Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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000 FXUS62 KRAH 211724 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC Issued by National Weather Service Blacksburg VA 1224 PM EST Tue Feb 21 2017 .SYNOPSIS... High pressure will extend along the East Coast through early today. An upper-level disturbance will cross the Southeast states tonight into Wednesday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 950 AM Tuesday... Forecast pretty much on track. Seeing a bit of high level warm advection clouds streaming across the skies this morning. Models are in agreement that there will be intervals of sunshine mixed in with a high level cloud cover. As such will keep forecast highs similar to the previous forecast, ranging from the lower 60s in the northeast Piedmont, to near 70 in the Sandhills. Previous discussion from 700 AM... North Carolina will be under the influence of ridging aloft and ridging at the surface from a high centered over the New England coast. A closed low aloft is expected to break away from the northern stream trough by 12Z this morning over the ARKLATEX region. The aforementioned low will slide southeast over the Gulf Coast through tonight as the weak remnants of the northern stream trough approach Central NC. The surface ridge will linger until late in the day/evening, with the southeasterly return flow increasing as the center of the high slides southeast off the Mid-Atlantic coast and the ridging over the area weakens. Much of the precipitation associated with this system will be displaced well south of the area and the northern stream energy won`t pass overhead until Wednesday. As a result, have kept the forecast dry through this evening, with a slight chance of showers developing over the far west late tonight. Temperatures will be largely dependent on the return flow around the high as it slides southward, but for now expect temperatures to top out in the mid 60s to around 70 degrees this afternoon. Lows should range from the mid 40s northeast to low 50s southwest. && .SHORT TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/... As of 245 AM Tuesday... The closed low aloft will slide further southeast through the eastern Gulf of Mexico and over FL through Wednesday night, taking the best moisture with it. There is still a chance for some light rain to occur over Central NC on Wednesday as the weakened northern stream trough passes overhead, but exactly where the rain will fall is somewhat uncertain. Regardless, skies will be cloudy throughout the day and rainfall totals are not expected to be very high. The highs on Wednesday (like the temperatures the previous 24 hours) will depend on the return flow into the region from the high offshore. For now, expect a 10-15 degree temperature gradient from NW to SE (60 degrees NW to low-mid 70s SE). There will be enhanced east-southeasterly flow into the southeast U.S. to southern Mid- Atlantic coast Wednesday night as a result of being sandwiched between the Gulf low and the high over Bermuda. Though the best warm, moist advection will be south of the NC coast, expect a continuation of the above normal temps and overnight lows warmer than the previous night (low to mid 50s NW to SE). && .LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 325 AM Tuesday... The upper air pattern across central NC will continue to support very warm conditions though the atmosphere will be slightly unsettled. A strong cold front will cross our region this weekend followed by a slightly cooler and tranquil weather regime. A s/w ridge will build into our region Thu=Fri in response to the departure of an upper level low off of south FL. These rising upper heights will maintain very warm conditions across our region. Closer to the surface, low level southerly flow will gradual increase the moisture content of the column, yielding variably cloudy skies. With weak speed convergence occurs, a few stray showers will likely develop. This scenario appears more plausible over the western Piedmont both Thursday and Friday though most locations will remain rain free. With surface based CAPE approaching 1000 j/kg Thursday afternoon, a thunderstorm may be possible. Temperatures will remain a solid 15-20 degrees above normal though still a couple of degrees shy of record warmth. A mid-upper level s/w crossing the Great Lakes Fri-Sat will drive a sfc cold front southeastward into the Carolinas Saturday. This front will encounter a adequately sheared and slightly unstable air mass to support broken bands of showers and thunderstorms Saturday afternoon, primarily along and east of highway 1. Cannot rule out the possibility of a few strong/severe storms as mixed layer CAPE approaches 1000 j/kg though low level helicity is lacking. Blustery nw winds behind the front Saturday night/Sunday will usher a cooler/drier air mass into central NC. While air mass is cooler, afternoon temperatures will still average 4-6 degrees above normal for late February. Dry weather anticipated Saturday night into Monday as deep wly flow will limit precipitation chances. && .AVIATION /17Z TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/...
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As of 1210 PM Tuesday... Expect VFR conditions through this evening with mainly mid and high clouds increasing from the southwest. Tonight, low pressure will move into the Gulf Coast states, sending low level moisture northward to the Triad/Triangle and eventually the coastal plains. Will start to see sub-VFR cigs and vsbys working to most terminals after 06z with best threat of any rain over INT/GSO, with drizzle toward RDU and RWI after 08z. With high pressure keeping flow off the Atlantic will see some fog as well, so vsbys could drop to IFR, though confidence is not high enough to add in the terminals except INT closer to the foothills. As we head into Wednesday will be tough to dislodge the lower cigs but models favor most sites going to VFR after 15z, though in-situ damming over the Triad should keep INT/GSO IFR til the end of this taf period. Looking ahead: Expect cigs in the MVFR/low end VFR range to persist through Wednesday afternoon, mainly west of RDU. With continued southeast flow through Friday, the early-morning sub-VFR cigs and visbys will likely be a reoccurring theme. Low clouds may scatter out enough during the daytime hours for a return to VFR. Winds will slowly veer through the period ahead of the approaching cold front. Showers and sub-vfr conditions will also be possible ahead of the front, which is expected to move through Central NC on late Saturday.
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&& .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...Badgett NEAR TERM...KC/WP SHORT TERM...KC LONG TERM...WSS AVIATION...KC/WP is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.