Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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000 FXUS62 KRAH 241530 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 1030 AM EST Fri Feb 24 2017 .SYNOPSIS...
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Strong high pressure aloft over the region today will shift east and offshore overnight in advance of a cold front that will cross the area on Saturday. Expect near record warmth ahead of the front, with cooler temperatures on Sunday.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
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As of 1030 AM FRIDAY... Another day of near record warmth expected today. Strong upper ridging will extend from the Gulf of Mexico NE across the Carolinas and SE Virginia. The surface high pressure will extend from offshore to over the SE states including NC, with resultant onset of southerly return flow allowing for an increase in low-level moisture, evident in an extensive but flat cumulus and stratocumulus field today, along with an increase in BL dewpoints into the mid to upper 60s. The southerly return flow and dry soil conditions will aide in challenging record high temps for a second consecutive day. Low- level thicknesses yesterday evening verified at 1380 meters(~50 meters above normal). Thus, with today`s projected thickness of 1300 to 1305, we should match or surpass yesterday`s readings by a few degrees. Highs 76 to 81, warmest SE. Tonight... the S-SW wind flow is forecast to begin to increase ahead of the deepening cyclone pivoting NEwd through the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. Associated sfc cold front is expected to reach the southern Appalachians by daybreak, with attendant band of convection is expected to greatly weaken along it`s southern fringes across southern Virginia and North Carolina as the better forcing and deeper moisture lifts off to the northeast. Strengthening moist WAA in advance of the front could support an isolated shower across the far NW zones, otherwise, any rain chances will hold until after 12z Saturday with the timing of the cold front through the area between 15z to 00z. The increasing cloud cover and southerly winds will make for a mild night. Lows in the mid 50s.
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&& .SHORT TERM /SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 315 AM FRIDAY... The dynamics and moisture are expected to largely pass well north of NC Saturday with the storm track. The trailing cold front is expected to push east across the region during the afternoon and early evening. The GFS has sped up somewhat, but models generally force the fronts to quickly east into our region. Regardless, even most of the low level moisture/convergence/ and low level instability will remain from central VA northward with the front. We will maintain a low chance of a shower or isolated thunderstorm (with very marginal instability) noted. Highs should again soar into the upper 70s to lower 80s. Depending on the amount of sun in the Sandhills, some mid 80s are possible. QPF should be less than 0.10 north, and essentially nil across the south where hardly any chance of showers exist. Expect Variably cloudy skies becoming partly sunny. Surface winds will become more of an issue as they will increase to between 15 and 25 mph with gusts to 30-35 mph. Winds will become more W then WNW during the afternoon as the front comes through. Dew points will crash behind the front from the 50s into the 30s (20s NW). This dry wind and lowering RH may lead to some increasing fire weather concern, mainly in the lee of the mountains into the western Piedmont where the front will come through before peak heating. More on this in later forecasts. A freeze is possible for the NW and N Piedmont on Sunday night as winds die off and skies become clear. Lows 30-35 there, and 35-40 favored in the east. It should be too dry for frost in the west, and a bit too warm in the east. But sub-freezing lows may occur in the NW Piedmont to near Roxboro in the N Piedmont. && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 345 AM Friday... Dry weather is expected Sunday through Monday morning as surface high pressure moves across the area. This should result in a return to more seasonal temps, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. A warming trend will commence on Monday as the surface high moves offshore. However, with deep southwesterly flow aloft we will be susceptible to disturbances moving across the area in the southwesterly flow aloft, along with lots of clouds and chances for showers and possibly some storms. Both the latest GFS and ECMWF show a disturbance moving across the area late Monday into Tuesday morning. Will raise pops some for this time frame, but keep them in the chance category for now and wait for more model run to run continuity. The next good chance for showers and some storms will be from a trailing cold front moving across the area Wednesday or Wednesday night as the main surface low is expected to track across the Great Lakes region into New England. Ahead of the front expect high temps will be in the 60s and 70s from Monday through Wednesday, with a return to temps closer to normal in the 50s and 60s across the area for Thursday. Low temps will follow a similar trend, remaining above normal through Thursday morning. && .AVIATION /12Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 640 AM Friday... 24 Hour TAF Period: Strong high pressure aloft will build over the region today, while surface high pressure continues to extend into the area. This will result in mainly VFR conditions for the 24 hour TAF period. However, with mostly clear skies and calm to light and variable winds this morning patchy to areas of fog has developed across central NC. Visibilities range from VFR at KGSO and KRDU to LIFR at KINT and KRWI. Any sub-VFR visbys should lift/dissipate within and hour or two, however, we may see a brief period of MVFR stratocumulus from 13-16Z or so, before and cigs lift into the VFR range and further scatter. Otherwise, VFR conditions are expected with south to southeasterly winds of 08 kts or less today. Another rounds of low stratus and/or fog will be possible on Saturday morning, with sub-VFR conditions possible again across central NC. Outlook: A few showers and isolated storms are possible Sat afternoon, mainly INT/GSO/RDU, as a cold front crosses the area, however VFR conditions will dominate. VFR conditions will continue through at least Mon as high pressure builds into and over the region. The chance for sub-VFR conditions and showers and a few storms will return Mon night into Tue as a warm front shifts northward through the area. && .CLIMATE... Record highs for February 24 and 25: Greensboro: 79 (1982) and 81 (1930). Raleigh: 81 (1982) and 82 (1930). Fayetteville: 83 (1930) and 85 (1930). && .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...Badgett NEAR TERM...CBL SHORT TERM...Badgett LONG TERM...BSD AVIATION...BSD/Hartfield CLIMATE...Badgett

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