Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 230523 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 120 AM EDT Thu Mar 23 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Freezing temperatures are expected over portions of the area tonight as strong Canadian high pressure builds south. As this high moves offshore Friday and during the weekend, a significant warm-up will ensue. Minor rain chances are expected Sunday as a weak upper disturbance passes well to our north. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 900 PM Wednesday...Scattered to broken mid clouds were eroding from the N this eve as strong chilly high pressure centered across the Great Lakes continued to build across the Carolinas. Skies will be mainly clear overnight. Temps were still in the 50s at mid eve. However, with clear skies and lighter winds overnight, we still expect lows to drop into the 30s. Across North Carolina, all but coastal areas are still expected to drop to near or just below freezing and a Freeze Warning will continue. Across South Carolina, lows should remain above freezing and so no Freeze Warning has been issued. Frost is not expected throughout given the dry air. Dewpoints still vary significantly across the Forecast Area. Dewpoints were in the 20s across our inland zones while still in the mid 30s to mid 40s at the coast at mid eve. Dewpoints will level out in the 20s throughout overnight with lower 30s confined to portions of the immediate coast. Wind speeds will remain in the 5 to 10 mph range inland overnight. At the coast, where the gradient was tightest, winds were still gusting in the 15 to 20 mph range this eve. Wind speeds at the coast overnight should decrease to 5 to 15 mph as high pressure gains proximity. Thursday will be dry and unseasonably cool as the coldest air moves overhead. Expect highs only in the mid to upper 50s. && .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...Cold Canadian high pressure will move eastward shifting from the Mid Atlantic coast farther off shore through Fri. This will allow a return flow to set up with increasing moisture and warmth. Initially, though, the dense shallow cold air mass in place will set the stage for very cold temps once again Thurs night. Models are showing a coastal trough becoming more defined overnight Fri as high pressure wedges in over inland areas with lighter NE winds while just off shore a more easterly wind develops pushing moisture on shore. Most places should be a few degrees warmer than previous night...mid 30s for the low, but would expect some traditionally cooler spots to drop toward freezing. The moisture return will bring RH values above 80% overnight Thurs and this will allow some frost to develop under decent radiational cooling conditions as skies remain mainly clear and winds drop off Thurs eve. Upon the expiration of the Freeze Warning for tonight, there will be an evaluation as to which counties would need an frost advisory or possibly another Freeze Warning. The most likely candidates would be Pender and Bladen counties, but other spots mainly across NC could surely see frost if forecast remains on track. As high pressure shifts farther off the Mid Atlantic coast on Friday, a southeasterly return flow will bring warmer and moister air into the area while a deeper SW to W flow will develop aloft. Mid to upper ridge will build up the southeast coast with heights rising and 850 temps return up near 7C Fri aftn. This will push temps back up toward normal...closer to 70 most places. The on shore flow will keep places closer to the cooler waters in the 60s. There may be some clouds around, but pcp will remain at bay through the period and overall there will be a good deal of March sunshine. Temps on Fri night will remain at or above normal. && .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... 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. && .AVIATION /06Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...
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As of 06Z...Skies have cleared and will remain so through the TAF cycle. Similarly there will be no visibility restrictions so the entire forecast will feature VFR. Wind will remain out of the NE to E as high pressure remains to our north. Extended outlook...Fog possible Thursday night. Otherwise VFR.
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&& .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 900 PM Wednesday...Small Craft Advisory will remain in effect through Thursday as a cold and dry surge works south. Conditions will begin to moderate Thu afternoon as the center of a chilly airmass gains proximity and the pressure gradient slackens. Expect ENE to NE winds of 20 to 25 kt diminishing to 15 to 20 kt during Thu. Seas will peak in the 4 to 7 ft range and then begin to subside during Thu. SHORT TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Wednesday...High pressure will shift farther off the Mid Atlantic coast through the period. This will allow a return flow to set up with winds shifting around from NE Thurs evening to E-SE through Fri and southerly by Sat morning. The models are hinting at a coastal trough overnight Thurs which may act to produce enhance a more NE flow near the coast with a greater easterly flow off shore. Either way, an on shore flow will be the rule through much of the period diminishing to 10 kts or less. This will allow seas to subside from near 3 to 4 ft Thurs eve down to 3 ft or less Fri morning. LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... 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. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...Freeze Warning from 4 AM to 9 AM EDT Thursday for NCZ087-096- 099-105-107-109. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 5 PM EDT Thursday for AMZ250-252- 254-256. && $$ NEAR TERM...RJD/REK SHORT TERM...RGZ LONG TERM...MBB AVIATION...MBB

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