Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Newport/Morehead, NC

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FXUS62 KMHX 170238

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC
938 PM EST Tue Jan 16 2018

A cold front will approach the area tonight, and produce light
snow across Eastern North Carolina Wednesday into Wednesday
night. High pressure will build in from the west Thursday
through the weekend.


As of 9 PM Tuesday...High will push off the coast tonight ahead
of the approaching cold front, currently moving through the
Appalachians. Latest satellite imagery shows dense high clouds
streaming across the area, which is making it difficult to see
the low clouds/fog impacting the northern coastal areas, which
is evident by FFA and MQI obs showing vsbys between a quarter
and half mile. High Res guidance continues to indicated this
area of fog spreading across the Albemarle/Pamlico Peninsula
again tonight and with temps near or below freezing there is
some concern for freezing fog as well. However, rapid refresh
models this evening have gradually backed off on the westward
extend of the fog overnight leading to lower confidence on just
how far west the fog will spread. Have issued an SPS for dense
fog for the northern OBX until midnight and will re-evaluate the
fog situation late this evening. Temps dropped quickly into the
30s this evening but with clouds thickening don`t expect temps
to drop that much further overnight and expect lows in the upper
20s to lower 30s inland to low to mid 30s coast.


As of 4 PM Tues...Wednesday through Wednesday evening will be
the focus for wintry weather as rain quickly mixes with then
changes over to snow across most of Eastern NC starting late in
the morning for the coastal plain and ending in the evening for
the coast.

Fortunately the system will have limited moisture with most
model QPF forecasts indicating 0.25" or less of water
equivalent. Nonetheless, the system will have good forcing to
wring out what moisture is available, as model X-sections
indicate decent fgen banding in the 900-700mb layer, which
co-located with the DGZ may produce some decent snow rates at
times, leading to a quick one to two inches of accums for
northwest half of the FA. Initial energy will go into cooling
the boundary layer, as sfc temps will rise into the 40s before
the snow begins, therefore a brief period of rain may fall
before dynamic cooling quickly cools the low levels sufficiently
and switches to snow. This will be an anafront, where precip
occurs behind the sfc boundary. Thus, not expecting an initial
period of freezing rain, as cooling will occur from top down.
In addition, no warm nose will be present as there is little to
no sfc reflection offshore. Timing of the snow will adversely
affect the afternoon and evening commute when the heaviest of
the snow is forecast to occur. Column drying occurs from the top
down Wed evening as deep layer saturation quickly erodes, and
there may even be a brief period of freezing drizzle before
precip comes to an end on the coast around midnight. Roads will
likely be treacherous where snow falls through Thur morning as
overnight lows Wed night expected in the upper teens to lower
20s inland to 25-30 immediate coast.


As of 345 AM Tuesday...

Thursday through Sunday...Cold and dry conditions will follow
this low pressure system, with high temps Thursday only topping
out in the upper 30s across the area. Low temps will be very
cold Thursday and Friday mornings with teens expected inland,
and 20s along the coast. As the cold upper trough moves away on
Friday, high temperatures will moderate to around 50. High
pressure moving off the coast, and rising heights will allow
temperatures to warm above average over the weekend, with dry
weather expected.

Monday...A cold front will approach late Monday bringing a
threat of showers to area by evening. Mild temperatures will
continue ahead of the front with highs in the lower to middle
60s expected.


Short Term /Through Wednesday/...
As of 7 PM Tuesday...Pred VFR expected at the terminals through
most of Wednesday morning, however areas of fog with vsbys less
than 1 mile continue to impact the northern OBX this evening. As
last night, high res guidance spreads this fog across parts of
the Albemarle/Pamlico Peninsula but latest rapid refresh updates
have been backing off with how far west this fog will spread and
think the fog will remain northeast of the terminals at this
time. An arctic front approaches the are Wednesday and will see
clouds lowering through the morning and early afternoon with
precip starting off as rain at onset but quickly turning to snow
with conditions dropping to IFR or below during the afternoon.

Long Term /Wednesday night through Sunday/...
As of 3 PM Tue...Light snow will likely impact conditions
Wednesday evening with widespread sub-VFR conditions likely,
then improving to VFR by early Thursday morning. VFR conditions
expected Thursday through Sunday with dry high pressure forecast
to be over the area.


Short Term /through Wednesday night/...
As of 830 PM Tue...High pressure weakens over the waters tonight
with light and variable winds, generally less than 10 kt, and
seas around 3-6 ft. Seas north of Ocracoke expected to remain
mostly at or above 6 ft overnight into Wed. A cold front will
move through the waters Wed afternoon, with northerly winds
increasing quickly along with building seas. Northerly winds
peak at 20-30 kt with seas 5-9 ft Wed night. A brief period of
gale force gusts will be possible across the central waters Wed
night. SCA advisories continue for the waters north of Ocracoke,
and issued for the southern waters and sounds beginning Wed

Areas of fog and stratus continue to impact the northern OBX
and adjacent coastal waters this evening with Manteo and First
Flight airports reporting 1/4 to 1/2 mile visibilities. Guidance
continues to spread the fog south and west through the overnight
but rapid refresh runs have been gradually backing off on the
extent so confidence on just how far it will spread remains
low. In addition, high clouds are hampering the ability to see
the fog via satellite making it difficult to ascertain the true
extent of the fog. Have issued a dense fog advisory for the
Albemarle Sound and coastal waters north of Oregon Inlet at this
time and may need to expand the advisory if conditions warrant.

Long Term /Thursday through Sunday/...
As of 345 AM Tuesday...Small craft conditions will persist
across the through Thursday dues to gusty northerly winds 20 to
25 kt through Thursday morning and hazardous 5 to 8 ft seas
through Thursday afternoon. Winds and seas slowly decrease late
Thursday afternoon. Friday and Saturday W/SW flow around 15 kt
is expected with seas 3-5 ft Friday and 2 to 4 ft Saturday.


NC...Winter Weather Advisory from 10 AM to 10 PM EST Wednesday for
     Winter Weather Advisory from 1 PM to 10 PM EST Wednesday for
     Winter Weather Advisory from 4 PM to 10 PM EST Wednesday for
     Winter Weather Advisory from 1 PM Wednesday to 1 AM EST
     Thursday for NCZ103.
MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from 4 PM Wednesday to 10 AM EST Thursday
     for AMZ130-131-135.
     Dense Fog Advisory until 8 AM EST Wednesday for AMZ130-150.
     Small Craft Advisory until 1 PM EST Thursday for AMZ150.
     Small Craft Advisory until 6 PM EST Thursday for AMZ152-154.
     Small Craft Advisory from 3 PM Wednesday to 1 PM EST Thursday
     for AMZ156-158.


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