Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 192359 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 659 PM EST Mon Feb 19 2018 .SYNOPSIS... A warm front will move north of the area this evening. Bermuda High pressure will build from the east and bring temperatures well above normal this week with possible record warmth Wednesday and Thursday. A cold front will likely stall to our north on Friday. The Bermuda High will again expand over the region for the weekend. A cold front will approach from the northwest late Sunday night. The front may end up stalling in the area on Monday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 3 PM Monday...It`s been easy to find the warm front today, outlined by a 20-degree difference in temperature and an almost 180- degree difference in wind direction. The front pushed onshore across SE North Carolina where Wilmington reached 75 degrees before noon, but temperatures have so far stayed in the 50s in Florence, Darlington and Lumberton. A persistent stream of clouds and light showers linked to moisture advecting in from the Gulf Stream off the South Carolina coast has produced waves of light showers across Myrtle Beach and up through Whiteville and Elizabethtown this afternoon. This rain should weaken with time as it slips into the Cape Fear area early this evening. The high-res models have performed quite well with the frontal position today. The NAM, RUC, and HRRR correctly depicted cool inland temperatures and northerly wind directions, while the GFS and ECMWF were rather clueless. All models show shallow low clouds developing across the entire area tonight as tropical moisture continues to advect overhead. Stratus clouds may settle down to the surface becoming fog overnight, perhaps even dense at times. Although no dense fog advisory will be issued yet, we`ll highlight the potential in the Hazardous Weather Outlook. Overall depth of the stratus may be a little too shallow for drizzle. The sun should burn through the clouds and fog by late Tuesday morning, jumping the warm frontal position well inland. As the nearly tropical airmass, now down at the surface, is warmed by the sun look for Tuesday`s highs to approach 80 degrees inland. The beaches may do good to touch 70 degrees for highs with a relatively cool southerly wind across the ocean. Areas of sea fog lingering offshore could reach the beaches at times Tuesday afternoon but should dissipate very quickly after crossing inland. && .SHORT TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/... As of 3 PM Monday...Short term to be characterized by unseasonable warmth. Temperature deviations from climatology will be about 20 degrees by both day and night making lows warmer than seasonable highs. As for Wednesdays highs in the upper 70s coast low 80s inland could be poised to break some records depending on ocean influence. Record highs for 2/21: ILM: 78 from 2014. FLO: 81 from 1997. CRE: 76 from 1953. The former appear to be in trouble while CRE will be dealing with SSE onshore flow of the marine layer. Speaking of the marine layer, models are still showing areas of sea fog through a good part of the period. SREF VSBY<1nm probs maxing out over SC areas and have for a while now and this seems plausible. This moisture will occasionally affect areas along the Grand Strand and also make for some temperature forecast complications. && .LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 3 PM Monday...Continues to look like a period of extended warmth with potential for record breaking temperatures this week. Bermuda High and 5h western Atlantic ridge team up to bring an extended period of warm southerly flow and mid-level subsidence. GFS continues to slowly back away from bringing a backdoor cold front into the area Thu night and Fri. Meanwhile the Canadian, ECMWF, and WPC all have the front stalling out around the NC/VA border. Given the GFS is trending in this direction and mid-level ridging tends to win out went ahead and removed any hint of a front moving into the area Thu night and Fri. Next shot at rainfall looks to be Sun night as cold front moves in from the northwest. Front lacks a strong cold push and the ECMWF stalls it in the region while the GFS passes it cleanly. Looking at the predicted upper pattern would think the front stalled in the area is probably more likely and for now will carry the Sun night chance pop through Mon. The dynamics associated with the front pass northwest of the area and forcing Sun night would be limited, curtailing rainfall amounts. Might have a better shot on Mon if the front ends up stalled and shortwave activity can get involved, but have low confidence for the start of next week at this point. Partial thickness and 850 temps through the end of the week suggest highs in the upper 70s to low 80s for areas not along the immediate coast. Southeast to south flow will lead to a strong sea breeze that will become a modified resultant as the winds veer to south- southwest late in the period. Onshore flow and water temps in the mid to upper 50s will keep highs at the beaches in the mid to upper 60s at best. Front moving into the area Sun night/Mon will drop temps a little. Even so most areas are likely to end up close to 10 degrees above climo. Lows will be even warmer with potential for lows 25 degrees or more above climo. && .AVIATION /00Z TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... As of 00Z...Currently VFR inland terminals and MVFR with patchy light showers coastal terminals. KMYR has had tempo bouts of 300-400 foot cigs through the afternoon until TAF issuance time. Since these 300-400 foot cigs are very patchy, will monitor KMYR/KCRE and amend as necessary. Otherwise showers will continue at the coastal terminals overnight but become more isolated. Winds will be very light overnight all terminals, thus fog is expected to develop, but confidence of onset time is low. Cloud cover will help prevent any real dense fog through 06Z. After 06Z IFR conditions are more likely to develop at all terminals and persist through 14-15Z, with a possibility of LIFR. Have held off on LIFR in TAFs due to overcast cloud cover, and uncertainty of timing. Fog should lift to MVFR by mid morning with VFR by noon. Winds will be southeast to south 5-10 kt. Extended Outlook...VFR. Morning IFR/BR possible Tuesday-Thu. Sea fog possible through Thu but confidence is low. && .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 3 PM Monday...A warm front moved across the coastal waters this morning and has pushed inland across the Cape Fear area. Variable winds remain along the Grand Strand coastline with the front still stalled 5-10 miles out, and we don`t really anticipate seeing solid southeasterly winds develop along the Grand Strand beaches until late tonight when the front finally jumps onshore. In terms of model guidance preferences, the NAM model has been far outperforming the GFS with wind directions today. Mainly southeasterly winds should become southerly on Tuesday around 10 knots. Seas 2-3 feet should change little through Tuesday. As tropical moisture continues to move across the cold nearshore waters, the potential for areas of sea fog will remain in the forecast through tonight and Tuesday. The limiting factor with sea fog may turn out to be the overwhelming warmth of the incoming airmass, perhaps not allowing the cold water to successfully cool air down to its dewpoint. No dense fog advisory will be issued at this time, although some potential does remain. SHORT TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/... As of 3 PM Monday...A quiet and unchanging set of conditions through the period. High pressure off the coast to bring a southerly wind of just 10kt with a few occasional higher gusts. Seas will average right around 3 ft. LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... As of 3 PM Monday...Bermuda High will maintain southerly flow through the period. Weak backdoor front will try to drop in from the north Thu night into Fri but appears the boundary will stall out near the NC/VA border. Gradient will be on the weak side with winds 5 to 10 kt Thu and Fri. High strengthens a bit for the weekend with gradient becoming a little more defined as inland areas warm up. Southwest flow on Sat will be closer to 10 to 15 kt. Seas 2 to 3 ft Thu and Fri build to 3 to 4 ft Sat as winds become southwest and increase in speed. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ NEAR TERM...TRA/RGZ SHORT TERM...MBB LONG TERM...III AVIATION...MRR is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.