Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 181054 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 555 AM EST Thu Jan 18 2018 .SYNOPSIS... Cold and dry Arctic air, will spread into the region through today. Temperatures will warm into the weekend as high pressure moves offshore. Another cold front will bring rain chances by Monday evening, but little cooling, and temperatures are expected to remain above normal into next week. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 300 AM Thursday...A potent mid to upper low over eastern NC continues to squeeze out any available moisture with snow showers or flurries just coming to an end across coastal NC. There was little to no accumulation across the area but places to our northwest just a county over from our local forecast area received upwards of 2 inches. As this deep low moves east and then lifts off to the northeast through this morning, deep NW flow on the back end will continue to feed in plenty of cold and dry air. This blast of Arctic air, arriving in force with gusty NW winds up to 25 mph, will continue to drive down the temps through this morning. Most readings should be in the lower 20s with some spots dropping just below 20. The combination of these chilly temps and brisk NW winds will produce wind chills between 10 and 15 degrees this morning. These winds should help to dry off the water on the roadways through the morning, but be careful of any possible ice spots during this morning`s commute. Skies will clear through this morning from west to east leaving bright sunshine across the area today. The winds will back and weaken slowly through this afternoon as high pressure builds in from the west. Temps will only rebound into the upper 30s to lower 40s as this cold Arctic air mass remains over the Carolinas. High pressure will shift east settling south of the area through later today into tonight. This will leave a light W-SW flow from the surface up through the low to mid levels of the atmosphere with a continued dry and cold air mass in place. Although 850 temps begin to recover through tonight, the atmosphere will decouple with decent radiational cooling. Therefore expect temps to drop off rapidly, down below freezing this evening once again and down into the mid 20s for overnight lows. && .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 AM Wednesday...The surface weather pattern Friday and Saturday will be very quiet as high pressure over Alabama makes its way off the Georgia coast by Saturday afternoon. In the low levels of the atmosphere this means we`ll maintain a light west to southwesterly wind with gradually warming temperatures through the period. I`ve boosted forecast highs both days by a couple degrees, but even then this leaves me on the low end of guidance for Saturday where my forecast highs are around 60 degrees. For a month where our temperatures have averaged 7 to 9 degrees below normal so far, this will feel wonderful. In contrast to the surface pattern, the upper levels may become a little more convoluted as an upper level low ejects eastward along the Gulf Coast into the southern stream of the jet on Saturday. Some high clouds could move across the Carolinas Saturday and Saturday night ahead of this feature, but the near-absence of low level baroclinicity plus a poorly positioned jet should prevent the development of any surface feature. Dry weather should continue. && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 300 PM Tuesday...The chief caption this period "Warming Trend". Even in wake of a cold front early next week, minimal cold air advection is seen, as the upper pattern sees a SE ATLC upper ridge gradually expand NW into the area. A weak cold pool aloft meanders eastward along the Gulf Coast this weekend and offshore by Monday, will little sensible weather impacts here. As a result, much of next week may feature sunshine and 60s in the afternoons, likely feeling like an early spring compared to the recent weather pattern. Aside from late Monday and early Tuesday, this entire period will maintain a dry column and low PWAT values. The coldest period, will be Saturday morning, near freezing, the mildest, perhaps just ahead of the cold front Monday into the upper 60s by afternoon. Tuesday looks to be the breeziest day in wake of the cold front, with W-NW breezes. && .AVIATION /12Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 12Z...High confidence for VFR conditions through the forecast period. Cold air advection will continue with falling dewpoints and gusty northwest winds. Temperatures will be below normal with highs barely in the 40s. Diminishing winds tonight with more cold morning lows. Extended Outlook...VFR. && .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 300 AM Thursday...Strong NW winds behind Arctic cold front, up to 20 to 25 kts, will continue into the morning hours. Buoy observations were showing frequent gusts over 30 kts. These strong winds have driven seas up to 5 to 7 ft, maintaining Small Craft Advisory conditions. The strong off shore flow will keep highest seas in the outer waters. The SCA is on target to expire at 7 am for southern 2 marine zones and by early aftn for northern zones as the gradient begins to weaken as low pressure system lifts off to the northeast. May need to post precautionary headlines for a few hours once SCA ends as winds and seas will remain elevated until later this afternoon. Winds will back slightly to W-NW as high pressure builds in from the west through tonight, with center remaining south of the local waters. Overall, winds and seas will diminish leaving 2 to 4 ft seas and 10 to 15 kt winds by tonight SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 AM Wednesday...High pressure centered over Alabama Friday morning will move east and off the Georgia coast Saturday afternoon. Southwest to west winds 10-15 kt are expected through the period with seas around 2 feet, primarily in east-southeasterly 10 second swells. Dry weather conditions are expected through the period. LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...Welcoming and friendly marine conditions this period, particularly in wake of recent weather. With high pressure offshore, a milder return SW flow will prevail, with seas 3 feet or less, and even 1-2 feet at times, with winds less than 15 kt. Seas will begin to build Monday as sustained SE fetch offshore, starts pushing wave energy toward our coast. By Monday night seas of 4-5 ft in 7 second intervals, may be rolling in. No TSTMS this period, but a few rain showers can be expected Monday night, as a cold front crosses the coast. Inshore water temperatures were in the upper 40s to lower 50s. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 7 AM EST this morning for AMZ254- 256. Small Craft Advisory until 1 PM EST this afternoon for AMZ250- 252. && $$ NEAR TERM...RGZ SHORT TERM...TRA LONG TERM...MJC AVIATION...43 is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.