Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 150246 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 946 PM EST Wed Feb 14 2018 .SYNOPSIS...
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High pressure off the coast will result in well above normal temperatures through Friday. A cold front will move through the area Friday night, followed by cool high pressure for the weekend. Warm southerly winds will develop early next week and result in a significant warmup. A cold front will approach the area by Wednesday.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH THURSDAY/...
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As of 900 PM Wednesday...The center of high pressure was situated across S Georgia and N Florida this eve with some ridging extending offshore of the Carolinas. A weak mid-level shortwave was bringing a few sprinkles to portions of the Outer Banks this eve, but this precipitation will pass to our N and then offshore through midnight. SW winds will gradually increase as the high expands offshore, and this will drive warm and moist advection overnight. This will keep lows from dropping below the mid 50s overnight. Clouds have tended to fill in already and may lower if the high resolution models are correct. Certainly not a repeat performance of last night, but we may see a period of low stratus overnight and early on Thu. Thursday will be warm with developing sunshine pushing high temps well up into the 70s. Locations near the immediate coast will be held down to around 70 due to the cool Atlantic waters. Any low stratus is expected to burn off in the morning, but cirrus clouds will persist as the subtropical jet transports moisture from the Pacific. 850mb temps will climb towards 14C.
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&& .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...Southwesterly gradient winds don`t grow overly strong Thursday night but 850-925mb winds crank up into the 40-50kt range. This will lead to a breezy night with low temperatures a bit milder than climatological highs as the region stays above 60. Forecast soundings show drying in this WSW jetting but saturation developing below it in a shallow surface layer manifesting as a shallow layer of stratus. This moist layer persists but not to quite the degree of saturation through the day Friday, shaving off afternoon temperatures from record values. A cold front comes through Friday night and its orientation changes from a traditional SW to NE to a more backdoor-looking W to E as it aligns with the deeper layer westerly flow. This is not a good setup for substantial QPF even despite how moist the especially as forecast soundings show the moisture to be quite shallow. && .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
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As of 300 PM Wednesday...Surface high pressure will move off the east coast Saturday in the wake of a cold front. The front is expected to stall just south of the CWA Saturday, with weak waves of low pressure riding along it, bringing the potential for scattered showers. Low pressure will strengthen off the Mid- Atlantic coast as a 500 mb shortwave transits the eastern seaboard Saturday night, followed by drying out in zonal flow aloft. A mid and upper level ridge will amplify off the southeast CONUS Sunday afternoon through Wednesday, and with Bermuda high pressure becoming established, temperatures Monday- Wednesday will remain well above climo. Best chances for precip will be Saturday and Saturday night as a cold front surges through, and again by Wednesday as the upper ridge off the southeast CONUS begins to break down.
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&& .AVIATION /00Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...
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As of 23Z...Return flow will return tonight with winds shifting to the southwest through the overnight hours. Warm air advection will occur after midnight, with low level moisture increasing enough to produce some possible IFR stratus, with mainly MVFR fog expected. Models are in fairly good agreement in bringing in IFR conditions around 08Z. Most of the IFR/MVFR conditions will end shortly after daybreak. Moderate southwest flow with warm temperatures are expected on Thursday. Extended Outlook...AM IFR/BR Fri, otherwise VFR Thu/Fri. Showers/MVFR/tempo IFR Sat. VFR Sun. MVFR/SHRA Sun night/Mon.
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&& .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 900 PM Wednesday...High pressure moving offshore will allow SW winds to increase through the period. Wind speeds around 10 kt overnight will increase to 15 to 20 kt on Thursday. Wave heights tonight will build to 2 to 4 ft. Increasing SE swell will combine with an amplifying SW wind wave to drive wave heights up to 4 to 5 ft Thursday. A Small Craft Should Exercise Caution headline may be required later Thu. Late in the period, sea fog may become possible as the warm moist air continually flood over the cool shelf waters. At this time it appears the best chance for sea fog will occur just beyond this period and have left out any mention in the Wx grids until then. SHORT TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...Southwesterly pre-frontal flow is expected for most of the period. The exception will be a sharp turn to the northeast Friday night with frontal passage. Surface winds and the wind-borne seas will stay below flag thresholds. Low level jetting will be rather strong but tend to stay just inland of the waters. Additionally the cool SSTs and the warm surface air will not foster great vertical mixing. LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...A wedge of high pressure across the interior Carolinas on Saturday will result in northeast flow across the waters, with a decent gradient producing winds as high as 15-20 knots. There is uncertainty as to where the strongest gradient will set up Saturday considering there will be a frontal boundary lingering around. By late Saturday night, a cold front is expected to sweep off the coast, bringing north winds for Sunday. A coastal trough will develop Sunday night and move inland Monday, allowing northeast winds to swing around to the south by Monday afternoon.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ NEAR TERM...RJD/JDW SHORT TERM...MBB LONG TERM...CRM AVIATION...DL

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