Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 061127 AFDILM AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC 627 AM EST FRI MAR 6 2015 .SYNOPSIS... ARCTIC HIGH PRESSURE WILL SETTLE ACROSS THE AREA IN THE WAKE OF A STRONG COLD FRONT AND PERSIST THROUGH THE WEEKEND. WINTER-LIKE TEMPERATURES WILL BEGIN TO MODERATE DURING THE WEEKEND. A COUPLE OF WAVES OF LOW PRESSURE MAY PRODUCE CLOUDS AND UNSETTLED WEATHER THROUGH MUCH OF THE UPCOMING WEEK. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... AS OF 630 AM FRIDAY...RISING CLOUD CEILING HEIGHTS...DRY ADVECTION...LACK OF RADAR ECHOES AND NO VISIBILITY RESTRICTIONS INDICATIVE OF ANY PRECIPITATION HAS LED ME TO BELIEVE WE ARE COMPLETELY DONE WITH PRECIPITATION POTENTIAL. THIS FORECAST UPDATE REMOVES ANY PRECIPITATION (FROZEN OR OTHERWISE) FROM THE FORECAST. 06Z MODELS HAVE TRENDED A BIT CLOUDIER AND I HAVE MADE SOME EDITS TO SKY COVER FORECASTS TO REFLECT THIS. DISCUSSION FROM 300 AM FOLLOWS... LAST NIGHT`S COLD FRONT IS WELL OFFSHORE AND COLD AIR CONTINUES TO DRAIN SOUTHWARD AS 1039 MB HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE MID-MISSISSIPPI VALLEY PUSHES EASTWARD. THIS COLD AIRMASS EXTENDS VERTICALLY UP TO ABOUT 4000 FEET AGL...TOPPED OFF BY YESTERDAY`S WARM MOIST AIRMASS STILL STREAMING OVERHEAD ON SOUTHWEST WINDS. SURFACE TEMPERATURES SHOULD DROP TO 32 DEGREES OR BELOW BY DAYBREAK ALONG AND NORTH OF A LINE FROM LAKE CITY THROUGH CONWAY TO NORTH MYRTLE BEACH. FORTUNATELY MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION HAS ALREADY ENDED. ISENTROPIC ANALYSIS SHOWS NEUTRAL TO VERY WEAK UPGLIDE ALONG THE SATURATED 295K THETA SURFACE...APPROXIMATELY 6500 FEET AGL OR 800 MB...THROUGH ABOUT 8 AM. THIS COULD PRODUCE AN ISOLATED SLEET SPRINKLE ACROSS COASTAL SE NORTH CAROLINA BUT WITH NO POTENTIAL FOR ACCUMULATION. OTHERWISE CLOUDS WILL TAKE THEIR TIME CLEARING ALONG THE COAST TODAY AS A BAND OF UPSTREAM MID-LEVEL MOISTURE EXTENDS ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE AL/MS GULF COAST. THE I-95 CORRIDOR SHOULD SEE PLENTY OF SUNSHINE BY LATE MORNING BUT IT MAY TAKE UNTIL ALMOST SUNSET FOR CLEARING TO ADVANCE DOWN TO THE BEACHES. WORKING IN CONJUNCTION WITH AN UNSEASONABLY CHILLY AIRMASS HIGHS SHOULD ONLY REACH 39-42 NEAR THE COAST TODAY...WITH 41-44 EXPECTED FARTHER INLAND. TONIGHT CLEAR SKIES AND WEAKENING WINDS SHOULD ALLOW GOOD RADIATIONAL COOLING TO DEVELOP. WARM ADVECTION ALOFT WILL EXTEND DOWN TO JUST A COUPLE HUNDRED FEET ABOVE THE GROUND BY DAYBREAK PRODUCING A STRONG BUT INCREASINGLY SHALLOW NOCTURNAL INVERSION. MOS CONSENSUS LOOKS GOOD FOR LOWS WITH MID 20S FOR MOST AREAS. && .SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 330 AM FRIDAY...HIGH PRESSURE STRETCHED OVER THE SOUTHEAST WILL SHIFT EAST THROUGH SUNDAY REACHING OFF SHORE BY SUN NIGHT. A VERY BROAD MID TO UPPER TROUGH EXTENDING DOWN FROM THE GREAT LAKES WILL FLATTEN OUT SAT INTO SUNDAY...LEAVING A MAINLY ZONAL FLOW ALOFT. OVERALL EXPECT A DRY WEEKEND WITH PLENTY OF SUNSHINE. AIR MASS WILL MODIFY AS COLD AIR ADVECTION CUTS OFF EARLY SATURDAY WITH FLOW BECOMING MORE WESTERLY AND HEIGHTS RISING SLIGHTLY THROUGH THE MID LEVELS. THE WESTERLY DOWNSLOPE FLOW WILL ALSO HELP TO BRING TEMPS BACK UP TOWARD NORMAL BY SUNDAY. TEMPS ON SATURDAY WILL REBOUND NICELY IN BRIGHT MARCH SUNSHINE...FROM MID 20S UP TO THE MID 50S. WITH HIGH PRESSURE NEARLY OVERHEAD SAT NIGHT...WINDS WILL BE NEAR CALM AND SKIES WILL BE CLEAR. THIS WILL HELP TEMPS FALL INTO THE MID 30S IN MORE IDEAL RADIATIONAL COOLING CONDITIONS. BY SUNDAY TEMPS WILL JUMP BACK TO THE MID 60S IN A WEAK RETURN FLOW AND CONTINUED SUNSHINE. BY SUN NIGHT A SHORTWAVE WILL ROUND THE BASE OF THE MID TO UPPER TROUGH DIGGING DOWN THROUGH TEXAS. AT THE SAME TIME A WEAK COLD FRONT WILL DROP DOWN FROM THE NORTH. AS THE TROUGH AMPLIFIES ALOFT IT WILL PRODUCE A WAVE OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE GULF COAST. SOME OF THE MOISTURE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS WILL ADVECT INTO THE CAROLINAS IN DEEPER W-SW FLOW ALOFT AS EARLY AS SUN NIGHT. THIS SHOULD LEAD TO SOME HIGH CLOUDS MAKING IT INTO THE AREA OVERNIGHT SUNDAY BUT NOT COUNTING ON ANY PCP AS MOISTURE WILL REMAIN CONFINED TO THE MID TO UPPER LEVELS. PCP WATER VALUES WILL RISE FROM UNDER A QUARTER OF AN INCH SAT MORNING UP AROUND A HALF INCH BY SUN NIGHT AS SOME OF THIS UPPER LEVEL MOISTURE WORKS ITS WAY IN. OVERNIGHT LOWS WILL BE CLOSER TO NORMAL...IN THE 40S. && .LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/... AS OF 330 AM FRIDAY...HIGH PRESSURE WILL WEAKEN THROUGH MONDAY AS A WEAK COLD FRONT DROPS DOWN FROM THE NORTH. IN THE MID TO UPPER LEVELS A SHORTWAVE WILL CONTINUE TO DIG DOWN THROUGH TEXAS AND THE SOUTHWEST CONUS. THIS WILL SHARPEN THE SW FLOW ALOFT AND PRODUCE AN INCREASINGLY WARM AND MOIST FLOW IN THE MID TO UPPER LEVELS. CLOUDS AND PCP WILL INCREASE THROUGH MON INTO TUES AS THIS WAVE OF LOW PRESSURE MOVES UP FROM THE SOUTHWEST RIDING ALONG REMNANT FRONTAL BOUNDARY. MODELS ARE HINTING AS A WEAK WEDGE ON TUES WITH WAVE OF LOW PRESSURE MOVING UP THE COAST. AS THIS FIRST LOW MOVES OFF TO THE NORTHEAST TUES NIGHT...THE MID TO UPPER TROUGH WILL CONTINUE TO DIG DOWN OVER THE WESTERN GULF KEEPING A MORE AMPLIFIED FLOW WITH RIDGE BUILDING UP ALONG SE COAST. THIS MAY KEEP LINGERING BOUNDARY AND FLOW OF MOISTURE INTO THE CAROLINAS. LOOKS LIKE ANOTHER WAVE OF LOW PRESSURE MAY DEVELOP ALONG BOUNDARY MAINTAINING UNSETTLED WEATHER OVER THE CAROLINAS THROUGH MID WEEK. STRONG HIGH PRESSURE MAY HELP TO PUSH MOISTURE SOUTH AND DRY COLUMN OUT WED NIGHT INTO THURS...BUT MAY LEAVE SOME CLOUDS AND PCP TO CONVEY UNCERTAINTY. OVERALL EXPECT PLENTY OF CLOUDS AND PERIODS OF PCP THROUGH MUCH OF THE UPCOMING WEEK. CLOUDS AND MOISTURE WILL NOT ALLOW FOR MUCH OF A DIURNAL RANGE IN TEMPS...KEEPING READINGS SLIGHTLY COOLER THAN NORMAL FOR HIGHS AND WARMER THAN NORMAL FOR LOWS. && .AVIATION /12Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... AS OF 12Z...THE COLD FRONT HAS NOW DROPPED WELL SOUTH OF THE REGION WITH GUSTY NORTH NORTHEAST WINDS AT ALL LOCATIONS. A VFR STRATOCU CEILING IS EXPECTED AT MOST AREAS...COULD BRIEFLY GO MVFR FOR AN HOUR OR SO AT THE START OF THE VALID TIME. HIGH PRESSURE ILL CONTINUE TO BUILD IN. THE GRADIENT RELAXES THIS AFTERNOON WITH LESS GUSTY WINDS EXPECTED AS THE COLD AIR ADVECTION ENDS. LIGHT WINDS TONIGHT WITH GOOD RADIATIONAL COOLING CONDITIONS EXPECTED. EXTENDED OUTLOOK...VFR THROUGH MONDAY. ANOTHER LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVES INTO THE REGION ON TUESDAY...WITH INCLEMENT WEATHER POSSIBLE. && .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... AS OF 630 AM FRIDAY...WINDS DID INCREASE OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS...REACHING NEARLY 40 KNOTS IN GUSTS AT THE BUOY EAST OF CHARLESTON AND 34 KNOTS UPSTREAM AT CAPE LOOKOUT. LOCALLY...THE FRYING PAN SHOALS BUOY REACHED 37 KNOTS A COUPLE HOURS AGO AND THE MESONET STATION ON BALD HEAD ISLAND HAS RECENTLY GUSTED TO 28 KNOTS. I WILL LEAVE THE GALE WARNING UP FOR THE POTENTIAL OF CONTINUING 35 KNOT GUSTS WELL AWAY FROM SHORE. OTHERWISE THE REMAINDER OF THE FORECAST IS UNCHANGED. DISCUSSION FROM 300 AM FOLLOWS... THE ONLY OBSERVATIONS SUPPORTIVE OF GALE-FORCE WIND GUSTS ARE WELL OFFSHORE AT THE FRYING PAN SHOALS BUOY AND THE BUOY EAST OF CHARLESTON SC. THAT BEING SAID...MODELS ARE VERY CONSISTENT THAT THE STRONGEST POST-FRONTAL WINDS OF THIS EVENT ARE COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS FOLLOWED BY DIMINISHING WINDS THROUGH THE DAY. FOR THAT REASON I WILL LEAVE THE GALE WARNING UP...BUT MAY BEGIN TRIMMING IT BACK WITH THE 630 AM FORECAST PACKAGE. LAST NIGHT`S FRONT IS WELL OFFSHORE AND HIGH PRESSURE WEST OF THE APPALACHIANS WILL SLOWLY WORK ITS WAY INTO THE CAROLINAS TONIGHT. COLD AND DRY NORTHERLY WINDS SHOULD END ANY LINGERING LIGHT RAIN OR DRIZZLE THIS MORNING. SEAS AS HIGH AS 9 FEET OUT AT THE FRYING PAN SHOALS BUOY WILL BEGIN DIMINISHING LATER THIS MORNING...HOWEVER SEAS UP TO 6 FEET WILL CONTINUE ACROSS THE OUTER PORTIONS OF THE COASTAL WATERS THROUGH LATE DAY EAST OF GEORGETOWN...AND INTO THIS EVENING EAST OF CAPE FEAR. SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 330 AM FRIDAY...HIGH PRESSURE STRETCHED OVER THE SOUTHEAST WILL SHIFT EAST THROUGH SUNDAY REACHING OFF SHORE BY SUN NIGHT. THIS WILL MAINTAIN LIGHT AND VARIABLE WINDS SAT INTO SUN...LESS THAN 10 KTS. THEREFORE SEAS WILL FALL STEADILY ON SAT FROM 2 TO 4 FT SAT MORNING DOWN TO LESS THAN 3 FT SAT NIGHT THROUGH SUN NIGHT. LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... AS OF 330 AM FRIDAY...A PINCHED GRADIENT MAY DEVELOP THROUGH LATE MON INTO TUES AS WAVE OF LOW PRESSURE MOVES UP FROM THE SOUTHWEST WHILE WEDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE HOLDS ON INLAND. THIS COULD PRODUCE A BRIEF RISE IN NE WINDS UP TO 15 KTS AND SEAS UP NEAR SCA THRESHOLDS IN OUTER WATERS OVERNIGHT MON INTO EARLY MORNING TUES. OTHERWISE EXPECT WINDS TO REMAIN 10 KTS OR LESS AND SEAS MAINLY BETWEEN 2 AND 4 FT. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...NONE. NC...NONE. MARINE...GALE WARNING UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS MORNING FOR AMZ250-252-254- 256. && $$ NEAR TERM...TRA SHORT TERM...RGZ LONG TERM...RGZ AVIATION...43

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