raced up to Canada Computers to drop the board off for installation before the storms started.
That was the plan anyway, I was barely out the door when cells started to go up to my immediate west and the chase was sort of on.
The storms. still a distance away were part of a surface wave that was tracking east from Lake Huron. I was watching this feature on the visible satellite image and ironically it began to balloon into something while I was trying to do the whole run to the computer store thing.
As I headed northwest to intercept the first cluster of storms for the day some low hanging structure came into view.
I pulled into an empty school which gave me a good clear view of the sky. This feature was both an outflow and partial inflow feature. If it was curving the other way it would be a bonafide wall cloud.
The storm on radar was beginning to look a little more intense than it had before and a stronger core was growing.
When you see these types of scuddy things right on the edge of a strong storm core usually it means a notch of some sort is forming and it also means there's a lot of pushing and pulling between air trying to get out of the storm and air being forced into the storm.
You can see where the storms forward flank meets with the main updraft and to the far left of the screen your also seeing a little bit of the rear flank with outflow scud.
I quickly raced into a better "I'm getting cored" position and shot some video. Photos just don't do strong cores justice, you need video! I clocked winds of 96 km/h briefly.
Here's the core as seen through the GoPro.
This was taken just as I was about to cored, you can see how there a bit of a notch like thing on the BREF. Basically it's warm air curling around and trying to feed into the storm. The SREF numbers were low, almost zero, but still a typical notch like echo for Southern Ontario.
I kept with the storm for a little while but it was moving into an increasingly urban area and already outflow was undercutting the warm southwesterly surface flow. Basically, any other storm in this area would have likely been elevated.
I decided to head west and intercept storms as they went up along the frontal / outflow boundary. It was the best option since I could pick and choose storms easily and most of them were growing in fresh unstable boundary layer conditions not yet having been contaminated by outflow cooled air. Just as I was gassing up one storm unloaded its core and I was just soaked while hiding behind the gas pump attempting to fill up my car!
I'll ignore the gas station cell, while wet, it was on the "cool" side of the boundary. This storm near Campbellville tried for a little while to get organized but eventually just blew out as it cut itself off from the warmer air.
Just as the first storm appeared to be dying a second cell on that storms outflow went up on the warm side of the boundary and merged into this blob like thing on radar.
This was a little puzzling... this deck of scud was under the updraft, exhibited some upward motion but was pretty lame otherwise.
It looks like there is a shelf trying to form which indicates outflow yet there is evidence that the scud is also being drawn in from the storm rain cooled core?
This area had scud rising very rapidly. It was quickly condensing and becoming attached to the cloud base but there was zero rotation.
I eventually found myself underneath whatever this cloud structure was. It was very low and moving against the storms outflow. This only became apparent once directly underneath.
I was finally able to get southwest of the storm and it began to look more like an inflow structure or a very simple want to wall-cloud look alike thing.
This storm still puzzles me, I don't want to call this a wall cloud but it was clear that the storm was ingesting its own moisture as you can see scud feeding into this structure from left to right. This storm eventually move into terrible terrain and I headed west.
This was going to be storm number three in the line. It was a stronger cell that was just on the edge of the cold outflow boundary and looked okay on radar. Fellow chaser Ryan Dobbie was not too far away in Embro and we hooked up.
The Embro storm which was now just north of Woodstock had some amazing low level inflow that was going straight in and the scud was just going right up. Unfortunately, it began to go linear and again outflow started to undercut the inflow.
This area for a little while had me interested but it eventually fell apart.
Here you can see how the storm core started to re-develop just to our northeast and the storm has now become really linear.
Despite the outflow undercutting the storm at the surface, aloft, maybe 300 meters or more above the ground there was fast moving inflow. Enough to keep the storm alive but not enough to keep it surface based.
Ryan and I headed back south to intercept the nose of a bowing squall segment which had migrated all the way from central Michigan. Unfortunately this feature was propagating through the prior storms outflow which diminished its intensity.
A little notch like feature (with no base velocity) formed just to our northwest and raced up to catch it.
You can see how the storm looks at the surface relative to the radar.
The tip of the bow so to speak was that piece just crossing the road in the distance and the notch (if you want to call it that) is just to the left in the rainy area.
After intercepting the squall line which was storm 4 we headed south in the hopes that something else could get going in the warm air. A little storm did try to go up but I suppose the stable marine layer from Lake Erie was just not favorable.
I was surprised to see this beast of a chase vehicle. It is pretty slick!
Ryan posing for the camera with his dodge and the "canwarn spotter" lettering. It was a fun day and it was nice to meet Ryan and his brother out in the field (haven't seem for a few months).