Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Columbia, SC

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FXUS62 KCAE 211917

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Columbia SC
217 PM EST Wed Feb 21 2018

Near record temperatures will continue through the end of the
week. High pressure centered off the coast will bring warm and
moist air into region through Saturday. A cold front will cross
the area Sunday or Monday bringing a high chance of showers.
Temperatures will cool to near or just slightly above normal
early next week.


Is it really Feb 21? Hard to tell given the Spring like weather
outside today. After morning fog/stratus dissipated temperatures
have risen quickly through the 70s and some locations are
already reaching 80 degrees as of 2pm with dewpoints well into
the 60s. Regional radar showing isolated showers across the
region resulting from the combination of abundant low level
moisture in place and strong surface heating. Showers are not
really impressive in terms of rainfall with only a few hundreds
being reported in locations where a surface station reported
rain. Any lingering showers should dissipate quickly late
afternoon with sunset and loss of heating. Expect some record
high temps to be broken with Columbia currently only 1 degree
from tying the record and Augusta already surpassing its record
of 80 with a current temp of 81 and likely to still warm another
degree or two.

Not much change in the airmass so expect another night of
stratus and fog redevelopment with abundant low level moisture
in place and drier air aloft. Patchy dense fog is possible
mainly in the eastern Midlands whereas stratus is favored
everywhere and a 20-25 knot low level jet may limit the dense
fog outside of the eastern Midlands. Overnight lows will be mild
again due to high dewpoints and expected cloud cover. Went
slightly above guidance with lows in the mid 60s as recently the
MOS has been too cool compared to the observations.


Surface high pressure will remain offshore Thursday and Friday with
upper level ridging over the Southeast. This pattern supports warm,
moist advection into the forecast area in southerly flow. Expect
both highs and lows near record warmest values. Temperature
guidance has been trending warmer each day with observed values
surpassing guidance by a degree or so. Therefore we should
expect daytime highs at or above the warmer end of the guidance
spectrum, with values in the upper 70s to mid 80s. Overnight
lows will be around 60 degrees with fog developing during the
early morning hours each day.

Measurable rainfall is unlikely during the period due to dry mid-
level air, a capping inversion and any upper level disturbances
staying west of the area. However there may be enough moisture
advection and daytime heating to get a few weak and isolated showers
during the afternoon each day. The best chance for rain will be in
the western FA away from the ridge and along differential heating


The upper level ridge will begin to break down over the weekend
allowing a broad upper level trough to lift from the central US into
the Northeast. This will bring a cold front through the Southeast
Sunday night into Monday. Moderate moisture advection ahead of the
front and synoptic scale lift suggests a high chance of
precipitation during that time.

Above normal temperatures are expected to continue through Saturday
and Sunday with strong warm advection ahead of the cold front. After
the frontal passage, temperatures may still be above normal but not
to the extent seen this week.


High confidence in VFR conditions through the afternoon into
evening then expecting another night of restrictions.

Southerly flow around 10 knots through the afternoon with VFR
cumulus clouds across the area. Isolated showers have developed
with surface heating and abundant low level moisture in place so
included VCSH through the afternoon. Little change in airmass
and continued low level moisture circulating around the surface
ridge offshore should result in yet another round of stratus/fog
overnight. Models indicating a 20-25 knot low level jet so
think stratus is more favored and will limit the dense fog
threat. Expect stratus to return by 04z-06z time frame and lower
through the night. Vsby forecast is a little more complicated
and think dense fog may remain in the east affecting OGB only
but confidence is lower regarding the vsby. Should see some
improvement late morning similar to today as mixing takes place
and cigs lift.

EXTENDED AVIATION OUTLOOK...Widespread IFR stratus and fog may
occur during the early morning hours over the next few days due
to high low-level moisture in an onshore flow.


For CAE...

Date Record high Warmest low
2/21 81 (1997)60 (1991)
2/2281 (2011)58 (2017)
2/23 82 (1962) 63 (1909)

For AGS...

Date Record high Warmest low
2/21 80 (2011) 59 (1991)
2/22 83 (2011) 64 (1897)
2/23 82 (2012) 63 (1909)




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