Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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217 FXUS61 KAKQ 250906 AFDAKQ Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wakefield VA 506 AM EDT Mon Sep 25 2017 .SYNOPSIS... High pressure will prevail across the Mid Atlantic today. Meanwhile, Hurricane Maria will gradually track north well off the Southeast coast. Maria is forecast to approach the Outer Banks Tuesday into Wednesday, before pushing farther offshore Thursday ahead of an approaching cold front late in the week. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING/... A mid/upper level high remains anchored from the Ern Great Lakes through the Northeast Conus early this morning, with rather weak (~1020mb) high pressure at the surface. Hurricane Maria (presently a category 1) is situated near 30N and 73W as of 2 am, which is about 380mi SSE of Cape Hatteras. Mostly clear early this morning, with some thin cirrus, and some bands of stratocumulus approaching coastal NE NC. Patchy shallow ground fog is presently limited, but could become more prevalent from the Piedmont to the Lower MD Ern Shore through sunrise. Temperatures range through the 60s early this morning, with some low 70s for coastal SE VA/NE NC. The high will remain anchored N of the region today as hurricane Maria gradually tracks nwd. The current 25/00z model consensus depicts Maria about 300mi SSE of Cape Hatteras at 18z today. Becoming mostly cloudy along the coast today as model cross-sections show moisture thickening below 900mb. Farther W, conditions should be partly to mostly sunny. Remaining unseasonably warm today with high temperatures ranging from the upper 70s to around 80F at the coast, to the mid to locally upper 80s farther inland. Mainly dry today with only a ~15% PoP for coastal NE NC this aftn. && .SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... There is good model agreement showing Maria reaching about 200mi SE of Cape Hatteras by 12z Tuesday, and the 25/00z ECMWF has joined the remainder of the guidance with an ewd shift in the track. Maria continues to push N Tuesday, and perhaps slightly W of due N as an upper low drops sewd across FL. Increasing moisture and some outer banded features will result in 20-30% PoPs along and E of I-95 Tuesday, but the ewd shift in the guidance places the deeper moisture offshore. QPF will be minimal for most areas. Lows will generally be in the mid 60s to low 70s tonight, with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s Tuesday under a mostly cloudy sky. Becoming breezy along the coast with a NE wind increasing to 15-25 mph along the coast Tuesday, with gusts up to 30-35 mph possible. Maria reaches about 180mi ESE of Cape Hatteras by 00z Wednesday, around 150mi E of Cape Hatteras by 12z Wednesday, and then 140-180mi ENE of Cape Hatteras by 00z Thursday as some spread begins to show up in the guidance. Will defer to NHC on the exact forecast track as of 5 am. The slight ewd shift will result in less rainfall across SE VA/NE NC (and coastal MD to a lesser degree), but there is still a potential for modestly stronger wind gusts at the coast, higher seas, and at least minor to localized moderate coastal flooding. At this time, still don`t anticipate heavy rain along the coast, generally less than two inches, given Maria`s offshore track. Will have PoPs of 30-50% east of I-95 Wed, with slight chc PoPs into the Piedmont. Wind gusts could reach 40-50 mph from around Norfolk/VA Beach southward into coastal NE NC where tropical headlines are in effect. The biggest impacts will likely be from tidal flooding and beach erosion along/near the coast. Highs Wed from the upr 70s coast to the low/mid 80s inland, after morning lows in the 60s. && .LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/... First part of the extended, Wednesday night through Thursday, will be predicated on future track of Hurricane Maria. Have utilized Superblend for tangible weather during this period, given potential uncertainty in the track. Again, will stress that the 12z ECMWF is ~50 miles closer to the coast than the GFS and have weighted the forecast more toward its solution for the extended. This would linger Maria closer to the NC OBX through Thursday before eventually taking Maria fairly quickly northeastward away from the area on Friday in advance of an upper trof dropping southeastward from Canada. This trof and associated cold front move into the region next Saturday. Above normal temperatures continue on Thursday, with highs from the upper 70s to mid 80s. Temperatures cool into the 70s Friday/Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Lows Wednesday night range from the mid 60s to around 70F, then mid 50s NW to mid 60s SE Thursday night, and in the 50s to low 60s Friday/Saturday nights. && .AVIATION /09Z MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... VFR conditions across the region at 00Z with increasing high clouds from Maria moving into the Carolinas and southern Virginina. NE winds 5 to 10 kts overnight will become gusty 15-20 kt by early to mid morning. High pressure remains anchored N of the region tonight as Maria continues to track nwd. Increasing clouds late tonight across SE VA/NE NC will bring some MVFR cigs for ECG in the morning and IFR conditions by the aftn/evening. Patchy fog is possible for PHF and SBY again overnight. Outlook: Increasing moisture and some distant banding from Maria will result in a 40-50% chc of showers for ORF/ECG and 20-40% for RIC/SBY/PHF. Conditions Tuesday night/Wednesday/Wednesday night will largely be dictated by how close Maria gets to the Outer Banks. A closer approach will result in breezy to windy conditions, especially at ORF/ECG along with an increased chc of rain and degraded flight conditions. A cold front approaches from the NW Thursday/Friday and pushes Maria farther offshore. && .MARINE...
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Hurricane Maria is located about 380 miles SSE of Cape Hatteras NC as of 500 AM. Meanwhile, high pressure remains centered north of the area. The hurricane is forecast to track northward well off the SE coast today into this evening, then moves to well east of the NC outer banks by early Wed morning. The storm will then start to track northeast Wed aftn and evening, then accelerate ENE out to sea late Wed night into Thu night. NE winds and waves/seas will start to increase/build over the waters, esply srn waters, this evening into Tue morning, as the storm moves northward to well off the SE NC coast. NE winds will increase to 10 to 20 kt with gusts to 25-30 kt by Tue morning, with waves building to 2-5 ft (near 6 ft mouth of the Bay), and seas building to 6-10 ft. Strongest NE winds and highest waves and seas will affect the waters Tue night into Wed night with gusts to 35-45 kt a good bet over the srn Ches Bay, Currituck Sound, and VA/NC coastal waters. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for the Currituck Sound, and srn waters from the VA/NC border to Currituck Beach Light until 12Z/800 AM Thu morning. Aforementioned areas above may be added to the watch this aftn, since impacts farther north of the watch area are not anticipated to begin until Tue evening. Elsewhere, strong/solid SCA conditions (20-30kt) will occur. Seas will build as high as 14-15 ft south and 10-14 ft north. N winds will then diminish west to east late Wed night thru Thu. Please monitor the NHC forecast for the official forecast track of Hurricane Maria.
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&& .TIDES/COASTAL FLOODING... Tidal departures had decreased some this afternoon averaging 1.0 ft above normal tide. Water levels remain elevated with some nuisance flooding still occuring in the Bay and rivers, however, water levels remain below minor flood thresholds. Will need to watch for additional flooding by mid week, especially later Tue and Wed (and perhaps Thu). This will depend on the exact track of Maria, but the potential for significant tidal flooding reaching moderate to even major levels exists (especially over locations adjacent to the lower Bay and southern VA/NE NC waters). High Surf Advisories likely will be needed by Tue lasting into Wednesday and Thursday. The combination of storm surge and large waves could result in significant coastal erosion and damage to dune structures mid week. High risk for rip currents for all beaches adjacent to coastal waters continues through today, as 4-5 ft nearshore waves and 13-15 second swell persists. && .AKQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... MD...None. NC...Tropical Storm Watch for NCZ015>017-102. VA...None. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from 1 PM this afternoon to 6 PM EDT Tuesday for ANZ632-634-638. Tropical Storm Watch for ANZ633-658. Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas until 6 PM EDT Tuesday for ANZ650-652-654-656. && $$ SYNOPSIS...AJZ/JDM NEAR TERM...JDM SHORT TERM...AJZ/JDM LONG TERM...AJZ/JDM AVIATION...AJZ MARINE...BMD/TMG TIDES/COASTAL FLOODING...AKQ is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.