Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 220729 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 329 AM EDT Sat Jul 22 2017 .SYNOPSIS...
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Hot and humid conditions will peak today before beginning to moderate with more typical summertime heat expected next week. A cold front, approaching from the north, should push into the area mid week and then remain in close proximity through late week. The risk for thunderstorms with heavy rain will return next week.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
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As of 300 AM Saturday...Although the expansive mid level ridge over much of the central and eastern CONUS will begin weakening today the overall impact of its weakening will be minimal. Forecast soundings still show a good amount of mid-level dry air and subsidence. Isolated cumulus development along the sea breeze is likely but what does develop will have limited vertical depth. Slightly deeper convection will develop west of the area, along the Piedmont trough but even here little more than an isolated storm is likely given the unfavorable environment. Will carry slight chc pop for inland locations but the bulk, if not all, of the region will remain dry. Bigger story today will once again be the heat with both temps and dew points running a little higher than yesterday. All of the major guidance agrees on 850 temps approaching 20C this afternoon which translates to highs in the upper 90s. The sea breeze will make temps closer to the coast tricky, likely keeping highs in the low to mid 90s. Although low level winds had a southwest component on Fri the winds at 850 were more westerly. Today the 850 winds will back to southwest, helping increase low level moisture in the area. Moisture increase will not be enough to generate a lot of cloud cover or storms but will lead to higher heat index values. Latest forecast has all counties in the forecast area peaking between 105-109, except the immediate coast. It appears even most of the coastal zones will be close to the 105 mark so will add all zones within a heat advisory for today. Inland areas will be close to 110 and a few areas may exceed this thresholds but it currently appears that the bulk of these areas will remain at or below 109, and not require issuance of an excessive heat warning. Boundary layer winds and increased low level RH will keep lows well above climo overnight. Isolated marine convection may develop but the majority of this activity will remain offshore.
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&& .SHORT TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/...
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As of 300 AM Saturday...The Forecast Area will be in between two areas of high pressure. One area of hot high pressure will retrograde westward as the Bermuda High remains to our E. This will allow an upper trough to slowly dig across the eastern CONUS. At the surface, the Piedmont trough will remain prominent through Mon while a cold front slowly slips down the east coast, likely lying just to our N Tue morning. This scenario will allow for still humid, but slightly lower high temps, especially by Mon. Clouds will be more prevalent Mon as compared to Sun. The risk for thunderstorms will be increasing and should be highest Mon and Mon night as precipitable water values climb to near 2.25 inches. At this time, will show small POPs Sun with POPs trending higher and perhaps becoming numerous by Mon/Mon night. High moisture content should allow for very heavy rainfall amounts where thunderstorms are able to train. Temps on Sun will still be in the lower to mid 90s which will produce heat index values at or above 105 degrees across most areas and so a Heat Advisory may be required that day. On Mon, highs will be in the lower 90s. Heat index values on Mon are not expected to exceed 105 degrees, but may still top 100. Lows will be in the mid and upper 70s although if thunderstorms become widespread enough a cold pool may drop readings into the lower 70s.
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&& .LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/...
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As of 300 PM Friday...A shortwave trough moving through New England on Monday night, and a large upper low developing across southern Quebec will help put a dent in the heat. Falling upper level heights associated with these systems will shift the core of the upper ridge (and its associated heat) farther west into Texas and New Mexico. Don`t expect a cleansing frontal passage by stretch, (06Z GFS ensemble 850 mb temps don`t fall below climatology next week) but at least we should lose the 100+ heat indices for a few days. Both the GFS and ECMWF show a cold front moving into northern North Carolina on Tuesday. The GFS then sinks the boundary a little farther south by Wednesday morning. There are enough GFS ensemble members showing the front making it into South Carolina that I`m leaning toward the GFS in this case. This front should enhance the coverage of t-storms Tuesday night and Wednesday, and I`ve placed my highest forecast PoPs (50-60 percent) of the extended period during this period. With a progressive upper level pattern to our north, surface high pressure will push off New England and out into the western Atlantic Thursday and Friday, probably with enough southerly wind developing over the Carolinas to lift the front or its remnants back to the north.
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&& .AVIATION /06Z SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 06Z...VFR conditions will dominate the period with the only hint of any restrictions at inland sites where patchy fog could drop visibility to 5SM for short periods of time. Sea breeze will again develop with onshore flow at coastal terminals gusting around 20 kt at times. Only potential for afternoon storms appears to be at inland sites late afternoon and evening and even here chance is low. Have gone for VCTS at both FLO and LBT. Realistically any storms that do develop are likely to be farther to the west. Extended Outlook...VFR through Sunday. Brief MVFR/IFR possible in scattered showers and tstorms Mon and Tue due to a slowly approaching cold front from the NW. && .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 300 AM Saturday...Southwest flow around west side of Bermuda High will continue through the period. Gradient along the coast will be a little tighter than on Fri and onshore flow will be a bit stronger near the coast. Gusts in excess of 20 kt in the afternoon and early evening are likely. Seas around 3 ft today will build to 3 to 4 ft later today and remain there overnight. Isolated 5 ft will be possible in the vicinity of Frying Pan shoals. SHORT TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 AM Saturday...Small Craft Should Exercise Caution headlines may be required for at least a portion of the time. A Piedmont trough on Sun will allow for a tightening pressure gradient across the waters. As upper trough slowly digs across the eastern CONUS, a cold front will slip progressively south, likely lying just N of the waters Tue morning. The approach of this front will keep the gradient rather tight as well. The wind direction will be SW through the period. Wind speeds will be as high as around 20 kt Sun afternoon and eve and again Mon afternoon. Seas will be 4 to 5 ft through the period. LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 300 PM Friday...Bermuda High Pressure well offshore will lose its influence on our weather by the middle of next week as low pressure in the Canadian maritime provinces pushes a cold front down the U.S. East Coast. This front is shown by the latest GFS and ECMWF models to make it down to near Hatteras on Tuesday. Models diverge slightly on Wednesday as the ECMWF keeps the front stalled to our north and the GFS brings it down to the Myrtle Beach vicinity Wednesday morning. Regardless of which solution is correct, the frisky southwest winds of the weekend should diminish by Tuesday within the weaker pressure gradient near the front. Unfortunately thunderstorm potential should also increase as the front approaches.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ NEAR TERM...III SHORT TERM...RJD LONG TERM...TRA AVIATION...III

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