Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 032255 AFDILM AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC 553 PM EST TUE MAR 3 2015 .SYNOPSIS... A WARM FRONT WILL LIFT RAPIDLY NORTHWARD ACROSS THE CAROLINAS OVERNIGHT...ALLOWING SOUTHWEST WINDS TO COMPLETELY SCOUR OUT THE COLD AIR...WITH TEMPERATURES RISING INTO THE 70S WEDNESDAY AWAY FROM THE IMMEDIATE COAST. RAIN CAN BE EXPECTED THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT AS A COLD FRONT MOVES THROUGH...WITH SHARPLY COLDER AIR INVADING THE REGION INTO FRIDAY...LINGERING THROUGH SATURDAY. TEMPERATURES WILL GRADUALLY WARM SUNDAY THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... AS OF 3 PM TUESDAY...COMPLEX SITUATION CONTINUES TO EVOLVE THIS AFTERNOON AS A WEDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE HOLDS FIRM...EVEN AS A WARM FRONT BEGINS TO LIFT FROM THE NORTH. THE CHALLENGE FOR TONIGHT WILL BE TIMING THE WARM FRONTAL DISSIPATION OF THE SURFACE WEDGE...AND THEN DETERMINING HOW HOURLIES WILL DEVELOP IN A VERY ATYPICAL DIURNAL CURVE. ISENTROPIC LIFT HAS BEEN SPOTTY AND WEAK THROUGH THIS AFTN...PRODUCING INFREQUENT PERIODS OF DRIZZLE AND SOME VERY LIGHT RAINFALL. MAX QPF HAS BEEN NO MORE THAN A FEW HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH...AND MOST AREAS HAVE RECEIVED ONLY A TRACE. SOME VERY LIGHT RAIN DUE TO CONTINUED ISENTROPIC LIFT WILL PERSIST INTO TONIGHT...BUT AS THE WEDGE ERODES LIFT WILL WEAKEN AND SHOWER ACTIVITY WILL BE SHUNTED NORTH OF THE CWA. THE WARM FRONT IS SLOWLY LIFTING N/NW...AND IS ALIGNED FROM JUST WEST OF FRYING PAN SHOALS...TO NORTH OF SAVANNAH, GA...TO ABOUT MONTGOMERY, AL. THIS FRONT WILL CONTINUE TO LIFT NORTH...EVENTUALLY CROSSING THE ENTIRE ILM CWA OVERNIGHT. GUIDANCE IS REALLY STRUGGLING WITH THE STRENGTH OF THE WEDGE TODAY...AND THE COOLEST NAM HAS BEEN THE BEST OF A POOR MODEL SUITE. THEREFORE...HAVE KEPT TEMPS COOLER THAN GUIDANCE INTO TONIGHT...AND HAVE A SLOWER WARM FROPA THAN SUGGESTED BY THE MODELS. STILL...EXPECT A VERY SLOW WARMING TREND THROUGH THIS EVENING...WITH A MUCH MORE RAPID RISE IN TEMPS OVERNIGHT. TODAY`S HIGHS WILL OCCUR THIS EVENING...AND WILL COINCIDE WITH TONIGHT`S LOWS. SO...EVEN THOUGH THE MIN TEMP FORECAST HAS LOWS IN THE LOW 50S NEAR THE COAST AND MID 40S INLAND...THESE WILL BE ECLIPSED QUICKLY BEHIND THE WARM FRONT AND TEMPS BY WEDNESDAY MORNING WILL BE AROUND 60 AT THE COAST...AND LOW 50S INLAND. DRYING OCCURS BEHIND THE WARM FRONT WHICH WILL FURTHER INHIBIT SHOWER ACTIVITY LATE...BUT VERY MOIST LOW LEVELS WILL ALLOW FOR SOME FOG EARLY IN THE NIGHT. WINDS INCREASE STEADILY OVERNIGHT THOUGH...AND EXPECT FOG TO LIFT INTO A STRATUS DECK...SO FOG IS EXPECTED TO DISSIPATE OVERNIGHT. THE EXCEPTION TO THIS WILL BE ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST (WITHIN 2-3 MILES) WHERE SEA FOG IS EXPECTED TO BECOME SIGNIFICANT AND ADVECT ONSHORE. THE MOST LIKELY PLACES FOR LAND-AFFECTING SEA FOG WILL BE THE NORTHERN HORRY COUNTY COAST UP THROUGH THE SOUTHERN NEW HANOVER COUNTY COAST. LOCATIONS WITHIN THIS AREA COULD HAVE A PROLONGED PERIOD OF SEVERELY REDUCED VISIBILITY...BUT AGAIN...IT WILL BE ONLY WITHIN 2-3 MILES OF THE WATER. && .SHORT TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 3 PM TUESDAY...MAIN WEATHER HEADLINE IS EXCEPTIONALLY MILD AIR WEDNESDAY AMID WHAT HAS BEEN A FRIGID WINTER...WITH FEBRUARY RANKING AS THE 5TH COLDEST FEBRUARY IN 141 YEARS OF RECORD KEEPING WHICH CRUNCHES OUT TO ABOUT A 1 IN 34 YEAR OCCURRENCE OF COLD. THE OTHER NOTABLE HIGHLIGHT IS RAIN THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT THEN FOLLOWED BY A BITING INTRUSION OF GLACIAL AIR AND LINGERING PCPN. STORM TOTAL QPF FROM THIS SYSTEM THE BULK OF IT THURSDAY...LOOKS TO BE NEARLY A HALF INCH ACROSS SE NC AND LOCALITIES WEST OF I-95 AND CLOSER TO A QUARTER INCH ACROSS NE SC AND COASTAL SC. POPPED IN A SLIGHT CHANCE THUNDER THURSDAY GIVEN JET SUPPORT AND SPC DAY 3 OUTLOOK. SUBSTANTIAL TEMPERATURE DROPS...WHERE MAXIMUMS THURSDAY MINUS MINIMUMS FRIDAY ON THE ORDER OF 30-40 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT...AND JUST A FRESH REMINDER OLD MAN WINTER STILL HAS BREATHINGS INTO EARLY MARCH. AN OVERLAP OF NEAR TO SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES AND LINGERING PCPN WARRANTS A SLIGHT CHANCE OF BRIEF LIGHT SNOW 8Z-10Z OR 3AM- 5AM EARLY FRIDAY. NO ACCUMULATIONS EXPECTED AT THIS TIME. && .LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... AS OF 3 PM TUESDAY...THE MID LEVEL PATTERN WILL CONTINUE TO DOMINATED BY A BROAD TROUGH TROUGH MOST OF THE PERIOD WITH SOME SIGNS OF RELAXING BY THE MIDDLE PART OF NEXT WEEK. INITIALLY THE TROUGH USHERS IN YET ANOTHER ARCTIC AIRMASS THAT WILL BE IN PLACE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY. TEMPERATURES WILL BE WELL BELOW NORMAL WITH HIGHS IN THE 40S FRIDAY AND LOWS IN THE MIDDLE 20S SATURDAY. ANOTHER SHORTWAVE EMERGING FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO RIDES ALONG THE OLD FRONT OFFSHORE SATURDAY WARRANTING LOW CHANCE POPS FOR SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING WITH THE HIGHEST CHANCES ALONG THE COAST. MARCH SUNSHINE WONT HAVE MUCH OF A CHANCE TO WARM THINGS UP WITH HIGHS ONLY THE 50S BUT THE MOISTURE WILL LIMIT LOWS TO THE MIDDLE 30S. LETHARGIC WARMUP CONTINUES SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY UNDER PARTLY SUNNY SKIES AS WEAK HIGH PRESSURE RESIDES AT THE SURFACE. MEDIUM RANGE GUIDANCE IS SHOWING ANOTHER SYSTEM FOR THE MIDDLE PART OF NEXT WEEK WITH THE ECMWF THE FASTER SOLUTION. WILL KEEP THE FORECAST DRY FOR NOW. && .AVIATION /00Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... AS OF 00Z...STUBBORN WEDGE HANGIN IN WITH SOUTHWEST FLOW JUST ABOVE THE SURFACE DECK. LOOK FOR VARIABLE MAINLY NORTHEAST WINDS FOR THE NEXT FEW HOURS BEFORE A LIGHT SOUTHWEST FLOW BEGINS TO TAKE OVER AFTER 04Z. TEMPERATURES WILL LIKELY RISE TO THE UPPER FIFTIES OVERNIGHT. IFR CONDITIONS WILL DOMINATE FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT 12-18 HOURS. WEDNESDAY...INCREASING SOUTHWEST FLOW AHEAD OF A STRONG BUT SLOW MOVING COLD FRONT WELL WEST OF THE REGION. CEILINGS WILL SLOWLY RISE THROUGH THE MORNING HOURS...BECOMING MVFR IN THE AFTERNOON WITH GUSTY SOUTHWEST WINDS. DO NOT THINK WE WILL SEE SEA FOG ALONG THE COAST...BUT COULD NOT RULE OUT STRATUS. EXTENDED OUTLOOK...SHOWERS WEDNESDAY NIGHT...BECOMING IFR WITH LIGHT RAIN AND FALLING TEMPERATURES ON THURSDAY. IFR CONDITIONS MAY LINGER ALONG THE COAST ON FRIDAY. VFR SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY. && .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... AS OF 3 PM TUESDAY...COASTAL FRONT/WARM FRONT IS DRAPED ALONG THE COASTAL WATERS THIS AFTERNOON. WINDS AT THE IMMEDIATE COAST ARE FROM THE NE...WHILE THE LOCAL BUOYS ARE FEATURING E OR SE WINDS. THIS FRONT WILL LIFT SLOWLY N/NW THIS EVENING BEFORE RACING WELL NORTH OF THE AREA OVERNIGHT. WINDS WILL BECOME S/SE EARLY TONIGHT WITH SPEEDS AROUND 10 KTS...BEFORE VEERING FURTHER TO THE S/SW AND INCREASING TO 15-20 KTS TOWARDS WEDNESDAY MORNING. WAVE HEIGHTS WILL RISE TO 3-5 FT...BUT CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN JUST BELOW ANY SCEC OR SCA CRITERIA. SEA FOG WILL BECOME A SIGNIFICANT HAZARD HOWEVER. AS WINDS BECOME S/SW THEY WILL ADVECT WARM MOISTURE LADEN AIR OVER STILL VERY COLD SHELF WATERS (SSTS IN THE UPPER 40S). THE SETUP SEEMS ALMOST CLASSIC FOR SEA FOG DEVELOPMENT. USING A COMBINATION OF THE LOCAL MARINE FOG DECISION TREE...AND LOTS OF MANUAL GRID EDITING...HAVE PAINTED A LARGE AREA OF PATCHY FOG...WITH AREAS OF FOG ALONG THE HORRY...BRUNSWICK...AND NEW HANOVER COUNTY COASTAL WATERS. THIS MAY BECOME DENSE...AND IT IS NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION THAT A MARINE DFA WILL BE NEEDED. ONE CAVEAT TO THE FOG WILL BE THE WIND SPEEDS. PREVIOUS SEA FOG EVENTS HAVE NOT MATERIALIZED DUE TO THE STRENGTH OF WINDS REDUCING AIR-PARCEL RESIDENCE TIMES OVER THE COLD SHELF WATERS...THUS REDUCING SATURATION POTENTIAL. CURRENT FORECAST WIND SPEEDS BELOW 20 KTS SHOULD BE LIGHT ENOUGH TO LIMIT THIS AFFECT...BUT IT WILL NEED TO BE MONITORED. OTHERWISE...IT LOOKS TO BE "ALL SYSTEMS GO" FOR SEA FOG OVERNIGHT AND INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING. SHORT TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 3 PM TUESDAY...MARINE CONDITIONS WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY UNFRIENDLY WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY ASSOCIATED WITH AN APPROACHING COLD FRONT...BUT AN ADVISORY MAY NOT BE NEEDED UNTIL THURSDAY...AS THE WARM AIR MAY STRUGGLE REACHING THE COLD DENSE AIR ABOVE THE CHILLY SSTS IN PLACE. IF NOT ADVISORY CONDITIONS PRIOR TO THE FRONTAL PASSAGE THEN CERTAINLY BEHIND IT...AS VERY COLD AIR SPILLS OVER THE WATERS...WITH AT A MINIMUM 30 KT GUSTS EXPECTED LATE INTO THURSDAY NIGHT. THE OTHER HAZARD PRIOR TO FRONTAL PASSAGE IS THE LIKELIHOOD OF SEA FOG AS BALMY AIR TRACKS OVER THE FRIGID WATERS...REDUCING VSBYS AT TIMES. RAIN THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT MAY ALSO RESTRICT LINE OF SIGHT. LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... AS OF 3 PM TUESDAY...BRISK NORTHERLY WINDS ON THE ORDER OF 20-25 KNOTS WILL PREVAIL ACROSS THE WATERS INITIALLY AND MOST OF FRIDAY AS ARCTIC HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS IN. AS WE HAVE SEEN MANY TIMES THIS SEASON THE WINDS GRADUALLY DIMINISH AS THE HIGH MOVES IN WITH SPEEDS DROPPING TO AROUND TEN KNOTS BY MIDDAY SATURDAY. FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE PERIOD WINDS WILL BE WEAKLY FORCED AS A WEAK PRESSURE PATTERN DEVELOPS. IF ANYTHING WINDS MAINTAIN A NORTHERLY COMPONENT AS A WEAK SHORTWAVE PASSES ALOFT WITH NEGLIGIBLE SURFACE FEATURES. SIGNIFICANT SEAS YIELD NO SURPRISES WITH SOME HIGHER VALUES FRIDAY...MOSTLY CONFINED TO THE OUTER WATERS. BY LATER SATURDAY VALUES DROP TO 1-3 FEET. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...NONE. NC...NONE. MARINE...NONE. && $$ SYNOPSIS...8 NEAR TERM...JDW SHORT TERM...MJC LONG TERM...SHK AVIATION...43

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