Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 270837 AFDILM AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC 337 AM EST SAT DEC 27 2014 .SYNOPSIS...
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DRY HIGH PRESSURE WILL MOVE OFFSHORE TODAY. RETURN WINDS BEHIND THE HIGH WILL BRING INCREASING ATLANTIC MOISTURE FOR THE SECOND PART OF THE WEEKEND. RAIN CHANCES WILL CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK. A COLD FRONT WILL CROSS THE COAST TUESDAY...FOLLOWED BY DRY HIGH PRESSURE FOR THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW YEAR.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
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AS OF 330 AM SATURDAY...AN UPPER RIDGE AXIS WILL SHIFT SLOWLY EAST TODAY AND TONIGHT...PULLING THE CENTER OF SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE OFFSHORE. NEUTRAL HEIGHTS RISES OVER THE AREA HOWEVER WILL ALLOW A WESTWARD EXTENSION OF THE HIGH...PROVIDING FAIR CONDITIONS AND MILD TEMPERATURES ABOVE NORMAL FOR LATE DECEMBER. THIS WILL ALSO RESULT IN VERY WEAK RETURN FLOW. THE LAND VS SEA TEMP DIFFERENTIAL IN THE AFTERNOON MAY DRIVE A WEAK ONSHORE BREEZE NEAR THE COAST WHEREAS INLAND A LIGHT SW FLOW SHOULD PREVAIL. THIS WILL PRODUCE EARLIER MAXIMUMS NEAR THE SEA. WE SHOULD RACK UP PLENTY SUNSHINE MINUTES TODAY RELATIVELY SPEAKING FOR EARLY WINTER. PRIMARILY HIGH CLOUDS WILL TRACK WSW TO ENE OVER NE SC AND SE NC TODAY. CLOUDS THICKEN TONIGHT AS AN UPPER GULF MOISTURE TAP ALIGNS OVER THE AREA AHEAD OF AN UPPER TROUGH CUTTING THROUGH TEXAS. ALSO A WEAK LOW LEVEL ATLANTIC MOISTURE TAP COULD BRING OCEAN CUMULUS AND FEW SPRINKLES ALONG THE SOUTH COAST AND CAPE FEAR TOWARD DAYBREAK SUNDAY. THE CLOUDS OVERNIGHT WILL SLOW COOLING AND MINIMUMS AT DAYBREAK SUNDAY IN THE RETURN FLOW REGIME...44-48 INLAND AND 49-52 ALONG THE COASTAL ZONES/ICW CORRIDOR.
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&& .SHORT TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/...
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AS OF 330 AM SATURDAY...LOW CONFIDENCE FORECAST WITH ELONGATED AND WEAKLY FORCED COLD FRONT AFFECTING THE AREA THROUGH THE SHORT TERM PERIOD. A COUPLE OF SHORTWAVES WILL RIDE THROUGH THE BROAD SOUTHWEST FLOW ALOFT WHICH WILL ENHANCE RAINFALL THROUGH THE PERIOD. THE FIRST ONE MISSES OUR AREA TO THE NORTH SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. AREAS TO THE WEST WILL SEE RAIN...BUT OUR AREA COULD REMAIN DRY. IN FACT...MODELS HAVE NUDGED THE SURFACE RIDGE A LITTLE FURTHER NORTH WITH THE LATEST CYCLES. CAVEAT TO THIS IS THE CAPE FEAR AREA WHERE THE NAM PAINTS A LITTLE LIGHT RAIN MOVING ACROSS SUNDAY MORNING VIA LOW LEVEL CONVERGENCE. PAST EXPERIENCE...THIS SEEMS TO HAPPEN A LOT AND I HAVE ADJUSTED POPS ACCORDINGLY. MONDAY LOOKS A LITTLE MORE STRAIGHT FORWARD AS ANOTHER WAVE MOVES ACROSS WITH LIGHT RAIN AND DRIZZLE LIKELY PRETTY MUCH ALL DAY AND WELL INTO THE EVENING HOURS. TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE IS IN FAIRLY GOOD AGREEMENT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HIGHS IN WILMINGTON SUNDAY. THE NAM/MET IS CONSIDERABLY COOLER PROBABLY DUE TO THE AREA OF LIGHT RAIN MOVING ACROSS. STILL EXPECT A WARM COUPLE OF DAYS WITH HIGHS IN THE 60S. NOT MUCH DIURNAL VARIATION DUE TO THE MOISTURE.
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&& .LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/...
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AS OF 330 AM SATURDAY...THE EXTENDED PERIOD WILL BE HIGHLIGHTED BY A SPLIT FLOW PATTERN AS A BROAD MID LEVEL TROUGH SPLITS AS LOW PRESSURE CLOSES OFF AND RETROGRADES SOUTHWEST OVER CALIFORNIA. ACROSS THE EAST A CYCLONIC FLOW WILL DEVELOP AND CONTINUE UNTIL LATE IN THE PERIOD WHEN THE AFOREMENTIONED LOW GETS KICKED OUT AND BEGINS TO MOVE EAST. THIS WILL PROBABLY BE THE NEXT SIGNIFICANT WEATHER MAKER FOR OUR AREA. SURFACE FEATURES INCLUDE A COLD FRONT THAT SHOULD CROSS THE AREA TUESDAY MORNING WHICH WILL RESET TEMPERATURES BACK TO NEAR SEASONAL NORMS. HIGH PRESSURE...CENTERED OVER THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION WILL SLOWLY MOVE EASTWARD TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. OVERALL THE FORECAST HAS CHANGED LITTLE FROM THE PREVIOUS PACKAGE. TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE IS RELATIVELY STABLE ALTHOUGH WITH THE ZERO DEGREE 850MB ISOTHERM ALIGNED WEST TO EAST ACROSS THE AREA SOME VARIABILITY CAN BE EXPECTED WITH SUBSEQUENT MODEL CYCLES. I DID MAINTAIN THE LOW CHANCE POPS ASSOCIATED WITH THE NEXT SYSTEM VERY LATE IN THE PERIOD.
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&& .AVIATION /08Z SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... AS OF 06Z...PATCHY MVFR/IFR DUE TO FOG/MIST OVERNIGHT INTO EARLY DAYBREAK. VFR AFT 13Z AS DRY HIGH PRESSURE REMAINS OVER THE AREA. CLEAR SKIES AND LIGHT WIND TO PREVAIL THROUGH THE VALID TAF PERIOD AS HIGH PRESSURE REMAINS ACROSS THE AREA. VFR AND LIGHT WIND INTO SATURDAY EVENING. EXTENDED OUTLOOK...PATCHES OF LIGHT RAIN RETURNING SUNDAY THEN RAIN ON MONDAY VFR AFTERWARD. && .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... AS OF 330 AM SATURDAY...A WELCOMING MARINE ENVIRONMENT ASIDE FROM CHILLY SST VALUES. DOCILE SEAS OVERALL AROUND 2 FT TODAY...MOSTLY SE WAVES 1.5-2 FT EVERY 7 SECONDS AND LIGHT INSHORE SE CHOP IN THE AFTERNOON AS A WEAK SEA BREEZE FORMS. ALSO IN THE SPECTRAL MIX LONG PERIOD E SWELL AROUND 15 SECONDS IS PROPAGATING TO SHORE OF MORE DISTANT ORIGIN BUT IN HEIGHTS A FOOT OR LESS. NO TSTMS ARE EXPECTED ON THE 0-20 NM THROUGH TONIGHT. PATCHY FOG IN THE EARLY MORNING COULD PRODUCE PATCHY LOW VSBYS NEAR INLETS OR THE ICWW. SHORT TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 330 AM SATURDAY...LIGHT WINDS INITIALLY WILL INCREASE SOMEWHAT THROUGH THE DAY SUNDAY AS THE PRESSURE GRADIENT SHAPES UP WITH LOW PRESSURE SLIDING BY TO THE NORTHWEST. EXPECT A SOUTHWEST FLOW INCREASING TO 10-15 KNOTS BY EVENING. WIND DIRECTIONS QUITE VARIABLE MONDAY WITH LIGHTER SPEEDS AS A WARM FRONT TRIES TO MOVE ACROSS. WE HAVE A SOUTHERLY COMPONENT BUT CONFIDENCE IS LOW. FORTUNATELY THE WEAK NATURE OF THE SYSTEMS KEEPS SPEEDS CAPPED AT TEN KNOTS OR LESS. THE SAME WEAK WINDS KEEP SIGNIFICANT SEAS IN CHECK AT 1-3 FEET. LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... AS OF 330 AM SATURDAY...RATHER CONSISTENT WIND FIELDS FOR THE EXTENDED MARINE FORECAST AS MASSIVE HIGH PRESSURE...WELL TO THE WEST WILL BE THE PRIMARY DRIVER OF THE WINDS AND SEAS. WITH THE SLOW MOVEMENT OF THIS SYSTEM...A NORTHERLY FLOW OF 10-15 KNOTS WILL PREVAIL TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. SIGNIFICANT SEAS WILL BE A LITTLE ELEVATED WITH THE HIGHER WIND SPEEDS JUST OUTSIDE OF THE LOCAL WATERS. OVERALL EXPECT 2-4 FEET WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF 3-5 FEET LATE TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...NONE. NC...NONE. MARINE...NONE. && $$ SYNOPSIS...SHK NEAR TERM...MJC SHORT TERM...SHK LONG TERM...SHK AVIATION...SGL

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