Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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615 FXUS61 KAKQ 221932 AFDAKQ Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wakefield VA 232 PM EST Wed Feb 22 2017 .SYNOPSIS... 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. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING/... 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. && .SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY/... 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. && .LONG TERM /SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... 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. && .AVIATION /19Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... CIGS between 3-7K Ft will prevail as a trough of low pressure sags SE across the area today. Spotty light rain/shwrs possible mainly across the Piedmont extending east towards the Ches Bay through the daylight hours. Not enough to warrant a prevailing condition in the RIC/PHF TAF but did include a VSCH. Kept the coastal TAFS dry for now. Data suggesting additional moisture in the lower levels tonight resulting in patchy fog. Went with MVFR VSBYS after midnight. 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. && .MARINE... 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. && .CLIMATE... 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) && .AKQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... MD...None. NC...None. VA...None. MARINE...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...MPR NEAR TERM...MPR SHORT TERM...MPR LONG TERM...ALB AVIATION...MPR/LSA MARINE...ALB CLIMATE... is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.