Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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FXUS62 KILM 241115

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
615 AM EST Fri Feb 24 2017

Warm air will prevail across the Carolinas through Saturday.
A cold front approaching from the west will move offshore late
Saturday. Cooler and drier air will build in Saturday night
through Monday. Shower chances will increase mid week as a warm
front moves across the area Tuesday followed by a cold front


As of 600 AM Friday...Barotropic low pressure located several
hundred miles off the Georgia coast will slowly move northeastward
today, reaching a position about 300 miles off the North Carolina
coast late tonight. With very little low-level baroclinicity to
work with, this low is essentially a reflection of what was a
strong upper level system over the past few days, now weakening
with time.

Easterly low-level flow north of the Atlantic low will continue
today with the coast running a good 5-10 degrees cooler than inland
locations. The overall airmass is unseasonably warm for this date
with 850 mb temps of +10C to +11C. This should yield highs around 80
inland with mid 70s for the coastal cities, and perhaps only 70 on
the beaches themselves.

Record highs for today...
Wilmington       81 set in 1982
Florence         82 set in 1962
N Myrtle Beach   78 set in 1996

The Carolinas will be located in a col for much of tonight between
the Atlantic low to the east and the pressure trough associated with
a cold front advancing eastward across Tennessee and Kentucky. Light
winds, good low-level moisture, and mainly clear skies may allow for
areas of fog to develop. Lows in the low to mid 50s.


As of 300 AM Friday...Low pressure moving northeastward through the
Great Lakes on Saturday will drag a cold front into the eastern
Carolinas Saturday evening. Ahead of this front the unseasonably
warm airmass will continue for one final day with highs anticipated
to reach the lower 80s inland with 70s along the immediate coast.

While moisture on Saturday will extend up through 850 mb, the 800 mb
layer and above is bone dry. A zone of upper divergence and deep
lift associated with the right entrance region of a jet max moving
through the Great Lakes affects Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic coast,
leaving us to the south capped. I am removing PoPs for Saturday with
the expectation that we`ll see some moderate cumulus develop during the
day capped off by a layer of warm and very dry air between 6000-10000
feet AGL.

The cold front itself will move offshore Saturday evening, with cold
advection overnight bringing is much cooler and drier air. Lows
should reach 40-45, with dewpoints Sunday morning in the 20s. Highs
on Sunday will barely reach 60 even with full sunshine. As the next
high moves overhead Sunday night look for lows to fall into the 30s
to lower 40s, with some potential that some normally colder inland
areas could see frost.


As of 300 AM Friday...A broad southwest flow aloft will prevail through
Wednesday of the extended period. After this a broad trough will
move across with a cold front at the surface early Thursday. For
Monday through Wednesday a complex scenario with warm
advection/front moving across. Guidance has seemingly become
slightly more bullish with pops from late Monday through early
Tuesday as the warm front is coupled with a shortwave aloft. The
forecast has trended in this direction. Somewhat of a lull in pops
later Tuesday into early Wednesday before activity ahead of the
previously mentioned cold front ramps up. With regards to
temperatures, the theme of unusually warm readings rolls on with
highs in the 70s sans Thursday along with very warm overnight


As of 12Z...Weak high pressure will remain in control through the
forecast period. Some sporadic mainly light fog will dissipate by
13Z. Winds will be light and variable today with a southeast
resultant in the afternoon. Tonight, moisture profiles definitely
support fog tonight with good saturation below 500 ft. LIFR
conditions are likely after 08Z.

Extended Outlook...VFR.


As of 600 AM Friday...Low pressure about 400 miles east of
Savannah will move slowly northeastward today while weakening.
The pressure gradient between this low and high pressure out
beyond Bermuda will create a considerable easterly fetch
extending from Bermuda to just east of the Outer Banks. Large
swells generated within this zone will continue to move through
the Carolina coastal waters today and tonight with Small Craft
Advisories continuing. At last check combined seas at the Frying
Pan Shoals buoy were 8 feet every 9 seconds. Even 10-20 miles
from shore seas could still reach 7 feet today. Conditions will
slowly begin to improve tonight, especially south of Cape Fear.

As of 300 AM Friday...Low pressure moving through the Great Lakes on
Saturday will drag a cold front into the coastal Carolinas Saturday
evening. Southwest winds ahead of the front should increase to 15-20
kt by late Saturday afternoon, then will shift northwesterly behind
the front Saturday night as colder air moves into the region.
Depending on how long the strong winds blow in the vicinity of the
front we could get another period of Small Craft Advisory conditions
out of this. High pressure centered over Tennessee Sunday morning
will move almost overhead Sunday night, bringing much lighter
veering winds.

As of 300 AM Friday...South to southeast winds will be in place most
of the period. Speeds will be a little sluggish Monday around ten
knots or so. By Tuesday speeds pick up somewhat to a 10-15 knot
range as a warm front moves across. Significant seas offer nothing
out of the ordinary with 1-3 feet.


MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 7 PM EST this evening for AMZ254-
     Small Craft Advisory until 7 AM EST Saturday for AMZ250-252.



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