Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 242345 AFDILM AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC 645 PM EST TUE FEB 24 2015 .SYNOPSIS...
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LOW PRESSURE WILL PULL AWAY FROM THE CAROLINAS TONIGHT AS WEAK HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS OVERHEAD. A STRONG STORM SYSTEM WILL BRING RAIN AND POSSIBLY SNOW WELL INLAND LATE WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY MORNING. A MINOR WARMING TREND WILL BEGIN OVER THE WEEKEND. MOISTURE WILL RETURN EARLY NEXT WEEK.
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&& .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM WEDNESDAY MORNING/...
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AS OF 645 PM TUESDAY...ITS BEEN A HECTIC FEW HOURS HERE. A BAND OF MODERATE FREEZING RAIN THAT EXTENDED AS FAR WEST AS THE SC MIDLANDS EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON IS FINALLY PUSHING OFF THE COAST NEAR CAPE FEAR THIS EVENING. THIS PRECIPITATION FELL PRIMARILY ACROSS SE NORTH CAROLINA WHERE AIR TEMPERATURES WERE IN THE 28-31 RANGE...PRODUCING LARGE AMOUNTS OF FREEZING RAIN BETWEEN 2-6 PM. THE FREEZING RAIN SENSOR AT THE ILM (WILMINGTON) ASOS REPORTED 0.40 INCHES OF ICE ACCRETION TODAY. NORMALLY OUTPUT FROM THIS SENSOR AGREES QUITE WELL WITH HUMAN-OBSERVED ACCRETION ON ELEVATED OBJECTS AT THE NWS OFFICE...BUT THE ASOS SENSOR APPEARS TO HAVE RUN A LITTLE HIGH WITH ITS TOTALS TODAY AS WE ARE ESTIMATING CLOSER TO 0.25 INCHES OF ICE ACCRETION HERE. REPORTS RECEIVED VIA FACEBOOK AND TWITTER CONFIRM WIDESPREAD 0.25 INCH ICE ACCUMULATIONS AROUND THE CAPE FEAR AREA TODAY...VERIFYING THE ICE STORM WARNING THAT WAS ISSUED EARLIER. RADAR ECHOES ARE PUSHING OFFSHORE AT 40 KNOTS...HOWEVER ASOS/AWOS OBSERVATIONS AND A PHONE CALL FROM THE NCDOT IN LUMBERTON EARLIER CONFIRMS THAT A COUPLE HOURS OF FREEZING DRIZZLE CONTINUES BEHIND THE RADAR-OBSERVED BACK EDGE OF THE PRECIP SHIELD. FOR THIS REASON I WILL MAINTAIN THE WATCHES AND ADVISORIES UNTIL 8 PM EAST OF I-95. FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE OVERNIGHT PERIOD...IT APPEARS LOW CLOUDS WILL HOLD TOUGH FOR ALL BUT PERHAPS THE LUMBERTON-BENNETTSVILLE AREA WHERE SOME LIMITED CLEARING MAY DEVELOP LATE TONIGHT AS MOISTURE THINS FROM ALOFT. THIS WILL PREVENT ANY SIGNIFICANT RADIATIONAL COOLING AND LOWS SHOULD RANGE FROM 26-30...COOLEST NEAR LUMBERTON AND WARMEST NEAR GEORGETOWN. THE 12Z & 18Z GFS BOTH APPEAR TO BE UP THE SAME ANTICS PULLED DURING LAST WEEK`S ARCTIC COLD WHERE IT SEVERELY OVERESTIMATES RADIATIONAL COOLING POTENTIAL OVER MEAGER SNOWPACK ACROSS MUCH OF NORTH CAROLINA. THE 18Z NAM AND 22Z RUC LOOK MUCH MORE REASONABLE FOR TEMPERATURES OVERNIGHT.
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&& .SHORT TERM /6 AM WEDNESDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 300 PM TUESDAY...MAIN FORECAST EMPHASIS IS THE STORM SYSTEM CURRENTLY TAKING SHAPE IN THE NEW MEXICO REGION. THIS SYSTEM WILL RACE ACROSS THE SOUTHERN STATES OVER THE NEXT 24-48 HOURS IN WHAT IS BASICALLY A WESTERLY FLOW ALOFT. LOW PRESSURE WILL DEVELOP IN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND MOVE OFFSHORE...EAST OF CHARLESTON BY 0600 UTC THURSDAY. BY 1200 UTC THURSDAY THE LOW WILL BE WELL EAST OF THE OUTER BANKS. FORCING WITH THE SYSTEM WILL COME IN A COUPLED FASHION WITH LOWER LEVEL ISENTROPIC LIFT ON THE 290K SURFACE AND MID LEVEL FRONTOGENESIS. THE DOMINANT COMPONENT IS BY FAR THE ISENTROPIC LIFT AND THIS OF COURSE LEADS TO PRECIPITATION TYPE ISSUES ACROSS MOST OF THE AREA. FOR THE MOST PART...THERMAL PROFILES SUPPORT RAIN INITIALLY. AS DYNAMIC COOLING TAKES PLACE ALONG WITH HEAVIER QPF RATES SOUNDINGS COOL IN THE NORTHERN MOST COUNTIES TO MARGINALLY SUPPORT SNOW. THE MODELS IF ANYTHING HAVE TRENDED JUST A LITTLE WARMER HOWEVER AND CONFIDENCE IS NOT OVERWHELMING. THAT BEING SAID IF THE DYNAMIC LIFT IS A LITTLE STRONGER THAN PERFECT PROGS...A COOLING OF THE PROFILE COULD OCCUR WHICH WOULD LEAD TO MORE SUPPORT FOR SNOW. FOR NOW...I HAVE A RAIN AND SNOW MIX FOR MARLBORO...ROBESON AND BLADEN COUNTIES AND TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF JUST OVER TWO INCHES. THIS WARRANTS A WINTER STORM WATCH FOR THESE AREAS WHICH WILL BE RAISED THIS AFTERNOON. IT COULD BE A SITUATION WHERE SNOW IS THE PREDOMINANT TYPE WITH RAIN MIXING FROM TIME TO TIME...AT LEAST A COUPLE OF HOURS EITHER SIDE OF 0600 UTC. OVERALL I CANT RULE OUT A COUPLE OF INCHES OF VERY WET/HEAVY SNOW IN THESE AREAS. IF SNOW DOES INDEED DEVELOP...IT WONT TAKE LONG TO ACCUMULATE AS THE RATES SHOULD BE VERY HIGH...AGAIN AT LEAST FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS EITHER SIDE OF 0600 UTC. AS THE SYSTEM MOVES OUT BEYOND 0600 UTC PROFILES BRIEFLY SUPPORT SOME SNOW IN OTHER AREAS AND I HAVE AMOUNTS RANGING FROM 0.7 INCHES FROM NORTHWEST TO JUST OVER ONE HALF OF IN INCH CLOSER TO THE COAST. THIS CAN PROBABLY BE ADDRESSED WITH A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY...ALTHOUGH TECHNICALLY JUST UNDER CRITERIA BUT WITH A WINTER STORM WATCH FLOATING AROUND...IT MAY BE PRUDENT TO ISSUE AN ADVISORY FOR PUBLIC IMPACT...AFTER THE CURRENT ONE HAS EXPIRED. THE REMAINDER OF THURSDAY WILL FEATURE OVERCAST SKIES WITH PATCHY DRIZZLE. HIGH TEMPERATURES WILL STRUGGLE TO REACH 40. YET ANOTHER COLD AND BLUSTERY OVERNIGHT PERIOD FOR THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY MORNING WITH LOWS IN THE MIDDLE 20S. && .LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... AS OF 300 PM TUESDAY...BROAD LOW AMPLITUDE MID LEVEL FLOW ACROSS MOST OF THE CONUS ON FRIDAY WITH LARGE HIGH PRESSURE AT THE SURFACE CENTERED OVER EASTERN U.S. THIS WILL BRING A NORTHERLY FLOW LOCALLY THAT WILL KEEP TEMPERATURES BELOW CLIMO AND LIKELY QUITE A FEW CLOUDS TRAPPED UNDER AN INVERSION. NOT MUCH CHANGES HEADING INTO SATURDAY AND SO THE FORECAST IS QUITE SIMILAR. ON SUNDAY THE CENTER OF THE SURFACE HIGH SLIDES EAST AND EXTENDS A WEDGE AXIS INTO THE CAROLINAS WHILE OFFSHORE TROUGHINESS DEVELOPS. MODELS LOOKING WETTER AS THIS OCCURS AS WARM ADVECTION RIDES ATOP THIS SURFACE-BASED AIRMASS LEADS TO GOOD ISENTROPIC UPGLIDE. GUIDANCE ALSO SUGGESTING A MILDER AFTERNOON BUT THIS MAY NEED TO BE REVISITED ESPECIALLY IF RAIN DOES MATERIALIZE. THE WEDGE BREAKS DOWN RAPIDLY BY MONDAY ALLOWING FOR MODERATION IN TEMPERATURES AND PERHAPS SOME UNSEASONABLY MILD NIGHTS BUT THE MOISTURE WILL REMAIN AND SOME LIGHT RAIN CHANCES ARE STILL WARRANTED IF NOTHING ELSE DUE TO THE APPROACH OF A WEAK COLD FRONT. THIS BOUNDARY APPEARS TO STALL ACROSS THE AREA ON TUESDAY KEEPING CLOUDS AND RAIN IN THE FORECAST. && .AVIATION /00Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
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AS OF 00Z...MVFR TO IFR CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT PERIOD ACROSS THE TERMINALS ALONG WITH SOME ISOLATED POCKETS OF FREEZING DRIZZLE FOR THE COASTAL TERMINALS. PRECIPITATION IS SLOWLY MAKING AN EASTWARD PROGRESS AS MAIN LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM EXITS THE SE COASTS. WINDS WILL BECOME LIGHT AND WITH THE MOISTURE FROM TODAYS PRECIPITATION EXPECT BR AND FG ACROSS ALL TERMINALS WITH IFR/LIFR CONDITIONS UNTIL MORNING. ANOTHER LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL APPROACH THE REGION ON WEDNESDAY. PRECIPITATION CHANCES START TO INCREASE ACROSS THE INLAND TERMINALS AFTER 20Z AND WILL INCLUDE A TEMPO GROUP AT FLO/LBT TO ACCOUNT FOR THIS. THERE IS A CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION REACHING THE COASTAL TERMINALS AS WELL BUT I WILL NOT MENTION IN TERMINALS AT THIS TIME AS BETTER CHANCES EXIST AFTER 00Z AND TAF PERIOD. EXTENDED OUTLOOK...LOW PRESSURE WILL MOVE ACROSS THE TERMINALS WED AFTERNOON INTO THURS WITH VARIABLE FLIGHT CONDITIONS...RAIN AND WINTRY PRECIPITATION MAINLY AT KFLO/KLBT/KILM. BECOMING VFR FRI EXTENDING INTO SAT. MVFR/IFR/RAIN SUNDAY.
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&& .MARINE...
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.NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... AS OF 645 PM TUESDAY...LOW PRESSURE WELL EAST OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA COAST WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH NORTHEAST AND AWAY FROM THE AREA OVERNIGHT. THIS WILL ALLOW WEAK HIGH PRESSURE INLAND TO SPREAD DOWN TO THE COAST OVERNIGHT...WITH VEERING WINDS AND WEAKENING WIND SPEEDS. THE SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR THE NC WATERS WHERE THE FRYING PAN SHOALS BUOY IS STILL REPORTING 7.5 FOOT SEAS. WEST OF FRYING PAN SHOALS CONDITIONS APPEAR TO BE IMPROVING A LITTLE FASTER. NOTE THAT SOME WIND SENSORS NEAR THE COAST APPEAR TO HAVE FROZEN ANEMOMETER CUPS AND ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED. SHORT TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 300 PM TUESDAY...COASTAL WATERS WILL SEE A BRIEF RESPITE FROM RUGGED CONDITIONS EARLY WEDNESDAY AS WINDS WILL BE RELATIVELY LIGHT FROM THE NORTHWEST...TEN KNOTS OR LESS AS LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPS AND MOVES WELL OFFSHORE...WINDS WILL TURN TO THE NORTHEAST AND INCREASE IN MAGNITUDE TO 20-25 KNOTS BY EARLY THURSDAY MORNING. WINDS TURN TO A MORE NORTHERLY DIRECTION DURING THE DAY THURSDAY AND SEEM CONSISTENT IN A 10-15 KNOT RANGE...MOSTLY LEANING TOWARD THE HIGHER SIDE. SIGNIFICANT SEAS START OUT SLOW AS WELL 1-2 FEET THEN RAMP UP WELL INTO SMALL CRAFT CRITERIA BY LATE THURSDAY EVENING. BY LATE THURSDAY HEIGHTS DROP BACK A BIT PROBABLY BELOW SMALL CRAFT CRITERIA. LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... AS OF 300 PM TUESDAY...A LARGE AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE COVERING THE EASTERN U.S. TO BRING A NORTHERLY WIND LOCALLY THAT WILL BE MODERATE BUT NO FLAGS EXPECTED AT THIS TIME. THE CENTER OF THIS HIGH WILL SHIFT EAST A BIT ON SATURDAY BUT THE LOCAL EFFECTS WILL BE THOSE OF MINIMAL CHANGE. THE INCREASED DURATION OF THE LARGELY COAST-PARALLEL NE WINDS COULD ALLOW FOR AN UPTICK IN OFFSHORE SEAS BUT FOR NOW IT STILL SEEMS NO ADVISORIES WILL COME TO PASS. 5 FT SEAS WILL BE QUITE PREVALENT ACROSS MOST ZONES AWAY FROM SHORE BUT THE NEARSHORE WAVE SHADOWING MAY PRECLUDE EVEN CAUTIONARY HEADLINES. THE HIGH SHIFTS FURTHER EAST ON SUNDAY AND EXTENDS A RIDGE AXIS ITO THE CAROLINAS WHILE TROUGHINESS DEVELOPS JUST EAST OF THE FORECAST WATERS. THIS HAS CAST SOME UNCERTAINTY ON THE FORECAST AS WIND SPEED AND EVEN DIRECTION COULD VARY CONSIDERABLY DEPENDING ON WHERE THE TROUGH-BORN WIND SHIFT DECIDES TO SET UP. CURRENTLY IT SEEMS TO BE JUST FAR ENOUGH OFFSHORE THAT LOCAL WINDS STAY NORTHEASTERLY AND GROW A BIT LIGHTER.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
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SC...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 8 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR SCZ053- 054. WINTER STORM WATCH FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING FOR SCZ017. NC...ICE STORM WARNING UNTIL 8 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR NCZ105>109. WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 8 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR NCZ096- 099-110. WINTER STORM WATCH FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING FOR NCZ087-096. MARINE...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT FOR AMZ250-252.
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&& $$ SYNOPSIS...SHK NEAR TERM...TRA SHORT TERM...SHK LONG TERM...MBB AVIATION...MAC

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