Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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000 FXUS62 KRAH 200721 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 220 AM EST Fri Jan 20 2017 .SYNOPSIS... An upper level trough will pivot northeast across western North Carolina into this morning. This will be followed by a brief quiet period Friday afternoon and night. A strong storm system is expected to affect the region over the weekend into Monday. && .NEAR TERM /OVERNIGHT/... As of 935 PM Thursday... Evening upper air analysis depicts a narrow ridge of high pressure over the state. Immediately on the back side of the high, clouds were thickening/lowering with patches of light rain developing over the southern mountains. The ridge is expected to drift offshore later tonight, leading to increasing cloud cover over our region, with a good chance for light rain by daybreak across the western Piedmont. At this time, the bulk of the rain should remain west of the Triangle, and west of Fayetteville through 7 AM. Rain chances in the Triangle and Fayetteville quickly reach their peak by mid-late morning. Mid evening temperatures varied from near 40 across the far northeast to the upper 40s/around 50 over the far south and west. As clouds thicken overnight, expect temperatures to hold steady or rise a degree or two prior to the arrival of the precip. Min temps will vary from the upper 30s/around 40 northeast to the mid 40s west. && .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 255 PM Thursday... Rain is expected over the region Friday morning... tapering off from the west during the afternoon. QPF will be highest in the NW, lowest SE, ranging from around 0.25 NW to less than 0.10 SE. Temperatures will remain rather cool or held down by the rain and clouds. Light flow even behind the departing system will generally yield cloudy skies with some breaks during Friday afternoon. Expect highs in the 50s north, lower to mid 60s south. Friday night... Patchy fog and variably cloudy skies expected as we will be between systems. The main issue is the potential for dense fog if we get some partial clearing. Lows in the upper 40s to mid 50s. && .LONG TERM /Sunday through Thursday/...
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As of 220 AM Friday... Earlier thinking remains valid. Warm and stormy weather will rule Sun through Mon, followed by dry and mild weather Tue through Wed. A pattern shift toward lower (higher) heights over the eastern (western) CONUS will commence Wed night, with cooler temps arriving for Thu. Sun through Mon night: Widespread showers and perhaps a storm or two should be ongoing across central NC early Sun, within vigorous forcing for ascent generated by DPVA with a wave tracking NNE through the area, having emanated from the deep low over the lower Miss Valley, along with a 50 kt low level jet punching into the area from the south, and intense upper divergence. PW of 200-300% of normal in conjunction with this strong lift will support a period of heavy rain Sun morning into early afternoon, as an occluded surface low tracks NE over the NC Piedmont. A slug of relatively drier mid level air will move in from the south Sun afternoon, leading to a short relative lull in coverage and intensity, and will have categorical morning pops dipping to good chance/likely for a period in the afternoon within brief shortwave ridging between the exiting wave and the upper low crossing the Gulf States. This lull will be short-lived as the upper low shifts east over AL/GA then NE over the Carolinas, bringing another round of strong deep lift. The ECMWF/GFS have come into better agreement on timing, although the ECMWF is still a bit faster than the GFS. The slightly slower GFS speed is preferred based on the strength of this system. Will ramp pops back up to categorical Sun evening into the early overnight hours, followed by another downturn in coverage and intensity late as a mid- upper dry punch arrives along with cooling low levels. Scattered to numerous showers will persist through Mon as the upper low crosses the region with ~7 C/km mid level lapse rates and lower but still above-normal PW. Precip chances will wind down Mon night as the low shifts to our north. A few strong storms remain possible, mainly from midday Sun into Sun evening, with a 70+ kt mid level jet streak accompanying powerful upper divergence and steep 700-500 mb lapse rates over 7 C/km according to the GFS. CIPS analog guidance continues to suggest more of a severe threat for FL compared to our area, historically speaking, although GFS forecast soundings for central NC still show long wavy hodographs and marginal to moderate instability, suggestive of at least a modest risk of a few strong wind-producing storms, and perhaps a tornado as well along and north of the occluding frontal system. Highs in the mid 60s to around 70 Sun, lows from the upper 40s to mid 50s Sun night, and mid 50s to lower 60s for highs Mon. Lows in the low-mid 40s Mon night. Tue through Thu: Mid level heights rise over the Southeast as a mid level ridge axis shifts over the region, while surface high pressure crosses the northern Gulf and FL. Expect fair skies Tue/Wed with slightly cooler but still above normal temps. The aforementioned pattern change will begin late Wed night or Thu morning (ECMWF brings a cold front through earlier than the GFS) as a strong EPac trough this weekend shifts eastward and begins to tap into cooler polar air that has been bottled up well to our north. Expect highs back down into the 50s Thu. A few showers are possible with the cold front, although will keep pops on the low side given the significant model timing differences. -GIH
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&& .AVIATION /06Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 110 AM Friday... 24 Hour TAF period: VFR conditions across the area this morning should remain so for the next few hours before ceilings start to come down at the Triad sites in advance of a system that is expected to track through the area later today. Expect MVFR after 9Z with IFR following shortly after, closer to 12Z. Eastern sites will come down a few hours later from west to east. Short term models show precipitation moving into the Triad around 12z and losing intensity as it crosses the northern tier. This will leave some question as to whether or not KFAY will see any rain or not. Other sites to the east still should see some light rain late morning through early afternoon before the system quickly moves out to the northeast. Conditions should begin to improve thereafter. Long term: Expect fog early Saturday morning and then attention turns to a stronger system expected to bring the possibility of thunderstorms to the area on Saturday. Conditions should return to VFR on Sunday. && .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...Badgett NEAR TERM...WSS SHORT TERM...Badgett LONG TERM...Hartfield AVIATION...Ellis

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