Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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000 FXUS61 KAKQ 210759 AFDAKQ Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wakefield VA 259 AM EST Tue Feb 21 2017 .SYNOPSIS... High pressure moves off the New England coast today. A frontal boundary weakens as it stalls west of the mountains tonight. Low pressure tracks east along the Gulf of Mexico and Florida coasts Wednesday through Friday. A strong cold front crosses the area Saturday. && .NEAR TERM /TODAY/... High pressure shifts east and off the New England coast today. Dry/cooler with enough CI for pt sunny skies. Highs in the mid- upr 50s near the water, lwr 60s west of the Ches Bay. && .SHORT TERM /TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY/... Cold front approaches the mountains tonight but weakens as it pushes east into the ridge. Moisture dissipates as it moves east but just enough support noted for low chc pops mainly west of I95 after 09Z. Otw, mostly cloudy to cloudy skies. Lows in the low-mid 40s. Potent upper low along the Gulf Coast today is now progged to track ESE across the northern GOM this afternoon and evening, cross FLA tonight then stall off the FLA coast Thursday and Friday. The low itself to be a non player for our area except for pieces of energy that eject north along a trof. One such feature continues to give the models fits with the NAM now mostly dry for AKQ fa Wed and the GFS/ECMWF wetter. This a complete reversal from 24 hours ago. Given the latest model trends wrt forcing, will adjust the grids towards mainly morning shwrs along the upr trof then shift pcpn chcs towards southern VA and northern NC after 18Z Wed as the trof continues to push south. Continued mild despite mostly cloudy skies. Highs in the mid-upr 60s, cooler at the beaches. Plenty of moisture at different levels to keep skies partly to mostly cloudy Wed nite, but little if any support for pcpn. Lows from the upr 40s north to mid 50s south. Increasing WSW develops Thurs due to the position of the low off the FLA coast and a deepening trough over the northern Plains/Midwest. Models indicating enough moisture present for pt sunny to mostly cloudy skies with isolated showers. Warmer with highs 65-70 near the water, lwr 70s west of the Ches Bay. These temps not quite to record levels. See CLI section below. && .LONG TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY/... The models are in good agreement in the extended range showing a flat ridge over the eastern US for the second half of the work week. That ridge will amplify into Saturday as a trough lifts out of the central plains into the Great Lake states which will knock the ridge down by Sunday and return the area to more westerly zonal flow. Overall, this will lead to another period of well above normal temperatures along with a chance for showers and psbl tstms as the cold front crosses the area Saturday. The next strong sfc low will lift from the central plains into the Great Lakes on Friday into Saturday dragging a cold front across the region on Saturday. The guidance remains in decent agreement for a swath of moisture and marginal dynamics with the fropa on Sat, but with the upper trough already taking on a negative tilt so far W of the Appalachians, could see a scenario where precip struggles to hold together as the front moves east of the Mtns. Will maintain chance pops (30-50%) shwrs/tstms Sat with low end likely pops across the far N. Very warm with highs upper 60s NW to lower-mid 70s SE. Behind the front, temperatures will return closer to normal but will remain above avg (just not 20 to 25 degrees above normal as Fri-Sat will be). Dry Sun-mon with highs mainly in the 50s N to the 60s S. && .AVIATION /07Z TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... VFR conditions continue as high pressure moves off the New England coast. Tsctns / sat loop shows widespread CI across the region and this continues through the forecast period. OUTLOOK...Broad area of low pressure over the Lower Mississippi Valley will drift to the east into Florida by Wednesday. Moisture will increase from the south but only isolated showers are expected Wednesday. Complex frontal system will affect the area late in the week with small chances for showers Thursday and Thursday night. A strong cold front passes through the Mid Atlantic States Saturday with a good chance for showers/tstrms. && .MARINE... Sub-SCA conditions continue today as sfc high pres ridging down from the north becomes centered offshore later this aftn. Winds will be easterly aob 10 kt with 1-2 ft waves over the Bay and 2-3 ft seas over cstl wtrs. The high remains offshore into Wed with southerly winds aob 10 kt. Sub-SCA S/SW flow then persists until at least Fri night ahead of the next cold front, which crosses the wtrs over the weekend with marginal SCA conditions psbl. && .CLIMATE... Feb 2017 shaping up to rank among the warmest on record given continued warmth over the next week. Daily record highs are listed below, with the top 3 warmest February`s on record listed below that. Expecting RIC and ORF to be at least into the top 3 warmest (and possibly the warmest). Daily Record Highs for Thursday 2/23 and Friday 2/24: 2/23 2/24 RIC 75 in 1985 82 in 1985 ORF 79 in 1975 82 in 2012 SBY 74 in 1943 77 in 2012 ECG 77 in 1975 79 in 1985 Warmest February`s on record: * RIC: 1) 49.9 (1890) 2) 48.5 (1976) 3) 48.1 (1884) * ORF: 1) 52.4 (1890) 2) 50.5 (1909) 3) 50.1 (1990) && .AKQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... MD...None. NC...None. VA...None. MARINE...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...MPR NEAR TERM...MPR SHORT TERM...MPR/JDM LONG TERM...LKB/MPR AVIATION...MPR MARINE...MAS CLIMATE...AKQ is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.