Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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FXUS61 KAKQ 251735

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wakefield VA
135 PM EDT Mon Sep 25 2017

High pressure will prevail across the Mid Atlantic today.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Maria will gradually track north well off
the Southeast coast. Maria is forecast to approach the Outer
Banks Tuesday into Wednesday, before pushing farther offshore
Thursday ahead of an approaching cold front late in the week.


A mid/upper level high remains anchored from the Ern Great
Lakes through the Northeast Conus early this morning, with
rather weak (~1020mb) high pressure at the surface. Hurricane
Maria (presently a category 1) is situated near 31N and 73W as
of 5 am, which is about 350mi SSE of Cape Hatteras. Mostly
clear early this morning, with some thin cirrus, and some bands
of stratocumulus approaching coastal NE NC. Temperatures range
through the 60s early this morning, with some low 70s for
coastal SE VA/NE NC.

The high will remain anchored N of the region today as
hurricane Maria gradually tracks nwd. The current 25/00z model
consensus depicts Maria about 300mi SSE of Cape Hatteras at 18z
today. Becoming mostly cloudy along the coast today as model
cross-sections show moisture thickening below 900mb. Farther W,
conditions should be partly to mostly sunny. Remaining
unseasonably warm today with high temperatures ranging from the
upper 70s to around 80F at the coast, to the mid to locally
upper 80s farther inland. Mainly dry today with only a ~15% PoP
for coastal NE NC this aftn.


There is good model agreement showing Maria reaching about
200mi SE of Cape Hatteras by 12z Tuesday, and the 25/00z ECMWF
has joined the remainder of the guidance with an ewd shift in
the track. Maria continues to push N Tuesday, and perhaps
slightly W of due N as an upper low drops sewd across FL.
Increasing moisture and some outer banded features will result
in 20-30% PoPs along and E of I-95 Tuesday, but the ewd shift in
the guidance places the deeper moisture offshore. QPF will be
minimal for most areas. Lows will generally be in the mid 60s to
low 70s tonight, with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s Tuesday
under a mostly cloudy sky. Becoming breezy along the coast with
a NE wind increasing to 15-25 mph along the coast Tuesday, with
gusts up to 30-35 mph possible.

Maria reaches about 180mi ESE of Cape Hatteras by 00z
Wednesday, around 150mi E of Cape Hatteras by 12z Wednesday, and
then 140-180mi ENE of Cape Hatteras by 00z Thursday as some
spread begins to show up in the guidance. NHC has Maria
weakening to a tropical storm during this time-frame. The
slight ewd shift will result in less rainfall across SE VA/NE NC
(and coastal MD to a lesser degree), but there is still a
potential for modestly stronger wind gusts at the coast, higher
seas, and at least minor to localized moderate coastal flooding.
At this time, still don`t anticipate heavy rain along the
coast, generally less than two inches, given Maria`s offshore
track. Will have PoPs of 20-40% east of I-95 Wed (40-50% coastal
NE NC), with slight chc PoPs into the Piedmont. Wind gusts
could reach 30-45 mph from around Norfolk/VA Beach southward
into coastal NE NC where tropical headlines are in effect. The
biggest impacts will likely be from tidal flooding and beach
erosion along/near the coast. Highs Wed from the upr 70s coast
to the low/mid 80s inland, after morning lows in the 60s.


First part of the extended, Wednesday night through Thursday,
will be predicated on future track of Hurricane Maria. Have
utilized Superblend for tangible weather during this period,
given potential uncertainty in the track. Again, will stress
that the 12z ECMWF is ~50 miles closer to the coast than the GFS
and have weighted the forecast more toward its solution for the
extended. This would linger Maria closer to the NC OBX through
Thursday before eventually taking Maria fairly quickly
northeastward away from the area on Friday in advance of an
upper trof dropping southeastward from Canada. This trof and
associated cold front move into the region next Saturday.

Above normal temperatures continue on Thursday, with highs from
the upper 70s to mid 80s. Temperatures cool into the 70s
Friday/Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Lows Wednesday
night range from the mid 60s to around 70F, then mid 50s NW to
mid 60s SE Thursday night, and in the 50s to low 60s
Friday/Saturday nights.


MVFR to local IFR conditions are prominent along the immediate
coast and portions of SE VA/NE NC this afternoon. Elsewhere, VFR
conditions prevail with a clear/mainly clear sky. MVFR cigs
will gradually push farther inland this evening, reaching KRIC
around 03Z, and potentially falling to IFR overnight at all TAF
sites. A NE wind of 10-15kt along the immediate coast this
afternoon/tonight will increase to 15-20kt with gusts around 25
kt Tuesday morning.

Outlook: Increasing moisture from Maria will result in a 20-40%
chc for showers Tuesday/Wednesday. Locally stronger wind
speeds/gusts are expected at ORF/ECG Tuesday night/Wednesday. A
cold front approaches from the NW Thursday/Friday and pushes
Maria farther offshore with conditions improving


Hurricane Maria is located about 380 miles SSE of Cape Hatteras
NC as of 500 AM. Meanwhile, high pressure remains centered
north of the area. The hurricane is forecast to track northward
well off the SE coast today into this evening, then moves to
well east of the NC outer banks by early Wed morning. The storm
will then start to track northeast Wed aftn and evening, then
accelerate ENE out to sea late Wed night into Thu night. NE
winds and waves/seas will start to increase/build over the
waters, esply srn waters, this evening into Tue morning, as the
storm moves northward to well off the SE NC coast. NE winds will
increase to 10 to 20 kt with gusts to 25-30 kt by Tue morning,
with waves building to 2-5 ft (near 6 ft mouth of the Bay), and
seas building to 6-10 ft.

Strongest NE winds and highest waves and seas will affect the
waters Tue night into Wed night with gusts to 35-45 kt a good
bet over the srn Ches Bay, Currituck Sound, and VA/NC coastal
waters. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for the Currituck
Sound, and srn waters from the VA/NC border to Currituck Beach
Light until 12Z/800 AM Thu morning. Aforementioned areas above
may be added to the watch this aftn, since impacts farther
north of the watch area are not anticipated to begin until Tue
evening. Elsewhere, strong/solid SCA conditions (20-30kt) will
occur. Seas will build as high as 14-15 ft south and 10-14 ft
north. N winds will then diminish west to east late Wed night
thru Thu.

Please monitor the NHC forecast for the official forecast
track of Hurricane Maria.


Only expecting nuisance or minor flooding at the tidal gage
sites fm later today thru Tue, then minor to possibly moderate
tidal flooding could occur at many sites in the middle to lower
Bay, and srn VA and NE NC coastal waters Wed into Thu morning.
High Surf Advisories likely will be needed by Tue, and lasting
into Thu. The combination of storm surge and large waves could
result in some coastal erosion and damage to dune structures
later Tue into Wed night.

High risk for rip currents for all beaches adjacent to coastal
waters continues through today, as 4-5 ft nearshore waves and
13-15 second swell persists.


NC...Tropical Storm Watch for NCZ015>017-102.
MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 6 PM EDT Tuesday for ANZ632-634-638.
     Tropical Storm Watch for ANZ633-656-658.
     Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas until 6 PM EDT Tuesday
     for ANZ650-652-654.


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