Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 190151 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 951 PM EDT Mon Sep 18 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Hurricane Jose will continue to lift off to the north leaving dry and warm weather across the area through much of the week. An increased rip current risk will linger along some beaches due to continued swells. Hurricane Maria is expected to track to the north offshore of the Carolinas during the middle of next week but uncertainty remains. Maria is a powerful hurricane, bringing increasingly strong rip currents and dangerous marine conditions to the area late this week through at least early next week. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TUESDAY/...
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As of 950 PM Monday...Hurricane Jose is essentially stationary about 230 miles east of Hatteras Island. Aside from a light northerly breeze and some cirrus streaming in from the east there are no impacts on our weather from Jose. Temperatures have fallen rather quickly this evening as some spots inland have already decoupled from the boundary layer with calm winds noted. Radiational cooling should drop temperatures into the mid 60s for most locations overnight, with a little ground fog possible in spots as dewpoints recover. The biggest forecast challenge remains the potential for another late night low stratus event to surge southward out of eastern North Carolina. The 12 and 18Z runs of the GFS were quite bullish with the potential, however the NAM and ECMWF were not as they had low level winds backed just a little more westerly which kept the low clouds north and east of ILM. The last couple of HRRR runs do bring some low stratus into SE North Carolina near sunrise. Although I earlier believed we might get through the night without low clouds, after noting the current observation up at Greenville, NC I am beginning to question the premise of a clear late night/early morning for areas east of Elizabethtown, Whiteville, and Oak Island. Other than some increased cloud cover around daybreak in the Cape Fear area, no significant changes were made to the forecast with this evening update.
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&& .SHORT TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Monday...Quiet conditions will continue for the most part through the period. The mid level pattern will feature a weak westerly flow that morphs into a decent trough late Wednesday into early Thursday. The GFS and ECMWF are painting a few showers in the area late Wednesday into early Thursday while some of the other guidance is void of this activity. I did add a slight chance of showers to address. No significant changes to temperature guidance or forecast. && .LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 1200 PM Monday...Persistent high pressure will be reinforced from the north Fri and Sat. Did include a small risk for a shower or thunderstorm Thu, before high pressure strengthens across the area. Did include a small risk for an afternoon shower or thunderstorm along the seabreeze Sat and Sun. Monday`s forecast will hinge to a large degree on the track and strength of powerful Hurricane Maria and we will be watching the tropics especially closely. Tropical cyclone Jose or its remnants will be virtually stalled SE of New England late in the week and may actually begin to drift S Fri and through the weekend. Hurricane Maria is expected to be a powerful hurricane as she approaches during the weekend. Her forerunner swell energy will begin to be felt on the Carolina beaches late week which will increase the breaking wave heights and rip current risk. A high risk for rip currents is likely this weekend and early next week. Much too early to have any confidence in a track forecast for Maria as she approaches the southeast coast. Some of the models continue to show interaction between Maria and Jose early next week and Jose may play a part in the path Maria ultimately takes as she gains latitude and approaches the U.S. east coast. Highs will be in the mid and upper 80s Thu and Fri and lower to mid 80s thereafter. Lows will be mainly in the 60s. && .AVIATION /00Z TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... As of 00Z...VFR conditions are expected up through 0800Z. Patchy ground fog could develop in spots between 08-12Z, but this potential appears low in all areas but the LBT airport where low-level winds should be lightest and will offer the best potential for visibility restrictions. Models also show another night of low stratus developing across far-eastern North Carolina, but unlike in at least the last three nights this stratus cloud cover is not expected to make it into ILM, instead remaining just north and east of the area. Extended Outlook...Mainly VFR conditions through the period are expected with the exception of a few hours of early morning low clouds or fog most mornings through the period. The highest risk of IFR conditions will be in the 0900-1200Z timeframe each morning. && .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM /THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 950 PM Monday...4-6 foot seas are just barely hanging onto the Cape Fear area waters. Even out at the Frying Pan Shoals buoy the latest wave height was only 5.5 feet. Given the direction of the swell it`s very likely larger seas continue on the other side of the shoals, and the advisory will remain up for now. Hurricane Jose is essentially stationary about 230 miles east of Hatteras. Shallow water on Capes Hatteras and Lookout are blocking a good deal of the swell energy from reaching our area, and shadowing from Cape Fear is further protecting the South Carolina coastal waters this evening. Steady but diminishing northerly winds are expected overnight with few additional chances necessary to the forecast. SHORT TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Monday...A weak pressure pattern will continue through the period across the coastal waters. Wind speeds will be ten knots or less through the period. Wind direction will be primarily from the southwest but a weak surface trough passing through early Thursday will push winds to more of a westerly direction at that time. Significant seas will be 2-3 feet. LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... As of 1200 PM Monday...The risk for Small Craft Advisory seas is increasing this weekend. Weak high pressure will prevail through the period but will become better established from the north late week. Long period swell, the forerunners of powerful Hurricane Maria, will begin to reach our waters during this time. The swell energy looks to become significant Fri and Sat. The swell direction will be from the SE. Guidance is showing periods of around 15 seconds at Frying Pan Shoals with wave heights increasing from 4 to 5 ft Fri to 6 to 7 ft Sat. The swell will further increase Sun and Mon which will result in higher wave heights.
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&& .TIDES/COASTAL FLOODING... As of 300 PM Monday...The lower Cape Fear will see high astro tides again with tonight`s high tide cycle this evening, and a `coastal flood advisory` was needed for water levels almost a half foot above the advisory threshold for downtown Wilmington. Minor flooding will occur between 8pm-11pm tonight downtown, and more coastal flood advisories are likely according to tidal predictions through at least the first day of Fall, and September 22nd at 2002Z this year Autumnal Equinox occurs. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
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SC...None. NC...Coastal Flood Advisory until 11 PM EDT this evening for NCZ107. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas until 8 AM EDT Tuesday for AMZ250-252.
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&& $$ SYNOPSIS...SHK NEAR TERM...TRA SHORT TERM...SHK LONG TERM...RJD AVIATION...TRA TIDES/COASTAL FLOODING...MJC

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