Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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000 FXUS62 KRAH 231455 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 955 AM 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/... As of 955 AM 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. 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 patchy fog overnight. Mild overnight lows in the 50s. && .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY AND Friday NIGHT/... As of 230 AM THURSDAY... Near record daily warmth appears to be the theme. Expect the strong ridging and sinking air to combine with warm thicknesses to send temperatures soaring. The lack of a dry west breeze and low dew points should help temper the warmth somewhat. However, the dew points in the 50s will make it feel most like very early May! Highs should approach 80 in many areas, with mid 70s NW. Light surface winds from the SE-S expected to be less than 10 mph. Another warm night with dew points in the 50s expected Friday night. Partly cloudy skies expected with lows near record high mins. && .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 /12Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 655 AM Thursday... 24 Hour TAF Period: Mid/upper level trough axis is shifting eastward this morning, allowing for the shield of mid and high clouds to slowly shift eastward. Areas that have seen clearing across the piedmont have seen some fog and low stratus develop (MVFR to LIFR). KGSO/KINT are currently the only TAF sites affected by any sub-VFR conditions. However, this may spread eastward over the next hour or two to KRDU, and maybe KFAY and KRWI. Any sub-VFR conditions should lift by mid/late morning at the latest (longest at KGSO/KINT). Light and variable this morning will become light out of the S to SE today. Fog and/or low stratus will be possible again tonight, during the pre-dawn hours of Friday. Will introduce some MVFR/IFR conditions after 09Z. Outlook: Aside from some early morning fog/stratus, expect predominately VFR conditions through early next week. 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. && .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...Badgett LONG TERM...BSD AVIATION...BSD CLIMATE...RAH is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.