Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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053 FXUS62 KILM 250143 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 943 PM EDT Sun Sep 24 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Hurricane Maria is expected to remain offshore as it moves very slowly north, with its center passing within 250 miles of the Cape Fear coast through Wednesday. Hazardous beach and boating conditions will continue for much of the week. A cold front is expected to reach the area Friday, bringing cooler weather for next weekend. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH MONDAY/...
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As of 900 PM Sunday...Hurricane Maria will continue to bring hazardous beach conditions with strong and frequent rip currents through Mon and thus the National Weather Service continues the High Rip Current Risk hazard. These strong rips will be enhanced around the time of low tide, but there is no time when it will be safe to be in the water for much of the week. Low tide is at 5 am and 6 pm Mon. The surf will be high and rough as well with powerful breaking waves as high as 6 to 8 ft thus the National Weather Service continues the High Surf Advisory. These breaking waves will allow for at least minor beach erosion, especially during the time of high tide. Also, water levels will be high and there is a small risk for minor coastal flooding around the time of high tide on Mon, especially from Cape Fear to Surf City. High tide is at 11p tonight and noon on Mon. The H85-H5 layer remains dry and the low-level trajectory will keep any showers offshore until perhaps later Mon afternoon and then primarily for the immediate Cape Fear coast. Otherwise considerable high clouds will remain across the area through the period. Cloud layers will lower and thicken along the coast during Mon. Breezy conditions are expected to continue, mainly along the coast, where the northeasterly pressure gradient will increase most significantly. NE to NNE winds will gust as high as 25 to 30 mph at the beaches with lesser wind gusts as you traverse inland. Lows will be mainly in the 60s tonight. Highs on Mon will be in the lower to mid 80s.
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&& .SHORT TERM /MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Sunday...This period will basically function off the indirect and possible direct effects generated by Hurricane Maria as she tracks northward during this week over the open waters of the Atlantic remaining well offshore from the U.S. mainland which includes the local FA. The exception is the Outer Banks of NC which will see Maria`s closest approach. Once the generally troffiness associated with Jose off the Mid- atlantic and New England coasts dissipates, modest to strong upper level ridging will take it`s place. This will slow Maria`s forward northward movement with models indicating her well offshore from Cape Lookout to Cape Hatteras latitude by Wed morning. With this track, enough of it`s expansive pressure field and moisture will result in breezy NNE-NNW winds across the local area during this period with the hiest winds along the immediate coast, especially from Cape Fear northward. As for pcpn chances associated with Maria, locations across coastal southeast NC will be under a slight RW- chance beginning late Mon night thru Tue. The ILM SC CWA will remain pcpn free this period. With the mid-levels remaining quite dry thruout this period, the cirrus shield associated with Maria will encompass all of the ILM CWA. The lower levels will see a moisture increase across all locations, with the deeper low level moist profile across areas from Cape Fear northward. PCPN will be produced from the low level clouds and remain below 0.10 inches total thruout this period. Temperatures will continue to run at 1 to possibly 2 categories above the climo norms. The thick cirrus shield and eventual low level clouds will limit highs across the Cape Fear northward region, but still above climo. Beaches along the entire ILM CWA will be under a High Surf Advisory and High Rip Current threat for the majority of this period. This a result of 6 to 9 foot long period Maria swell affecting the local waters for an extended period of time. && .LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 300 PM Sunday...Maria, forecast to be well to the east- northeast of the area at the onset of the period, will continue moving north and east away from the area. A cold front will drop into the area Thursday night and move out to sea Friday, ushering in cooler and drier air for the weekend. Outside of a small chance of showers Wednesday, mainly over northeast sections of the forecast area, the extended range looks mainly dry. High temperatures in the mid 80s to around 90 Wednesday and Thursday will cool to the mid 70s by Sunday. Min temperatures in the upper 60s to lower 70s Wednesday night will cool to the upper 50s to lower 60s by Saturday night. && .AVIATION /00Z MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 00Z...Will maintain a VFR forecast at all the terminals through the valid period. The center of Hurricane Maria will continue to move N and at its closest approach, it should pass within 250 miles of the Cape Fear coast Tue-Wed. The wind direction will be NNE to NE through the period. Expect wind gusts to about 20 kt at the coastal terminals for much of Mon. High level ceilings are expected to lower to 4-6 kft at the coastal terminals by late morning or early afternoon on Mon. Will introduce some stratus at KILM, but will keep the layer SCT near 1 kft with this forecast package. Extended Outlook...MVFR ceilings may develop at the coastal terminals as stratus advects onshore Mon night and Tue. Wind speeds at the coastal terminals will gust as high as 15 to 25 kt Mon through Wed. && .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 900 PM Sunday...Hazardous seas continue across the waters with powerful swell energy generated by Hurricane Maria dominating the wave spectrum. Wind energy continues to increase atop this swell with wave heights as high as 7 to 11 ft this eve. Seas are expected to grow another foot or two through Mon. The wind direction this eve was from the NE and will slowly back to the NNE on Mon. Wind speeds will be up to 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to around 30 kt, highest across the outer waters. Hurricane Maria is expected to continue a slow track to the N, with its center expected to be within 250 miles of the Cape Fear coast as it moves to our N through Wed. Showers should gain proximity through Mon, perhaps increasing in number Mon night. SHORT TERM /MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Sunday...SCA conditions will continue across the area waters thruout this period. With the local waters on the westward side of Hurricane Maria as she tracks northward, remaining well offshore from the local area, wind directions will run from the NNE- N Mon night into Tue, and from the NNW-NW there-after as Maria`s eye moves north of the local latitude. The sfc pg associated with Maria, will be conducive to wind speeds in the 15 to 25 kt range south of Little River Inlet and 20 to 30 kt north of this Inlet. Could see Gale Gusts from Cape Fear northward thruout this period. Significant seas this period will be dominated by the 13-16 second period, ESE-SE Maria Swell. The short period locally produced NNE- NNW wind waves will create choppy conditions on top of this swell. This a result of a limited fetch. The area inlets to and from the Atlantic as well as the mouths of Cape Fear River and Winyah Bay will experience dangerous and hazardous navigating conditions. LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 300 PM Sunday...Northwest winds of 15 to 25 KT Wednesday morning will diminish to 10 to 15 KT by Thursday morning. A shift to the north then northeast will occur Friday and Friday night. Seas of 4 to 7 FT south and 7 to 9 FT north Wednesday AM will gradually subside through the period, falling to 2 to 3 FT by Friday.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...High Rip Current Risk through Tuesday evening for SCZ054-056. High Surf Advisory until 9 PM EDT Tuesday for SCZ054-056. NC...High Rip Current Risk through Tuesday evening for NCZ106-108- 110. High Surf Advisory until 9 PM EDT Tuesday for NCZ106-108-110. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 6 PM EDT Wednesday for AMZ250-252- 254-256. && $$ NEAR TERM...RJD/SRP SHORT TERM...DCH LONG TERM...RAN AVIATION...RJD is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.