Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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000
FXUS61 KRNK 270051
AFDRNK

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BLACKSBURG VA
851 PM EDT THU MAR 26 2015

.SYNOPSIS...
A STRONG COLD FRONT TO OUR WEST WILL TRAVEL EAST THIS EVENING AND
PUSH THROUGH THE AREA TONIGHT. MUCH COLDER AIR WILL BE MOVING IN
BEHIND THE COLD FRONT FOR THIS WEEKEND.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH FRIDAY/...
AS OF 845 PM EDT THURSDAY...

COLD FRONT IS SLOWLY WORKING ITS WAY ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA. AS
OF 800 PM IT WAS GENERALLY ALIGNED WITH THE BLUE RIDGE. A LINE OF
CONVECTIVE SHOWERS WITH EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS WAS ASSOCIATED WITH
THE FRONT...AND HAVE HAD A FEW REPORTS OF PEA SIZE HAIL.

THE RNK BALLOON RELEASE WENT UP 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO FRONTAL
PASSAGE AND PROVIDES A GOOD REPRESENTATION OF THE PRE-
SHOWER/STORM ENVIRONMENT. THE CAPE IS WEAK...650 J/KG...BUT
CERTAINLY SUPPORTIVE OF THE LINE OF CONVECTIVE SHOWERS ONGOING.

TEMPERATURES AHEAD OF THE FRONT ACROSS SOUTHSIDE VA AND THE
PIEDMONT OF NC REMAIN IN THE 60S. BEHIND THE FRONT TEMPERATURES
HAVE TUMBLED THROUGH THE 50S...AND WILL MOST LIKELY REACH THE
LOWER TO MID 40S ACROSS THE HIGHLANDS OF VA/WV BY MIDNIGHT.

FORWARD PROGRESSION OF THE FRONT IS EXPECTED TO COME TO A SLOW
CRAWL...LESS THAN 10 MPH. AS SUCH WILL MAINTAIN HIGH POPS...EVEN
ACROSS SOUTHSIDE VA AND THE PIEDMONT...MOISTURE CONVERGENCE ALONG
THE FRONT SUPPORTING CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT OF SHOWERS AS THE FRONT
MOVES EAST. LINGERING PRECIPITATION IS ALSO LIKELY BEHIND THE
FRONT...IN THE FORM OF LIGHT RAIN...OR RAIN MIXED WITH SNOW ONCE
THE TEMPERATURES GETS COLD ENOUGH LATER TONIGHT. ANY SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS WILL GENERALLY BE LIGHT AND MAINLY CONFINED TO THE
HIGHER ELEVATIONS IN THE FAR WESTERN PART OF THE CWA.

BY SUNRISE FRIDAY TEMPERATURES WEST OF THE BLUE RIDGE ARE EXPECTED
TO BE IN THE 30S....POSSIBLY AS LOW AS THE UPPER 20S AT ELEVATIONS
ABOVE 3500 FEET. EAST OF THE BLUE RIDGE...THE TEMPERATURE TUMBLE
WILL BE A LITTLE DELAYED...BUT STILL DIPPING INTO THE 40S BY
DAYBREAK.

A WAVE OF LOW PRESSURE ALONG THE FRONT WILL KEEP RESIDUAL
PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE EAST FRIDAY. MEANWHILE... NORTHWEST WINDS
WILL BE GENERATING UPSLOPE PRECIPITATION WEST OF THE BLUE RIDGE AS
MUCH COLDER COLDER AIR MOVES IN. SNOW ACCUMULATION IN THE WESTERN
MOUNTAINS WILL BE LIMITED BY THE STRENGTH OF THE SUN THIS TIME OF
YEAR AND WARM ANTECEDENT CONDITIONS. WPC IN DAY 1 PAINT UP TO 2
INCHES POSSIBLE IN WESTERN GREENBRIER AND THE POTENTIAL UP TO AN
INCH IN THE WESTERN MOUNTAINS. HIGH TEMPERATURES FRIDAY WILL RANGE
FROM THE MID 30S IN THE NORTHWEST MOUNTAINS TO THE LOWER 50S IN
THE PIEDMONT.

&&

.SHORT TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/...
AS OF 340 PM EDT...

MAIN ISSUE FOR THE WEEKEND IS THE INFLUENCE OF THE DEEP UPPER TROUGH
AND ANOMALOUSLY COLD AIR MASS.  FIRST...LINGERING LIGHT ACCUMULATING
SNOW SHOWERS ON WESTERN SLOPES OF APPALACHIANS FOR FRIDAY NIGHT AND
PERHAPS INTO FIRST PART OF SATURDAY ASSOCIATED WITH COLD ADVECTION
AND AIDED BY SOME SLIGHTLY DEEPER LIFT WHEN THE UPPER VORTICITY MAX
AND TROUGH AXIS SWING THROUGH BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAYBREAK
SATURDAY.  THEN WITH COLD AIR MASS IN PLACE...INCLUDING COLDER THAN
MINUS 10 C AT 850MB OVER MUCH OF THE AREA SATURDAY...HIGH TEMPS
SATURDAY WILL BE 15-20 F BELOW AVERAGE...AND WE COULD BE CLOSE TO
RECORD LOWS FOR SUNDAY MORNING THE 29TH...SEE CLIMATE SECTION BELOW.
WENT WITH COLDER MAV AND ECMWF GUIDANCE COMPARED TO MET...WHICH BOTH
KEEPING TRENDING DOWN...AND WAS TEMPTED TO GO EVEN COLDER THAN
GUIDANCE WITH THE SURFACE HIGH RIGHT OVERHEAD SUNDAY MORNING. ONE
CAUTION IS THAT WARM ADVECTION ALOFT BEGINS AGAIN AND THERE COULD
BE SOME THIN CIRRUS DRIFTING AHEAD OF WARM FRONT...MOST LIKELY
ACROSS THE WEST...SO WILL WAIT ANOTHER 24 HRS BEFORE DECIDING TO
GO BELOW GUIDANCE OR NOT.

ALSO WITH UPPER TROUGH OVERHEAD AND SOME WEAK MID LEVEL
INSTABILITY...SOME MODELS SHOWING VERY LIGHT SHOWERS ACROSS CENTRAL
THROUGH FIRST HALF OF SATURDAY...SO INTRODUCED A SLIGHT CHC POP
THERE.

TEMPS SHOULD MODERATE NICELY DURING THE DAY SUNDAY WITH RETURN OF
WARM ADVECTION...BUT STILL BELOW NORMAL. COULD SEE HAVING TO TWEAK
THOSE UP A FEW DEGREES BETWEEN NOW AND SUNDAY.

NEXT CLIPPER SYSTEM MAY ARRIVE AS EARLY AS SUNDAY NIGHT IN WEST BUT
THINK GFS IS A BIT TOO FAST WITH THIS GIVEN POSITION OF LARGER
TROUGH STILL OFF EAST COAST...SO LEANING TOWARD SLOWER ECMWF AND
HOLDING OFF ON BEST PRECIP CHANCES UNTIL MONDAY...BUT DO HAVE LOW
CHANCE FAR WEST BY AFTER MIDNIGHT.

&&

.LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/...
AS OF 355 PM EDT...

STILL SOME UNCERTAINTY IN TIMING OF THE CLIPPER SYSTEM AND AMOUNT OF
PRECIP GIVEN CURRENT MODEL DIFFERENCES...BUT ECMWF AND CANADIAN ON
SAME PAGE WITH MORE OF A DAYTIME MONDAY TIMING...AND ECMWF TRENDS
SHOWING LITTLE WETTER SOLUTION AND BETTER CHANCES FOR PRECIP TO
SPREAD INTO PIEDMONT AT SOME POINT...SO HAVE INCREASED POPS TO LOW
CHC FOOTHILLS AND SLIGHT CHC INTO ALL OF PIEDMONT...AND MAY
EVENTUALLY HAVE TO GO HIGHER IF TIMING HOLDS STEADY.

PLENTY MILD ENOUGH FOR ALL RAIN WITH THIS SYSTEM...WITH THE POSSIBLE
EXCEPTION OF HIGHEST TERRAIN IN WEST VIRGINIA MONDAY MORNING...BUT
DO NOT THINK THERE WILL BE ANY ISSUES WITH ACCUMULATING SNOW EVEN ON
HIGHEST RIDGES.

LARGE SCALE PATTERN KEEPS SOME CLIPPER ENERGY HEADING TOWARD THE
APPALACHIANS AGAIN FOR TUESDAY OR TUES NIGHT...BUT THIS COULD REMAIN
TO THE NORTH...WHICH IS WHAT CURRENT ECWMF SOLUTION SUGGESTS...AND
THERE IS A TREND TO FLATTEN THE PATTERN A BIT SO EVEN THE WETTER GFS
MAY NOT BRING US MUCH OF ANYTHING...AND WOULD MOST LIKELY DO SO ONLY
ON WESTERN SLOPES. AFTER THAT NEXT BEST CHANCE FOR PRECIP COMES BY
WED NIGHT INTO THURSDAY WITH BETTER FRONTAL PASSAGE AND TAP OF SOME
GULF MOISTURE AS MODELS SHOWING SOME ATTEMPT TO PHASE A SOUTHERN
SHORT WAVE WITH YET ANOTHER COMING OUT OF THE NORTHERN PLAINS.  AT
THIS POINT...THINK THE GFS IS OVERDOING THE STRENGTH OF THE SOUTHERN
PIECE OF ENERGY GIVEN A LOT OF POTENTIALLY SPURIOUS CONVECTION NEAR
THE GULF COAST EARLIER WEDNESDAY...SO ONCE AGAIN WILL LEAN TOWARD
ECMWF WHICH IS SOMEWHAT DRIER AND NOT AS LIKELY TO SPREAD PRECIP
EAST.  OBVIOUSLY WITH THIS BEING 6 TO 7 DAYS OUT...THERE IS MUCH
UNCERTAINTY WITH DETAILS...AND WITH WARMING TREND THROUGHOUT THE
WEEK TOWARD OR ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ONCE AGAIN...THIS MID WEEK
SYSTEM SHOULD NOT POSE ANY PRECIP TYPE ISSUES...NOR DOES IT LOOK TO
HAVE MUCH CHANCE OF GENERATING ANY SEVERE WEATHER GIVEN EITHER A
WEAK WEDGE IN PLACE IF GOING MORE WITH GFS...OR A VERY LIMITED
MOISTURE TAP IF GOING MORE WITH ECMWF.

&&

.AVIATION /01Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
AS OF 745 PM EDT THURSDAY...

A COLD FRONT IS STARTING TO MAKE HEADWAY INTO THE FORECAST AREA.
THE FRONT HAS REACHED ROUGHLY A KVJI...KBCB...KROA...KCHO LINE.
NUMEROUS SHOWERS...SOME MODERATE TO HEAVY...ARE FORMING ALONG IT
CURRENTLY. ADDITIONAL AREAS OF LIGHT TO MODERATE RAIN WERE
TRAILING THE COLD FRONT...BETWEEN IT AND THE ASSOCIATED 850 MB
FRONT. AS THE NIGHT PROGRESSES....FLIGHT CATEGORIES ARE EXPECTED
TO TREND DOWNWARD INTO THE MVFR RANGE FOR BOTH CIGS AND VSBYS
ALONG WITH POCKETS OF IFR. AFTER ROUGHLY 06Z...MAINLY IFR
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS...WITH A MIX OF MVFR
AND IFR ACROSS THE PIEDMONT.

COLDER AIR WILL WORK ITS WAY INTO THE AREA OVERNIGHT...MAINLY ONCE
THE 850 MB FRONT WORKS PROGRESSES THROUGH THE REGION. LOOK FOR
RAIN MIXED WITH...OR CHANGED TO...LIGHT SNOW BETWEEN ROUGHLY A
KBLF-KLWB LINE BY DAYBREAK.

INCREASING 850 MB FLOW WILL HELP YIELD UPSLOPE CONDITIONS ACROSS
THE PREFERRED WESTERN SLOPES OF SOUTHEAST WEST VIRGINIA...SOUTH
INTO THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS OF NORTH CAROLINA. LOOK FOR MVFR
CONDITIONS TO PREVAIL IN THIS REGION FOR MUCH OF THE DAY...ALONG
WITH ISOLATED TO SCATTERED RAIN/SNOW SHOWERS.

EAST OF THE CREST OF THE BLUE RIDGE...THE SAME NORTHWEST WINDS
WILL YIELD DOWNSLOPE CONDITIONS...AND GRADUAL INCREASE IN CLOUD
COVER...WITH FLIGHT CATEGORIES IMPROVING TO VFR.

AS OF 150 PM EDT THURSDAY...

WINDS WILL DIMINISH SATURDAY WITH VFR CONDITIONS AS HIGH PRESSURE
BUILDS INTO THE AREA. SCATTERED MVFR SHOWERS ARE POSSIBLE SUNDAY
NIGHT INTO MONDAY. VFR WEATHER IS EXPECTED TUESDAY.

&&

.CLIMATE...
RECORD LOWS FOR MARCH 29:

ROA19
BCB17
LYH23
DAN23
BLF19
LWB18

&&

.RNK WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
VA...NONE.
NC...NONE.
WV...NONE.

&&

$$
SYNOPSIS...KK
NEAR TERM...KK/PM
SHORT TERM...SK
LONG TERM...SK
AVIATION...AMS/DS/KK
CLIMATE...SK


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