Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 052350 AFDILM AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC 651 PM EST THU MAR 5 2015 .SYNOPSIS...
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ARCTIC HIGH PRESSURE WILL SETTLE ACROSS THE AREA IN THE WAKE OF A STRONG COLD FRONT AND PERSIST THROUGH THE WEEKEND. THERE IS A SMALL RISK FOR SOME VERY LIGHT WINTRY PRECIPITATION ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE AREA BEFORE THE RAIN AND DRIZZLE COMPLETELY SHUTOFF LATE TONIGHT AND FRIDAY MORNING. WINTER-LIKE TEMPERATURES WILL BEGIN TO MODERATE DURING THE WEEKEND. THE SLOW WARMUP WILL CONTINUE NEXT WEEK WITH SHOWERS POSSIBLE.
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&& .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM FRIDAY MORNING/...
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AS OF 600 PM...INITIAL COLD FRONT HAS MOVED WELL SOUTH AND EAST OF THE AREA AND WITH THAT...THE COLD REALITY THAT WINTER IS NOT QUITE FINISHED WITH US HAS RETURNED. AS THE FRONT MOVED THROUGH THE AREA...WE HAD WIND GUSTS UP TO 45 TO 55 MPH WITH NUMEROUS REPORTS OF TREES AND SOME POWER LINES DOWN. THE BOTTOM FELL OUT OF THE THERMOMETER. AS AN EXAMPLE...IN LUMBERTON...THE TEMP FELL 25 DEGREES IN 5 MINUTES...FROM THE BALMY 70S TO 52 DEGREES. THE LEADING EDGE OF THE COLD AND DENSE AIR ALSO PRODUCED STRONG WIND GUSTS...UP TO 45 TO 55 MPH. THESE WINDS DID PRODUCE WIND DAMAGE IN MANY AREAS. WE DID RECEIVE NUMEROUS REPORTS OF TREES DOWN AND SOME POWER LINES AS WELL. EVEN COLDER AND DRIER AIR WILL SWEEP ACROSS THE EASTERN CAROLINAS ON BRISK NNE WINDS OVERNIGHT AS AN ARCTIC FRONT BRINGS TEMPS TO OR JUST BELOW FREEZING LATE TONIGHT AND FRI MORNING. AS THIS IS OCCURRING... THE AIRMASS WILL DRY OUT FROM THE TOP DOWN. THE ARRIVAL OF DRIER AIR IN THE DENDRITIC GROWTH ZONE WILL RESULT IN RAIN CHANGING TO MORE OF A NON-MEASURABLE DRIZZLE LATE TONIGHT. THE TOP-DOWN METHODOLOGY SHOWS A RISK OF A FEW LATE NIGHT AND EARLY MORNING SLEET PELLETS. OTHERWISE...THE RAIN IS EXPECTED TO END...PERHAPS AS A PERIOD OF FREEZING RAIN OR FREEZING DRIZZLE FOR A GOOD PORTION OF SOUTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA AND AS FAR SOUTH AS HORRY COUNTY WHERE AIR TEMPS WILL DROP TO OR JUST BELOW FREEZING PRIOR TO THE PRECIPITATION COMING TO A COMPLETE END. HOWEVER...GIVEN THE VERY WARM TEMPS OF THE LAST TWO DAYS...GROUND TEMPS TO INCLUDE ROADWAYS...AND EXPOSED SURFACES TO INCLUDE BRIDGES...TREES...POWER LINES AND CARS ARE NOT EXPECTED TO HAVE SUFFICIENT TIME TO REACH OR FALL BELOW FREEZING BEFORE THE LIGHT PRECIPITATION ENDS. THUS...ALTHOUGH INSTRUMENTS MAY REPORT SOME LIGHT FREEZING RAIN OR FREEZING DRIZZLE...NO ICE ACCRUAL OR SLEET ACCUMULATION IS EXPECTED.
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&& .SHORT TERM /6 AM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/...
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AS OF 300 PM THURSDAY...WINTER WILL MAKE AN APPEARANCE THROUGH THE SHORT TERM AS ARCTIC HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS INTO THE CAROLINAS. WHILE WELL BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE A CERTAINTY FOR FRIDAY AND SATURDAY...WHAT IS UNCERTAIN IS WHETHER ANY PRECIP WILL LINGER FRIDAY MORNING...POTENTIALLY AS A WINTRY TYPE. COLD FRONT WILL BE WELL OFFSHORE FRIDAY MORNING...BUT SOME RESIDUAL LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE WILL PERSIST IN THE COLUMN FOR THE FIRST FEW HOURS OF FRIDAY. GUIDANCE HAS BACKED OFF CONSIDERABLY ON AMOUNT OF MOISTURE LEFT IN THE COLUMN...AND SREF PROBABILITIES ARE LESS THAN MENTIONABLE. FOR THIS REASON HAVE CUT BACK POP TO SILENT FOR ALL BUT THE IMMEDIATE BEACHES...AND EVEN THERE ONLY A SCHC IS WARRANTED FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS FRIDAY MORNING. THIS PRECIP MAY BE A BIT OF IP/ZR BUT NO IMPACTS ARE ANTICIPATED FROM ANY WINTRY PRECIP. THEREAFTER...RAPID DRYING OCCURS AND AMPLE SUNSHINE WILL ENVELOP THE AREA FRIDAY AFTN. EVEN WITH FULL MARCH SUN...TEMPS ON FRIDAY WILL RISE ONLY INTO THE MID/UPR 30S - A FULL 25-30 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL! HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS TOWARDS THE AREA FRIDAY CAUSING CAA TO WEAKEN...AND A VERY COLD NIGHT IS EXPECTED AS THE DRY COLUMN AND WEEK WINDS SUPPORT STRONG LONGWAVE COOLING. GUIDANCE HAS COOLED A BIT...AND WE MAY APPROACH RECORD LOWS FRIDAY NIGHT (20 AT WILMINGTON AND 20 AT FLORENCE). CURRENT FORECASTS ARE JUST ABOVE THESE NUMBERS...BUT AN EXCEEDINGLY COLD NIGHT IS EXPECTED. A WARMER DAY EXPECTED SATURDAY AS THE AIRMASS BEGINS TO MODIFY...BUT TEMPS WILL STAY ABOUT 10 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL EVEN BENEATH THE INCREASING MARCH SUN ANGLE. HIGH PRESSURE SHIFTS OFFSHORE LATE SATURDAY ALLOWING FOR WARM RETURN FLOW TO DEVELOP. THIS WILL KEEP MINS MUCH WARMER SATURDAY NIGHT THAN FRIDAY NIGHT...SO WHILE STILL EXPECTING BELOW NORMAL VALUES FOR LOWS...MOST OF THE AREA WILL REMAIN JUST ABOVE FREEZING.
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&& .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/... AS OF 330 PM THURSDAY...MEDIUM RANGE GUIDANCE IS SHOWING A SPLIT FLOW DEVELOPING AS THE MAIN BELT OF WESTERLIES JOGS TO THE NORTH WITH A WEAKER SOUTHWEST FLOW OVER THE SOUTHERN U.S. SURFACE FEATURES INCLUDE A WEAK AND DRY BACKDOOR FRONT SUNDAY WITH A BROAD BAROCLINIC ZONE ALIGNED OFFSHORE. THIS IS WHAT REMAINS OF OF THE ARCTIC FRONT THAT MOVES ACROSS LATER TODAY. BEYOND THIS WEAK HIGH PRESSURE WILL PREVAIL AT THE SURFACE BUT POPS WILL REMAIN IN THE FORECAST DUE TO MID AND UPPER LEVEL INFLUENCES. WITH THE WEAK FORCING...CONFIDENCE IS LOWER THAN USUAL BUT FOR NOW WE HAVE THE HIGHEST POPS...CHANCE VALUES FOR TUESDAY AND THURSDAY WHEN THE FORCING IS SLIGHTLY BETTER. TEMPERATURE TRENDS SHOW A LITTLE BELOW NORMAL FOR DAYTIME HIGHS BUT OVERNIGHT LOWS...MODERATED QUITE A BIT BY THE MOISTURE...WELL ABOVE NORMAL WITH 45-50 DEGREES. && .AVIATION /00Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
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AS OF 00Z...THE COLD FRONT HAS MOVED THROUGH ALL TERMINALS AT TAF TIME. WINDS ARE N 10-15 KT GUSTING TO 20-25 KT AT TIMES. A BAND OF LIGHT/MODERATE RAIN IS MOVING FROM SW TO NE. HIGH CONFIDENCE MVFR FLIGHT CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR THIS EVENING WITH LIGHT RAIN. SOME ICE PELLETS WILL MIX WITH THE RAIN. DO NOT EXPECT ANY SIGNIFICANT ICE ACCUMULATIONS SINCE TEMPERATURES WILL BE ABOVE FREEZING. IFR FLIGHT CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE THIS EVENING...MOST LIKELY INLAND TERMINALS EARLY THEN THE COASTAL TERMINALS LATER THIS EVENING. MODELS ARE FAIRLY CONSISTENT IN LIFTING CIGS TO VFR 06-09Z AT KLBT/KFLO AND THE COASTAL TERMINALS 09-12Z. THE BACK EDGE OF THE RAIN/ICE PELLETS WILL SHIFT TO THE COASTAL TERMINALS AND OFFSHORE SHORTLY AFTER DAYBREAK. VFR EXPECTED TOMORROW WITH CLOUDS BECOMING SCT BY AFTERNOON. N WINDS WILL CONTINUE. EXTENDED OUTLOOK...VFR.
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&& .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... AS OF 600 PM THURSDAY...THE INITIAL COLD FRONT HAS MOVED EAST OF THE WATERS AND WITH THAT...WINDS HAVE SHIFTED TO THE N. AN ARCTIC FRONT WILL MOVE ACROSS THE WATERS OVERNIGHT AND THIS IS WHEN WE EXPECT THE GREATEST NORTHERLY SURGE AND THE TIGHTEST PRESSURE GRADIENT. WIND SPEEDS WILL BE UP TO 30 TO 35 KT. SEAS WILL BUILD TO 5 TO 9 FT. SEAS WILL BE LOWER ACROSS THE VERY NEAR SHORE WATERS TO INCLUDE LONG BAY. SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 300 PM THURSDAY...ARCTIC COLD FRONT WILL BE WELL OFFSHORE FRIDAY MORNING...BUT A TIGHT GRADIENT WILL REMAIN OVER THE WATERS AND THE GALE WARNING CURRENTLY IN PLACE WILL PERSIST THROUGH 10AM FOR NORTH WINDS GUSTING ABOVE 34 KTS. WINDS BEGIN TO EASE THEREAFTER...BUT WILL ONLY SLOWLY FALL THROUGH FRIDAY...REMAINING 15-20 KTS INTO SATURDAY MORNING. THESE CONTINUED STRONG NORTH WINDS WILL KEEP WAVE HEIGHTS ABOVE 6 FT ALL OF FRIDAY...AND AN SCA WILL BE NEEDED ONCE THE GALE WARNING DROPS. HIGH PRESSURE WILL MOVE TOWARDS...AND THEN OVER...THE WATERS ON SATURDAY BEFORE DRIFTING OFFSHORE SATURDAY NIGHT. THIS WILL DRIVE PRIMARILY LIGHT AND VARIABLE WINDS SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT...EVENTUALLY TAKING ON A PREDOMINANT SW DIRECTION LATE. WAVE HEIGHTS WILL FALL STEADILY ON SATURDAY...LEVELING OFF AT 1-2 FT TOWARDS THE END OF THE PERIOD. LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... AS OF 330 PM THURSDAY...A RATHER WEAK PRESSURE PATTERN WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE PERIOD. THIS LEADS TO MODEST WIND FIELDS AND SIGNIFICANT SEAS. WITH WEAK HIGH PRESSURE TO THE WEST...NORTHWEST AND AN OLD BOUNDARY LINGERING OFFSHORE WIND DIRECTIONS WILL BE MOSTLY NORTHEAST. SPEEDS WILL DISPLAY SOME VARIATION BUT OVERALL A RANGE OF 10-15 KNOTS SHOULD BE GOOD. SIGNIFICANT SEAS WILL START OFF VERY LOW...1-2 FEET SUNDAY AND INCREASE MONDAY AND TUESDAY AS WINDS HOVER AROUND THE HIGHER END OF THE RANGE FOR SEVERAL PERIODS. COULD EVEN SEE SMALL CRAFT CONDITIONS TUESDAY.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
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SC...NONE. NC...NONE. MARINE...GALE WARNING FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM EST FRIDAY FOR AMZ250-252-254-256.
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&& $$ NEAR TERM...RJD SHORT TERM...JDW LONG TERM...SHK AVIATION...MRR

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