Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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FXUS61 KAKQ 230259

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wakefield VA
959 PM EST Wed Feb 22 2017

A weak trough of low pressure crosses the area through this
evening. Low pressure tracks east across the Florida Peninsula
tonight through Thursday morning. Meanwhile, high pressure
shifts farther off the Mid-Atlantic coast. A strong cold front
crosses the local area late Saturday.


Latest radar trends and observations indicate ongoing light
rain/drizzle across southern and southeastern Virginia. RAP
guidance places the associated vorticity maxima across southeast
Virginia. As depicted by an overall downward trend in coverage,
the upper level support is expected to wane by midnight as the
energy pushes offshore. Coverage late tonight expected to be
limited to far southeast Virginia and remain light. Rainfall
totals for the day have only totaled a few hundredths of an
inch. BUFR soundings and small dewpoint depressions indicate
rather moist low levels, so anticipate some patchy fog from the
Piedmont into central Virginia overnight, even under a mostly
cloudy to cloudy sky. Otherwise, near term guidance handling
temperatures well, so no additional changes made.

Previous Discussion...
A weak wave of low pressure aloft will cross the local area
thru this evening. Meanwhile, strong low pressure over the
eastern GOMEX will impact the FL Peninsula tonight. As the weak
trough pushes SE of the area, light shwr activity will continue
across the lower 2/3rds of the FA. Have highest pops (40-50%)
straddling the Hwy 460 corridor across the Piedmont thru 6 pm or
so then this shower activity will tend to dissipate/end thru
midnight while drifting slowly SE. Generally remaining mostly
cloudy overnight with lingering low level moisture. Cannot rule
out patchy fog as well early Thu morning, especially along/west
of I-95. Lows temps in the upr 40s to low/mid 50s.


A high pressure ridge will extend west from its center near
Bermuda Thursday and Friday as heights build aloft due to an
upper ridge expanding NE from the western GOMEX. Meanwhile, the
aforementioned upper low near FL will move east of the Bahamas
Thursday afternoon then heads NE well offshore into Friday.
Expecting generally dry and warm conditions during
Thursday/Friday although there are some model differences wrt
how much moisture gets trapped across the area on Thursday for
possible sprinkles/isold shwrs. Partly to mostly cloudy both
days. Some record highs will be challenged Thursday but Friday`s
numbers appear safe since they are higher. See CLI section
below. Low level thicknesses and H85 temps support highs both
days in the low to mid 70s west of the Ches Bay (possibly upr
70s Fri), 65-70 along the coast. Lows in the upr 40s to mid 50s.

12z models are still in good agreement showing a strong cold
frontal passage between 20Z Sat and 03Z Sun. Data continues to
support a swath of moisture and marginal instability with the
boundary but with the best forcing/dynamics staying north of
the local area. However, given the spring-like conditions
expected ahead of the front (sfc temps in the 70s with 55-60
degree dew points) along with some instability present and
moderate shear, cannot rule out the chance for isold tstms
across the FA during the afternoon, shifting to the coast
through the early evening. Our FA is not currently outlooked by
SPC for any severe threat on Saturday.


Cold front slips off the coast Sat evening...w/ drying/gusty
WNW winds and temperatures returning to near normal (beginning
Sun). Sfc hi pres drifts over the FA Sun night...resulting in
mainly SKC and chilly conditions. Quick moving low pressure
tracks from the OH Valley Mon across the FA Mon night w/
increasing cloudiness and low PoPs (15-25%). Another warm up
begins Tue and continues through Wed as sfc hi pres sets up off
the coast...and return S flow develops. Dry and mild Tue...a
warm front lifting through the FA Tue night may clip the region
w/ clouds and low PoPs (10-20%). Breezy/warm Wed ahead of
approaching cold front from the W. Models push that front
through the region late Wed (possibly accompanied by SCT RASH).

Lows Sat night in the u30s NW to the l40s SE. Highs Sun in the
m-u50s. Lows Sun night from the l30s N and W to the u30s-around
40F SE. Highs Mon in the u50s-around 60F on the eastern shore
to the 60s elsewhere. Lows Mon night in the u30s NW to the m40s
SE. Highs Tue again in the u50s-around 60F on the eastern shore
to the 60s elsewhere. Highs Wed in the 60s on the eastern shore
to the 70s elsewhere.


Weak high pressure ridge will extend from the Atlantic westward into
Virginia and North Carolina through Friday. Low pressure will
organize over the Central Great Plains Friday and will move
northeast into the Great Lakes Saturday. A strong cold front will
cross the region late Saturday and Saturday evening. High pressure
builds over the Mid Atlantic States Sunday.

As of 00z...An area of light rain was dissipating over southeast
Virginia. Mainly VFR conditions were present at the TAF sites. MVFR
visibilities are expected overnight at RIC and SBY. Models were in
opposition as to how low conditions will go Thursday morning.
Considering cloud cover...expect visibilities to go no lower than 1
to 2 miles and that will be mainly in the Piedmont Region. NAM12
soundings do not support widespread IFR ceilings. Conditions improve
by around 14-15Z. Winds will be mainly from the south at around 5 to
10 knots.

OUTLOOK...Dry weather is expected through Friday. Showers and
thunderstorms are expected with the cold front late Saturday and
Saturday evneing. Dry weather returns Sunday. There will be a small
chance for showers on Monday as a weak cold front moves through.


No headlines into the weekend. Predominantly SSE winds aob 15 kt
through Fri night. Waters ranging from 1-2 ft waves over the
Ches Bay and 2-3 ft seas over cstl wtrs. With lo pres invof FL
Thu pushing off the southeast coast Fri...guidance indicating
some increasing long period swell moving up to the local area
wtrs for Fri-Sat w/ seas building to 4-6 ft...which would lead
to SCA headlines along the coast starting around Fri night. Some
increase in SSW winds resulting from WAA Sat...though speeds
expected to remain below SCA. Cold front crosses the waters Sat be followed by a period of modest low level CAA. SCAs
likely Sat night through Sun morning before winds wane to end
of the weekend.


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-Sat, 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, Friday 2/24 and Saturday 2/25:

       2/23           2/24       2/25

RIC   75 in 1985    82 in 1985   83 in 1930
ORF   79 in 1975    82 in 2012    81 in 1930
SBY   74 in 1943    77 in 2012    80 in 1930
ECG   77 in 1975    79 in 1985    77 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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