Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 220722 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 322 AM EDT Wed Mar 22 2017 .SYNOPSIS...
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A cooldown gets underway today as high pressure builds in through Friday from the north. As this high moves more offshore over the weekend a warmup will ensue. Minor rain chances are expected Sunday as a weak upper disturbance passes well to our north.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
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As of 300 AM Wednesday...That was quite an MCS we had overnight! Reports of damaging winds within our forecast area have been limited to Darlington County, although we wouldn`t be surprised if damage also occurred across Dillon or even western Robeson counties. Reports typically trickle in after sunrise, so look for LSRs to be issued if and when we receive any additional reports. A wave of low pressure associated with the MCS will move off the NC coast by 5 AM. A cold front moving southward behind the low will sweep across southeastern NC and northeastern SC shortly thereafter. Drier air already in place across southern Virginia will spread southward, eroding any remaining low clouds by early afternoon. Breezy northeast winds will gust to 25 mph most of the day as low- level lapse rates steepen due to sunshine and cold advection. Highs should reach the lower-mid 60s over SE North Carolina, and 65-70 over NE South Carolina. Tonight: for the fifth time this month the airmass will become unseasonably cold and bring the potential of one or potentially two nights of freezing temperatures. A freeze watch has been issued for Pender and Bladen counties where the best potential of freezing temperatures will exist. Despite winds remaining in the 4-8 mph range for most locations overnight, 850 mb temps falling to 0C to -2C across SE North Carolina should result in low temperatures in the 30s for all but the immediate coast of South Carolina. Average temperatures this month have run around 4 degrees below normal, with multiple freeze events turning March 2017 into a nightmare for local farmers.
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&& .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/...
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As of 300 AM Wednesday...Canadian high pressure over the Great Lakes will move down to the Mid-Atlantic coast Thursday, then offshore Friday. After a partly sunny and chilly day Thursday (highs only 55- 60) a gradual modification of the airmass will occur beginning Thursday night with 850 mb temps forecast to rise by several degrees as winds at this level turn southwesterly. Good radiational cooling Thursday night along with higher dewpoints will produce the potential for frost across the normally colder peat/pocosin areas of SE North Carolina. Depending on later forecasts, a Frost Advisory may be needed for at least Pender and Bladen counties. By Friday the surface high should be far enough offshore to allow southeasterly winds to develop across the entire area. Warmer and more humid air will spread onshore and highs should reach 70 degrees inland from the coast.
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&& .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
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As of 300 AM Wednesday... Return flow underway on Saturday expected to bring unseasonable warmth. Upper ridge axis should stay close enough to the coast to keep mid levels fairly dry. This changes fairly quickly Saturday night into Sunday and moisture depth may increase. Two large shortwaves try to impinge upon our upper ridge but appear to largely be shunted over it to the north. It appears that late period moisture depth may actually decrease. So while some minor late weekend rain chances may materialized they should dwindle heading into next week. Daytime highs will remain above climo, generally in the mid to upper 70s but trending towards 80 inland late in the period. Nighttime lows will similarly be mild, and the deviations from climo will tend to mirror the degree of cloud cover.
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&& .AVIATION /06Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 06Z...A mesoscale convective system (MCS) is moving across the eastern Carolinas now with a large area of light to moderate rainfall and embedded thunderstorm activity. A gust of outflow winds has turned wind directions mainly westerly, and surface gusts could exceed 20 knots over the next couple of hours. This system should tend to diminish in organization over the next 2-3 hours, with convective elements diminishing and replaced by stratiform light rain falling from a dense mid and upper level cloud deck. Precipitation should end even along the coast by 10Z. Low clouds may develop across North Carolina over the next several hours as a cold front moves south and encounters moisture left behind from the earlier storms. A region of low MVFR to perhaps IFR ceilings is most likely to develop along the coast in the 10-14Z timeframe, with less likelihood that it will extend inland to affect the LBT or FLO airports. After 14-15Z dry air pushing in from the south should erode any lingering lower clouds, and VFR conditions will persist the remainder of the day on gusty northerly winds. Extended outlook...VFR. && .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 300 AM Wednesday...A wave of low pressure exiting the North Carolina coast this morning will allow a cold front to move southward across the waters beginning around sunrise. Behind this front, northeast winds will accelerate to 20-25 kt with a few gusts approaching 30 kt possible. The Small Craft Advisory has been advanced to begin at 7 AM when the surge of stronger winds may begin north of Cape Fear. Canadian high pressure up over the Great Lakes will maintain these breezy northeast winds through tonight and beyond. Seas currently only 2-4 feet will build to as high as 6-7 feet across open waters by this evening, maintaining that height through tonight. SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 AM Wednesday...The Canadian high will be situated across the Mid-Atlantic region Thursday morning and should move off the Virginia and Maryland coast Friday. As often occurs, a westward extension of this high will extend back across North Carolina. This will weaken our pressure gradient and keep wind directions from veering southeasterly as quickly as one might think. Small Craft Advisory conditions will probably persist into Thursday afternoon before diminishing Thursday evening. LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 300 AM Wednesday...The above normal temperatures will give a clue as to expected marine conditions. That is, the area will be in a return flow regime around sprawling Atlantic high pressure. Wind will thus be southerly and for the most part be capped at 10 kt though a few higher gusts certainly hard to rule out. A minor increase in the long shore swell energy could make for an increased presence of 4 ft seas along the outer portions later Sunday in an otherwise 2 to 3 ft wave environment.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
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SC...None. NC...Freeze Watch from late tonight through Thursday morning for NCZ096-105. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from 8 AM this morning to 5 PM EDT Thursday for AMZ250-252-254-256.
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&& $$ SYNOPSIS...MBB NEAR TERM...TRA SHORT TERM...TRA LONG TERM...MBB AVIATION...TRA

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