Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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214 FXUS62 KILM 222032 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 332 PM EST Thu Feb 22 2018 .SYNOPSIS...
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Strong high pressure aloft north of the Bahamas, will bring unseasonable warmth in the days ahead, until a cold front arrives Monday. The front will bring a chance of rain, and temperatures closer to normal early next week. A warming trend is expected next Wednesday and Thursday, as a low pressure system approaches from the west.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH FRIDAY/...
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As of 332 PM Thursday...A mammoth, Bahamian dome of anomalous warmth is setting off record maximum temperatures again today. ILM hit 81 a bit ago, handily obliterating 78 set in 2003, and this encompasses record keeping since 4/1/1874. Morning stratus delayed warming at FLO, but trends honing-in on a record of 80 there, established 28 years ago. CRE has tied a max-temp record of 75 set last in 2007. Ocean-chilled onshore flow has leveled off the temperature at CRE at 74, so may have to settle for a tie here. The weather pattern is nearly unchanged tonight and Friday, the differences subtle, such as, the center of the offshore surface high shifts slightly SW, moisture and SW wind flow above 850 mb increases a little as the upper ridge, is faintly dented from the NW, and local inshore water temperatures may be a degree or two warmer. All these differences however don`t appear crucial enough, to change the potential for another day of record breaking warmth in late February 2018 again Friday, where record maximums include, ILM 80 in 1975, CRE 74 in 2017, and FLO 83 in 1975. There were wide shreds of sea fog inshore this morning, and each morning as SSTs become a little warmer, we are seeing just a bit less sea fog. But this is gradual and the pattern remains highly similar, so persistence wins out, and will carry marine fog again tonight and early Friday, impacting the coastal zones. Based on visible satellite, dissolving diurnal cumulus, will set the stage for good chance of radiational fog overnight inland.
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&& .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/...
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As of 332 PM Thursday...The mid level ridge that has been dominating conditions this week will get suppressed to the south during this period setting the stage for some changes next week. The center of the surface high will remain more or less in the same position but weaken somewhat. This being said, weather conditions will remain essentially unchanged. One small change will be the slight chance for convective showers mostly to areas west of the coast Saturday as the mid levels become a little more conducive. Certainly don`t expect deep convection and even thunder is a stretch. Overall temperature forecast remains on track for highs in the upper 70s to possibly over 80 inland with lows in the 60s.
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&& .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/...
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As of 332 PM Thursday...Surface and mid-level ridging weaken Sun as they become flatter and sink south. Stacked low tracking across the western Great Lakes will drag a cold front into the area, but the front is initially moisture starved and lacks dynamics. Front moves into the area late Sun before ending up parallel to the flow aloft. The front will be stalled in the area Sun night but precip chances seem slim at best. Temperatures ahead of the front Sun will be on the order of 20 degrees above normal with lows Sun night in the low 60s, right around highs typical for late Feb. On Mon a series of shortwaves, emerging from the base of the 5h trough over the Southwest, move along the stalled boundary. Deep southwest flow helps spread moisture over the southeast while the waves aid dynamics. Anticipate an increase in precipitation in the area as the waves move overhead. Confidence on timing is on the low side as there is still some disagreement between the GFS/ECMWF solutions, but the slower ECMWF might be the way to go given the presence of a mid-level ridge. Cloud cover and precip will keep temperatures cooler than previous days but both highs and lows will remain above climo. Surface high builds over the southeast Tue into Wed as flow aloft becomes progressive at the top of a 5h ridge over the Gulf of Mexico. Quiet period is short lived as the flat 5h flow moves the remains of a stalled front into the area, which is then lifted north as a warm front Wed into Thu. Subtle amplification of the mid-level pattern late in the period will push above normal temps during the midweek period to well above normal for the end of the period with potential for convection late Thu or Thu night as a cold front moves into or across the area.
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&& .AVIATION /19Z THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
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As of 18Z...Persistent pattern continues. Look for scattered cumulus this afternoon. A few cells could produce a sprinkle, but that is about it. Light winds tonight with mostly clear skies. Fog will once again form around 08-09Z, heaviest around 11Z. Friday, becoming VFR by 14-15Z, with light southeast flow. Increasing cloud at the end of the forecast period. Extended Outlook...Morning IFR/BR possible through Sat am. Showers and MVFR conditions possible Sunday through Monday, drying Tuesday.
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&& .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 332 PM Thursday...Steady as she goes, with high pressure centered offshore, provides a light to moderate southerly wind flow across the 0-20 NM waters. Seas will be comprised of waves from the SE around 3 feet every 8-9 seconds, with a light south chop. Fog is of concern again tonight, and visibilities could be reduced in areas. A dense fog advisory for the waters cannot be ruled out entirely late tonight and early Friday. SHORT TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 332 PM Thursday...A south to southwest flow of ten knots or less will continue across the waters through about midday Saturday. The gradient will increase slowly from that point on to increase winds to 15-20 knots through Sunday morning. This will increase the seas from the 2-3 feet which will have persisted for days to 3-5 feet by Sunday morning. LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 332 PM Thursday...Bermuda High remains off the coast Sun with southwest flow increasing as cold front approaches from the northwest. Pinched gradient increases winds to 15 to 20 kt Sun and Sun night before the arrival of the front drops speeds closer to 10 kt. Direction veers from southwest Sun night to north-northwest by Mon morning. Surface high builds in from the west Mon into Tue, then shifts overhead Tue afternoon. Northeast surge Mon night will peak around 20 kt close to midnight but then the gradient starts to weaken as the high moves closer. Northeast flow starts to wind down after sunrise Tue with winds slowly veering to easterly and dropping to 10 kt or less as the period ends. Seas 3 to 5 ft Sun and Sun night drop to 2 to 4 ft Mon. Northeast surge Mon night into Tue will push seas back to 3 to 5 ft for much of Tue before decreasing winds allow seas to fall to 2 to 3 ft Tue night.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...ILM NEAR TERM...MJC SHORT TERM...SHK LONG TERM...III AVIATION...43

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