Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 130313 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 1013 PM EST Thu Jan 12 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Unseasonable warmth will continue through Friday as high pressure sits off the coast. A backdoor cold front will temper the warmth over the weekend slightly before it retreats back to the north early next week allowing for another warmup. Showers will increase on Thursday ahead of an approaching cold front. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM FRIDAY MORNING/...
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As of 1000 PM Thursday...Satellite shows virtually clear skies across the Forecast Area late this evening. Temps varied greatly from place to place, largely a function of light to calm winds. The coolest spots were already at forecast lows while the warmest spots were still in the lower 60s. We do expect the cool spots to stabilize as the low levels were fully saturated while the warmer spots stair step down as the light winds allow. Clearer skies and light winds will allow for stronger radiational cooling. Dewpoints remain unseasonably high, but soils have had some time to dry out. Model soundings support the development of late night fog and are hinting at sea stratus/fog overnight at the coast. However, given there has been little to no sea stratus and sea fog thus far with this latest warmup, am inclined to keep forecast coverage patchy overnight. Surface and mid level high pressure will remain the dominant features through the night.
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&& .SHORT TERM /6 AM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Thursday...Mid level ridge will remain in place but gradually weaken Fri into Sat as weak backdoor cold front settles south across the region. Front will pass dry Fri evening with a cooler air mass building in behind it for Sat. Ahead of the front southwest flow around the western side of surface ridge will lead to temperatures well above climo. Highs will be well into the 70s away from the coast. Northerly flow Fri night spreads cooler air into the region, 850 temps drop a couple degrees C overnight, and lows end up in the mid to upper 40s which is still around 10 degrees above climo. Cooler air continues to spread over the area Sat as the surface high ridges south under the gradually weakening ridge aloft. Isentropic lift is on the weak side and not expecting any rainfall but low clouds will be widespread and highs, while still above climo, will only be a few degrees above with highs ranging from upper 50s to lower 60s. Temps remain above climo Sat night but will be slightly cooler than Fri night, mainly due to the cooler temps Sat. && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 300 PM Thursday...Zonal flow aloft will keep front running west to east stalled north of area closer to VA/NC border early Sunday, but as the mid to upper ridge builds to the west of us, it will help to push this boundary south Sun night into early Mon. Models do not show much more than some clouds making it into ILM forecast area Sun night, but combined with slight CAA, temps should be a few degrees cooler on Mon. As ridge shifts east and builds up the southeast coast, the warmer and moister SW flow aloft will run over the shallow cool NE flow at the sfc and may end up with low clouds over the forecast area in a wedge set up through early next week. May see some sea fog or stratus over the waters and coast come Mon night into Tues along and east of coastal trough. Temps on Sunday should reach the mid 60s while Monday, temps will be closer to 60. This wedge will be eroded on Tues as coastal trough/warm front blows north through the day. May see some low end pcp associated with this front. This will produce a deeper southerly warmer and more humid flow late Tues through Wed with temps rebounding to 70 plus across the area with increased sunshine. By Thurs, clouds and chc of showers will increase ahead of an approaching cold front. && .AVIATION /00Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
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As of 00Z...Mainly VFR conditions are expected through the period. However, there is the possibility of brief MVFR/IFR BR/FG possible between 08Z and 13Z, especially for the inland terminals. Confidence on timing and extent is low. Extended outlook...MVFR/IFR conditions possible Saturday night with low cigs. Otherwise VFR.
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&& .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 1000 PM Thursday...Gradient over the water remains light with high pressure to the northeast the main feature. Southwest winds will remain under 10 kt through the period with seas 2 to 3 ft. Still watching for the development of sea fog/stratus. Models continue to hint at its development, but satellite still shows no apparent sea fog this eve. Dewpoints are only marginally supportive. Overall trajectories remain favorable as does the lack of a significant gradient. Will forecast patchy overnight fog across the waters. SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Thursday...Light southwest flow on Fri will become north to northeast Fri night as cold front drops south across the waters. Surge behind the front is likely to push winds close to 20 kt by midnight across northern zones and a few hours after midnight in southern zones. Duration of the surge is pretty short and by daybreak Sat speeds will be trending down. Winds on the high end of the 10 to 15 kt range Sat morning drop closer to 10 kt later Sat and Sat night. LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 300 PM Thursday...light and variable winds will start the day on Sunday as front remains stalled to the north. By late Sunday into Monday, this front will drop south with winds shifting to the north behind it as high pressure wedges in. Seas will generally be 3 ft or less through the period but expect a slight uptick in northerly flow behind front overnight Sunday. A coastal trough/warm front will develop late Mon into Tues which may create more variable winds before a solid S-SW flow develops as wedge erodes and warm front moves north on Tues.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ NEAR TERM...RJD SHORT TERM...III LONG TERM...RGZ AVIATION...RAN

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