Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 250138 AFDILM AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC 838 PM EST WED DEC 24 2014 .SYNOPSIS...
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PERIODS OF RAIN AND ISOLATED CONVECTION WILL CONTINUE THIS EVENING AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT THAT WILL ACROSS THE CAROLINAS AND OFF THE COAST LATE TONIGHT. SUNSHINE IS EXPECTED TO MAKE A RETURN CHRISTMAS DAY AS DRY HIGH PRESSURE SOUTHWEST OF THE AREA OVERSPREADS THE CAROLINAS THURSDAY INTO THE EARLY WEEKEND. A COLD FRONT WILL DROP INTO THE SOUTHEAST ON SUNDAY WITH A FEW WAVES OF LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPING MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY NEXT WEEK...RESULTING IN UNSETTLED WEATHER ACROSS THE CAROLINAS.
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&& .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM THURSDAY MORNING/...
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AS OF 745 PM WEDNESDAY...THE SEVERE WX THREAT HAS WANED ACROSS THE ILM CWA. THE WORST CONVECTION IS NOW OVER THE OFFSHORE WATERS BETWEEN CAPE FEAR AND CHARLESTON...AND PULLING FURTHER OFFSHORE ATTM. THIS UPDATE WILL CONCENTRATE ON LOWERING POPS FROM WEST TO EAST THRUOUT THE EVENING AND OVERNIGHT. THE COLD FRONT REMAINS SLATED TO PUSH FROM WSW TO ENE ACROSS THE ILM CWA AND OFF THE COAST DURING THE LATE EVENING AND PRE-DAWN THU HOURS. LATEST HRRR INDICATES A THIN BAND OF POST FRONTAL -SHRA TO OCCUR ACROSS THE FA...AND WILL LEAVE IN A SMALL POP CHANCE UP TO AROUND OR JUST AFTER DAYBREAK THU. HAVE TWEAKED OVERNIGHT MINS TO ACCOUNT FOR LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING BOTH TEMP AND DEWPOINT TRENDS. LOWS FOR TONIGHT WILL LIKELY OCCUR AT OR JUST AFTER DAYBREAK THU. PREVIOUS DISCUSSION............................................... AS OF 334 PM WEDNESDAY...A MESSY DAY CONTINUES ACROSS THE EASTERN CAROLINAS ON THIS CHRISTMAS EVE. CHRISTMAS TIME WEATHER IS NOT USUALLY THOUGHT OF AS TEMPS AROUND 70 WITH HEAVY RAIN AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. HOWEVER...THAT IS JUST WHAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING TODAY. A DEEP UPPER TROUGH MOVING SLOWLY OVERHEAD THE MS VLY IS DRIVING STRENGTHENING LOW PRESSURE WHICH WILL MOVE UP INTO THE GREAT LAKES...DRAGGING A COLD FRONT ACROSS THE AREA LATE TONIGHT. AHEAD OF THIS FRONT...WIDESPREAD SHOWERS WITH EMBEDDED TSTMS WILL CONTINUE...WITH SOME RESIDUAL LIGHT RAIN PERSISTING EVEN A BIT BEHIND THE FROPA. NO LESS THAN 3 CONVERGENT BOUNDARIES HAVE CROSSED THE ILM CWA TODAY...THE LAST OF WHICH IS CURRENTLY MOVING INTO THE CAPE FEAR REGION. THESE BOUNDARIES HAVE BEEN PRIMARILY CHARACTERIZED BY TORRENTIAL RAINFALL AND FLOODING...BUT SOME ISOLATED WIND GUSTS AND EVEN A BRIEF TORNADO HAVE ALSO OCCURRED. THE WRF HAS OUTPERFORMED ALL OTHER HIGH-RES GUIDANCE THUS FAR TODAY...AND IS LEANED ON HEAVILY FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE NEAR TERM. THIS SUGGESTS THAT THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL WILL SLOWLY WIND DOWN THIS EVE AS WHAT INSTABILITY EXISTS...AS LIMITED AS IT IS...ERODES DUE TO CONTINUED RAINFALL AND LOSS OF DIURNAL HEATING. FORECAST PROFILES DO CONTINUE TO KEEP DECENT SATURATION INTO LATE TONIGHT...AND THUS EXPECT MORE STRATIFORM RAINFALL...WITH EMBEDDED CONVECTIVE ELEMENTS...TO CONTINUE UNTIL FROPA...WHICH SHOULD OCCUR AN HOUR OR SO EITHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT EST. THE SEVERE THREAT IS BASICALLY 0 FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE PERIOD...EXCEPT THE NEXT FEW HOURS WHERE THE STRONGER CONVECTIVE ELEMENTS COULD STILL BRING DOWN A WIND GUST FROM THE 50KT/2KFT LLJ. BEHIND FROPA...SOME VERY LIGHT RAIN MAY CONTINUE INTO MORNING...BUT IN A RAPIDLY DRYING STATE. TEMPERATURES UNTIL FROPA WILL REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY THANKS TO WAA...BUT WILL BEGIN TO CRASH BEHIND THE COLD FRONT AFTER MIDNIGHT. ONLY A FEW HOURS OF COOLING BEFORE DAYBREAK WILL LIMIT MINS TO AROUND 50 WELL INLAND...AND NEAR 60 RIGHT ALONG THE COAST.
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&& .SHORT TERM /6 AM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 334 PM WEDNESDAY...MAIN WEATHER HEADLINE IS THAT SUNSHINE IS SLATED TO MAKE A DEBUT CHRISTMAS DAY AS SHARP DRYING FOLLOWS A COLD FRONT SWEEPING OUT TO SEA BY DAYBREAK THURSDAY. HIGH PRESSURE OF GULF COAST ORIGIN WILL RESULT IN WEAK COOL AIR ADVECTION AND MAXIMUMS WILL REBOUND SLIGHT ABOVE NORMAL THURSDAY AND FRIDAY FOR LATE DECEMBER. FRIDAY DAYBREAK LIKELY THE COLDEST TEMPS THIS PERIOD WITH 30S WIDESPREAD ACROSS THE AREA...CLIMBING 25-28 DEGREES F BY AFTERNOON INTO THE LOW AND MIDDLE 60S UNDER SUNSHINE AND A FEW STRANDS OF CIRRUS. && .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... AS OF 330 AM WEDNESDAY...BEGINNING OF THE WEEKEND PLEASANT BUT HEIGHT FALLS AND AN APPROACHING COLD FRONT INTO SUNDAY WILL BRING CLOUDS AND AN INCREASING CHANCE OF RAIN INTO SUNDAY NIGHT. INDICATIONS ARE THE FRONT MAY STALL OVER OR NEAR THE FORECAST AREA MONDAY THROUGH MID-WEEK...ALLOWING FOR UNSETTLED WEATHER AS A SERIES OF WAVES TRAVEL ALONG THE STALLED BOUNDARY. BY DAYS 6/7 TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY...A COLD FRONT LOOKS TO BRING COOLING AND UNDERCUTS THE SW FLOW ALOFT. THIS MAY LEAD TO MURKY CONDITIONS AND MULTIPLE CHANCES OF RAIN/SHOWERS. && .AVIATION /01Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... AS OF 00Z...A MIXTURE OF VFR/MVFR/POSSIBLE IFR EXPECTED THROUGH TONIGHT DUE TO VARYING LOW CIGS...AREAS OF FOG...AND SCATTERED SHOWERS IN ASSOCIATION WITH AN APPROACHING COLD FRONT. CONDITIONS GRADUALLY IMPROVE LATE OVERNIGHT INTO CHRISTMAS DAY AS COLD FRONT PUSHES OFFSHORE. LATEST RADAR IMAGERY DEPICTS LIGHT TO MODERATE SHOWERS PUSHING EASTWARD ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA IN ASSOCIATION WITH AN APPROACHING COLD FRONT. AS A RESULT...AREAS OF LOW CIGS AND FOG AS WELL AS RAIN ARE CREATING MVFR AT A MAJORITY OF THE TERMINALS. WHILE COULD NOT ENTIRELY RULE OUT BRIEF DIP IN RESTRICTIONS TO IFR IN SOME LOCATIONS...CONFIDENCE IS LOW. SOUTH-SOUTHWEST WINDS AOB 10 KTS...WITH OCCASIONAL GUSTS UP TO 20 KTS...WILL SHIFT TO THE WEST BEHIND THE FRONT OVERNIGHT. BEHIND THE FRONT...EXPECT IMPROVING CONDITIONS TO BEGIN WITH WIDESPREAD VFR BY CHRISTMAS MORNING. EXPECT VFR AND GRADUALLY CLEARING SKIES THROUGHOUT THE DAY...WITH WESTERLY WINDS AOB 10 KTS THROUGH THE END OF THE VALID PERIOD. EXTENDED OUTLOOK...VFR THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY. RAIN RETURNING SUNDAY AND POSSIBLY MONDAY. && .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... AS OF 745 PM WEDNESDAY...BASED ON LATEST BUOY OBS...WINDS AND SEAS ACROSS THE ILM WATERS HAVE BASICALLY PEAKED DURING THE MID- AFTERNOON HRS. AND ARE NOW HOLDING STEADY. EXPECT ANOTHER TEMPORARY INCREASE IN WINDS AND RESULTANT SEAS LATER TONIGHT INTO EARLY DAYLIGHT THU DURING AND JUST AFTER THE COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE. WIND DIRECTIONS TO VEER FROM THE CURRENT SSW DIRECTION...TO WESTERLY LATE TONIGHT INTO DAYLIGHT THU. A TIGHTENED SFC PG WILL YIELD SPEEDS BETWEEN 15 TO 25 KT...WITH A FEW GUSTS TO 30 KT LEADING UP TO AND JUST AFTER THE CFP. SIGNIFICANT SEAS WILL HOLD RELATIVELY STEADY IN THE 5 TO 8 FT RANGE OVERNIGHT...HIGHEST ACROSS THE LOCAL WATERS BETWEEN CAPE FEAR TO LITTLE RIVER INLET. AVERAGE PERIODS WILL RUN 5.0 TO 6.0 SECONDS. PREVIOUS DISCUSSION............................................... AS OF 330 PM WEDNESDAY...TROPICAL AIRMASS CONTINUES TO ADVECT ACROSS THE WATERS ON STRONG S/SW FLOW. ALTHOUGH DEWPOINT TEMPERATURES HAVE RISEN TO AROUND 70 OVER THE COASTAL WATERS...STRONG WINDS OF 20 KTS OR MORE AND AIR-TO-OCEAN TEMP DIFFERENTIAL HAVE BEEN OUTSIDE THE CRITERIA TYPICALLY USED FOR MARINE FOG...AND THUS HAVE DROPPED THE MARINE DENSE FOG ADVISORY. THE SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS UNCHANGED HOWEVER...AS WINDS AND SEAS ARE WELL ABOVE THRESHOLDS. IN FACT...WILMINGTON HARBOR BUOY /41108/ RECENTLY HIT 9 FT...WITH FRYING PAN SHOALS /41013/ UP TO 11 FT. LOCAL SWAN GUIDANCE INITIALIZED TOO LOW SO BUMPED FORECAST WAVE HEIGHTS ABOUT 1 FT ACROSS ALL WATERS...AND EXPECT SEAS TO REMAIN WELL ABOVE 6 FT UNTIL FRONTAL PASSAGE AFTER MIDNIGHT. AT THAT TIME...WINDS WILL SHIFT QUICKLY TO THE W/NW WITH SPEEDS CONTINUING AROUND 20 KTS. HOWEVER...THE OFFSHORE WIND COMPONENT WILL PUSH THE HIGHEST SEAS AWAY FROM SHORE...AND SEAS WILL FALL TO 4-6 FT BY THURSDAY MORNING. SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 330 PM WEDNESDAY...MODERATE WINDS THURSDAY WILL EASE AND TURN NW LATER IN THE DAY. RESIDUAL WAVE ENERGY WILL TAKE MORNING TO SETTLE AND RECOVER...AND THE ADVISORY MAY NEED TO RUN THROUGH MOST IF NOT ALL OF MORNING. THURSDAY ANY STORMS WILL BE CONFINED TO THE GULF STREAM AND POINTS FARTHER TO SEA. LIGHT WINDS FRIDAY AND PLEASANT AS SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE MOVES NEARLY OVERHEAD OR JUST NORTH OF THE AREA. WINDS FRIDAY 10 KT OR LESS FROM NE-ESE. LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... AS OF 330 PM WEDNESDAY...SATURDAY FEATURES A SURFACE HIGH MIGRATING OFFSHORE AND WEAK RETURN WINDS FROM THE S. A COLD FRONT WILL DROP FROM THE N VERY LATE IN THE PERIOD MONDAY NIGHT AND BRING INCREASING NE WINDS...ALTHOUGH AT THIS TIME AN ADVISORY MAY NOT BE NEEDED. RAIN MAY REDUCE VSBYS BELOW 2-3 NM SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY IN PERIODS OF LIGHT RAIN OR DRIZZLE.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...NONE. NC...NONE. MARINE...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL 1 PM EST THURSDAY FOR AMZ250-252- 254-256. && $$ SYNOPSIS...MJC NEAR TERM...DCH/JDW SHORT TERM...MJC LONG TERM...MJC AVIATION...SGL

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