Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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000 FXUS62 KRAH 210232 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 1030 PM EDT Mon Mar 20 2017 .SYNOPSIS... A warm front will push northward through the area tonight, bringing mild air for Tuesday. A cold front will push slowly southward through the area Tuesday evening through Tuesday night. Cool high pressure will build into the region from the north Wednesday through Thursday. && .NEAR TERM /Through Tonight/... As of 1030 PM Monday... Earlier update is on track. The earlier MCS over S OH has weakened considerably as it has crossed WV and become farther removed from the best wind fields and moisture flux. The residual area of showers (and a couple of isolated embedded storms, although these too will weaken) will continue a slow decrease in coverage and intensity, following the HRRR and WRF-ARW, but still expect enough showers across the far N and NE CWA to keep chance pops, highest near the Kerr Lake and Lake Gaston areas. Lows from the upper 40s east to lower 50s west. -GIH Earlier discussion from 730 pm: Forecast was updated to account for greater shower chances across the north and NE tonight, along with greater cloud cover (earlier increase from NW) and warmer temps tonight. The MCS covering southern OH (including a bow echo tracking along the Ohio River) is on track to cross WV into VA over the next several hours, following the mean steering flow, although as it does so, it will move out of both the low level theta-e ridge and low level jet nose, and this loss of support should result in a decrease in intensity and coverage of showers as it approaches far north- central and northeast NC late tonight. That said, however, the HRRR/RAP/WRF-ARW, as well as the latest GFS/NAM/ECMWF, all show a batch of scattered showers crossing the NE CWA very late evening into the overnight hours. Have raised pops late evening through tonight from the Triangle N and E, with good chance near Kerr Lake and Lake Gaston. This should be mostly showers by that point, especially given the lingering lower dewpoints and cooler temps over the NE CWA, where mid level lapse rates will still be under 6 C/km. With a faster and greater increase in cloud from the west and NW this evening, hindering radiational cooling, have bumped up lows to around 50 / lower 50s, except for upper 40s east of Highway 1. -GIH Earlier discussion from 100 pm: Low-level moisture will increase from the W/WNW tonight as the aforementioned front progresses slowly south/east into TN/WV/VA and low-level flow strengthens downstream in the Carolinas. Model guidance is fairly unanimous in showing measurable precipitation in the N/NW Piedmont late tonight (06-12Z Tue). Model guidance is most likely picking up on remnants of the MCC, e.g. the eastern portion of the complex as it progresses S/SE through WV into southwest VA overnight. Alternately, strengthening low-level warm advection may result in marginal/elevated destabilization and a potential for elevated showers at the leading edge of a 925 mb warm front lifting NE from Upstate SC through the Foothills/Western Piedmont of NC between 06-12Z Tue morning. Given the dry airmass (PWAT 0.20-0.40") currently in place east of the mountains, confidence remains low with regard to whether or not sufficient moistening/elevated destabilization and/or sufficient forcing will be present to maintain lingering MCC remnants or support the development of elevated showers late tonight. At this time, will continue to indicate a ~20% of showers after midnight across the W/NW Piedmont. Given broken/overcast cloud cover and a SW breeze, expect lows Tue morning to be much warmer than this morning, in the mid to upper 40s, coldest in the E/NE Coastal Plain. -Vincent && .SHORT TERM /Tuesday and Tuesday Night/... As of 216 PM Monday... A broad surface low and associated cold front progressing SE into the Appalachians tonight will track slowly southward through central NC as a backdoor cold front late Tue aft/eve into Tue night, in the presence of small amplitude shortwave energy traversing the region in NW flow aloft. Aside from elevated convection that may develop over or propagate into portions of central NC early Tue morning, expect dry conditions to otherwise prevail through mid Tue afternoon given weak forcing and a strong capping inversion associated with a pronounced elevated mixed layer (H7-H5 lapse rates ~8c/km) advecting into the Carolinas from the west. Expect highs Tue afternoon in the mid/upper 70s to lower 80s. By late Tue afternoon, convection is expected to develop over and/or propagate into central NC from the west as the cap weakens via diurnal heating and forcing strengthens as the low/cold front progresses southward into central NC and shortwave energy traverses the region in NW flow aloft. The latest guidance suggests the potential for convection will be greatest along/south of Hwy 64 between 21Z Tue afternoon and 06Z Wed morning. Lows Tue night will be driven by cold advection in the wake of the front, ranging from the mid 40s (N) to lower 50s (S). Severe Potential: Very steep mid-level lapse rates, Spring insolation and seasonable low-level moisture (dewpoints rising into the mid/upper 50s) will yield as much as ~1000 J/kg of MLCAPE late Tue aft/eve, in the presence of deep layer shear sufficient for supercellular organization. With the above in mind, deep convection that develops and/or propagates downstream into central NC Tue aft/eve will have the potential to become severe, with a primary threat of large hail and damaging winds. The threat for severe weather will be greatest (relatively speaking) south of the Highway 64 corridor between 5pm and Midnight. -Vincent && .LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 325 PM Monday... Surface cold front and attendant axis of deeper moisture will push south of the area by daybreak. Rain/showers should be exiting southern portions of the forecast area by the morning rush hour commute, with NW-SE post-frontal clearing during the late morning/early afternoon, as the leading edge of the strong Canadian high builds in from the north. Highs Wednesday a good 15 to 20 degrees cooler than Tuesday, ranging from lower to mid 50s NE to lower 60s SW. With the cP airmass centered over the area Wednesday night through Thursday night, temperatures through the period will average a good 10 to 15 degrees below normal. Thursday morning looks to be the coldest morning, with most area at or below freezing, lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s. Highs in the 50 to 55. The Nam is a wet outlier in the depiction of spreading precip into the area Wednesday night and into the day on Thursday, in response to shortwave disturbances moving through the area. The remainder of the NWP guidance keeps this overrunning precip suppress south of the area and thus will keep forecast dry. The modified Canadian parent high will shift offshore on Friday, with southerly return flow allowing for a quick moderation to 70 degree readings by Saturday with ridging aloft keeping it dry through Friday night and possibly through much of the day on Saturday. Strengthening warm moist air advection on the eastern periphery of the closed mid/upper level cyclone moving east-northeast into the Ohio Valley will result in increasing chance of showers and possibly a few thunderstorms late Saturday and into the day on Sunday. The closed cyclone is forecast to gradually weaken as it moves east- northeast, and thus the threat for severe weather is minimal at this time. Continued mild with highs in the 60s and 70s. Lows in the upper 40s and 50s. && .AVIATION /00Z Tuesday through Saturday/... As of 745 PM Monday... 24 Hour TAF Period: Medium confidence of VFR through the TAF period with SSW/SW winds becoming more variable and light overnight. Scattered to broken clouds near 5 kft can be expected into the overnight hours giving way to higher ceilings later Tuesday afternoon. Light precip at the northern terminal sites is possible between 6 and 12Z Tuesday morning as a disturbance moves along the VA border. No thunder is expected with the precipitation at this time. Other than a brief period of gusty winds (15-20 kts) at KFAY late tomorrow morning into early afternoon, winds at most terminals should remain variable between 5-10 kts. Long Term: There will be another chance for precipitation at KFAY just after the TAF period as a disturbance passes just south of the forecast area. Otherwise expect mainly VFR conditions through much of the period. && .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...Hartfield NEAR TERM...Hartfield/BV SHORT TERM...Vincent LONG TERM...CBL AVIATION...BB/Ellis is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.