Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC
FXUS62 KILM 241154
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
754 AM EDT WED AUG 24 2016
High pressure will affect the Carolinas through the end of the week.
This will result in dry weather continuing. Humidity will increase
by the weekend. An area of low pressure moving through the Bahamas
and toward Florida on Sunday will be watched closely for possible
.NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
As of 630 AM Wednesday...A 700-500 mb ridge centered along the
Gulf Coast will maintain a strong convective cap across the
Carolinas today. The subsidence inversion on yesterday evening`s
00z Greensboro, NC sounding was impressive with air temperatures
going from +8C at 7300 feet AGL to +12C at 7900 feet AGL. Dry
weather is forecast again today as east-northeasterly low-level
winds continue around surface high pressure centered off the NJ
coast. Only some flat high-based cumulus clouds are expected today
at the base of that subsidence inversion. 850 mb temps should
range from +14C to +15C this afternoon, sufficient in this dry
airmass for highs in the upper 80s to around 90.
The high off the Mid-Atlantic coast should weaken, but a ridge
axis will continue to extend southwestward across Virginia and
into western North Carolina. Since we`re south of this ridge a
light northeast wind should continue. Lows should fall into the
mid to upper 60s with some lower 70s on the beaches.
.SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/...
As of 300 AM Wednesday...The 700-500 mb ridge will build eastward
Thursday and should be centered over North Carolina on Friday. This
will maintain warm and very dry mid and upper level conditions. The
low-level airmass will modify a little each day as the tropical
ocean water in the western Atlantic feeds heat and moisture into
the boundary layer. This should lead to rising temperatures and
dewpoints for us as this modified air advects onshore. It`s not
impossible that the early morning landbreeze could pop off some
shallow convection over the coastal waters Thursday and/or Friday,
with the low-level easterly flow perhaps pushing one or two of
Forecast highs in the 90s will expand Thursday and particularly on
Friday due to the warming airmass. Dewpoints rising back toward 70
should add a stickiness we`ve become quite used to this summer, and
heat indices Friday afternoon could be in the 94-98 degree range.
Overnight lows mainly in the upper 60s Thursday night and lower 70s
.LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
As of 300 PM Tuesday...At the start of this period the 2 long-term
global models, GFS and European, both indicate an Upper High
centered overhead, across the NC and SC region. This position
basically holds thru Sunday. At the sfc, a weak ridge axis will
extend across the region from the ene. This ridging extends from
the center of high pressure that was once a 1025+ mb high located
just off the NE States today. Mos Guidance indicates Sat will be
the warmer day of the 2 days this weekend, with most places seeing
90+ except the immediate coast where onshore flow persists. On
Sunday, a weak to modest ne surge occurs. This a result of weak
ridging on Sat giving way to ridging from another 1025+ mb high
that moves once again across the NE States. Could see isolated
convection along the resultant wind boundary Sun but ridging aloft
will prevent any further or deeper convection to occur. Highs
Sunday will be a degree or 2 lower than Sat highs.
For Monday and Tuesday time frame, the 2 global models have their
particular solutions for the upper high and associated ridging to
maneuver across the Southeast States with its relative positioning
to become quite important with respect to the potential for a
Tropical Cyclone threat either on the East Coast of the U.S. or
the Gulf Coast. For now, Monday and Tuesday will see a decent
onshore flow especially in the low levels. If it becomes deep
enough, showers may move onshore late at night...followed by low
chance for diurnally driven low topped convection over land each
day. Will keep POPs at 30 percent or lower this period due to the
uncertainty. Temps will run at or a couple degrees below the norm.
Wavewatch3 and locally run SWAN models, both respectively indicate
the leader swells from Gaston located over the High Seas of the
Atlantic at this time period, will begin affecting the local
beaches by Midday Sunday. This will result in Moderate to Strong
Rip Currents on Sunday across all beaches. Will advertise
this in the hazardous weather outlook.
.AVIATION /12Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
As of 12Z...High confidence for VFR through the valid TAF period
as high pressure continues to control the current weather
Other than few/sct passing mid clouds, conditions are expected to
remain fairly quiet today. Northeast winds around 5 kts will
become east-northeasterly this afternoon up to 10 kts. Tonight,
winds become light and variable with nearly clear skies through
EXTENDED OUTLOOK...Potential for MVFR due to areas of fog
early Friday and with isolated convection on Sunday. Otherwise
NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
As of 630 AM Wednesday...Surface high pressure is centered a
couple hundred miles off the New Jersey coast. The high will move
slowly eastward today and tonight, but a ridge axis will continue
to extend southwestward across Virginia and into western North
Carolina. Surface pressures across the northern Bahamas and
Florida are fairly low, and this difference in pressure will
maintain an east-northeasterly wind across the Carolina coastal
waters. Wind speeds of 15 kt this morning should diminish to
10-15 kt this afternoon.
Seas have been churned up by the wind over the past 8-12 hours
and buoy reports at 6 AM include 4.3 feet 5 miles SE of
Wrightsville Beach and 4.6 feet at Frying Pan Shoals. These areas
of 4+ foot seas should die away by noon with 2-3 foot seas
anticipated for the afternoon into tonight.
SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/...
As of 300 AM Wednesday...High pressure along 40 degrees latitude
will continue to weaken Thursday and Friday even as a ridge axis
extends southwestward across Virginia and western North Carolina.
As the pressure gradient decays between the weakening high and
lower pressures present across the Bahamas and Florence, wind
speeds should diminish to around 10 knots by Thursday night into
Winds this light would normally equate to 2 foot seas, however
we`ll begin to pick up a long period east-southeast swell from at
least one and perhaps two tropical systems in the Atlantic. This
should create combined sea heights of 3 feet to locally 4 feet by
LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
As of 300 AM Wednesday...Weak Sfc ridging from the ene on
Saturday will produce a 10 to 15 kt ene wind across the area
waters. Wind driven waves or even a pseudo ground swell will
dominate the significant seas with 3 to 4 ft common with a few 5
footers possible, with periods in the 6 to 8 second period range.
For Sunday, the sfc ridging re-positions to a "new" center of high
pressure moving across the NE States. The sfc pg does increase,
resulting in NE winds at a solid 15 kt possibly up to 20 kt. The
2 to 4 foot pseudo ground swell at 6 to 8 second periods, will
become mixed with the easterly leader swells from Gaston running
at 13 to 16 second periods.
Wavewatch3 and locally run SWAN models, both respectively
indicate the leader swells from Gaston, located over the High
Seas of the Atlantic at this time period, will begin affecting
the local waters by midday Sunday and continuing there-after. The
combined pseudo ground swell and leader swells from Gaston, could
reach SCA thresholds during the aftn and night. Will advertise
this in the hazardous weather outlook.
As of 300 AM Wednesday...Shortly before 2 AM this morning
Wilmington`s official temperature here at the airport touched 69
degrees. This ends the streak of consecutive days with low temps 70
degrees or warmer at 58, now the all-time longest streak in
Wilmington history dating back to 1874.
Wilmington`s Consecutive Days with Low Temperatures 70+ degrees
#1 58 days 6/27/2016 to 8/23/2016
#2 56 days 6/29/2012 to 8/23/2012
#3 52 days 6/22/1941 to 8/12/1941
#4 48 days 7/ 6/1986 to 8/22/1986
#5 46 days 6/28/1991 to 8/12/1991
Yesterday morning the streak of consecutive 70+ low temps in
Florence was broken at 62 days. This is also an all-time record for
Florence dating back to 1948.
Florence`s Consecutive Days with Low Temperatures 70+ degrees
#1 62 days 6/22/2016 to 8/22/2016
#2 60 days 6/26/2005 to 8/24/2005
#3 55 days 7/ 6/1975 to 8/29/1975
#4 46 days 7/10/2010 to 8/24/2010
#5 45 days 6/11/2015 to 7/25/2012
#5 45 days 6/28/1991 to 8/11/1991
From a climate perspective, the summer of 2016 has been interesting
in that daily highs and lows have been among the warmest average
readings in history without having any individually extremely hot
days. In Wilmington since June 1st our average high temperature is
the fifth hottest in history and average low temperature is the
third hottest, but the highest temperature this summer of only 98
degrees was not exceptional at all. Florence since June 1st has had
its seventh hottest average daily high temp, record hottest daily
low temp, but the highest temperature of the summer at 98 degrees is
actually cooler than the "normal" hottest annual temp of 101.