Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 231716 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 1212 PM EST Thu Feb 23 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Warm air will prevail across the Carolinas through Saturday. A cold front approaching from the west will move offshore late Saturday. Cooler and drier air will build in Saturday night through Monday. Shower chances will increase mid week as a cold front approaches from the west. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 10 AM Thursday...Reduced cloud cover inland for the mid morning updates, no other notable changes other than fine tuning of T/Td. As of 3 AM Thursday...Powerful upper level low pressure is centered over South Florida this morning. The surface reflection of this low is quite strong given the low latitude it has developed at: 1001 millibars between Orlando and Cape Canaveral. Several new areas of low pressure are expected to develop off the Florida east coast through tonight, pinwheeling westward toward the upper system. All this mess should remain far enough south to spare the Carolinas any significant effects. Cyclonic flow around the Florida low is bringing subtropical air onshore. Sprinkles and isolated light showers are evident on radar moving northwestward around 15 mph. These showers should not become any deeper or better organized through the morning as a strong capping inversion between 6000-9000 feet AGL will continue. Much like yesterday, the airmass remains rather warm for this time of the year. 850 mb temps around +9C or +10C may not sound like much, but should still allow highs to range from the upper 70s along the I-95 corridor to around 70 on the beaches. The back edge of the mid and upper level moisture should clear east of the area early this afternoon, leaving mainly low-level cumulus. Once evening arrives even this low-level cloud cover should dissipate. Lighter winds may allow better radiational cooling to develop with lows expected to fall into in the lower to middle 50s. Areas of fog are also expected to develop given dewpoints expected to run several degrees higher than forecast lows throughout today and this evening. && .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 AM Thursday...The big Florida low will weaken Friday and Friday night as it moves slowly northeastward, remaining well off the South and North Carolina coast. An unseasonably warm airmass will remain across the Carolinas, with high temperatures expected to tag the 80 degree mark for many inland locations both Friday and Saturday. Residual onshore flow on Friday should keep the immediate coast considerably cooler. Attention will then shift to low pressure in the Great Lakes on Saturday. This low will push a cold front into the Carolinas and offshore Saturday evening. Dynamics with this system shear out to the north, leaving very little impetus for precipitation this far south. The front is expected to come through dry. Breezy southwest winds ahead of the front will turn northwesterly Saturday night with much chillier and drier air advecting in. Climate note: Both Florence and Lumberton have already hit 80 once this month back on Feb 12th. If more 80s occur Friday and Saturday that will make three times this month. The last time this occurred in February in Florence was 2011. It was never occurred since the Lumberton ASOS was installed in 1999. && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 300 AM Thursday...A west to east zonal mid level pattern will be in place part of the period which equates to fast moving and relatively weak systems. The one constant, after a cool start will be the resumption of the very mild condiitons. The pattern becomes more southwesterly in time. At the surface relatively cool high pressure will give way to a pronounced southerly flow Monday through Wednesday with a slight chance of showers associated with the warm front Tuesday. There will also be a slightly higher chance of showers as the day progresses Wednesday as another system moves in from the west. After a cool start, although near climatology, Sunday and Monday morning, expect highs to surge back into the 70s for the remaining forecast days with very warm overnight lows in the 50s and maybe in the 60s late. && .AVIATION /18Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...
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As of 18Z...Low clouds in the process of scattering out as is the coastal cirrus layer. High pressure ridge hangs on inland while Florida system pushes ENE. In between the two some light onshore flow will continue, trying to moisten the low layers. Late night cloudiness will return but may have trouble being any more than FEW to SCT. The extent of the cloud cover will modulate our fog potential, which is not agreed upon terribly well between models. Have introduced some IFR over inland zones where cloud cover may be hard-pressed to materialize. Otherwise VFR through the evening as well as soon after sunup tomorrow. Extended Outlook...VFR.
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&& .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 10 Am Thursday...ESE-SSE wave energy moving ashore, presently in mixed periods of 5-6 and around 8 seconds with a moderate chop, a bit messy, and sea heights will continue to grow to Advisory levels by tonight, 5 ft near Frying Pan currently, 3-4 feet closer to shore. No significant changes needed tot he forecast with the mid morning update. As of 600 AM Thursday...Low pressure swirling across Florida today will move northeastward tonight, remaining several hundred miles southeast of the Carolina coastline. The large cyclonic circulation surrounding this low will generate strong winds between the Bahamas and Bermuda, resulting in increasing swells this afternoon and tonight. The combination of wind wave and swell should finally reach 6 feet as close as 10-20 miles from shore tonight, triggering the issuance of a Small Craft Advisory for all waters beginning at 7 PM this evening. SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 AM Thursday...The big Atlantic low will slowly weaken Friday and Friday night as it crawls northeastward, remaining well off the South and North Carolina coast. A significant backswell from this system will continue through at least Friday evening. Attention will then shift to a cold front moving quickly eastward across the eastern U.S. Anchored to low pressure in the Great Lakes, this front should swing through the coastal Carolinas Saturday evening, likely accompanied by a period of Small Craft Advisory conditions for strong winds. LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 300 AM Thursday...A rather brisk northwest flow will continue for a few hours Sunday morning with speeds of 15-20 knots. The winds will decrease dramatically later Sunday as high pressure moves across the region. A return flow from the southeast will commence Monday with speeds on the lower end of a 10-15 knot range. Significant seas will also be on the high side for several hours Sunday with at least 3-5 feet but will subside to 1-3 feet Monday. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from 7 PM this evening to 7 PM EST Friday for AMZ254-256. Small Craft Advisory from 7 PM this evening to 7 AM EST Saturday for AMZ250-252. && $$ NEAR TERM...TRA/8 SHORT TERM...TRA LONG TERM...SHK AVIATION...MBB is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.