Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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647 FXUS62 KRAH 232017 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 318 PM EST Thu Feb 23 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Strong high pressure aloft will again build over our region today and Friday. The high will shift east and offshore in advance of a cold front approach that will cross the area from the west on Saturday. Expect near record warmth ahead of the front with cooler temperatures on Sunday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
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As of 315 PM THURSDAY... Amplifying mid to upper level ridge will build east into the area in the wake of the closed low moving off southeast Florida coast. Strengthening synoptic scale subsidence will yield increasing sunshine/solar radiation across the area, which in return will scour out the lingering/shallow in-situ wedge in the form of stratus and fog across the NW Piedmont. With the erosion of the in-situ wedge across the NW Piedmont, the warmth that central and eastern sections experienced yesterday will spread to all of central NC today. A projected 10 meter low-level thickness increase will support highs ranging from lower 70s NW to upper 70s SE, which will approach record territory(see climate records below). Lows in the 50s. Cu field has readily developed over the Sandhills/Piedmont fall line, in response to daytime heating and the weak sely onshore flow. CAMs try to develop an isolated shower in this area this afternoon, however with enhanced mid-level moisture moving offshore while remaining capped aloft, expect little vertical growth and thus will keep forecast dry. Good radiational cooling conditions tonight with above normal dewpoint residing over the area will result in rather low dewpoint depressions to support the development of fog, possibly dense in a few locations. Mild overnight lows in the lower to mid 50s.
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As of 315 PM THURSDAY... Strong mid/upper level ridging and associated sinking air will combine with strengthening southerly return flow and dry soil conditions to make Friday day two of three of near record warmth across the region. Low-level thicknesses Friday afternoon are forecast to be aoa 1380 meters, which is 50 meters above normal and more representative of late April/early May, as opposed to late February. Highs should approach 80 in many areas, with mid 70s NW. Expect another warm night with an increase in mid and high clouds from the west during the predawn hours as the front progress eastward in the southern and central Appalachians. Lows in the mid to upper 50s, which could challenge record hi-min temps(warmest night).
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&& .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 400 AM Thursday... A strong trailing cold front is expected to move across central NC on Saturday. The main surface low with the system and best dynamic will lifts from the central Plains Thursday night into the Great Lakes region on Saturday as the associated mid level trough takes on a bit of a negative tilt. The best chance for convection along the trailing front is expected to be to the north of central NC, with the main combo of dynamic and moisture passing well to the north of the area. Nonetheless, we could see some showers and perhaps a thunderstorm or two, primarily across the northern portions of central NC. Given the impressive deep shear if we are able to get some convection develop along/in advance of the front the strongest storms would pose a damaging wind threat. However, with little to no deep convection expected across central NC at this time on Saturday SPC has keep any severe potential to the north of the area in the day 3 outlook. Regardless, expect breezy/windy conditions, with wind gusts of up to 25 to 35 mph possible. High temps are expected to be in the 70s, with possibly a few 80s in the far south and east. Dry weather is expected Saturday night 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 likely see some s/w disturbances track across the area early to mid next week, yielding increasing chances for showers. The next main front will remain to the west of the area through the forecast period though. This should result in a warming trend with highs the 60s and 70s. Will keep pops low during this period though, until medium range model guidance comes into better agreement on the timing of such s/w disturbances mentioned above. && .AVIATION /18Z THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 12 PM Thursday... 24 Hour TAF Period: In response to strong heating and weak onshore flow, a healthy flat cu field has readily developed across the Sandhills and Piedmont fall line. Otherwise, VFR conditions are expected through the remainder of the afternoon and evening as strong high pressure aloft builds atop the region. Good radiational cooling conditions tonight with above normal dewpoint residing over the area will result in rather low dewpoint depressions to support the development of fog, possibly dense in some spots between 06 to 12z. Any sub-VFR conditions that develop Friday morning should lift quickly in response to another day of strong heating. Winds will remain light and out of the SE to S through tomorrow afternoon. Outlook: Aside from some early morning fog/stratus, expect predominately VFR conditions through Sunday. The exception will be a very isolated/small chance of a shower or thunderstorm as a cold front moves through the area Saturday afternoon. Winds will become breezy Saturday afternoon as the front approaches from the west, with sustained winds between 15 to 20kts, gusting 25 to 30 kts. The next chance for precip and sub-VFR conditions will be late Monday and into Tuesday as a weakening low pressure system approaches from the west. && .CLIMATE... Record High Temperatures February 23rd February 24th February 25th GSO 73/1980 79/1982 81/1930 RDU 79/1980 81/1982 82/1930 FAY 80/1922 83/1930 85/1930 && .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...CBL NEAR TERM...CBL SHORT TERM...CBL LONG TERM...BSD AVIATION...CBL CLIMATE...RAH is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.