Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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130 FXUS62 KRAH 221130 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 630 AM EST Wed Feb 22 2017 .SYNOPSIS... High pressure will continue to ridge west into the Mid-Atlantic as the center remains offshore. A slow-moving upper level trough will cross the Southeast and Mid Atlantic states through tonight. An upper level ridge will again briefly build over the eastern U.S. Thursday and Friday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 240 AM Wednesday... Low pressure over the Mississippi River valley will slide southeast over the eastern Gulf of Mexico today and over Florida tonight. The bulk of the rainfall associated with that system will remain well south of Central NC. However, increasing southeasterly return flow into the area from both the high offshore and the aforementioned low over the Gulf, combined with the diffuse diffuse trough aloft moving over the region, will result in the development of showers across the west, possibly lasting into the early afternoon. Temperatures this morning will be a bit atypical with around 50 degrees in the west and mid 40s in the east. The increasing southeasterly flow advecting warm Atlantic air into the region will yield highs in the low to mid 70s across the southeast. With the lingering light rain and clouds across the west, highs are only expected to get into the low 60s, however should clouds and rain clear out earlier, the highs could be several degrees higher. Lows tonight in the upper 40s NW to low 50s SE. && .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT/... As of 255 AM Wednesday... The low over Florida will migrate eastward then northeastward over the Atlantic on Thursday/Thursday night, allowing the upper level ridge to once again set up over the southeast U.S. Thursday Night. The surface high will move eastward, though will continue to ridge into the Mid-Atlantic, keeping the surface low suppressed to the southeast. The best chance for any light rain will be over the far west early Thursday, but then the far southeast late Thursday and Thursday night. For now will keep the forecast dry as the models are having a tough time generating any rain over Central NC. Given the continued influx of warm air into the region, expect another day of temperatures well above normal, highs in the 70s and lows in the mid 50s. && .LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 310 AM Wednesday... Our weather pattern through this period displays little deviation from the theme of this winter with above normal temperatures interrupted by brief cool periods, and below normal precipitation. A s/w ridge will extend across the region Friday while a sfc high will be positioned offshore. The low level sly flow advecting a warm air mass into central NC, coupled with warming aloft attributed to the mid/upper level ridge will spell well above normal temperatures Friday afternoon. The partial sunshine and a warm sw flow will boost temperatures into the 75-80 degree range, a solid 20-25 degrees above normal for late February. These readings will be just shy of record levels which are near 80-lower 80s (see CLIMATE section below for the details). The narrow mid-upper ridge will drift offshore Friday night in advance of a s/w crossing the Great Lakes. The deepening sw flow will result in very mild overnight conditions and a gradual increase in cloud coverage. Overnight temperatures will average several degrees above the normal high temps. Min temps in the 55-60 degree range anticipated. The s/w well to our north will drive a sfc cold front across central NC on Saturday. A marginally moist and a conditionally, slightly unstable, air mass should support the development of scattered showers, and possibly a thunderstorm across the coastal plain Saturday afternoon. The support aloft will be weakening with time and the model trend has been toward the atmosphere drying out with time. So while there is still the potential for a few showers, some locations will not see any rainfall, especially south of highway 64. Southwest flow ahead of the front coupled with the warm start to the day should yield high temps back into the mid-upper 70s, warmest southeast. The cold front will sweep east across the region late Saturday and Saturday evening, ending the threat for showers and skies clearing west-to-east fairly quick. temps will cool rapidly Saturday night reaching into the mid-upper 30s across the Piedmont by early Sunday, and the lower 40s southeast. High pressure will build and settle over the region Sunday-Monday with clear-partly cloudy skies and cooler, but still slightly above normal, temperatures anticipated. The cool down will be brief as temps Sunday in the 50s to around 60 will rebound back into the low- mid 60s Monday. The chilliest night should be Sunday night with overnight temps in the mid-upper 30s expected. May see lows near 30 in the normally colder locations. A weakening upper disturbance in the southern stream will approach from the west Monday night and Tuesday, leading to increasing clouds and a small threat for light rain. The mild/warm temperatures will persist. && .AVIATION /12Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 630 AM Wednesday... 24-Hour TAF period: Still somewhat of a low-confidence TAF forecast the next 24 hours. KRDU and KRWI have remained VFR overnight, with visbys elsewhere fluctuating between IFR to VFR and cigs generally MVFR or VFR with a few low clouds at or below 500 ft. Where the light rain occurs expect MVFR and possibly IFR cigs and visbys. KRDU/KFAY/KRWI should all bounce back to VFR by late this morning, with KINT and KGSO possibly returning to VFR this afternoon through this evening. With continued advection of warm moist air in the southerly flow, another period of fog/low stratus could develop between 06Z and 12Z Thursday, resulting in sub-vfr cigs and visbys. Winds during the day will likely be around 5 kts and generally from the south or southeast, becoming calm or very light again overnight. Looking ahead: 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 be variable through the period, but become more southwesterly 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. A return to VFR conditions is expected for Saturday night/Sunday. && .CLIMATE... Record High Temperatures February 24th February 25th GSO 79/1982 81/1930 RDU 81/1982 82/1930 FAY 83/1930 85/1930 && .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...KC/Hartfield NEAR TERM...KC SHORT TERM...KC LONG TERM...WSS AVIATION...KC CLIMATE...RAH is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.