Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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464 FXUS62 KILM 310730 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 330 AM EDT WED AUG 31 2016 .SYNOPSIS...
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Unsettled conditions can be expected the next couple of days. By Friday a tropical system will move just offshore bringing with it strong winds and heavy rainfall. High pressure builds in for the Labor Day weekend with pleasant conditions which will continue well into next week.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
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As of 315 AM Wednesday...Significant swell from Gaston will continue today and a High Risk of Rip Currents remains in effect for all beaches. Weak low pressure at the mid and lower levels of the atmosphere will likely dissipate today along the southeast coast. Troughiness will linger along the Carolina coast with shortwave energy riding up the coast. The best upper level support should stay offshore. However, there will be added lift across the area as compared to Tue and precipitable water values will remain very high, near 2 inches. Factor in some heating and instability and we expect scattered showers and thunderstorms across most of the area with POPs lowering to slight chance from EYF to FLO and westward. The activity should be enhanced by heating, thus we expect convection will dwindle this eve, especially inland where we will drop POPs below threshold. It will be another warm and humid day with highs inland near 90 or in the lower 90s. As you near the coast, onshore flow and a greater coverage of clouds and showers should keep highs in the upper 80s with mid 80s at the beaches. Lows tonight will again be in the lower to mid 70s.
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&& .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/...
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As of 315 AM Wednesday...We will be closely monitoring the strength and track of a tropical cyclone this period. Latest information from the National Hurricane Center has a tropical cyclone tracking up the southeast coast. A strong cold front is still expected to move southeast and across the area Thu night and Fri morning. At the same time, the tropical cyclone will be accelerating to the NE ahead of the trough. The front will likely stall just offshore until the cyclone moves by, locking in a tropical environment. Once the tropical cyclone does move off to the NE, much drier and cooler air will be ushered in across the Carolinas, perhaps as early as late Fri night and Sat. Impacts across the forecast area and timing are not nailed down quite yet. However, certainly a much wetter picture is beginning to be painted as isentropic lift and a tropical system sync up. Our current best estimate is for 5 to 7 inches along the more immediate coastal areas and then 3 to 5 inches a little further inland with 1 to 3 inches for areas generally west of EYF, MAO to near CKI. A Flood Watch may be required for portions of the area if the current QPF projections hold. Also, with the new moon on Fri, and a strong onshore push, we may have to contend with coastal flooding for the immediate coast and along portions of the lower Cape Fear River during high tide. Other impacts will include beach erosion, strong rip currents and high and very rough surf. Storm surge is also possible, but the exact path of the storm will be crucial as to the magnitude of any surge. Finally, there is the wind to contend with and certainly the intensity of this system will largely determine that although proximity to land and overall geographic size will also be significant factors. Tropical storm force winds are certainly possible with a higher probability along the more immediate coast than areas well inland. The strongest winds should occur over the waters. The National Hurricane Center will continue to monitor with NOAA aircraft routinely investigating the storm. Tropical headlines will be issued as confidence in the track and timing increases, perhaps as early as later today or tonight for portions of the area.
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&& .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
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As of 315 AM Wednesday...The mid level pattern will transition to one of modest ridging with the center in the southeast with somewhat deep troughing out west. At the surface it will be massive high pressure building in from north and moving little as the parent pattern moves slowly. There is only one hint of pops through the period with a surge front Saturday but even this seems a stretch. The latest MEX guidance remains consistent with highs in the lower to mid 80s and overnight lows in the 60s. Still no 50s in the guidance but close in LBT with 62.
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&& .AVIATION /07Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 06Z...Mostly VFR conditions for the overnight hours outside of a few MVFR conditions at CRE and MYR. It appears a weak piece of energy in the moist and elongated trough extending into the Gulf of Mexico is kicking off a few showers and an occasionalrumble of thunder. This will be the case through the forecast cycle with activity probably becoming more widespread Wednesday afternoon and evening. Used VCSH and VCTS to address. EXTENDED OUTLOOK...There is uncertainty with the potential of what could become widespread MVFR conditions in rain and low ceilings near the coast Friday as a tropical storm moves well offshore. Breezy north winds could also occur. && .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 315 AM Wednesday...Winds and seas will be rather benign this period. Swell from Gaston will be the primary driver of seas, up to 3 to 4 ft. Winds will be up to 15 kt, strongest this afternoon and eve. An easterly wind direction will dominate with winds backing to northerly later tonight as trough/weak low pressure moves off. SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 315 AM Wednesday...Much more dangerous marine conditions are expected to develop across the waters with the worst of the conditions likely to develop from S to N beginning late THU night and FRi and then beginning to gradually improve, again from S to N, Fri night. The timing and specifics hinge on a cold front reaching the area Fri morning as a tropical cyclone accelerates to the NE along and ahead of this strong front. Tropical storm force winds are currently in the forecast, but wind speeds will be adjusted in later forecasts and will be highly dependent on the exact track and intensity of the tropical cyclone as it reaches our latitude. It is not impossible that winds and seas could be higher than currently forecast. Mariners should continue to closely monitor later forecasts. Tropical headlines will be issued as needed with later forecasts. SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 315 AM Wednesday...A few hours of strong northerly winds will continue across the waters Saturday morning as a tropical system pulls away quickly to the northeast. By Saturday evening wind speeds will be down to ten knots or less from northeast. As high pressure builds in Sunday speeds will increase a touch to 10-15 knots. Significant seas will follow a similar trajectory with a healthy 4-7 feet early Saturday to 3-5 feet later Sunday.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...High Rip Current Risk through this evening for SCZ054-056. NC...High Rip Current Risk through this evening for NCZ106-108-110. MARINE...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...SHK NEAR TERM...RJD SHORT TERM...RJD LONG TERM...SHK AVIATION...SHK MARINE...

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