Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 230944 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 444 AM EST Fri Feb 23 2018 .SYNOPSIS... A cold front dropping south through North Carolina will remain north of the local area as high pressure holds over the area. Bermuda High will continue to bring unseasonable warm weather through the weekend. A cold front will arrive on Monday bringing 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. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 300 AM Friday...For our area, basically persistence forecast will continue with early morning areas of fog and sea fog lifting by mid morning, but a few differences will be seen today which should lead to a slight increase in shwr potential. Have issued a Special Weather Statement for patchy dense fog through the early morning hours. A blanket of stratus was creeping south associated with a backdoor cold front pushing its way south into North Carolina early this morning. This front will get pushed back north before reaching our local forecast area as southerly winds increase through this morning. Therefore, may see some strato cu reaching this far south but for now do not expect this blanket of low clouds to reach into our area. The front to the north should disrupt the winds a bit giving a slightly more E to SE direction along the coast as front pushes into NC this morning, but overall southerly flow will dominate heading into later today and tonight. Some of this cooler air from the north reaches down in the low levels with 850 temps dropping from near 16C down to 9 to 10C through today. The ridge will also shift slowly south. This will help steepen the low level lapse rate, and the subsidence inversion lifts up to around 6 to 7k ft with a slightly deeper convective potential, although still expect it to be suppressed for the most part. Will include isolated shwrs in spots this aftn and overnight, especially over the waters later tonight into tomorrow morning. Moisture profiles show this growth of moisture later today and tonight. The southerly winds increase into tonight and may be enough to drive some of the showers from nearby waters onto the coast and also may keep fog limited to inland areas and more in the way of marine stratus over coastal areas. But with this shallow warm and moist air continuing, will include fog and sea fog over a good portion of the area tonight. Although some of the cooler air may try to bleed down into the area, expect the ridge and warm and moist southerly flow to win out with temps reaching near 80 once again for most places. This will threaten the records which include 80 for Wilmington in 1975, 74 for North Myrtle in 2017, 83 for Florence in 1975 and 78 for Lumberton in 1971. Highs at the beaches will be about 10 degrees cooler. Overnight lows tonight will be between 55 and 60 most places. && .SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/... As of 330 AM Friday...All good things must come to an end...and in this case, the end of early summer in February beginning late this period. Upper ridge will slowly flatten out this period due to successive mid-level short-waves passing just west and north of the FA. The ejection of the Desert SW upper trof will finally be the kicker for finally pushing the stalled sfc bndry across the mid-section of the U.S. as a cold front. This boundary will reach the FA late Sunday and likely slow down or even temporarily stall as it becomes aligned parallel with the upper flow. As for both days this weekend, still looking at widespread 80 degree temps except cooler along the immediate coast. As for POPs, have indicated 20 POPs for Sat mainly in the form of isolated showers. Brief POP reprieve Sat night followed by increasing POPs Sun thru Sun night. Will see high chance POPs bordering likely late Sun night. Have kept thunder at bay but this will need some monitoring. && .LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 330 PM Thursday...A front will be stalled in the area 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. && .AVIATION /06Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 06Z...Persistent pattern continues with warm and moist light southerly flow around Bermuda High, becoming calm overnight tonight. This leads the way to another night of fog and LIFR vsbys mainly between 07z and 13z. Fog should lift rapidly after sunrise, initially at the coastal terminals then inland terminals by mid morning. Extended Outlook...Morning IFR/BR possible through Sat, otherwise VFR. SHRA/MVFR Sunday through Monday, becoming VFR Tues. && .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 300 AM Friday...A cold front dropping down through the NC waters will hold to the north of the local waters but will act to shift winds to a more SE direction today. Overall will maintain a light S-SE flow over the waters and seas around 3 ft over most of the waters. Fog over the waters this morning will once again develop overnight tonight, with locally dense spots reducing visibilities. A Marine Weather Statement was issued for patches of dense sea fog. Winds will have a slight increase and turn more SSW direction overnight tonight but still remaining around 10 kts or so. Seas will remain less than 4 ft. SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/... As of 345 AM Friday...Sfc ridge axis from the Bermuda high will drop south of the FA with time. This will lead to wind directions veering from South to Southwest. Wind speeds initially will be 10 kt or less Sat, then increase to 15 to 20 kt from Sunday thru Sun night as the sfc pg tightens ahead of the approaching cold front. A southwesterly 25 to 35 kt low level jet will keep the boundary layer mixed late Sat night into Sun and the SW wind direction will limit the fetch for sea fog development across the local waters. Significant seas will basically be governed by an ESE to SE ground swell at 9 second periods. The increase in short period wind waves during Sun will push seas to 3 to 5 ft which leads to the good possibility of a SCEC needed for Sun into Sun night. Obviously, too early to raise it but will mention in the Hazardous Wx Outlook. LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 330 PM Thursday...Winds north to northwest Mon morning behind cold front. 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 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. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...RGZ NEAR TERM...RGZ SHORT TERM...DCH LONG TERM...III AVIATION...RGZ is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.