Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 201916 AFDILM AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC 316 PM EDT SUN APR 20 2014 .SYNOPSIS...
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SLOW MOVING LOW PRESSURE ABOUT 150 MILES SOUTHEAST OF CAPE FEAR WILL MOVE SLOWLY EASTWARD AND AWAY FROM THE CAROLINAS TONIGHT AND MONDAY. A COLD FRONT MAY BRING ANOTHER ROUND OF SHOWERS LATE TUESDAY OR TUESDAY NIGHT. HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD IN FROM THE WEST WITH A GRADUAL WARM UP FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEK.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
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AS OF 3 PM SUNDAY...1012 MB LOW PRESSURE CENTERED APPROXIMATELY 200 MILES SOUTHEAST OF CAPE FEAR CONTINUES TO BE THE BIG WEATHER STORY FOR THE CAROLINAS. THIS VERTICALLY-STACKED COLD-CORE LOW HAS BROUGHT CHILLY NORTHEAST WINDS TO THE AREA ALONG WITH PERIODS OF SHOWERS ACROSS SE NORTH CAROLINA. TEMPERATURES ARE 15 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL THIS AFTERNOON...TYPICAL OF AN EARLY FEBRUARY DAY. MODIFICATION OF THE LOW-LEVELS OF THE ATMOSPHERE BY THE GULF STREAM IS CREATING ENOUGH VERTICAL TEMPERATURE CONTRASTS TO FUEL QUITE AN AREA OF THUNDERSTORMS NEAR AND JUST EAST OF THE LOW`S CENTER. FORTUNATELY THIS ACTIVITY IS WELL OFFSHORE AND WILL POSE NO THREAT TO LAND. AN APPROACHING SHORTWAVE RIDGE IN THE UPPER LEVELS WILL BUILD HEIGHTS ACROSS THE CAROLINAS...EVENTUALLY SQUEEZING THE LOW FARTHER OFFSHORE. ATLANTIC MOISTURE SWIRLING BACK ONSHORE WILL PRODUCE LOW CLOUDS CAUGHT UNDERNEATH A SUBSIDENCE INVERSION ASSOCIATED WITH THE INCOMING RIDGE. THESE CLOUDS WILL PROBABLY CONTINUE THROUGH DAYBREAK AT THE COAST BUT SHOULD GRADUALLY CLEAR INLAND OVERNIGHT. THE GFS IS FASTER THAN THE NAM SHOWING FALLING RH WITHIN THE 950-850 MB LAYER...BUT BOTH MODELS SUGGEST SKIES WILL BECOME MOSTLY CLEAR WEST OF INTERSTATE 95 AFTER 2 AM EDT/06Z. LOW TEMPERATURE FORECASTS TONIGHT WILL DEPEND ON HOW MUCH BOUNDARY LAYER WIND REMAINS AND HOW MUCH CLOUD COVER HANGS ON. ALONG THE COAST WITH WINDS AND CLOUDS UPPER 40S WILL PROBABLY DO IT FOR LOWS TONIGHT AS COOLER AIR SLOWLY ADVECTS IN FROM THE NORTH. FARTHER INLAND WHERE WINDS MAY DIMINISH TO 10 MPH LATE AND SKIES WILL AT LEAST PARTIALLY CLEAR...LOWS COULD FALL INTO THE 43-46 RANGE...COOLEST WEST OF I-95.
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&& .SHORT TERM /MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT/...
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AS OF 3 PM SUNDAY...STACKED LOW EAST OF THE CAROLINA COAST WILL CONTINUE ITS SLOW EAST-NORTHEAST DRIFT MON. ALTHOUGH LOW LEVEL MOISTURE WILL LINGER INTO THE AFTERNOON NORTHWEST FLOW ALOFT HELPS DRY THINGS OUT. PRECIP WILL LIKELY END BEFORE THE START OF THE PERIOD SO HAVE CONTINUED WITH INHERITED DRY FORECAST FOR MON AND MON NIGHT. CLOUDS MAY LINGER THROUGH THE FIRST PART OF MON...ESPECIALLY ALONG THE COAST WITH LOW LEVEL MOISTURE/NORTHEAST FLOW TRAPPED UNDER MID LEVEL SUBSIDENCE. THIS SHOULD BE SHORT LIVED AND BY MIDDAY THINK MOST AREAS OUTSIDE THE NC COAST WILL SEE ABUNDANT SUNSHINE. BRIEF MID LEVEL RIDGE BUILDS OVER THE AREA LATE MON AND MON NIGHT BUT BY TUE MORNING THE RIDGE AXIS WILL BE OFFSHORE AND HEIGHTS START FALLING AHEAD OF A QUICK MOVING SHORTWAVE TROUGH. BRIEF PERIOD OF DEEP SOUTHWEST RETURN FLOW ALLOWS SOME MOISTURE ADVECTION ON TUE. INCREASING MID LEVEL MOISTURE AHEAD OF THE TROUGH COMBINED WITH RISE IN SURFACE BASED MOISTURE MAY LEAD TO ISOLATED SHOWERS AND POSSIBLY A THUNDERSTORM AHEAD OF AND ALONG THE COLD FRONT PROGGED TO CROSS THE AREA TUE NIGHT. COVERAGE WILL BE LIMITED IN PART DUE TO DEEPEST MOISTURE ARRIVING AFTER PEAK INSTABILITY AND PALTRY CONVERGENCE/LOW LEVEL JETTING. TEMPERATURES START OFF BELOW CLIMO MON THEN APPROACH CLIMO MON NIGHT. INCREASING HEIGHTS AND WARM ADVECTION WILL PUSH HIGHS ABOVE CLIMO TUE WITH LOWS NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE CLIMO TUE NIGHT DESPITE PASSAGE OF COLD FRONT AND DEVELOPMENT OF COLD ADVECTION AS PERIOD ENDS.
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&& .LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
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AS OF 3 PM SUNDAY...DECENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GFS AND ECMWF FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE LONG TERM LEADS TO A GOOD CONFIDENCE FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. CONFIDENCE LOWERS BEYOND THAT TIME FRAME AS SOLUTIONS BEGIN TO DIVERGE. TO START OFF THE LONG TERM...HIGH PRESSURE AT THE SURFACE AND ALOFT WILL BUILD IN FOR WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY...LEADING TO A DRY FORECAST WITH GRADUAL WARMING. EXPECTING VERY SEASONAL TEMPERATURES TO RETURN BY THURSDAY...WITH HIGHS IN THE MID TO UPPER 70S UNDER MAINLY SUNNY SKIES. FOR FRIDAY A FRONTAL SYSTEM APPROACHES FROM THE WEST AS A BROAD AND RELATIVELY FLAT H/5 TROUGH DROPS OVER EASTERN CONUS. AS UPPER SUPPORT AND THERMAL CONTRAST ARE ON THE WEAK SIDE WITH THIS SYSTEM IT IS HARD TO PINPOINT WHEN A REAL CLEAR-CUT FROPA WILL OCCUR. INDICATIONS ARE THAT THE FRONT WILL STALL IN THE AREA INTO THE WEEKEND. LACKING ANY CONVINCING SHOT OF COLD ADVECTION EXPECT TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN QUITE SEASONAL THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEK. MODEL SOUNDINGS DO NOT INDICATE ANY MAJOR PRECIPITATION EVENTS LIKE THAT RECENTLY EXPERIENCED ARE LIKELY. BEST CHANCES FOR PRECIP WILL BE ON FRIDAY AS THE FRONT MAKES ITS APPROACH AND MOISTURE ADVECTS IN THROUGH A DEEP LAYER. THE UPCOMING WEEKEND MAY SEE MORE SPOTTY DIURNAL-TYPE CONVECTIVE SHOWER ACTIVITY.
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&& .AVIATION /18Z SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... AS OF 18Z...THE LOW OFFSHORE WILL MOVE SLOWLY AWAY FROM THE TERMINALS THIS TAF VALID PERIOD. THERE WILL CONTINUE TO BE A GOOD CHANCE OF WRAP AROUND BANDS OF RAIN AT LEAST THROUGH 00Z...ESPECIALLY NEAR THE COAST. FLIGHT CONDITIONS NOW ARE MVFR/TEMPO IFR AT KILM AND MVFR AT KCRE. VFR IS OCCURRING ELSEWHERE. A BAND OF LIGHT TO OCCASIONALLY MODERATE RAIN WAS MOVING SWWD FROM THE ILM VCNTY. PATCHY LIGHT RAIN OR SPRINKLES WERE OCCURRING INLAND. MVFR WILL BE POSSIBLE AT ALL COASTAL TERMINALS THIS AFTERNOON WITH CIGS AROUND 1K. THE CHANCE OF IFR IS LOW BUT CIGS 800-900 AND VSBYS 1-3 SM ARE POSSIBLE IN THE BRIEF HEAVIER SHOWERS. SFC WINDS WILL BE N-NE GUSTING TO 25-30 KTS...HIGHEST AT THE COASTAL TERMINALS. TEMPO MVFR CIGS/-RA COULD OCCUR AT KFLO/KLBT BUT THE LOWER CIGS APPEAR TO BE MORE LIKELY EAST OF THE TERMINALS. AFTER THE PRECIPITATION ENDS AROUND 00Z CONFIDENCE IS HIGHEST FOR VFR CIGS AT KFLO/KLBT AND MVFR CIGS AT THE COASTAL TERMINALS AS COLD AIR ADVECTION DEVELOPS A LOW LEVEL INVERSION AROUND 1K. CIGS WILL BECOME VFR AT ALL TERMINALS 13-15Z. EXTENDED OUTLOOK...VFR MONDAY. CHANCE OF SHOWERS/TEMPO MVFR ON TUESDAY WITH A COLD FRONT. VFR WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. CHANCE OF SHOWERS/TEMPO MVFR ON FRIDAY. && .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... AS OF 3 PM SUNDAY...1012 MB LOW PRESSURE CENTERED APPROXIMATELY 200 MILES SOUTHEAST OF CAPE FEAR WILL ONLY SLOWLY MOVE EAST OVERNIGHT. A TIGHT PRESSURE GRADIENT ON THE NORTH AND WEST SIDES OF THE LOW CONTINUES TO PRODUCE GALE-FORCE WINDS...PARTICULARLY ACROSS THE NC WATERS WHERE RECENT WIND GUSTS HAVE BEEN RECORDED TO 43 KNOTS AT THE FRYING PAN SHOALS BUOY...33 KNOTS AT WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH...AND 30 KNOTS AT BALD HEAD ISLAND. THE PERIOD OF STRONGEST WINDS SHOULD BE OCCURRING NOW THROUGH ABOUT 6 PM...WITH GRADUALLY DIMINISHING WINDS OVERNIGHT. THE GALE WARNING WILL REMAIN POSTED THROUGH 11 PM...AT WHICH POINT IT SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE DOWNGRADED TO A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY. THE STRONG NORTHEAST WINDS OF THE PAST 24+ HOURS HAVE BUILT SEAS TO AS HIGH AS 11 FEET AT THE FRYING PAN SHOALS BUOY...AND 6 FEET AT THE NEARSHORE CAPE FEAR HARBOR BUOY. NEARLY STEADY-STATE SEAS ARE EXPECTED THROUGH THIS EVENING...WITH GRADUALLY DIMINISHING SEA HEIGHTS OVERNIGHT. SHORT TERM /MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 3 PM SUNDAY...NORTHERLY FLOW ON THE BACKSIDE OF EXITING STACKED LOW WILL CONTINUE MON THOUGH SPEEDS WILL BE TRENDING DOWN. CONDITIONS AT THE START OF THE PERIOD WILL BE BORDERLINE SCA BUT BY MIDDAY ANY HEADLINES SHOULD BE ENDING. NORTHERLY FLOW DROPS UNDER 10 KT BY MON NIGHT...BECOMING LIGHT AND VARIABLE AFTER MIDNIGHT. ELONGATED SURFACE RIDGE AXIS SHIFTS EAST OF THE WATERS TUE WITH LIGHT RETURN FLOW DEVELOPING IN THE MORNING THEN INCREASING DURING THE AFTERNOON. SOUTHWEST FLOW PEAKS AROUND 20 KT JUST BEFORE COLD FRONT MOVES ACROSS THE WATERS EARLY TUE NIGHT. OFFSHORE FLOW DEVELOPS BEHIND THE FRONT WITH COMBINATION OF COLD ADVECTION AND SURFACE GRADIENT KEEPING WINDS IN THE 15 TO 20 KT RANGE. SEAS FLIRTING WITH 6 FT NEAR 20 NM AT THE START OF THE PERIOD WILL SUBSIDE DURING MON...FALLING TO 2 TO 4 FT MON AFTERNOON AND 2 TO 3 FT MON NIGHT. INCREASING SOUTHWEST FLOW LATER TUE BUMPS SEAS BACK TO 3 TO 5 FT BUT DURATION AND STRENGTH OF SOUTHERLY FLOW SHOULD NOT BE ENOUGH TO REQUIRE ADDITIONAL HEADLINES. LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... AS OF 3 PM SUNDAY...EXPECTING RELATIVELY BENIGN CONDITIONS OVER THE WATERS THROUGH THE LONG TERM WITH NO ADVISORIES EXPECTED. HIGH PRESSURE WILL TRANSIT THE WATERS ON WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY...LEADING TO LIGHT WINDS AND SEAS THAT WILL GRADUALLY DROP FROM A 2 TO 4 FT RANGE EARLY ON WEDNESDAY TO AROUND 2 FT OR LESS ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT. WINDS WILL PICK UP FROM THE SW ON FRIDAY TO 15 TO 20 KT AS A WEAK COLD FRONT APPROACHES FROM THE WEST. SEAS WILL BUILD TO 3 TO 4 FT BY FRIDAY NIGHT.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
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SC...HIGH RIP CURRENT RISK UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING FOR SCZ056. NC...HIGH RIP CURRENT RISK UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING FOR NCZ106- 108. MARINE...GALE WARNING UNTIL 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING FOR AMZ250-252-254- 256.
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&& $$ NEAR TERM...TRA SHORT TERM...III LONG TERM...REK AVIATION...MRR/TRA

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