Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 212330 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 630 PM EST Wed Feb 21 2018 .SYNOPSIS... Bermuda high pressure will remain anchored offshore through Sunday. Springlike weather with unseasonably warm temperatures will continue until a cold front arrives Monday morning. This front should bring a shot of rain to the area, followed by temperatures returning to near normal for the middle of next week. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...80 degrees reached at ILM, eclipsing a maximum temperature record today of 78 set in 2014. Cool SSE winds off the ocean at the `Grand Strand` may thwart a record high at CRE of 76 set 65 years ago in 1953. FLO though, within tenths of a degree in tying a record high of 81 in 1997. Anomalously strong upper ridge north of the Bahamas, impinging the US SE Coast, will circulate air whose temperatures are 18-22 degrees F above normal tonight and Thursday, reflecting an early May climatology. Have indicated isolated, brief, low-topped showers along the I-95 lane, late this afternoon and early evening tracking to NNE. Enough low-level instability and convergence is present, but moisture aloft terribly lacking. Nocturnal showers dotting the ocean, may take a swipe at the NE SC coast and Cape Fear region overnight into early Thursday, but this could hardly be described accurately as a `rain-event`, isolated at best. Fog appears poised to debut again tonight, higher confidence over land than water, since gradually, we are seeing SSTs rise inshore. Probability of a Dense Fog Advisory, is higher than `no` Dense Fog Advisory overnight. Have included sea fog over the waters, with coastal zones fog/mist impacts tonight and Thursday morning, persistence in the forecast playing a large role, as the pattern continues similarly. && .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...The main feature through the short term period will continue to be the strong and persistent mid level ridge off the southeast coast. The ridge does get pushed a little further south by the end of the period but will still yield primary influence across our CWA. At the surface high pressure remains in control as well as a weak cold front emanating from the activity out to the west currently will push only to the NC/VA border late Friday. As for temperatures, the MAV continues to advertise much warmer numbers as opposed to the MET and leaned more in favor of the warmer readings. && .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...The record-breaking upper level ridge should retrograde back into the Gulf of Mexico and across Florida by Saturday. An upper disturbance across the Plains states should damp out as it moves east into the ridge Sunday and Monday, but should still knock heights down enough to allow deep moisture pulled off the western Gulf of Mexico to reach the area Sunday night through Monday. Bermuda high pressure at the surface will remain off the Carolina coast through Sunday while continuing to advect an unseasonably warm and humid airmass into the area. A few record high temperatures will be possible again Saturday and Sunday. Sunday`s record high of 79 in Florence looks particularly breakable. The strong subsidence inversion associated with the upper ridge should rise to around 9000 feet AGL on Saturday, high enough to allow some pretty substantial cumulus to develop beneath the cap aloft. I`ve put a slight chance of showers in the forecast inland. By Sunday, increasing moisture ahead the front and the disappearance of the subsidence inversion should spread these showers chances down to the coast as well. The front itself should cross the area Monday morning, finally pushing the tropical airmass out of the area. Long-range models show rain chances peaking behind the front Monday morning as a ~12 hour period of isentropic lift overrunning the frontal surface develops aloft. Once the front pushes down into Georgia the drier, cooler air from the north should become deep enough to dry our weather back out, with more seasonable temperatures expected for Tuesday and Wednesday. It`s interesting to note that the tremendous negative temperature departures we rang up in early January (15-25 degrees below normal for seven consecutive days) will almost be cancelled out by the exceptional warmth we`re experiencing now (February 20-25). Since December`s temperatures averaged near normal, it`s likely the meteorological winter of 2017-2018 will go down in the record books as "near normal" for average temperature... despite the roller coaster ride we`ve been on seeming anything but normal! && .AVIATION /00Z THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
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As of 00Z...Southerly flow around Bermuda high pressure will continue to prime the low-levels with moisture, and conditions overnight will once again favor widespread dense fog. Confidence is fairly high in IFR conditions developing after midnight, with tempo LIFR before the fog lifts by late morning. Extended Outlook...Morning IFR/BR possible through Friday am. Showers and MVFR conditions possible Sunday through Monday, drying Tuesday.
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&& .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...Primary hazard remains potential for fog overnight, as diurnal cooling boosts RH over the sea, and mild moist flow continues to spread from the south. A `Marine Dense Fog Advisory` may be needed tonight and Thursday morning. `Fresh Swell` or `Mature Wind-Seas`, you could select either, in describing the dominant wave energy fanning ashore currently, and tonight, SE waves 3-4 feet every 7 seconds offshore, 2-3 ft inshore. Steady light southerly flow overnight 12 kt or less, as the sea breeze weakens in early evening. Thursday changes are small, but look for wave periods to stretch out to 9 seconds, resulting less steepness, but count on 3 ft seas at a minimum, and up to 4 ft offshore. No TSTMS this period, but isolated showers should be expected. SHORT TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...Little change in the offing for the coastal waters forecast. Surface high pressure off the southeast coast will continue to drive winds from the south around ten knots or so. Significant seas will be 2-3 feet with a few four footers possible on occasion across the outer waters. LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...Unseasonably well-defined Bermuda high pressure will maintain a south-southwesterly wind across the waters Saturday and Sunday. The approach of a cold front from the west Sunday should accelerate winds to around 20 knots during the day. There`s at least a chance conditions could reach Small Craft Advisory criteria. The front should finally cross the area early Monday morning with a shift to northerly winds. Weak high pressure to our north is expected to push the front down into Florida Monday night. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...TRA NEAR TERM...MJC SHORT TERM...SHK LONG TERM...TRA AVIATION...CRM

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