Area Forecast Discussion
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040 FXUS61 KPBZ 241029 AFDPBZ Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Pittsburgh PA 529 AM EST Fri Feb 24 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Record breaking temperatures today will be followed by a cold front late tonight into early Saturday morning with rain along the front, gusty winds through much of Saturday, and temperatures steadily dropping back to near normal by Sunday. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING/... No updates needed early this morning as the ongoing forecast aligns well with latest observations. Previous discussion follows.. With the forecast area well within the warm sector, forecast confidence is high in regards to high temperatures today and are expected to rise into the 70s with isolated 80 degree readings...breaking records at all climate locations. Long-term confidence tools have not deviated from suggesting the prolonged warm period we have been in this week and with increased warm advection and mixing ahead of the approaching cold front along with a break in cloud coverage during the afternoon...we are going to see the warmest temperatures of the year and will easily break current records. && .SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH SUNDAY/... Latest model runs show good continuity in regards to timing of a strong cold front overnight through Saturday morning...with the general consensus progging the front crossing Pittsburgh around sunrise Saturday. Based on the synoptic setup...anticipate a solid line of moderate rain with the potential for embedded thunderstorms along the front. SPC has maintained a slight risk for severe weather across most Ohio counties and a marginal risk elsewhere in the forecast area. Strong and gusty winds are likely as the front passes and again behind as the pressure gradient tightens with gusts up to 40 mph possible based on latest guidance and analogs. Regarding precipitation...the bulk of rainfall will be along the front which will have moved east of the ridges by Saturday afternoon. A brief lull in precipitation behind the front will be followed by scattered lake enhanced showers Saturday night under of cold northwesterly flow...eventually changing over to snow with minimal accumulations. precipitation will end by Sunday morning as high pressure builds back in from the west. While temperatures will remain in the 50s Friday night, temps will fall all of Saturday and Saturday night, eventually bottoming out in the 20s. Seasonal highs around 40 are forecast on Sunday. && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY/... Broad southwest flow aloft will persist through the first half of the period, being then replaced by eastern CONUS trough by the end of the week. Despite the relatively good agreement in the upper level pattern, the deterministic guidance varies in the timing and speed of the more amplified low pressure system for the middle of the week which translated to timing differences thereafter. Thus, opted to stay close to previous forecast with only minor tweaks based on the newest model runs. Temperatures continue to trend above seasonal averages, with values close to 20 degrees above normal before the frontal passage midweek. After that time, we cool back down. && .AVIATION /12Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... Looking at a general VFR forecast through the period, with the exception of FKL and DUJ, which may see MVFR cigs this evening. Hit or miss showers, or a brief storm, is possible during the evening at all ports with the exception of MGW and LBE. The best chance to see showers will be a FKL and DUJ, due to their close proximity to the surface front. If restrictions do occur with the activity, they will be short lived. Late tonight, all ports will return to VFR, as the aforementioned surface front moves northward. Only concern for the forecast on Friday will be the strengthening SW winds. Wind gusts of 15 to 25 kts are possible at all ports during the afternoon. .OUTLOOK... Widespread restrictions are likely with the approach and passage of a cold front on Friday night and early Saturday. && .CLIMATE... Record high temperatures for climate sites: Thu Fri -------- -------- PIT 70 (1922) 70 (1875,1906) ZZV 64 (2000) 70 (1961) MGW 68 (1996) 75 (1975) DUJ 63 (1985) 60 (1985) HLG 62 (2000) 63 (2016) PHD 69 (1975) 66 (1985) && .PBZ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... MD...None. OH...None. PA...None. WV...None. && $$

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