Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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722 FXUS62 KILM 221732 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 1232 PM EST Wed Feb 22 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Temperatures will remain well above normal this week. A week trough may bring spotty showers to the region early Thursday. Near record highs are possible Friday. A cold front approaching from the west, will bring a chance of showers on Saturday. Cooler and drier air will build into the area Saturday night into early next week. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 1232 PM Wednesday...No significant changes needed, but did up the wind gust factor as we see occasional but fairly widespread gusts up to 20 mph across the region. Notably cooler at beaches this afternoon compered to inland venues. As of 10 AM Wednesday...On a larger scale rain surrounds the region but little if any will make it into NE SC and SE NC today. As an upper low crosses FL today and rides to the NE, we may see a coastal shower late tonight or early Thursday, but even this does not show much rainfall promise, more clouds than anything. A quick warm-up this morning will bring us well into the 70s this afternoon and a bit cooler near the sea, as a resultant sea breeze circulation strengthens. No major changes but reduced cloud cover in the early going. As of 3 AM Wednesday...An upper low and its developing surface reflection swing southeast out of the eastern Gulf of Mexico and then across southern Florida and then over the Bahamas by the end of the period. Meanwhile, a coastal trough will continue to develop. Mid-levels will remain quite dry although satellite loops and model soundings show an extensive cirrus deck will continue to cover the eastern Carolinas. SE flow will also advect in low level moisture which may enhance fog development overnight. Dry mid levels and lack of any strong triggers makes for another dry day with pops remaining silent. Temperatures will continue to run unseasonably warm, with highs in the lower to mid 70s and lows in the mid 50s. && .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 3 AM Wednesday...An upper low and its surface reflection as mentioned in the Near Term discussion above will swing NE from the Bahamas, passing well offshore the Cape Fear Region late Friday.A coastal trough will move ashore on Thursday while a cold front approaching from the NW approaches the Appalachian mountains. Isolated showers are possible Thursday as the trough moves ashore, otherwise the short term will remain dry. Weak forcing Thursday means QPF values will remain on the minimal side for any showers that manage to develop. There will be a warming trend with temperatures remaining well above normal. Many locations away from the beaches could see highs of around 80 on Friday. && .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 3 AM Wednesday...Mid level low pressure sweeping across the upper midwest will push a cold front across the area Saturday with minimal moisture. The timing has stepped back a little from recent runs and this should allow high temperatures to soar to near 80 degrees in some spots. We continue to advertise slight chance pops with the system. Beyond this the mid level pattern transitions to zonal then a somewhat southwest flow develops early next week. This will allow another dramatic warmup after cooling down to just touch climatology briefly. && .AVIATION /18Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 18Z...VFR expected for the most part with ceilings generally limited to cirrus level. Some transient clouds cannot be ruled out at around 5kft however in the onshore flow. Inland terminals may also have a very brief MVFR visibility but the high clouds should preclude anything more. Extended Outlook...Isolated showers through Thursday. Showers possible Saturday with a cold front. Otherwise expect VFR. && .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 1232 AM Wednesday...No changes needed to the marine forecast as 3 foot seas prevail, closer to 4 FT very outer portion. Did up wind gusts this afternoon. Main wave energy E waves 2-3 feet every 9 seconds with a moderate chop on the waters. Inshore winds may become a bit gusty and chop more choppier in the afternoon as the sea breeze kicks up. As of 3 AM Wednesday...High pressure over the waters combined with a developing low moving over the Bahamas will bring east winds of around 10 kts with seas of 2 to 3 ft today. Seas will build slightly overnight, becoming a more solid 3 ft throughout by daybreak on Thursday. SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 3 AM Wednesday...Longwave swell generated by a developing low over the Bahamas will bring increasingly high combined sea heights, with Small Craft Advisory criteria possibly being met by Thursday night as the seas build. Winds will remain easterly and relatively modest however, as the low will not strongly intensify and should remain well offshore through the period. DO not see winds exceeding 15 kts through this period and most locations will be more in the 10 kt range. The exception could be the very near shore waters on Friday, when a strong land/sea temperature contrast could enhance the sea breeze effect during the afternoon, with winds gusting up around 20 kts. LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 3 AM Wednesday...A southwest flow of 10-15 knots will be in place to start the period and as a cold front moves across Saturday winds will take on a more westerly component. Speeds also increase to 15- 20 knots. Wind direction veers even further to northwest by Sunday morning. Speeds decrease later Sunday. Regarding seas, small craft levels will be reached and continue probably through early Sunday morning. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ NEAR TERM...REK/MJC SHORT TERM...REK LONG TERM...SHK AVIATION...MBB is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.