UPDATE 5 PM EDT, 6/6: The Virginia Tech Storm Chasers have returned to Virginia. I’ll be on the blog intermittently through the end of this week, continuing a short break as the hot pattern resurges in our area. END UPDATE
UPDATE 7:50 AM CDT, 6/5: Storms didn’t do much in Colorado on Saturday. Too dry and too warm aloft in that region. We’re headed eastbound, generally toward home, possibly making somewhat of a sidetrack today northward for possible storms in the Iowa/Illinois region. Looks like a few storms are possible back in Southwest Virginia today. Hot and dry much of the rest of the week. Perhaps some signs long-range of somewhat of a cooldown. Here is a tropical feature to keep an eye on for possible development. END UPDATE
UPDATE 8:20 AM CDT, 6/4: Back in WaKeeney, Kansas, in the region we saw so many tornadoes in 2007 and 2008,on our way to Colorado to try to catch a supercell rolling off the higher terrain today over the open Plains. We encountered high-based storms with a nice lightning show and a beautiful st0rm-framed sunset along the Kansas-Nebraska border late Friday, with some tumbleweed-flinging wind gusts buffeting us during the evening. We’re likely to drift back toward home after today — just in time for another midweek surge of temperatures back in Virginia. END UPDATE
UPDATE 7:25 AM CDT, 6/2: Checking in from the small town of Broken Bow, Nebraska. We caught a picturesque evening storm in central Nebraska on Wednesday — but the severe weather we saw pailed compared to the tornadoes that raked New England and even a few storms in eastern Virginia. We’re headed north to the Dakotas today. Looks like temperatures are settling back just a bit back home, though still hot, with highs in the mid 80s to low 90s through the next several days. END UPDATE
UPDATE 11:25 PM CDT, 5/31: Roanoke’s 96 beat a 93-year-old record for hottest last day of May by 2 degrees. Blacksburg’s 92 beat a 42-year-old record for the same by 4 degrees. I’m in North Platte, Nebraska, after a cool, clear gorgeous day in the Sand Hills. Wednesday could end up stormy both where I am and back in Virginia — and then the temperatures might pull back a few degrees in Virginia as they warm out here. END UPDATE
UPDATE 11:20 PM CDT, 5/30: Wow, I picked the right time to leave Virginia. A record-breaking 90 at Blacksburg and record-tying 94 at Roanoke on Memorial Day — and maybe even hotter on Tuesday. Out here (in Ainsworth, Nebraska tonight), a pretty intense day with the student storm chasers. We were on a tornad0-warned storm, didn’t see the tornado, but experienced intense winds and visible rotation with rotating thunderstorms in north-central Nebraska. END UPDATE
UPDATE 11:55 PM CDT, 5/29: We have landed in Coralville, Iowa, in the southeast part of the state, near Iowa city, the home of the University of Iowa, headed for South Dakota and a risk of severe storms and tornadoes on Memorial Day. Back in Virginia, it’s going to sizzle the next 3 days — maybe mid 90s on Tuesday. END UPDATE
After a challenging winter forecasting season and absolutely heart-wrenching spring tornado season, I’m taking a short break from the weather blog as we enter meteorological summer next week (June 1) — with hot, dry weather to match it, at least for a few days.
Part of this time will be spent on the second leg of the Virginia Tech storm chase, set to leave Blacksburg on Sunday for about an 11-day period. And part of it will be some needed rest.
I do not plan to issue fresh blog posts for about the next 10-14 days or so. I may post a few short updates to this post from time to time about where we are and what we’re seeing on the chase trip, or about something notable in Virginia weather.
Your comments will continue to be approved from time to time, so keep making them. As this community often does, you can continue to help keep each other informed about the weather.