Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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000 FXUS62 KRAH 180551 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 1250 AM EST Sat Feb 18 2017 .SYNOPSIS...
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An upper level trough will approach from the west and cross the southeastern U.S. tonight through early Sunday. High pressure will build into our region behind the exiting low pressure system Sunday night and Monday.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 1045 PM Friday... Dew points continue to slowly rise this evening in all areas, but readings were still in the mid 20s in the NW Piedmont ranging into the upper 30s at in the SE. Mixing continues to lead to a SW flow to 10 mph in most areas keeping temperatures up in the 50s. Areas that are more sheltered in the river valleys (Sanford, Smithfield, Albemarle to name a few locations) were in the lower to mid 40s. Clear skies continued with some increase in thin cirrus from the SW. The latest satellite trends indicate only a slow increase in cirrus later tonight, but it should remain thin. Continued mixing will lead to SW winds 5-10 mph keeping the temperatures up in most areas. Lows 35-40 in the rural low lying areas, with 40s in the urban and open areas. && .SHORT TERM /SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 220 PM Friday... The mid level shortwave ridge axis is expected to be overhead at sunrise Sat, after which time it will shift steadily off the coast as the upper low crosses the Mid South Sat before then opening up a bit as it crosses the Carolinas Sat night. Forecast soundings depict relatively little moisture with this feature, focused primarily in the mid to upper levels, with weak low level moisture transport, and steady MSLP with ridging extending across the Southeast and a weak lee trough over the Piedmont. Also, the initially-decent DPVA weakens as this low/trough approaches and dampens, contributing to reduced forcing for ascent as we head through Sat night. Model output overwhelmingly supports little in the way of measurable precip in central NC, including the SREF and NCAR ensemble which show very low to no chance of measurable precip, and the operational models which show only very light amounts barely scraping the NW and SE corners of the CWA. Based on this limited moisture and lift, will limit slight chances over just the SE and NW CWA Sat night. Expect increasing and thickening clouds Sat, with thicknesses supporting highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Lows in the mid-upper 40s. -GIH && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 155 PM Friday... An upper level disturbance will move west of the Appalachians on Sunday while a surface low develops off of the southeast coast. Model runs continue to trend drier for this system for central NC and at this time there is a good chance that both of these systems could pass us by with little to no rainfall across the area. This will lead to cloudy skies early Sunday and clearing by afternoon. This will allow max temps to rise towards the 70 degree mark. Beyond Sunday a very strong upper level ridge will keep us warm and dry through at least Tuesday night with highs in the upper 60s to low 70s. A weak frontal system on Wednesday will give slight chances for rain but nothing more than a few hundredths of an inch. For the end of the week we will have slight chances for rain each day as central NC resides under a southerly return flow regime with high pressure out over the western Atlantic. As the same time a strong low pressure system over the Midwest may help to enhance moisture transport into the area. The whole time we will remain in the warm sector with high temps in the low 70s, well above normal for this time of year. && .AVIATION /06Z Saturday through Wednesday/...
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As of 1250 AM Saturday... There is a high likelihood of VFR conditions across central NC through 06Z Sunday. Mostly clear skies overnight/early this morning will give way to thickening mid-high level clouds this afternoon. Enough forcing aloft will cause some precip to develop though the dry sub-cloud layer will cause most of the precipitation to evaporate before reaching the surface. Southwest surface winds will increase after 18Z Saturday to near 10kts with infrequent gusts between 15-18kts probable at KRDU, KRWI, and KFAY. Ceilings tonight will mostly vary between 7000-12000ft. Gradual clearing expected to occur Sunday morning-early afternoon as an area of low pressure pulls away from our region. Mostly clear skies anticipated Sunday night into Monday. There is a high probability of VFR conditions Monday through Tuesday. The approach of a low pressure system Tuesday night into Wednesday will increase the chance for sub-VFR ceilings.
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&& .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...WSS NEAR TERM...Badgett SHORT TERM...Hartfield LONG TERM...Ellis AVIATION...WSS is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.