Area Forecast Discussion
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000 FXUS61 KPBZ 231936 AFDPBZ Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Pittsburgh PA 236 PM EST Thu Feb 23 2017 .SYNOPSIS...
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Record breaking warmth is expected on Friday, followed by a cold front late Friday night into early Saturday morning which will eventually drop temperatures near normal by Sunday.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH FRIDAY/...
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The primary focus for any precipitation tonight will come from a cold front sagging south across Lake Erie into northwestern Ohio as of early afternoon. While the front is expected to make some southward progression into northern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania later this afternoon into this evening, the front should then slide back north through the overnight hours. With the best upper level support along the front not arriving until after midnight, have generally stuck with chance pops and expect more widespread showers to remain north of the local forecast area. Have also added a slight chance of thunderstorms through the early evening with modest amounts of instability present. Yet another night of warm temperatures is expected, with most locations only dropping into the 50s. With the front to the north and southerly winds across the region, the warmest day of the year so far is expected on Friday, with nearly all locations rising into the 70s and an isolated 80 degree reading not out of the question. The current forecast includes record breaking temperatures at all climate locations and dry conditions.
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&& .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/...
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While there is still some minimal model disagreement in timing of the next cold front, the general consensus shows the front crossing Pittsburgh around sunrise Saturday. The timing should help to dampen the threat for severe weather. Although instability along the cold front will be limited locally, there will still be a threat for strong winds considering the wind shear 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. The bulk of rainfall will have moved east by Saturday afternoon, and a brief lull in showers can be expected before the combination of west-northwesterly winds and colder air allows for some lake enhanced showers to develop Saturday night. Some minimal snow accumulations, less than an inch, will be possible in the favored locations along Interstate 80 and along the PA/WV/MD ridges. As high pressure builds in from the southwest, winds will lose their northerly component and all precipitation will end Sunday morning. 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.
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&& .LONG TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY/... Broad southwest flow aloft is in place for the first portion of the extended period, before a trend towards a troughing pattern towards the end. While guidance generally agrees with this, details on shortwaves and surface systems remain murky, with model disagreement continuing. The flow and increasing moisture with time will support chances for scattered showers Monday and Tuesday. A more significant system appears possible for later Tuesday night and Wednesday, for which likely PoPs were maintained. Once again, this system will produce nealy all liquid, save for some backside snow showers later Wednesday night. Northwest flow activity may linger on Thursday. Made modifications to the SuperBlend guidance to shade more towards continuity. A trend from normal to above normal temperatures will be felt from Monday through Wednesday, before seasonal values return for Thursday. && .AVIATION /19Z THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... MVFR ceilings will linger into tonight with abundant low level moisture associated with a frontal boundary. Scattered showers are possible this afternoon, mainly north of PIT. Ceilings may fall a bit after sunset, with areas near and north of I-80 possibly sinking to IFR levels. Once the front lifts north and the region gets into the warm sector, ceilings will begin to rise back to VFR levels late this evening and overnight, with FKL/DUJ possibly that level shortly after sunrise. VFR conditions will then continue through Friday with thinning clouds by afternoon. Cannot rule out patchy MVFR fog overnight but elected not to include for now as the boundary layer should remain mixed. .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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