Area Forecast Discussion
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000 FXUS61 KPBZ 210232 AFDPBZ Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Pittsburgh PA 932 PM EST Tue Feb 20 2018 .SYNOPSIS... Dry and warm weather is expected under a high pressure ridge through early Wednesday. Rain chances return with a Wednesday afternoon cold front and will continue through Sunday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
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Elected to slow the arrival of precipitation slightly given current radar trends and hi-res models, bumping down to slight chance PoPs prior to 12Z. This continues the trend from the previous shift. Otherwise, minor tweaks were made to the ongoing forecast. Previous discussion... Clouds will increase overnight as a cold front approaches from the west. Have slowed up the arrival of precipitation slightly with the front, although temperatures will remain very warm overnight and all precipitation will fall as rain. Cannot rule out the chance of an isolated thunderstorm south of I-70 with the frontal passage. Enough cold air will move in behind the front that temperatures will begin to fall during the day as the front crosses the region. Even so, most places should have highs in the 60s, if not reaching 70 degrees, which could still allow for a record high or two to be broken.
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&& .SHORT TERM /WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY/... The cold front will get hung up south of the region, allowing additional moisture to get pumped into the region. While temperatures will remain above normal, there could be some precipitation type issues north of Pittsburgh. Models are still showing some disagreement in the temperature structure, and have continued mention of snow and freezing rain depending on whether a warm layer aloft manages to develop. This threat should be primarily late Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The best chance for dry weather after tonight looks like it will come Thursday night, and even that chance will be short lived. The cold front will finally sink south, but a front with the next low pressure system will begin to move in from the west by Friday morning. This will bring a chance of rain back to the forecast, although northern locations could have a few snowflakes mix in. Temperatures will remain warm into Friday, with highs in the 50s and 60s. && .LONG TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY/... Several shortwaves will pass through the mean flow and could result in additional hydrologic concerns through the weekend. Model differences certainly do exist during this time, but rain chances were kept in the likely range for much of the weekend. A definitive cold front should finally move across the region Sunday, eventually yielding dry and cooler weather into the beginning of next week. && .AVIATION /03Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... VFR conditions are expected tonight under shortwave ridging. Deterioration to MVFR/patchy IFR is expected as a cold front crosses the area Wednesday. Showers are expected with the front, along with a gusty wind shift from SW to WNW. A low level jet ahead of the approaching front should also result in LLWS tonight until the jet weakens/exits Wed morning. OUTLOOK... Periodic restrictions are expected through Sunday with a series of crossing low pressure areas. && .CLIMATE... Record daily highs were achieved today at all climate sites. Location Old Record New Record Pittsburgh 68 (1891) 78 Zanesville 71 (1939) 78 Morgantown 70 (1994) 78 DuBois 61 (2016) 72 Wheeling 68 (1930/2016) 78 New Philadelphia 69 (1994) 77 The records at Pittsburgh, Zanesville, and Wheeling also established new record high temperatures for the month of February, while a tie was achieved at New Philadelphia. For Wednesday, DuBois has the best chance of achieving a record high temperature for February 21 (60 set in 2016), while other sites are currently expected to come up short. && .PBZ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... MD...None. OH...None. PA...None. WV...None. && $$

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