Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 200509 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 1209 AM EST Fri Jan 20 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Weak high pressure will move offshore tonight. A series of mid level systems will bring unsettled conditions Friday through Monday. The strongest system will move across Sunday and into early Monday. High pressure will build back in toward the middle of next week. A weak cold front will move into the southeast and stall in the region on Thursday. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM THIS MORNING/... As of 930 PM Thursday...Cloud cover continues to thicken as a warm front advances from the south. Forecast in good shape with no changes needed. Previous discussion follows: Copious moisture streaming NE out of the GOMEX will start to impinge upon the area through the period. Initially this will take the form of cirrus/cirrostratus clouds but the overnight period will introduce some mid and low level moisture as a warm front approaches from the south. The mid level ridging will shunt most of the precipiation north and west of the area. && .SHORT TERM /6 AM THIS MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/...
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As of 300 PM Thursday...Warm front lifting to the north on Friday and mid level ridging should allow for waning rain chances as the day wears on. Although cloud cover will decrease slightly it will still be a mostly cloudy afternoon. Despite this most locales should warm to 70 or better. Similarly the clouds will help bring a very mild Friday night with low temperatures just a few degrees shy of seasonable highs. Late Friday night into Saturday the mid level ridging moves offshore while another slug of mositure lifts out of the Gulf of Mexico. Rain chances will increase as the day wears on. Overall amounts may be rather limited however as the flattening ridge does hold on just enough to shunt most of the shortwaves north and west of the local area. This will hold less true heading into Saturday night.
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&& .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/...
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As of 300 PM Thursday...Uncertainty remains higher than normal with respect to the system affecting the southeast Sun and Mon. Period beings with warm front north of the forecast area and what is likely to be convection ongoing across the region. Initially coverage may be limited but as instability increases Sun coverage will try to increase. The biggest limiting factor during the day is likely to be mid level dry air which may or may not be present. If there is an abundance of dry air Sun afternoon, convection may end up rather isolated. However anything that does develop would have the potential to produce damaging wind gusts given low level jet of 40 to 50 kt. Another round of unsettled conditions is expected Sun night and early Mon as the stacked low moves from the southern Mississippi Valley into the southeast. Severe weather is expected ahead of the cold front, but the biggest unanswered question is where. Latest GFS/ECMWF keep the bulk of the low level instability south of the forecast area. Favored area for severe weather will depend on location of occlusion/triple point low and is something guidance continues to struggle with. Worst case, as far as severe threat goes, would be a high shear/low cape event Sun evening/night but confidence in this is rather low. 5h low moves overhead Mon which would tend to generate some diurnal convection Mon afternoon but potential for strong to severe storms Mon would be very low. Storm exits northeast Mon night as weak surface and mid level ridge move in from the west. In coming airmass has origins in the west with very little cold air to speak of. Ridging aloft helps ensure a couple dry days Tue/Wed as mid level subsidence prevents any upward motion. During the middle of next week another stacked low will move northeast from the plains through the Great Lakes and into southeastern Canada. A cold front trailing the low will move into the region before stalling as it ends up laying parallel to the flow aloft. Increasing deep moisture in the presence of the front and weak dynamics may generate a few light showers later Thu and Thu night. Temperatures will be above to well above climo through the period.
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&& .AVIATION /06Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
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As of 06Z...Clouds lowering and thickening from the W and the S. Expect MVFR ceilings to fill in through 12z throughout with perhaps some sct IFR bases across KFLO and KLBT around daybreak and into the morning hours as some light showers reach the area. These showers may briefly drop visibility to MVFR inland, but prevailing VFR visibility is expected to continue. MVFR ceilings are forecast to hang on through the TAF period inland. At KMYR/KCRE and KILM, ceilings should lift to VFR. Expect widespread stratus and fog to develop tonight at all the TAF sites with a frontal boundary lingering in the area. A look at model soundings support IFR or lower conditions first at KCRE and KMYR and so have introduced there 03/04z. Extended outlook...IFR/LIFR likely developing Fri night and continuing into Sat morning. Tempo MVFR or lower ceilings and visibility expected in showers and thunderstorms Sat afternoon through Sun night. Weekend convection will have the potential for strong to severe wind gusts.
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&& .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 930 PM Thursday...Latest obs show very light winds with seas of only around 2 ft. That should be the rule for the remainder of the overnight period. Previous discussion follows: A poorly defined gradient will bring minimal conditions overnight. Additionally any swell energy will remain well offshore and also be shadowed locally by Cape Hatteras. The end result will be light NE winds and waves no larger than 2 ft. SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Thursday...A south to southwesterly flow will become established on Friday as a warm front lifts northward across the area. With wind speeds capped at 10 kt or so through the veering seas will remain no larger than 2 ft. Southwesterly flow continues to be light into Saturday but may start taking up more space across the western Atlantic. Wave periods may increase slightly as a result. LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 300 PM Thursday...Storm system affecting the region Sun and Mon will create hazardous conditions across the near shore waters for much of the period. Southerly winds will approach 25 kt at times Sun and Mon with gusts near gale force. The prolonged period of south to south winds exceeding 20 kt will build seas well over 6 ft with potential for double digit seas in favored locations. Storm exits northeast during Mon and by evening southwest flow will be west or even northwest. Gradient is slow to relax and winds will remain near 20 kt through Mon night and the first part of Tue. High pressure building in from the west Tue afternoon will bring about a reduction in offshore flow with speeds dropping below 15 kt by early evening. Offshore flow will lead to a gradual reduction in seas with waves dropping below 6 ft Tue morning and down to 1 to 3 ft by the end of the period.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ NEAR TERM...MBB/REK SHORT TERM...MBB LONG TERM...III AVIATION...RJD

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