Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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000 FXUS61 KAKQ 231617 AFDAKQ Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service WAKEFIELD VA 1117 AM EST Thu Feb 23 2017 .SYNOPSIS... High pressure remains well offshore today into tonight as low pressure slides off the Florida Peninsula. A strong cold front approaches from the west Friday into Friday night, and crosses the local area late Saturday. High pressure returns Sunday. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING/... Latest sfc analysis indicating sfc low pressure off the east coast of Florida, with an inverted sfc trough extending NNE up to the NC coast. Split flow aloft making for relatively light winds/weak steering flow aloft. Very warm today with readings already mainly in the 60s to around 70 F as of 16Z/11 am under variably cloudy skies (still lingering mostly cloudy over the far southeast closest to the surface trough offshore). Fairly high dew pts in the mid-upper 50s and a light southerly flow suggest potential for some developing cumulus inland with skies to avg partly sunny for the aftn. Based on current conditions, raised highs a degree or two over inland zones with mid 70s common and a chance for upper 70s. Closer to the coast, highs will avg in the 70-75 range. && .SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY/... Expect dry weather and a mild night tngt (lows in the 50s) with high pres staying offshore and low pres passing well south of the local area. With decent low-level moisture and light winds, could see some patchy fog develop. Conditions Fri will be similar to those of today, with southerly flow and temps climbing into the 70s areawide under a partly cloudy sky with no pcpn. Again see climate section below for the day`s records. More interesting scenario shapes up then for Sat as a cold front and potent mid-level shortwave trough approach from the west then cross the area late in the day. Not much chance of rain in the morng (20-40% chance limited to the Piedmont/west of I95), then PoPs range from 20-30% NE NC to 60% near/north of RIC after noon. Included chance of thunder as well due to decent instability and forcing. SPC has the northern half of the FA in a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms in association with a low CAPE/high shear environment. Main threat would be damaging wind gusts, but attm there is uncertainty over coverage of convection. High temps Sat mainly in the low/mid 70s. && .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 /16Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... Mostly VFR to start off the 12Z TAF period. Some MVFR fog is lingering at RIC early this morng but this should end over the next couple hours with sfc heating and increasing southerly winds. Mid-level clouds also dissipate through the day as a weak mid-level shortwave trough slides offshore. South winds of 8-10 kt then for this aftn with mid-level clouds becoming just some high clouds. Fog coverage expected to be greater tonight then this morng with less mid-level clouds over the area, fairly moist low levels, and light winds. Included IFR/MVFR fog at all TAF sites except KORF attm. OUTLOOK...Dry weather continues into Friday. Showers and thunderstorms are expected with a cold front Saturday aftn into early evening. Dry weather returns Sunday with sfc high pres building into the area. && .MARINE... High pressure will remained centered well off the Mid-Atlantic coast through Friday as low pressure meanders off the FL coast, and nrn stream energy remains well north of the region from the Great Lakes through the Saint Lawrence Valley. High pressure will slide farther offshore Friday night into Saturday as a cold front pushes from the Ohio Valley Friday night and ewd across the mountains Saturday. Meanwhile, the srn stream low will gradually lift newd well off the Southeast coast. A SSE wind will remain aob 15kt through Friday night, and may increase a few kt Saturday due to a tightening pressure gradient, but should still remain sub-SCA. Seas will generally be 2-3ft through Friday, before increasing to 3- 4ft Friday night into Saturday as long period swell arrives from the low offshore. Waves in the Bay will average 1-2ft. The cold front will cross the coast Saturday night followed by modest CAA and strong pressure rises. SCAs are likely Saturday night into Sunday morning with a NW wind reaching 20-25kt with gusts to 30kt and 4-6ft seas/3-4ft waves. The wind diminishes Sunday afternoon as high pressure builds into the region. High pressure quickly pushes offshore Sunday night into Monday with the wind becoming S. && .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 today-Sat, with the top 3 warmest February`s on record listed below that. Expecting RIC, ORF to be the 2ns warmest, ECG to be at least into the top 3 warmest. SBY looks on track to be 4th or 5th warmest. Daily Record Highs for Today 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 (average temps): * RIC: (most likely finish for 2017: 2nd warmest) * 1) 49.9 (1890) * 2) 48.5 (1976) * 3) 48.1 (1884) * ORF: (most likely finish for 2017: 2nd warmest) * 1) 52.4 (1890) * 2) 50.5 (1909) * 3) 50.1 (1990) * SBY: (most likely finish for 2017: 4th warmest) * 1) 46.1 (1976) * 2) 45.8 (1984) * 3) 45.7 (1925) * ECG: (most likely finish for 2017: 3rd warmest) * 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...MAS NEAR TERM...LKB/MAS SHORT TERM...MAS LONG TERM...ALB AVIATION...MAS MARINE...AJZ CLIMATE...AKQ is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.