Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 250525 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 1225 AM EST Sat Feb 25 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Warm air will prevail across the Carolinas through Saturday. A cold front approaching from the west will move off the Carolina coast Saturday Evening. Cooler and drier air under high pressure will overspread the area Saturday night and persist through Monday. Shower chances will increase by Tuesday as a warm front moves across the area. Much warmer temperatures will follow this warm front Wednesday before the next cold front moves offshore. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM THIS MORNING/... As of 945 PM Friday...Onshore winds via aftn and early evening sea breeze, was able to push in 60+ degree sfc dewpoints. Have incorporated these hier dewpoints and meshed them with the overall hourly temps and dewpoint readings for the remainder of this evening and overnight. Have kept skies mostly clear this evening. However, various model mos guidance and model sounding data, respectively, indicate that a threat for bkn to ovc low level cloud deck below 1000 fact around 500 foot ceilings likely during the pre-dawn Sat morning hours. Executing the local fog procedure illustrates radiational type fog likely to occur from east of the I-95 corridor to the immediate coast. Have also indicated some patchy sea fog, although sfc dewpoints are not progged to climb much hier from current readings. This does not bode well for any widespread sea fog to develop and/or occur considering current SSTs are in the upper 50s to low 60s and sfc dewpoints are progged to be nearly the same or slightly lower. A weak to modest low level SW jet progged to develop just off the sfc, during the pre-dawn Sat hours. And it is unable to mix down to the sfc overnight due to the sfc based inversion having developed earlier. Have already seen sfc winds decoupled earlier this evening with radiational cooling across the FA leading to patchy to areas of fog development as well as the eventual development of a low level stratus deck below 1k feet. Have leaned toward the development of this low level cloud deck more-so than the possibility of widespread radiational (dense) fog. Tonights lows will continue well above the normals...which is the mid 30s inland to the low 40s at the coast. && .SHORT TERM /6 AM THIS MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/... As of 3 PM Friday...Another warm day Saturday with record highs in jeopardy in some locations, most favorably inland. Records in place for Saturday 2/25 include ILM-81 in 1930, FLO-78 in 1977, CRE-77 in 1949. Inland locations may see temperature drops up 40 degrees or better from Saturday`s highs to Sunday`s lows as a cold front sweeps through late Saturday. Moisture appears scant with this system and only isolated showers painted in over SE NC. Sunday sunny and cooler with highs in the afternoon reaching around 60 degrees. The coolest time of this forecast period is Monday daybreak, widespread 30s inland and lower 40s near the coast, in a light onshore breeze. && .LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 300 PM Friday...Fast flow aloft will keep features moving quickly next week, so while temps will remain above normal, the weather is likely to be unsettled at times. Cool high pressure Monday will push offshore as a warm front lifts northward late in the day. This warm front will bring a chance for showers Monday night into Tuesday, along with temps soaring back well into the 70s Tuesday after just being slightly above climo on Monday. Warm and unstable air behind the warm front will continue at least a slight chc for showers through Wednesday as weak impulses rotate overhead, but total coverage is expected to be isolated at worst. This will change on Thursday however, as a strong cold front digs across the Carolinas with a better chance for showers, followed by much cooler temps for the end of the period. After several days in the 70s, below climo temps are possible as we head into the first wknd of March. && .AVIATION /06Z SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 06Z...Conditions currently VFR but moisture profiles support fog tonight with good saturation below 500 ft. LIFR conditions are likely after 08Z. Fog should dissipate by 13z with increasing SW flow becoming more westerly aft 20z. Between 00Z and 04Z Sunday winds will become NW at area terminals. A potential fly in the ointment though will be the onset of more southerly flow along the coast toward 12Z. As low level winds veer late tonight, there is the potential for low stratus to move in over the fog at the coastal terminals. This could do 2 things. First, vsbys will likely be higher but cigs will remain IFR or LIFR. Second, the improvement to VFR could be delayed at coastal terminals during the morning. Attm confidence is low in this scenario. Extended Outlook...VFR. VSBY and ceilings lowered to MVFR/IFR with pcp Mon night into Tues and again with SHWRs on Wed. && .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 945 PM Friday...SCA remains in effect for all ILM Waters. This due to significant seas breaching SCA thresholds. The majority of the significant seas will be in the form of a 10 to 11 second period Southeast ground swell. The well offshore cutoff and now barotropic low off the SE U.S. Coast will push northeastward this weekend. The sfc pg will remain tightened north of this cutoff low, producing a solid ENE to ESE 30+ kt winds. The result is the production of a robust ESE-SE ground swell at 10 TO 11 second periods that has been and will affect the local waters thruout this weekend. They will likely peak over the ILM SC Waters tonight and the ILM NC Waters thru midday Saturday. The area waters overnight into the 1st part of Saturday will see a lull in the windspeeds, dropping to around 10 kt with directions from the N to NE. SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/... As of 3 PM Friday...Waning SE swell on Saturday, and midday the advisories should be dropped for the NC waters, a little sooner for the SC waters. However, as a cold front approaches, another advisory or caution statement may be needed Saturday night, but only briefly. Sunday will be a day of diminishing N-WNW winds and improving marine conditions. No TSTMS this period but look for a few marine showers late Saturday over the NC waters. LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 300 PM Friday...High pressure will move overhead and offshore Monday with light E winds veering to the S/SW by Tuesday morning and increasing to 10-15 kts on return flow. Winds will then remain from the SW through the remainder of the extended and increase slowly towards 20 kts during Wednesday as the gradient pinches ahead of a cold front. Wave heights around 2 ft Monday will climb steadily as a SE swell and southerly wind wave amplify through mid-week. Seas will build to 3-4 ft Tuesday, and then up to 3-5 ft Wednesday during the period of strongest winds. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 6 AM EST early this morning for AMZ254-256. Small Craft Advisory until noon EST today for AMZ250-252. && $$ SYNOPSIS...JDW/TRA NEAR TERM...DCH/MJC SHORT TERM...MJC LONG TERM...JDW AVIATION...RAN is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.