Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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000
FXUS62 KRAH 280614
AFDRAH

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RALEIGH NC
115 AM EST SUN DEC 28 2014

.SYNOPSIS... A COLD FRONT WILL APPROACH FROM THE NORTHWEST TODAY...
THEN PUSH SLOWLY SOUTHEAST THROUGH THE AREA MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT.
HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD IN FROM THE WEST LATE TUESDAY THROUGH
THURSDAY.

&&

.NEAR TERM /TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/...
AS OF 920 PM SATURDAY...

SATELLITE CLOUD TRENDS SUPPORT EARLIER EXPECTATIONS OF CLOUDS
OVERSPREADING CENTRAL NC FROM THE WEST AND SW... WITH CLOUDS
STEADILY THICKENING AND LOWERING OVERNIGHT. THIS IS EXHIBITED WELL
BY A COMPARISON OF THE 00Z GSO SOUNDING WITH UPSTREAM SOUNDINGS...
WITH DRY AIR NEAR 500 MB AND BELOW 700 MB AND A PW NEAR 0.6 IN AT
GSO... WHEREAS UPSTREAM LOCATIONS INCLUDING THE FFC AND BMX
SOUNDINGS ARE MUCH WETTER THROUGH THE COLUMN... WITH PW VALUES 1.0-
1.5 IN... OVER 200% OF NORMAL... WHICH IS POISED TO ADVECT INTO NC.
THE DEEPEST MOISTURE WAS OBSERVED OVER CENTRAL/SRN AL INTO CENTRAL
GA... ASSOCIATED WITH A WEAK VORTICITY MAXIMUM... AND THIS IS ALSO
WHERE REGIONAL RADAR SHOWS EXPANSIVE RAIN -- SOME OF IT MODERATE --
SPREADING TOWARD SOUTH CENTRAL NC... ALTHOUGH THE NE PROGRESSION OF
THIS RAIN IS HINDERED BY INITIAL EVAPORATION ON ITS NE EDGE.
NEVERTHELESS... RADAR TRENDS SUGGEST THAT THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE
CWA MAY SEE MEASURABLE RAIN FIRST... SIMILAR TO THE LATEST HRRR AND
WRF-ARW RUNS. WE ALSO HAVE MUCH LOWER SURFACE DEWPOINTS IN THE
NORTHERN CWA (UPPER 30S) AS COMPARED TO THE SOUTHERN AND EXTREME ERN
CWA (LOW 40S)... AND THESE LOWER DEWPOINTS WILL TAKE LONGER TO BE
OVERCOME. BASED ON THIS... HAVE MADE MINOR ADJUSTMENTS TO RAISE POPS
A BIT LATE TONIGHT OVER THE SOUTH WITH A SMALL DOWNWARD TWEAK OF
POPS IN THE NORTHWEST/NORTH CENTRAL... AND NO POPS NORTHEAST OF
RALEIGH OVERNIGHT. MUCH OF WHAT WILL INITIALLY BE SEEN ON RADAR IN
CENTRAL NC IS APT TO EVAPORATE PRIOR TO HITTING THE GROUND... BUT
STILL EXPECT A LOW CHANCE OF MEASURABLE AMOUNTS TO SPREAD INTO THE
SW CWA SOON AFTER MIDNIGHT... THEN EXPAND INTO THE REST OF THE WRN
AND SRN CWA AFTER 3 AM. AMOUNTS WILL BE VERY LIGHT... A FUNCTION OF
THE WEAK FORCING FOR ASCENT. AS ANTICIPATED EARLIER... TEMPS FELL
MOST SOON AFTER NIGHTFALL AND HAVE LEVELED OFF SOMEWHAT... AND THE
ENCROACHMENT OF CLOUDS WILL FURTHER BLANKET THE CWA OVERNIGHT...
LIMITING TEMP FALL. EXPECT LOWS TO RANGE FROM THE LOWER 40S (NE) TO
UPPER 40S (WEST). -GIH


EARLIER DISCUSSION FROM 255 PM: LATEST SURFACE ANALYSIS SHOWS AN
AREA OF SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE CENTERED NEAR THE NC/SC COAST ALONG
THE COASTAL CAROLINAS AND VIRGINIA. A POSITIVELY TILTED DEAMPLIFYING
UPPER TROUGH ACROSS THE WESTERN PLAINS AT MIDDAY TODAY WILL CONTINUE
TO SHIFT SLOWLY EAST TODAY AND TONIGHT. THE NORTHERN PORTION OF THE
TROUGH ASSOCIATED WITH THE NORTHERN JET STREAM WILL SHEAR EAST INTO
THE EASTERN GREAT LAKES WHILE BY LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. THE SOUTHERN
EXTENT OF THE TROUGH IS SHARPER AND MOVES SLOWLY EAST REACHING THE
ARKLATEX BY SUNDAY EVENING. THE ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT WHICH EXTENDS
FROM MICHIGAN SOUTHWEST TO EASTERN TX AT MIDDAY TODAY WILL MOVE EAST
REACHING EASTERN PA AND NORTHWEST GA BY LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

MAINLY CLEAR SKIES ACROSS CENTRAL NC THIS AFTERNOON WILL GIVE WAY TO
INCREASING HIGH AND MID CLOUDINESS THIS EVENING AS MOISTURE BEGINS
TO INCREASE AHEAD OF THE FRONT. WHILE HIGH AND MID LEVEL CLOUDINESS
WILL THICKEN OVERNIGHT... NAM/GFS/SREF BUFR SOUNDINGS ALL NOTE THAT
THE LOWER THIRD OF THE TROPOSPHERE IS SLOW TO MOISTEN OVERNIGHT
UNTIL LOW LEVEL MOISTURE SURGES INTO THE REGION FROM THE SOUTHWEST
TOWARD DAYBREAK SUNDAY. THE PRECIPITATION IS LARGELY DRIVEN BY
ISENTROPIC LIFT AROUND THE 295K SURFACE WITH THE BEST SURGE OF LIFT
SKIRTING ACROSS THE NORTHWESTERN EDGE OF CENTRAL NC AND WILL
ADVERTISE LOW CATEGORICAL POPS THERE. FORCING FOR ASCENT DECREASES
TO THE SOUTH AND EAST ON SUNDAY WITH LOW CHANCE POPS ADVERTISED FOR
THE SANDHILLS AND SOUTHERN COASTAL PLAIN. SO SUNDAY WILL FEATURE
CLOUDY SKIES ACROSS CENTRAL NC IT WONT BE WASHOUT FOR EVERYONE.
MAINLY SPOTTY LIGHT RAIN IS EXPECTED TO THE SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST OF
RALEIGH WITH THE MOST WIDESPREAD RAIN EXPECTED NEAR AND ESPECIALLY
TO THE NORTHWEST OF INTERSTATE 85.

TEMPERATURES WILL BE A LITTLE TRICKY AS THEY WILL TEND TO FALL
QUICKLY THIS EVENING AFTER SUNSET BUT THE OVERNIGHT TREND WILL BE
COMPLICATED BY THE INCREASING MID AND HIGH CLOUDS AND THE LIGHT
SOUTHERLY STIRRING AHEAD OF THE APPROACHING COLD FRONT. WILL
FORECAST LOWS IN THE MID 40S WEST TO LOWER 40S EAST. HIGHS ON SUNDAY
WILL BE COMPLICATED BY TE PRECIPITATION WHICH SHOULD KEEP HIGHS IN
THE MID 50S ACROSS THE NORTHWEST PIEDMONT WITH MID 60S ACROSS THE
SANDHILLS AND SOUTHERN COASTAL PLAIN WHERE THE RAIN WILL BE MORE
SCATTERED. -BLAES

&&

.SHORT TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY/...
AS OF 330 PM SATURDAY...

SUNDAY NIGHT...DEEP SW FLOW WILL MAINTAIN A MOIST AIR MASS ACROSS
CENTRAL NC SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING. A STOUT DISTURBANCE
ALOFT WILL APPROACH IN THE SW FLOW LATE SUNDAY AND CROSS OUR REGION
EARLY MONDAY. MEANWHILE CENTRAL NC WILL BE IN THE RIGHT ENTRANCE
REGION OF A 130-150KT JET. THE ENHANCED LIFT SUPPLIED BY BOTH THE
JET AND THE APPROACHING DISTURBANCE INTERACTING WITH AN ABNORMALLY
MOIST AIR MASS (PRECIP WATER VALUES PROJECTED TO BE 1-1.2 INCHES)
WILL CAUSE RAIN TO BECOME WIDESPREAD LATE SUNDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY
MONDAY. MIN TEMPS UPPER 40S FAR NORTH TO THE LOW-MID 50S FAR SOUTH.

MONDAY... WIDESPREAD RAIN WILL DIMINISH IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY BY
MID DAY-EARLY AFTERNOON AS THE UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE AND THE JET
DEPART OUR REGION. WHILE THE MID-UPPER LEVELS OF THE ATMOSPHERE WILL
DRY OUT...SW FLOW IN THE 925-850MB LAYER WILL MAINTAIN SATURATION
RESULTING IN OVERCAST SKIES WITH SPOTS OF RAIN AND/OR DRIZZLE.

SURFACE COLD FRONT WILL DRAG SOUTHWARD ACROSS THE REGION AS THE
UPPER DISTURBANCE PULLS OUT TO THE EAST-NE. A SHALLOW COLD AIR AIR
MASS WILL INFILTRATE OUR REGION FROM THE NORTH. THIS SHOULD LEAD TO
FALLING TEMPS BY LATE MORNING ACROSS THE NORTH...AND THE AFTERNOON
ACROSS THE SOUTH.

MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY...850MB TROUGH PROJECTED TO REMAIN WEST OF
OUR REGION UNTIL MID DAY TUESDAY. THIS SUGGEST A CONTINUATION IN
EXTENSIVE CLOUDINESS AND PATCHY LIGHT RAIN/DRIZZLE THROUGH THE
MAJORITY OF MONDAY NIGHT. PASSAGE OF 850MB TROUGH AND ENSUING W-NW
FLOW IN ITS WAKE ALONG WITH SUBSIDENCE WILL AID TO DISSIPATE CLOUD
COVERAGE WEST-TO-EAST TUESDAY AFTERNOON. LOW LEVEL COLD AIR
ADVECTION WILL RESULT IN A SMALLER THAN NORMAL DIURNAL TEMP
RECOVERY. MIN TEMPS MID-UPPER 40S NORTH TO LOWER 40S SOUTH. MAX
TEMPS TUESDAY MID 40S NORTH TO NEAR 50 SOUTH.

&&

.LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/...
AS OF 330 PM SATURDAY...

WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY... A BROAD UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL COVER
THE BULK OF THE U.S. THIS PERIOD WITH A CLOSED UPPER LEVEL LOW
PROJECTED TO EDGE SLOWLY EAST ACROSS THE SW U.S-SOUTHERN ROCKIES.
MODEL GUIDANCE TRADITIONALLY HAVE TROUBLE TIMING THE MOVEMENT OF
THESE CLOSED LOWS INT EH SW. USUALLY...SLOWER IS BETTER.

FOR CENTRAL NC...EXPECT DRY CONDITIONS THROUGH AT LEAST FRIDAY AND
POSSIBLY INTO SATURDAY WITH TEMPS BELOW NORMAL AT MID
WEEK...MODERATING TO NEAR NORMAL LEVELS BY THE WEEKEND. A S/W WILL
CROSS THE MID ATLANTIC LATE WEDNESDAY-WEDNESDAY NIGHT...ACCOMPANIED
BY A DRY SFC FRONT PASSAGE. FLOW BEHIND THIS FEATURE WILL REINFORCE
THE COOL AIR IN PLACE. MAX TEMPS WILL AVERAGE 4-6 DEGREES BELOW
NORMAL WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY WHILE OVERNIGHT LOWS IN THE 20S WILL BE
COMMON.

TIMING DIFFERENCES IN THE MODELS BY NEXT WEEKEND PLAY HAVOC WITH
PRECIP CHANCES AND TEMP FORECAST. PERSISTENT WLY FLOW SHOULD LEAD TO
MODIFICATION OF THE AIR MASS...LEADING TO TEMPS AT OR ABOVE NORMAL.
IF PRECIP DELAYED UNTIL LATE SATURDAY OR SATURDAY NIGHT...POTENTIAL
FOR TEMPS TO BE WELL ABOVE NORMAL.

&&

.AVIATION /06Z SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
AS OF 115 AM SUNDAY...

AN AREA OF LIGHT RAIN ASSOCIATED WITH WEAK UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE
WILL BRING SOME SUB-VFR CONDITIONS TO CENTRAL NC TODAY.
HOWEVER...GIVEN THE AMOUNT OF DRY AIR STILL IN PLACE OVER THE
AREA...THERE REMAIN UNCERTAINTY REGARDING HOW MUCH RAIN WILL FALL AND
HOW LOW CEILINGS WILL DROP.  WHILE A FEW SPRINKLES ARE POSSIBLE
THROUGH 12Z...CEILINGS WILL MOSTLY REMAIN AT OR ABOVE 10K FT.
BETTER MOISTURE IS STILL EXPECTED TO SPREAD UP ACROSS THE WESTERN
PIEDMONT...WHERE THERE IS A BETTER CHANCE OF MORE STEADY RAIN AND
CEILINGS IN THE MVFR OR IFR RANGE IN THE 12Z TO 21Z TIME FRAME.  TO
THE EAST...WHERE SUPPORT FOR PRECIP IS WEAKER...CONFIDENCE IN MVFR
CEILINGS IS LOWER...AND SOME GUIDANCE SUGGESTS CEILINGS MAY REMAIN
VFR THROUGH MIDDAY FROM KRDU EASTWARD.

EXPECT THE LIGHT RAIN TO THEN BE INTERMITTENT LATER THIS AFTERNOON
AS A LULL DEVELOPS...WITH A PERIOD OF VFR CONDITIONS POSSIBLE BEFORE
A COLD FRONT PUSHES INTO THE AREA FROM THE NORTH TONIGHT.  WINDS
WILL BE 5-10KT OUT OF THE SOUTHWEST TODAY...TURNING TO NORTHWESTERLY
AND THEN NORTHERLY BEHIND THE FRONT TONIGHT.

LOOKING AHEAD: CEILINGS WILL REDEVELOP MONDAY AS STRENGTHENING
SOUTHERLY FLOW ATOP THE SOUTHWARD SINKING COLD FRONT LEADS TO
WIDESPREAD RAIN.  THESE LOW CEILINGS...ALONG WITH SOME PERIODS OF
LIGHT RAIN OR DRIZZLE WILL LINGER THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT...WITH
CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO IMPROVE TUESDAY

&&

.RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NONE.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...HARTFIELD
NEAR TERM...HARTFIELD/BLAES
SHORT TERM....WSS
LONG TERM...WSS
AVIATION...BLS


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