Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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646 FXUS62 KILM 231913 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 313 PM EDT Sat Sep 23 2017 .SYNOPSIS...
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High pressure will continue the warm and dry weather through the remainder of the weekend. Hurricane Maria is expected to move northward a couple of hundred miles east of the Carolina coast Monday through Wednesday. Hazardous boating conditions, strong rip currents, and large surf are all expected to develop. A cold front is expected to reach the area Friday, bringing cooler weather for late next week.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH SUNDAY/...
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As of 3 PM Saturday...Surface ridge will persist from the north tonight and Sunday as Hurricane Maria moves northward. At H5 an upper low will become positioned across the northern Gulf Coast as a ridge lingers across the Great Lakes, New England and part of the Mid-Atlantic regions. RH in the H85-H5 layer will remain meager with UVVs lacking through Sunday thus no POPs required in the near term period. Even with northeasterly flow temperatures will be a category or two above normal with lows tonight and highs during Sunday. Favored a blend of MET/MAV numbers each period. Some fog possible again tonight, more-so for the coastal counties and a touch farther inland where dewpoints will be highest. Otherwise, ocean and surf conditions will be deteriorating through Sunday with potential for ocean over-wash, erosion, high surf and strong rip currents. Please see the section below for further details.
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&& .SHORT TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/...
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As of 300 PM Saturday...Mid-level high centered over PA-NY area is expected to hook up with the Atlantic ridge once the remnants of Jose dissipate by Monday morning. At the same time, a rather weak upper level low will reside over the Gulf Coast between LA and FL. And finally, Hurricane Maria is expected to slow down by Monday once the blocking ridging to it`s north becomes established. Flow around the upper ridging and the upper low will have a tendency to actually pull Maria slightly westward beginning by Tuesday morning at which point it would be at the 33 degree N latitude and 72.5 longitude. A couple of degrees in Longitude to the west at this point will be the difference for whether Hurricane Watches/Warnings will be raised. As for sensible weather conditions during this period. The FA is looking at basically mostly clear nights and mostly sunny days with the exception for the immediate coast where partly sunny may be the right wording due to the increase of exhaust Cirrus emitted by Maria. By Tuesday morning, could even see a few showers from Maria reach the immediate coast and possibly progress inland across the ILM NC CWA before quickly dissipating. With mid-level dry air and subsidence, ie. sinking air, occurring ahead of Maria will for the most part keep the ILM CWA pcpn- free. For Max/Min temps, looking at the continuation of summer like conditions with highs each day in the 80s and lows in the 60s to around 70. This is basically 1 to 2 categories above climo norms. Maria`s swell will continue to increase in size Sunday into Monday then plateau Monday night into Tuesday. As a result, surf conditions will surpass thresholds that require a High Surf Advisory. In addition, strong rip currents are expected and may occur at any time, not just low tide, given the size of the expected surf and all of that water that runs up onto the beaches. In addition, minor beach erosion is possible during this 2 day period, mainly at high tide where water may reach the dune lines of area beaches.
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&& .LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/...
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As of 300 PM SATURDAY...the big question will be how far offshore will Maria stay. The latest global models continue to show the center of Maria slowing down and staying just offshore Cape Hatteras middle of next week. A trough of low pressure will pick up Maria and carries it out to sea by late next week. At the surface a cold front will move into the eastern Carolinas and offshore by Friday. Cooler temperatures and drier air will move into the region for Saturday. At this time only a chance of showers is expected on the western fringe of Maria during mid-week. With the best chances along the coast mainly north of Little River, SC. There will be a slight chance of precipitation late Thursday and Friday. High temperatures Tuesday through Thursday will be in the middle to upper 80s but as the front approaches maximum temperatures fall into the lower 80s Friday and the upper 70s on Saturday. Low temperatures are expected to be in the upper 60s to around 70 Tuesday night and Wednesday night. Lows Friday are expected to fall into the lower to middle 60s.
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&& .AVIATION /18Z SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/...
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As of 18Z...High confidence in VFR conditions prevailing through the evening with the area influenced by high pressure ridging in from the north. Some confidence with TEMPO MVFR conditions developing during the early morning hours, especially at the coastal terminals where the dewpoints will be a touch higher. Extended Outlook...Mainly VFR conditions through the period with the exception of possible MVFR/IFR conditions due to low clouds and fog each morning, mainly between 08z-12z.
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&& .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 3 PM Saturday...East to northeast winds expected with high pressure ridging in from the north, and Maria`s circulation far to the south-southeast. Winds around 10 knots should be the rule through the rest of the day before increasing a notch tonight. A stronger northeasterly fetch will become established during Wed, especially across the outer coastal waters. Higher frequency waves will develop during Sunday and super-impose withe impressive swell emanating toward the northwest from Maria. A Small Craft Advisory is already in place to account for the developing hazardous maritime conditions. SHORT TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... As of 3 PM Saturday...SCA remains in effect for the local waters due to increasing significant seas. The story for this time-line will be the increasing 15+ second period swell from Maria. Significant seas will peak in the 7 to 10 foot range late Sun thru early Tue. The sfc pressure gradient will be slowly tightening as Maria pushes or inches closer during this period. This will result with increasing NE winds Sun that will back to the North, Mon thru Mon night. Wind speeds will also be increasing with SCA threshold for windspeeds being reached. With the increasing swells, verbiage will be added to the MWW for hazardous navigating conditions likely across local area inlets to and from the Atlantic as well as the mouths of the Lower Cape Fear River and Winyah Bay. LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 300 PM SATURDAY...this portion of the forecast will be controlled by Hurricane Maria as it moves northward and slows just off Hatteras. The winds are expected to be from the north 20 to 33 knots north of Little River and 15 to 25 knots to the south. Winds will shift to the northwest on Wednesday with the same speeds. Seas are expected to range from 7 to 12 feet north Cape Fear and drop down to 5 to 8 feet south of Cape Fear.
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&& .COASTAL FLOODING/HIGH SURF/RIP CURRENTS...
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As of 2 PM Saturday...Minor coastal flood thresholds may be reached at the beaches generally north of Cape Fear during high tide early Sunday afternoon and again early Monday afternoon. In the least we expect ocean overwash from the wave run-up from Maria`s swells, especially in those areas which have suffered erosion from previous storms. Wave power will increase as Maria`s swells build through Monday. A High Surf Advisory has been issued as a result for all beaches from 10Z Sun through 00Z Tue as a starting point. The potential for dangerous rip currents will continue through the weekend into next week.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
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SC...High Rip Current Risk until 8 PM EDT this evening for SCZ054- 056. High Surf Advisory from 6 AM Sunday to 8 PM EDT Monday for SCZ054-056. NC...High Rip Current Risk until 8 PM EDT this evening for NCZ106- 108-110. High Surf Advisory from 6 AM Sunday to 8 PM EDT Monday for NCZ106-108-110. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 6 PM EDT Wednesday for AMZ250-252- 254-256.
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&& $$ NEAR TERM...SRP SHORT TERM...DCH LONG TERM...HAWKINS AVIATION...SRP

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