Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC-- Highlight Changed Discussion --
-- Discussion containing changed information from previous version are highlighted. --
FXUS62 KRAH 241530
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Raleigh NC
1030 AM EST Fri Feb 24 2017
-- Changed Discussion --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.
-- End Changed Discussion --
.NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
-- Changed Discussion --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
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
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
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.
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).