Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Mt. Holly, NJ

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FXUS61 KPHI 240003

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ
703 PM EST Thu Feb 23 2017

A cold front will move into the Northeast tonight before stalling,
then moving northward as a warm front Friday night. A strong cold
front will move through the Mid Atlantic on Saturday. High pressure
will pass through the region Sunday and Monday. A front will set up
near the area for much of next week, with several lows expected to
move along it. A strong low will move through the Great Lakes and
southeast Canada next Wednesday and Thursday, which will pull
another strong cold front through the region by late in the


630 PM ESTF: updated temps warmer (because too much boundary layer
wind), dewpoints lower (drier sfc air may be advecting northward
from e VA) and confidence on shower occurrence is below avg.

Just not much going on right now with the shower risk and we are
well past sundown. From the 330 PM discussion: Showers may become
increasingly organized along a pre- frontal trough in our far
northwestern zones of the CWA (RDG- ABE-MPO- FWN north and west)
during the mid to late evening hours. A slight chance for
thunderstorms was also mentioned for these far northwestern
zones given the potential for slightly elevated convection to
tap into 400-700 J/kg of MUCAPE. This activity will weaken
overnight. the clouds may dissipate by early morning, allowing
for at least patchy dense fog to develop closer to sunrise,
particularly where it rains. The S-SWly wind field at the top of
the boundary layer looks slightly stronger tonight compared to
last night, which favors more stratus vs. fog compared to last
night. Nonetheless, there is a potential for dense fog again late
tonight in parts of the region, but suspect not as widespread,
at least not in the south and central portions of our area.

Objective SREF NARRE guidance is significantly less robust than
what we saw at this time last evening for this past Thursday

Otherwise...differences this evening from last evening. The
main was much warmer this afternoon (record and
near record) so temp-dewpoint spreads at 6 PM were generally larger
south and less north which when combined with an increased boundary
layer wind, and 40s dewpoints in e VA trying to advect north, favors
delayed stratus and fog formation and probably reserved mostly
north of I-78.


The cold front will dissipate inland by the morning. Similar to
today, the day will start with low clouds and fog. The low-level
flow is forecast to be ever-so-slightly backed tomorrow (Sly)
compared to today (S-SWly), which may allow the stratus to hang on
an hour or two later into the day than today. Regardless, there
looks to be an opportunity for temperatures to spike to near record
levels in the mid to late afternoon hours with clearing skies during
peak heating. Trended warmer for tomorrow (closer to the RGEM),
yielding highs in the low to mid 70s south of I-78 and mid to upper
60s farther north.


The long term period looks active, as several systems are likely to
affect the area through the middle part of next week.

At 00Z Saturday, a strong vorticity maximum will approach the Great
Lakes and Ohio Valley, with a 140-kt 250-mb jet streak positioned
across much of the southern U.S.  As the nose of this jet enters
difluent flow near the Atlantic Coast, considerable upper-level
divergence will collocate with differential cyclonic vorticity
advection downstream of the aforementioned vort max.  Strongly
forced convection will develop along an associated cold front in the
Midwest moving east into New York and Pennsylvania by late
Saturday morning. A downstream jet streak will develop in the
high-amplitude ridging nosing into eastern Canada, providing
additional lift via jet coupling to produce widespread
precipitation in Quebec, New York, and adjacent New England
Saturday afternoon. As the vort max impinges upon the high-
amplitude ridging, it will make a shift northward, leaving our
region on the southern fringes of the stronger dynamics/lift and
well within the warm sector of the system.

Given sufficient diabatic heating, marginal boundary-layer based
instability is expected by afternoon in our area, which may act to
compensate for the somewhat weaker large-scale ascent.  Vertical
wind profiles will be quite strong, with deep-layer shear 40-60
knots. Unidirectional wind profile and orientation parallel to the
initiating boundary will support a line of convection moving through
the area during the afternoon. Strength of the wind profile and
steep lapse rates near the surface suggest isolated damaging wind
gusts are possible as the line moves through the region.  The key to
the extent of this threat will be the degree to which the boundary
layer destabilizes during the day and the ability for updrafts to
withstand the strong vertical wind profile -- the usual players in a
high CAPE-low shear environment.  Today`s simulations suggest there
will be a window of at least partial surface heating just downstream
of the cold front, with MUCAPE near 500 J/kg during peak heating.
Maintained a threat of thunderstorms in the grids for Saturday
afternoon. Models have sped up the timing of frontal passage a
tad, and reflected this in the grids somewhat by increasing PoPs
a bit earlier in the day and decreasing them a bit more
Saturday evening/night.

Temperature forecast on Saturday is a big challenge, as sky cover,
precipitation, and timing of the frontal passage are all highly
complicating issues.  I went pretty close to statistical guidance,
which was generally in good agreement despite the complex scenario.
Nevertheless, there is large uncertainty and potential for error for
highs Saturday, which currently are around five degrees lower than
the values in place for Friday.

A sprawling but progressive high will move in behind the front for
Sunday and Monday, so a period of dry weather and much cooler
(though still near to slightly above average) temperatures are
forecast during this period.

By Monday afternoon, model agreement becomes quite poor.  These
large discrepancies exist owing to an unusually high degree of
spread associated with an upper-level low digging off the California
coast this weekend and progressing eastward early next week.  The
GFS is very quick to move a perturbation from this upper low into
the central plains by 00Z Monday and to the Mid-Atlantic States by
00Z Tuesday.  Widespread precipitation breaks out on the East Coast
Monday night in advance of this system.  The ECMWF, meanwhile, is
much weaker with this perturbation and basically shows no
precipitation at all with its passage, but is more aggressive in
breaking out scattered/light precipitation on Tuesday
afternoon/evening as isentropic ascent increases downstream of a
stronger system that develops in the central plains into the Great
Lakes by midweek.  As the low rapidly develops and lifts into
southeast Canada by Thursday, a cold front sweeps through the East
Coast Wednesday night and Thursday, bringing widespread
precipitation through the area. Meanwhile, the GFS moves this
low/associated precipitation mostly to the north of the area.  Other
guidance provides little insight, as the CMC becomes a strong
outlier with the depth/orientation of the longwave trough beyond
this weekend, and the ensemble guidance shows that the GFS/ECMWF
solutions are nearly equally plausible.

As a result, broadbrushed PoPs/sky cover/temps/winds Monday night
through Thursday, with generally slight chance to chance PoPs during
this period.  There is at least some chance for a mix of rain and
snow in the southern Poconos Monday night if the GFS solution pans
out.  Then again, if the ECMWF solution is closer to reality, there
may be no precipitation at all... Temps during this period should be
well above average.


The following discussion is for KPHL, KPNE, KTTN, KABE, KRDG,
KILG, KMIV, KACY and surrounding areas.

Tonight...VFR early may become IFR toward 10z... but confidence
on IFR conditions is below average except vcnty KABE. Light
south wind. Please see TAFS for timing details.

Showers and perhaps an isolated thunderstorm may organize ahead
of a cold front this evening, possibly reaching as far southeast
as RDG-ABE during the late evening or overnight (02Z- 06Z).

Another round of stratus and fog is likely late tonight (after
08Z), with the potential for LIFR conditions with 2-3 hours on
either side of sunrise, mainly vcnty KABE. Confidence is low
for the formation of stratus and fog. NARRE objective prediction
is not very impressive as compared to ydy.

Friday...IFR or MVFR conds in st/fog in the morning becoming VFR
during the afternoon except possible MVFR CIGS contg vcnty KACY.
South to southwest wind probably gusts 18 kt during the


Friday night...Sub-VFR conditions possible with areas of low clouds
and fog.

Saturday and Saturday night...Line of showers/storms likely will
move through the area during the day, with gusty/erratic winds and
sub-VFR conditions likely during passage.  South winds may gust at
times above 20 kts before frontal passage.  Winds will rapidly
switch to west or northwest after the front passes, with gusts above
20 kts likely. Rapid improvement to VFR after frontal passage.

Sunday...VFR with winds northwest 10-20 kts with gusts to 30 kts

Sunday night and Monday...VFR with winds near/below 10 kts becoming
southerly by Monday.  Conditions may become sub-VFR late in the day
as another system approaches, but this is very low confidence.

Monday night and Tuesday...Potential for sub-VFR conditions with
precipitation, low ceilings, and reduced visibilities possible at
times. Very low confidence.


A S-SW wind around 10-15 kt this evening will weaken overnight
and into the morning then strengthen out of the south or southeast
Friday afternoon with a few gusts near 20 kt possible.

Another round of dense fog may occur over the waters either late
tonight or more likely Friday. No marine dense fog advisory yet
due to uncertainty regarding when the dense fog forms and how
widespread it will become. There is a potential for the dense
fog to persist into the daytime a few miles off the Atlantic


Friday night through Saturday night...Fog may again develop on the
coastal waters, with at least some potential for visibilities less
than one mile, as very warm/moist air remains over the relatively
cold waters.  A line of storms will likely move through Saturday
afternoon and evening, with any fog rapidly dissipating as this
occurs.  Seas are expected to build to small craft advisory (SCA)
thresholds on Saturday, and winds will become westerly and become
gusty after cold frontal passage.  Gusts may approach gale levels
late Saturday night.

Sunday and Sunday night...SCA northwest winds continue but should
decrease below advisory thresholds Sunday evening.

Monday through Tuesday...Generally sub-SCA conditions expected,
though winds may approach advisory levels for a brief period Monday


**Many records today contribute to a record warm Feb and a top 10
  warmest winter in the period of record for Mount Holly FA**

As of 5 PM...records were set at GED 75, MPO 63, RDG 73, ABE 72
As of 5 PM...records were tied ACY 72, ILG 73

For reference, here are/were the high temperature records for
today, Friday and Saturday (not including the new records
so far today).

Location    Thursday 2/23   Friday 2/24   Saturday 2/25

ACY         72-1985         75-1985       77-1930

PHL         75-1874         74-1985       79-1930

ILG         72-1985         78-1985       78-1930

ABE         71-1985         76-1985       74-1930

TTN         74-1874         74-1985       76-1930

GED         67-1985/1990    72-1961       76-1975

RDG         72/1932/1922    77-1985       77-1930

MPO         60-1977         60-1984       70-1930

Todays February rankings were updated at 515 PM. We`ll finish
the seasonal AT 6 pm.

The following are the monthly and seasonal expectations.

It is virtually certain that these values will be at or below
reality and that our forecast area is experiencing a record warm
February and a top 10 warmest winter.

Records date back to the late 19th century. Details below.


PHL 43.9 #1  Normal 35.7 Record 42.2-1925 POR 1874

ABE 38.9 #1  Normal 30.7 Record 38.6-1998 POR 1922

ACY 42.9 #1  Normal 35.3 Record 41.6-1890 POR 1874

ILG 43.1 #1  Normal 35.1 Record 42.3-1903 POR 1895

Note for ABE: There is a pretty good chance ABE will end up
warmer and possibly very close to their monthly temp record.

Winter (DJF)

PHL 40.3 #7 and solid. It wont slip.

ABE 35.8 #5 and solid. It wont slip.

ACY 39.8 #9 and may rise

ILG 39.4 #5 tie

Past two years of monthly average temperatures through February
2017, a summary of above normal months listed below:

For ABE: 23 consecutive months of above normal temps!

FOR PHL: 22 of the past 23 months have been above normal.

For ACY: 19 of the past 23 months have been above normal. For ILG:
17 of the past 23 months have been above normal.

(Jan Feb March 2015 was the last time we had significant and
persistent below normal monthly temps.)


Atlantic City should end up tied for 5th least snowiest February
on record  0.3"




Near Term...Drag/Klein 702
Short Term...Klein
Long Term...CMS
Aviation...CMS/Drag/Klein 702
Marine...CMS/Drag/Klein 702
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