Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 242132 AAA AFDILM AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION...UPDATED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC 432 PM EST TUE FEB 24 2015 .SYNOPSIS... A LITTLE LINGERING FROZEN PRECIPITATION WILL CONTINUE TO FALL THROUGH EARLY EVENING. ROADS REFREEZING OVERNIGHT MAY LEAD TO HAZARDOUS TRAVEL EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING. A STRONG STORM SYSTEM WILL BRING RAIN AND POSSIBLY SNOW WELL INLAND LATE WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY MORNING. A MINOR WARMING TREND WILL BEGIN OVER THE WEEKEND. MOISTURE WILL RETURN EARLY NEXT WEEK. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM WEDNESDAY MORNING/... AS OF 430 PM TUESDAY...WE ARE QUICKLY CLOSING IN ON ONE-QUARTER OF AN INCH OF ICE ACCUMULATION HERE AT THE NWS OFFICE ON THE NORTH SIDE OF WILMINGTON. I AM ALSO SEEING SOCIAL MEDIA REPORTS OF BRIDGE CLOSURES DUE TO SIGNIFICANT ICE ACCRETION. GIVEN THE UPSTREAM RADAR IMAGERY SUGGESTING LIGHT TO MODERATE FREEZING RAIN WILL BE WITH US FOR ANOTHER COUPLE HOURS...I HAVE UPGRADED PENDER...NEW HANOVER AND INLAND BRUNSWICK COUNTIES TO AN ICE STORM WARNING FOR FREEZING RAIN ACCRETION UP TO ONE-QUARTER OF AN INCH. I HAVE ALSO EXTENDED THE TIME OF THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY EAST OF I-95 TO 8 PM AS THERE MAY STILL BE SOME FREEZING RAIN LINGERING. NO OTHER CHANGES. DISCUSSION FROM 300 PM FOLLOWS... WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY WILL BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE WITH A PLANNED EXPIRATION AT 6 PM AS UPSTREAM TRACE TO 0.01 ICE ACCUMULATIONS ARE STILL OCCURRING OVER MUCH OF SE NC AND NE SC. PRECIPITATION TRENDS HOWEVER STILL APPEAR TO BE A DIMINISHING ONE. THIS EVENING THE FOCUS SHIFTS TO FREEZING OF WET ROADWAYS AND A HAZARDOUS COMMUTING ENVIRONMENT...AND AN SPS WAS ISSUED TO ADDRESS THIS DANGER OVERNIGHT THROUGH EARLY WED. HOURLY TEMPERATURE CURVES WILL NOT MOVE A GREAT DEAL THROUGH THE AFTERNOON BUT OVERNIGHT...HIGH PRESSURE PUSHING SOUTHWARD WILL ALLOW COLD AIR ADVECTION ACROSS ALL OF SE NC AND NE SC...WITH MINIMUMS AT DAYBREAK 24-27 MOST AREAS AND AROUND 30 COASTAL ZONES AT DAYBREAK. LOOKS LIKE RECORD COLD MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES WILL BE SET TODAY, ILM 34 IN 1889...CURRENT HIGH 31. FLO 36 IN 1989...CURRENT HIGH 30. && .SHORT TERM /6 AM WEDNESDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 300 PM TUESDAY...MAIN FORECAST EMPHASIS IS THE STORM SYSTEM CURRENTLY TAKING SHAPE IN THE NEW MEXICO REGION. THIS SYSTEM WILL RACE ACROSS THE SOUTHERN STATES OVER THE NEXT 24-48 HOURS IN WHAT IS BASICALLY A WESTERLY FLOW ALOFT. LOW PRESSURE WILL DEVELOP IN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND MOVE OFFSHORE...EAST OF CHARLESTON BY 0600 UTC THURSDAY. BY 1200 UTC THURSDAY THE LOW WILL BE WELL EAST OF THE OUTER BANKS. FORCING WITH THE SYSTEM WILL COME IN A COUPLED FASHION WITH LOWER LEVEL ISENTROPIC LIFT ON THE 290K SURFACE AND MID LEVEL FRONTOGENESIS. THE DOMINANT COMPONENT IS BY FAR THE ISENTROPIC LIFT AND THIS OF COURSE LEADS TO PRECIPITATION TYPE ISSUES ACROSS MOST OF THE AREA. FOR THE MOST PART...THERMAL PROFILES SUPPORT RAIN INITIALLY. AS DYNAMIC COOLING TAKES PLACE ALONG WITH HEAVIER QPF RATES SOUNDINGS COOL IN THE NORTHERN MOST COUNTIES TO MARGINALLY SUPPORT SNOW. THE MODELS IF ANYTHING HAVE TRENDED JUST A LITTLE WARMER HOWEVER AND CONFIDENCE IS NOT OVERWHELMING. THAT BEING SAID IF THE DYNAMIC LIFT IS A LITTLE STRONGER THAN PERFECT PROGS...A COOLING OF THE PROFILE COULD OCCUR WHICH WOULD LEAD TO MORE SUPPORT FOR SNOW. FOR NOW...I HAVE A RAIN AND SNOW MIX FOR MARLBORO...ROBESON AND BLADEN COUNTIES AND TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF JUST OVER TWO INCHES. THIS WARRANTS A WINTER STORM WATCH FOR THESE AREAS WHICH WILL BE RAISED THIS AFTERNOON. IT COULD BE A SITUATION WHERE SNOW IS THE PREDOMINANT TYPE WITH RAIN MIXING FROM TIME TO TIME...AT LEAST A COUPLE OF HOURS EITHER SIDE OF 0600 UTC. OVERALL I CANT RULE OUT A COUPLE OF INCHES OF VERY WET/HEAVY SNOW IN THESE AREAS. IF SNOW DOES INDEED DEVELOP...IT WONT TAKE LONG TO ACCUMULATE AS THE RATES SHOULD BE VERY HIGH...AGAIN AT LEAST FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS EITHER SIDE OF 0600 UTC. AS THE SYSTEM MOVES OUT BEYOND 0600 UTC PROFILES BRIEFLY SUPPORT SOME SNOW IN OTHER AREAS AND I HAVE AMOUNTS RANGING FROM 0.7 INCHES FROM NORTHWEST TO JUST OVER ONE HALF OF IN INCH CLOSER TO THE COAST. THIS CAN PROBABLY BE ADDRESSED WITH A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY...ALTHOUGH TECHNICALLY JUST UNDER CRITERIA BUT WITH A WINTER STORM WATCH FLOATING AROUND...IT MAY BE PRUDENT TO ISSUE AN ADVISORY FOR PUBLIC IMPACT...AFTER THE CURRENT ONE HAS EXPIRED. THE REMAINDER OF THURSDAY WILL FEATURE OVERCAST SKIES WITH PATCHY DRIZZLE. HIGH TEMPERATURES WILL STRUGGLE TO REACH 40. YET ANOTHER COLD AND BLUSTERY OVERNIGHT PERIOD FOR THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY MORNING WITH LOWS IN THE MIDDLE 20S. && .LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... AS OF 300 PM TUESDAY...BROAD LOW AMPLITUDE MID LEVEL FLOW ACROSS MOST OF THE CONUS ON FRIDAY WITH LARGE HIGH PRESSURE AT THE SURFACE CENTERED OVER EASTERN U.S. THIS WILL BRING A NORTHERLY FLOW LOCALLY THAT WILL KEEP TEMPERATURES BELOW CLIMO AND LIKELY QUITE A FEW CLOUDS TRAPPED UNDER AN INVERSION. NOT MUCH CHANGES HEADING INTO SATURDAY AND SO THE FORECAST IS QUITE SIMILAR. ON SUNDAY THE CENTER OF THE SURFACE HIGH SLIDES EAST AND EXTENDS A WEDGE AXIS INTO THE CAROLINAS WHILE OFFSHORE TROUGHINESS DEVELOPS. MODELS LOOKING WETTER AS THIS OCCURS AS WARM ADVECTION RIDES ATOP THIS SURFACE-BASED AIRMASS LEADS TO GOOD ISENTROPIC UPGLIDE. GUIDANCE ALSO SUGGESTING A MILDER AFTERNOON BUT THIS MAY NEED TO BE REVISITED ESPECIALLY IF RAIN DOES MATERIALIZE. THE WEDGE BREAKS DOWN RAPIDLY BY MONDAY ALLOWING FOR MODERATION IN TEMPERATURES AND PERHAPS SOME UNSEASONABLY MILD NIGHTS BUT THE MOISTURE WILL REMAIN AND SOME LIGHT RAIN CHANCES ARE STILL WARRANTED IF NOTHING ELSE DUE TO THE APPROACH OF A WEAK COLD FRONT. THIS BOUNDARY APPEARS TO STALL ACROSS THE AREA ON TUESDAY KEEPING CLOUDS AND RAIN IN THE FORECAST. && .AVIATION /22Z TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... AS OF 18Z...MVFR/IFR WILL CONTINUE THIS AFTERNOON. THERE COULD BE PERIODS OF VFR AT KFLO/KLBT EARLY THIS AFTERNOON...AND EARLY-MID AFTERNOON AT THE COASTAL TERMINALS AS THE BACK EDGE OF A BAND OF HEAVIER PRECIPITATION MOVES THROUGH. IT APPEARS THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION WILL BE OVER IN A FEW HOURS...BUT ENOUGH LIFT IS STILL AVAILABLE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON FOR SPOTTY LIGHT FREEZING RAIN AND/OR DRIZZLE AND ICE PELLETS TO OCCUR. PRECIPITATION SHOULD BECOME LESS LIKELY AS THE AFTERNOON PROGRESSES. AIRPORT WEATHER WARNINGS CONTINUE AT KILM AND KMYR ALTHOUGH LITTLE ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED. WINDS WILL REMAIN N-NE THIS AFTERNOON. GENERALLY LIFR/IFR CIGS EXPECTED OVERNIGHT. AT KLBT LOW CLOUDS MAY SCATTER THIS EVENING...BUT DENSE FOG WILL DEVELOP IN ITS PLACE. LOW CONFIDENCE OF IMPROVEMENT LATE IN THE TAF VALID PERIOD DUE TO UNCERTAINTY WITH TIMING OF THE NEXT LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM. EXTENDED OUTLOOK...LOW PRESSURE WILL MOVE ACROSS THE TERMINALS WED AFTERNOON INTO THURS WITH VARIABLE FLIGHT CONDITIONS...RAIN AND WINTERY PRECIPITATION MAINLY AT KFLO/KLBT/KILM. BECOMING VFR FRI EXTENDING INTO SAT. MVFR/IFR/RAIN SUNDAY. && .MARINE... .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... AS OF 300 PM TUESDAY...ADVISORY EXTENDED FOR NC WATERS UNTIL MIDNIGHT WITH A PLANNED EXPIRATION FOR SC WATERS AT 6 PM. WINDS FROM THE NNE-NE WILL GRADUALLY EASE OVERNIGHT ALLOWING SEA HEIGHT TO GRADUALLY DAMPEN AS WELL. NO TSTMS BUT LIGHT -SN-RA AND MIST COULD REDUCE VSBYS TO 3NM AT TIMES THIS EVENING. SHORT TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 300 PM TUESDAY...COASTAL WATERS WILL SEE A BRIEF RESPITE FROM RUGGED CONDITIONS EARLY WEDNESDAY AS WINDS WILL BE RELATIVELY LIGHT FROM THE NORTHWEST...TEN KNOTS OR LESS AS LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPS AND MOVES WELL OFFSHORE...WINDS WILL TURN TO THE NORTHEAST AND INCREASE IN MAGNITUDE TO 20-25 KNOTS BY EARLY THURSDAY MORNING. WINDS TURN TO A MORE NORTHERLY DIRECTION DURING THE DAY THURSDAY AND SEEM CONSISTENT IN A 10-15 KNOT RANGE...MOSTLY LEANING TOWARD THE HIGHER SIDE. SIGNIFICANT SEAS START OUT SLOW AS WELL 1-2 FEET THEN RAMP UP WELL INTO SMALL CRAFT CRITERIA BY LATE THURSDAY EVENING. BY LATE THURSDAY HEIGHTS DROP BACK A BIT PROBABLY BELOW SMALL CRAFT CRITERIA. LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... AS OF 300 PM TUESDAY...A LARGE AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE COVERING THE EASTERN U.S. TO BRING A NORTHERLY WIND LOCALLY THAT WILL BE MODERATE BUT NO FLAGS EXPECTED AT THIS TIME. THE CENTER OF THIS HIGH WILL SHIFT EAST A BIT ON SATURDAY BUT THE LOCAL EFFECTS WILL BE THOSE OF MINIMAL CHANGE. THE INCREASED DURATION OF THE LARGELY COAST-PARALLEL NE WINDS COULD ALLOW FOR AN UPTICK IN OFFSHORE SEAS BUT FOR NOW IT STILL SEEMS NO ADVISORIES WILL COME TO PASS. 5 FT SEAS WILL BE QUITE PREVALENT ACROSS MOST ZONES AWAY FROM SHORE BUT THE NEARSHORE WAVE SHADOWING MAY PRECLUDE EVEN CAUTIONARY HEADLINES. THE HIGH SHIFTS FURTHER EAST ON SUNDAY AND EXTENDS A RIDGE AXIS ITO THE CAROLINAS WHILE TROUGHINESS DEVELOPS JUST EAST OF THE FORECAST WATERS. THIS HAS CAST SOME UNCERTAINTY ON THE FORECAST AS WIND SPEED AND EVEN DIRECTION COULD VARY CONSIDERABLY DEPENDING ON WHERE THE TROUGH-BORN WIND SHIFT DECIDES TO SET UP. CURRENTLY IT SEEMS TO BE JUST FAR ENOUGH OFFSHORE THAT LOCAL WINDS STAY NORTHEASTERLY AND GROW A BIT LIGHTER. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR SCZ017- 023-024-032-033-039-055-056. WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 8 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR SCZ053- 054. WINTER STORM WATCH FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING FOR SCZ017. NC...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR NCZ087. WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 8 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR NCZ096- 099-110. WINTER STORM WATCH FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING FOR NCZ087-096. ICE STORM WARNING UNTIL 8 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR NCZ105>109. MARINE...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR AMZ254- 256. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT FOR AMZ250-252. && $$ SYNOPSIS...SHK NEAR TERM...MJC/TRA SHORT TERM...SHK LONG TERM...MBB AVIATION...MRR

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