Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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FXUS61 KAKQ 231149

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wakefield VA
649 AM EST Thu Feb 23 2017

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.


Latest sfc analysis shows a weak trough of low pres near the
VA/NC cst, high pres offshore, and low pres over the FL
Peninsula. Light rain/drizzle will continue near the weak trough
early this morng, and limited to the Tidewater/Hampton Roads/NE
NC. Any amounts will be very light. A dry day is in store
thereafter for the FA with slowly decreasing clouds and no
forcing to initiate any pcpn with fairly zonal flow aloft. With
southerly low-level flow and rising thicknesses late in the day,
temps will challenge record highs for the day. See climate
section below for the day`s records. Currently forecasting highs
in the low to mid 70s across the fa, but upr 70s cannot be
ruled out in the warmest spots.


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.


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.


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.


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


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, 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 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:
  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)




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