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May 31, 2003 Storm Event Log
May 31, 2003
Virginia - North Carolina Moderate Risk Chase
We (Bill Coyle, Jesse Bass, Crystal Singleton, Stephen Jascourt and I) targeted Emporia, Virginia (just north of the NC border along I-95). Discouraged by heavy cloud cover that had moved in by 4:00PM, we decided to head to south of Raleigh NC to position ourselves in front of a few isolated cells that looked somewhat promising. At Rocky Mount, we checked with nowcasters and decided to head back north for a speeding line of cells moving ESE near the border. Minutes after turning back north, a cell in this line produced a tornado which Bill Hark was on and caught on film. The cell was tornado/SVR warned for about 30-45 minutes as it moved into Northampton County NC. We caught up to the cell just south of Murfreesboro, NC as it was gusting out with a very photogenic shelf cloud that was almost moving too fast to photograph (see video).
Heavy rain continued for the next hour or so, with a spectacular sunset and rainbow near dusk. Back in WV Sunday with another 1,000 miles on the truck.
EXPEDITION VIDEO from Saturday, May 31: RealVideo, 1.9MB
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