Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 151422 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 922 AM EST Thu Feb 15 2018 .SYNOPSIS... High pressure off the coast will result in well above normal temperatures through Friday. A cold front will move through the area Friday night, followed by cool high pressure for the weekend. Warm southerly winds will develop early next week and result in a significant warmup. A cold front will approach the area by Wednesday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
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As of 920 AM Thursday...Temperature trends basically on track for a very warm day with highs in the middle to upper 70s. A few minor tweaks to cloud cover grids as well but overall no wholesale changes to the forecast. Previous discussion follows: High pressure off the Southeast coast, north of the Bahamas, will maintain a SW flow at the surface through tonight. Mid to upper ridge extending up from the GOM will maintain a deep westerly flow aloft. Expect mid to high clouds to stream across the area in increased mid to high level moisture. A shortwave riding by over the top of the ridge was producing some light pcp to the north of local forecast area but this should pass by noon. HRRR shows some spotty light pcp affecting a small portion of the area around mid morning, but for now, have kept Pops out of the forecast. Otherwise expect continued mid to high clouds to pass across the area today as well as some lower clouds mainly through the morning hours. SW winds will increase through today and become gustier this afternoon as gradient tightens as a cold front approaches the Carolinas from the NW. This will continue to pump plenty of warm air into the area with 850 temps reaching up near 17C by tonight. Although there will be a fair amount of clouds around, enough sunshine will combine with this strong WAA to produce temps well into the 70s to near 80 inland. Continued warm and moist advection overnight Thursday in increasing W-SW flow will maintain a breezy and mild night with temps holding up around 60 for lows. Shallow low level moisture may produce some low clouds through the morning hours.
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&& .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 400 AM Thursday...Prime caption this forecast period, `Near Record Warmth Friday, Cooler and Damper Saturday`. An element of downslope low-level wind flow Friday will help boost already anomalously warm February air temperatures to near record levels. The standing record highs include, 80 at ILM in 1989, 77 at CRE back in 1949, and 85 at FLO set in 1990. By the time the front arrives, lapse rates are too weak to support noteworthy convection, and the atmosphere remains highly capped in the warm pre-frontal sector, despite favorable dewpoints near 60. Consequently, have only painted stratiform rain into the weather grids, as over-running gears up in synchronicity with colder air wedging beneath warmer and wettish flow aloft. Both a north to south distribution of column moisture content, and waning frontal strength from north to south, will favor around 1/4th inch of rain over the northern interior of SE NC, dwindled to less than 1/10th south of Myrtle Beach to Kingstree line. Blustery SW flow Friday will likely produce average peak wind gusts between 25-30 mph across the area in the afternoon. Frontal passage between 7pm-10pm north to south across SE NC and NE SC. Maximums on Friday, minus minimums Saturday, will equal to 30 to 35 degree most locals. Spritzes of -RA will linger into a cooler Saturday as the front hangs up over the area and weakens. Shear vorticity aloft Saturday night will sustain rain chances into early Sunday. && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...Low pressure will strengthen off the Mid-Atlantic coast as a 500 mb shortwave transits the eastern seaboard by Sunday, followed by drying out in zonal flow aloft. A mid and upper level ridge will amplify off the southeast CONUS Sunday afternoon through Wednesday, and with Bermuda high pressure becoming established, temperatures Monday to Wednesday will remain well above climo. Best chances for precip will be Wednesday as the upper ridge off the southeast CONUS begins to break down. && .AVIATION /14Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 12Z...Currently MVFR cigs at KFLO. Patchy VLIFR marine stratus/fog affected KCRE earlier, but has moved east of the terminal. Remaining terminals are VFR. Latest model outputs suggest MVFR cigs will be likely this morning. Highest confidence KFLO/KLBT. There is a slight chance at KLBT cigs could briefly become IFR 12-15Z but confidence is low. Low cloud bases will lift and coverage predominately late morning/early afternoon. VFR continues this evening. Overnight no BR expected as winds remain brisk. But GFS MOS guidance suggests cigs dropping at some terminals to IFR/LIFR 09-12Z. NAM is suggesting MVFR. MVFR cigs appear most likely based on model sounding data. Extended Outlook...MVFR cigs early Fri otherwise VFR. SHRA/MVFR/tempo IFR cig/vsby Fri night/Sat. MVFR/IFR BR vsbys early Sun otherwise VFR. Tempo MVFR/IFR/SHRA cig/vsby Sun night/Mon. && .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 300 AM Thursday...High pressure off the Southeast coast will maintain a W-SW flow today through tonight. The winds will increase late today through tonight as the gradient tightens with the approach of a cold front toward the Carolinas. Winds will increase up to 15 to 20 kts with higher gusts. The increasing southerly push will combine with some longer period SE swell to produce seas up to 3 to 5 ft late today into tonight. Small craft should exercise caution this afternoon into tonight. Sea fog may develop into tonight as the warm moist air flows over the cool shelf waters. SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 400 AM Thursday...SW choppiness moderate to strong Friday ahead of an approaching cold front, occasional gusts to 25 KT appears likely across the outer waters, 15-20 kt inner waters, although enhanced with a sea breeze component in the afternoon. Higher seas and chop will reside across the outer waters, with ESE waves of 2-2.5 ft every 10 seconds co-mingling with the shorter period wind-seas. No TSTMS expected, but light rain and mist, or patches of dense sea fog, could reduce visibilities to below 1 NM Friday. At a minimum an `Exercise Caution` headline will be needed Friday. NE winds behind the front do not look as strong as winds ahead of it for Saturday, generally 15 KT or less by Saturday afternoon, seas 2 to 4 ft, highest offshore. LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...A cold front is expected to move farther off the coast, bringing north winds for Sunday. A coastal trough will develop Sunday night and move inland Monday, allowing northeast winds to swing around to the south by Monday afternoon. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS... NEAR TERM...RGZ/SHK SHORT TERM...MJC LONG TERM...CRM AVIATION...MRR MARINE... is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.