Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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041 FXUS62 KRAH 261712 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 115 PM EDT Sun Mar 26 2017 .SYNOPSIS... A weakening upper level disturbance will pivot northeast across our region this afternoon. Bermuda high pressure will otherwise extend west into the southeastern U.S. through Mon. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 1045 AM Sunday... Little change required to the near term forecast. 12Z upper air analysis depicts a deep south-southwest flow over central NC. The mid levels of the atmosphere remain quite dry and will remain so. Meanwhile, the lower levels are marginally moist and expected to change little through early Monday. A weakening mid- upper level trough will lift newd across the region this afternoon. This system may spread or trigger a few showers in vicinity of the NW Piedmont including the Triad region. Showers expected to be spotty due to limited moisture and weakening support. Current forecast of the highest PoPs confined to the western half of the Triad appears on target at this time. Otherwise, expect a mixture of cloud/sun through this afternoon. Any showers that occur along and east of highway 1 will be isolated and too remote to mention in the forecast at this time. The moderating air mass coupled with peeks of sun will boost afternoon temperatures into the low-mid 70s this afternoon. If sun becomes more prominent this afternoon, could see a few upper 70s over the Sandhills and coastal plain. ~WSS While shortwave ridging aloft behind the departing mid level trough will likely yield dry conditions tonight, the mid level moist axis accompanying the trough will be left behind; and this may support a lingering shower or two over the wrn Piedmont tonight. Low temperatures centered in the middle 50s. ~MWS && .SHORT TERM /MONDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... As of 405 AM Sunday... A kicker shortwave trough now over the Four Corners, and a trailing lower amplitude perturbation near the Baja of CA, will both move generally Ewd across the MS Valley on Mon, and into the Carolinas Mon night. Lapse rates aloft will steepen into the 6.5-7 C/km range first Mon by a modified EML plume preceding the troughs, then as the associated cool pool aloft accompanying the troughs moves overhead Mon night, with an associated increase in (still-weak) instability of around 500-1000 J/kg over the Carolinas Mon afternoon and night. The models indicate the perturbation now over the Baja will slightly outpace the main shortwave trough over the Four Corners, such that the associated forcing for ascent accompanying the perturbation will spread E and interact with the weak instability axis over the Carolinas, and consequently result in scattered showers and storms Mon afternoon, particularly along and west of U.S. 1, where diurnal timing of the forcing for ascent will be maximized. The chance of showers and storms will increase overnight, as the parent shortwave trough and preceding forcing for ascent cross the Appalachians. The aforementioned steep lapse rates aloft, and relatively cool thermal profiles/low freezing level around 10 k ft, and 30-35 kts of mid level flow, may support the development of small hail in the storms. Instability would appear to be too limited to support any severe hail threat, however. It will again be warm, in the middle 70s to around 80 degrees, with lows in the middle to upper 50s. && .LONG TERM /Tuesday through Saturday/... As of 355 AM Sunday... Tue/Tue night: The mid level shortwave trough and its accompanying surface trough is expected to cross the area during the first half of the day, during which time there should be enough low level heating in combination with the thermal trough aloft to prompt marginal to moderate instability. Forecast soundings show subsequent warming and drying aloft during the latter half of the day as the shortwave trough shifts to our east and 850 mb SW flow slowly decreases. With above normal PW decreasing in the west in the afternoon, expect a good chance of showers and storms in the morning, tapering down west to east through the afternoon. The lagging weak cold front will drop SE through the area Tue night with low and mid level winds becoming northwesterly and westerly respectively, and with heights rising aloft behind the wave, expect a trend to mostly clear skies overnight west to east. Much above normal thicknesses in the warm sector support highs of 77-82. Lows 52-58 with marked cooling not arriving until late. Wed-Thu: Skies should be partly to mostly sunny Wed with generally dry air in place, although a weak inverted surface trough extending up through central NC -- ahead of an approaching backdoor front -- along with a col area at 850 mb and a rebounding of PW values across southern NC may yield broken clouds in the afternoon. The backdoor front is expected to drop NNE to SSW through central NC Wed night with cooling low levels and increasing moisture in the 900-800 mb depth, which is likely to bring a trend to mostly cloudy skies overnight. These clouds will disperse somewhat with heating and mixing across the Coastal Plain Thu, but the Piedmont will see strengthening moisture influx with an increasing 850 mb SW flow atop the intruding cool wedge nosing in from the NNE, and this overrunning should lock in clouds especially in the western CWA through the day, with some light drizzle possible in the far western Piedmont. High uncertainty with temps in this period given the lingering mild air Wed ahead of the backdoor front and the incoming wedge air mass for Wed night/Thu. Prefer the milder ECMWF/Canadian thicknesses Wed, indicating highs in the mid 70s to near 80. Will have lows of 46-53 Wed night and highs Thu 60 N to 70 S. Thu night-Sat: A deep low over the Four Corners late Tue will track eastward and gradually fill late in the week, in response to yet another powerful storm system crashing onto the West Coast and crossing the Rockies, but the degree of weakening of the lead system and the tilt of its trough differs between the ECMWF/GFS. A deepening polar low just SE of the Canadian Maritimes will help drive the cool surface ridge southward into the NC Piedmont, and as the mid level low/trough approaches late week, moist isentropic upglide atop the cool air mass should lead to increased rain chances, considerable cloud cover, and cooler temps. The open wave will then shift eastward through the region with ample deep moisture in place and an occluded frontal system, so have kept in a good chance of rain Thu into Fri, and we may see a few thunderstorms Fri especially across the SE CWA, which could get into the warm sector. The trailing cold front is expected to push through and SE of the area sometime Sat, so will show a trend toward lower pops. Expect temps to be below normal Fri and near normal Sat, but uncertainty in these details is high, given the strength of this frontal system and model timing differences. -GIH && .AVIATION /18Z SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/...
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As of 115 PM Sunday... Varying degrees of cloudiness will result in periods of MVFR ceilings across central NC through 00Z Tuesday, primarily in vicinity of the Triad terminals. In addition, pockets of fog may reduce the visibility into the IFR category at KFAy and KRWI early Monday morning. In the near term, a few showers may cross the Triad terminals through 21Z, though the showers are expected to be light with limited adverse affects to aviation aside from slightly lower ceilings. A marginally moist and conditionally unstable air mass will result in periods of MVFR ceilings across the region through Wednesday. The lower ceilings will most likely occur between 10Z and 16Z. There is the possibility of a few showers and thunderstorms Monday afternoon, and again late Monday night through early Tuesday afternoon. Near the heavier showers and storms, expect MVFR ceilings and MVFR/IFR visibilities. A cold front will drop southward through central NC Wednesday, then stall to our south. The approach of an upper level low will increase sly flow a few thousand feet above of the cool stable dome of air at the surface, leading to widespread MVFR/IFR parameters due to low clouds and areas of rain late Thursday into Friday.
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&& .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...MWS NEAR TERM...WSS/MWS SHORT TERM...MWS LONG TERM...GIH AVIATION...WSS is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.