Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Sterling, VA

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573 FXUS61 KLWX 071514 AAA AFDLWX Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC 1014 AM EST Thu Dec 7 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Ridging will remain in place through early Friday. Low pressure will pass east of the area late Friday into early Saturday. A clipper-like system will cross the region Saturday evening. High pressure will return Sunday into Monday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... Dense cirrus will continue to impact the southern CWA while low-mid level clouds are expected to move into the Appalachians later today due to a mid-level disturbance. A few snow showers are possible over the mtns late today into this evening. Otherwise, dry with increasing clouds from west to east. Previous discussion... A weak perturbation in the 700-500 mb flow will cross the region this afternoon and evening. A thin deck of low-to-mid- level cloudiness (broken by mid to late afternoon) is likely with this wave. It will likely kick off a few snow showers along the western ridges of the Allegheny Front early this evening with a coating possible in a few spots. Hi-res guidance would suggest an inch or less. Latest BUFKIT soundings indicated some low-level instability and inversion heights of around 6000 feet which suggests flurries may cross the mountains and make it into portions of northern Maryland and the eastern West Virginia panhandle (i.e. Cumberland/Martinsburg/Romney/Hagerstown). More dense high cirrus is expected to build from south to north across the area tonight in response to another upper jet streak well ahead of developing low pressure over northern Florida. && .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... Aforementioned surface low pressure (weak and elongated) will pass well to the southeast of the area over the western Atlantic late Friday into early Saturday. Most (if not all) of the low to mid level forcing will remain out at sea. However, PVA ahead of the 500 mb trough and the right entrance region of a very strong upper jet should expand the light northwestern edge of the precipitation shield into at least southern Maryland late Friday into Friday night. At the onset, boundary layer temperatures will be marginal, so anticipate a light rain/snow mix. After sunset, temperatures cool and precipitation becomes all (light) snow. There is still a small subset of guidance that expands precipitation much further north and west or gives subtle hints of banding precipitation associated with the upper jet over southern Maryland early Saturday morning, but given the current low track, find it hard pressed that anything measurable would make it west of I-95. Therefore, have confined PoPs to these areas, most likely for Saint Mary`s County. Given the light nature of the precipitation and the marginal boundary layer temperatures for a good portion of the event, snowfall accumulations should be an inch or less and confined to far southern Maryland. As the surface low ejects into the open Atlantic, a strong upper low/associated clipper-like surface feature will pivot from west to east late Saturday afternoon through Saturday evening. Believe scattered snow showers will result in typically favored upslope areas as well as northern and central Maryland. && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... By Sunday morning, the coastal system will be well into the Atlantic, and the axis of the initial shortwave will be passing through. A second shortwave will cross the area Tuesday afternoon-night. Much like Saturday night, the primary consequence will be scattered snow showers... primarily across favored upslope areas, but would not preclude flakes just about anywhere in the area. The other result of this weather pattern will be a steady stream of cold air, which will be reinforced by the passing shortwave. The first day/night after these shortwaves (Sunday-Sunday night and Tuesday night-Wednesday) will be the coldest, with highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s. However the other periods won`t be that much better. && .AVIATION /15Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... VFR expected through Saturday night. Any restrictions in CIGS/VSBYS should be confined to S MD. Elsewhere, very brief restrictions are possible in snow showers, most likely Sat eve over highlands and near/N of Potomac River. Surface ridging likely results in light westerly flow AOB 10 kts through Sat, becoming NW 10-20 kts and gusty Sat night in the wake of a cold frontal passage. VFR should prevail Sunday-Monday. && .MARINE... Winds gusting well over 25 knots over the nrn waters this morning. Have issued an SCA through 21Z. Winds diminish over the relatively cooler waters late this afternoon and remain light through Saturday before increasing out of the northwest Saturday night. SCA will likely be needed by Saturday night, with gale gusts possible as well by Sunday morning. A strong Small Craft seems likely on Sunday, although wouldn`t rule out close to Gale early. Winds will gradually subside through Monday. && .LWX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... DC...None. MD...None. VA...None. WV...None. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 4 PM EST this afternoon for ANZ530>533-538>541. && $$ SYNOPSIS...DHOF NEAR TERM...LFR SHORT TERM...DHOF LONG TERM...HTS AVIATION...HTS/DHOF MARINE...HTS/DHOF is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.