Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 151736 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 1236 PM EST Wed Feb 15 2017 .SYNOPSIS... A low pressure system from the Gulf states will approach today bringing a chance of rain followed by a cooling and drying trend Thursday and Friday. A fair day next Saturday may be followed by a chance of rain Saturday night into Sunday. High pressure will build in late Sunday through Tuesday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 10 AM Wednesday...Weak low pressure, currently over west- central SC, will move east today, accompanied by a cold front. Showers have been expanding in coverage this morning as the low and associated front move closer to the area. Widespread shower coverage is expected with potential for embedded thunderstorms during the next several hours. The low will be quick to move east and should be headed off the coast by mid afternoon. Although surface based instability has been limited by cloud cover, low level convergence along the front is generating some deeper convection. Convection is tapping into moisture being transported north by 45-50kt low level jet ahead of the front. Although unlikely, cannot rule out an isolated strong or severe storm given the strength of the low level jet. Latest high resolution guidance has the front pushing off the coast 18-19Z which may actually be a little slow given the fronts movement over the last hour or so. Rainfall will linger behind the front for an hour or two but by early evening the entire forecast area should be drying out as cold and drier air starts to spread in from the northwest. Temps will peak by midday and western areas have likely already seen today`s high temp. Temps may rebound in western areas as skies clear and the sun comes out later this afternoon but temps in the afternoon will struggle to reach mid 50s. && .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 400 AM Wednesday...The Eastern 1/3rd of the U.S. including the ILM CWA, will remain under a longwave upper trof this period. It`s north to south trof axis will remain east of the forecast area. Thus, these 2 short term days will be benign weather-wise with no POPs and skies mostly clear with occasional jet stream cirrus moving overhead. Initially, CAA on Thu will become neutral by aftn. Cyclonic sfc flow will give way to ridging from the Gulf Coast States by Thu aftn and persist thru Friday as the center of the High moves east across Florida and into the offshore waters. Temps will remain below normal thru Thu night and moderate to at or slightly above normal Fri into Fri night. && .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 3 AM Wednesday... Moisture will increase from west to east across the area Saturday in a warm advection regime beneath increasing PVA and height falls. Eventually this coupled ascent will bring some overnight light rainfall. The shortwave strengthens slightly as it moves offshore Sunday and a building ridge to its west allows it to accelerate. The latter will allow for a continuation of above normal temperatures not only Sunday but into Monday as well. Tuesday remains rain-free and mild, though models are in disagreement as to whether the warmth-sponsoring ridge will be strengthening or weakening. The local ramification of the ridge`s strength will be the degree to which we are above climatology. Models seem to be trending slower with the system moving out of Texas into the Gulf so a stronger ridge in the east appears to be gaining favor. && .AVIATION /18Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...
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As of 18Z...Squall will exit coast by 18z. NW-N winds, gusty at times will prevail through afternoon. Light and moderate rain and IFR ceilings will linger however through 20Z before we begin to see best clearing. Clearing and drying trend after 20Z with SKC to BKN250 expected overight, with WNW to NW winds overnight and Thursday. EXTENDED OUTLOOK...Primarily VFR but look for gusty W and NW winds Thursday in wake of a departing low pressure system.
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&& .MARINE... NEAR TERM/THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 10 AM Wednesday...SCA continues with increasing southerly flow and building seas maintaining hazardous conditions through tonight. Front will move across the waters later this afternoon with strong offshore flow, due to combination of pinched gradient and cold advection, developing behind it. Timing of frontal passage may end up being a little earlier if the faster progression of the front observed within the last hour continues. Otherwise forecast remains on track. SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 400 AM Wednesday...Sca threshold wind and seas early Thu will quickly drop to SCEC criteria during the morning...and further drop during Thu afternoon. This in response initially to CAA surge combined with a tightened sfc pg. The cyclonic NW flow will lessen by late Thursday with sfc high pressure ridging in from the Gulf coast states Thu night thru Friday Night. Eventhough, the center will move east across Florida and offshore it`s east coast, ridging from it will continue to affect the area waters. Winds and seas will be diminishing and subsiding respectively late Thu thru Fri with the end result of wind speeds around 10 kt and seas around 2 ft at their lowest. LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 3 AM Wednesday...Things look pretty quiet for the long term. On Saturday there will be a few centers of high pressure across the Southeast, with the most well formed one off the Atlantic coast. This will favor west or southwest winds locally and should keep speeds at around 10 knots. Saturday night into Sunday an upper level feature will move east across the area. Initially the surface reflection of this feature will be very weak but it should strengthen slightly off the coast just enough to turn winds to the northwest. Most zones will see roughly 2 to 3 ft seas through the period. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 9 AM EST Thursday for AMZ250-252- 254-256. && $$ NEAR TERM...III SHORT TERM...DCH LONG TERM...MBB AVIATION...8 is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.