Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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FXUS61 KAKQ 220814

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wakefield VA
314 AM EST Wed Feb 22 2017

A trough of low pressure crosses the area today. Meanwhile, low
pressure tracks east across the eastern Gulf of Mexico and
Florida Peninsula tonight through Friday. A strong cold front
crosses the local area Saturday.


Mid level shortwave crosses the area today. Light rain/shwrs will
accompany this feature as it slowly sags SE with the best forcing
progged across the Piedmont. Thus, will maintain 30-50 pop west of
the Ches Bay with a buffer area of slght chc pop along the coast.
Continued mild despite the cloudy cover and sporatic pcpn. Highs
in the 60s except 55-60 at the beaches due to the SSE flow off
the water. QPF less than one tenth inch.


Models indicated just enuf left moisture around tonight to keep
slght chc pops in the grids. Kept pcpn type as shwrs for now. Could
also be some patchy fog after midnight as dew point temps rise. Mild
with lows in the upr 40s-lwr 50s.

Weak high pressure ridge extends west from the main "Bermuda" high
Thurs thru Fri night. This keeps AKQ unseasonably warm in between
the low off the FLA coast and deepening trough over the upper
midwest. Some model differences wrt how much moisture gets trapped
across the area so will maintain slght chc pops Thurs. Dry Thurs
night through Fri night ahead of the approaching cold front as the
southerly flow builds H5 heights.

Some record highs will be challenged Thurs but Fri numbers appear
safe since they are higher. See CLI section below. LL thicknesses
and H85 temps support highs both days in the low to mid 70s west of
the Ches Bay, 65-70 along the coast. Lows in the upr 40s-lwr 50s.

00z runs from both the GFS/ECMWF are in good agreement for a strong
cold frontal passage between 18Z Sat and 00Z Sun. Data continues to
support a swath of moisture and marginal instability with the boundary
with the best forcing/dynamics from the northern zones on northward.
However, decent low level moisture will exist ahead of it (sfc temps
btwn 70-75 with 55-60 degree dew points) along with gusty SW winds
(15-25 KTS). These combined with the available stability parameters
results is the chance for tstrms across the fa during the afternoon
shifting to the coast through the early evening. Thus, make some
adjustments to the grids allowing tstrms to be included in the text
products. Clearing and colder Sat night. Lows in the mid 30s-lwr 40s.


Behind the front, temperatures will return close to normal for
Sunday with highs in the 50s under a breezy WNW flow and sunny
skies. GFS/ECWMF differ slightly beyond that, but overall
indicate high pressure building across the SE CONUS with a
return SW flow developing for Mon-Tue as yet another low
pressure system moves from the upper midwest to the upper Great
Lakes. Dry Mon, with a 20-30% PoP across the N for Tue.
Temperatures should trend up once again with highs back into the
60s most areas Mon and approaching 70 F by Tue aftn for highs
across the southern 1/2 of the area. Lows will avg in the 30s to
lower 40s.


VFR conditions to start off the forecast period as BKN CI
continue to spill east of the mts ahead of an approaching trof
of low pressure. This trof slowly sags SE across the region
after 12Z. Models depict a fairly quick moistening of the mid
levels with pcpn mainly confined to the Piedmont. Thus, SCT-BKN
MVFR CIGS along with VCSH will be confined to RIC although
sporatic sprinkles/very light rain possible at PHF by 18Z.
These CIGS extend past 00Z with slowly improving conditions
expected after 06Z as the system moves south of the area.

OUTLOOK...Complex frontal system will affect the area late in the
week with small chances for showers Thu and Thu night. A strong cold
front passes through the Mid Atlantic States Saturday with a chance
for showers and thunderstorms. High pressure and dry weather returns
for Sunday.


Sub-SCA conditions continue for the next few days with sfc high pres
centered offshore. Winds will be southerly aob 10 kt today with 1-2
ft waves over the Bay and 2-3 ft seas over cstl wtrs. S/SW winds to
avg 10-15 KT (or less) then persist until at least Fri night ahead
of the next cold front. With strong low pres over Florida Thu
pushing off the southeast coast Fri, latest Wavewatch indicating
some increasing long period swell moving up to the local cstl wtrs
for Fri-Sat with seas building to 4-6 ft which would lead to SCA
headlines along the coast starting around Fri night. Then, with some
modest cold air behind the cold front on Sat, should see SCA
conditions for much of the area Sat night through Sun morning.


Feb 2017 is shaping up to rank among the warmest on record
given continued warmth over the next week. Daily record highs
are listed below for Thu and Fri, with the top 3 warmest
February`s on record listed below that. Expecting RIC, ORF, ECG
to be at least into the top 3 warmest (and possibly the
warmest). SBY looks on track to be 4th or 5th 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)

* SBY:
  1) 46.1 (1976)
  2) 45.8 (1984)
  3) 45.7 (1925)

* ECG:
  1) 52.1 (1990)
  2) 51.8 (1939)
  3) 50.3 (1976)




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