Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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000 FXUS62 KRAH 211602 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 1140 AM EDT Fri Apr 21 2017 .SYNOPSIS...
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A surface trough will strengthen over the NW Piedmont this afternoon, and linger over the central Piedmont tonight. Meanwhile, a cold front will approach from the northwest and move into NC on Sat. The front will stall over a portion of central NC Saturday into Sunday, as a slow-moving area of low pressure tracks along the front.
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As of 1140 AM Friday... It was sunny and warm across much of central and eastern NC late morning. Clouds and a few showers spreading ENE across the Mountains into the northern Piedmont of NC. This activity has been weakening this morning, but should begin to redevelop by early afternoon. The most likely area for convective development will be over the NW zones (mainly the Triad region - spreading E or ENE across the northern Piedmont late this afternoon. The latest observational data indicated a deepening surface trough over the Foothills of the Blue Ridge extending into the NW Piedmont. Scattered cumulus were already developing along this trough and over the Mountains as of late morning. The cluster of weakening showers may get some enhancement in the next few hours as it tracks from NE Tennessee into NW North Carolina due to the increasing instability with heating. Additional convection is expected to develop, mainly scattered activity along the surface trough. The latest Hi-res models suggest the Triad east to Roxboro/Hillsborough have a good chance of thunderstorms between 2-5 pm, possibly sinking SE into the Triangle area late afternoon, before or as it is weakening. A few of the storms may become strong to marginally severe with the main threat of isolated damaging wind. The focus then turns to the NW Piedmont between 500 PM into the evening as additional clusters of showers/thunderstorms are expected to develop and spread ENE out of the Mountains and Foothills (along the previous convective outflows or surface trough). We will carry likely POP in the aforementioned areas during the specified time. Otherwise, only a slight to low chance of thunderstorms elsewhere as MLCapes increase and convergence develops along another weak surface trough expected along the I-95 corridor 3-7 PM. Highs should top out well into the 80s, except upper 70s NW. Associated outflow will likely drift across the remainder of central NC and provide a focus for a slight chance of showers and storms overnight, while the main cold front slows over NW NC and southern VA. Lows under partly to mostly cloudy skies will be in the 60s.
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&& .SHORT TERM /SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 415 AM Friday... A strong NWly mid-upper jet from the Pac NW to the Four Corners will help dig a trough/developing closed low into the central Plains/mid MS Valley vicinity by early Sat. Upstream perturbations embedded within the strong NW flow will pivot around the developing mid-upper low in positive tilt fashion across the Mid-South/lower MS Valley through Sat night. An associated surface cyclone will track slowly ENEwd to Ewd across the TN valley and into the srn Appalachians by Sun morning. The front initially over srn VA will likely sag Swd into at least the nrn NC Piedmont Sat afternoon, with an associated focus for diurnally-enhanced convection along and N of the front. WSWly mid level flow will have increased into the 30-40 kt range over central NC by Sat afternoon, downstream of the aforementioned approaching upper low and trailing positive tilt trough. Mostly moderate instability during the afternoon in the presence of this enhanced mid level flow will favor semi-organized multi-cell storm modes, and perhaps at least transient supercells in the vicinity of the front/outflow --and enhanced low level shear-- axis. It should again be warm south of the front Sat, with temperatures comparable to those of Fri, while cooler 70s are expected over the nrn Piedmont and nrn Coastal Plain. The synoptic surface front is likely to become quasi-stationary and bisect central NC from W to E Sat night, though outflow from earlier convection may serve to shove an associated effective front into srn NC by SUn morning. The focus for showers and storms, and low overcast, will remain along and N of the synoptic/deeper front. Lows in the low to mid 50s N to lower 60s S. && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 335 AM Friday... While confidence remains low concerning finer details such as the timing and location of the frontal zone and surface low, consensus on the track of the upper low off the South Carolina coast Monday night does provide higher confidence in a widespread long-duration rain event Sunday and Monday with wrap around showers lingering into Tuesday. Storm total rainfall amounts for the entire event... with the bulk of the rain spanning ~48 hours...should easily reach 1 to 1.25 inches, with potential for 2+ inches in the west. Duration and intensity of the rain could cause minor flooding on creeks and streams from Sunday onward, and if we receive much more than 2 inches, we would likely see minor flooding on the larger rivers as early as Sunday night and into early next week. Cool air remains dammed into the region Sunday and Sunday night, with strong isentropic upglide...especially from the Piedmont westward, and will increase PoPs to a minimum of 60% and downplay the chance of thunder...which would be elevated considering the depth of cool air and minimal instability over all but the far southern counties. Guidance highs have been trending downward as well, and there will likely be a strong gradient from upper 50s north to mid or even upper 70s across the south. Mins Sunday night will be in the 50s. The surface and upper system become better aligned south of the area on Monday, and the ensuing deep northeast flow, along with the rain and cloudiness, will produce highs mostly in the mid 60s. Showers will be tapering off in the west Monday night as the upper trof bottoms out south of Cape Lookout and begins to lift up the coast with showers diminishing over all but the northeast by Tuesday afternoon. Highs Tuesday will reach lower 70s in the south, while northeast flow limits highs in the mid 60s across the north. Return flow overspreads the Southeast Wednesday through Friday with dry weather and a warming trend from the mid and upper 70s Wednesday to the low and mid 80s Friday. && .AVIATION /12Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 725 AM Friday... Mainly VFR conditions are expected, at least until scattered showers and storms develop in the vicinity of a pre-frontal surface trough centered over the NC Piedmont this afternoon. Brief sub-VFR conditions and gusty winds will result in/near these showers and storms. If storms merge into clusters and form a well-developed rain- cooled/outflow airmass in their wake, sub-VFR ceilings and visibilities may result later tonight. Outlook: A cold front and focus for showers and storms along and to the north of the boundary will settle south into central NC Sat. After that time, Sat night through Sunday night, there remains larger than average uncertainty regarding the location of the front, and continued focus for showers and storms along it, and showers and low overcast to the north of it. An area of low pressure will then develop along the front and move slowly east through, then along the coast of, the Carolinas Sun through Mon night. This complex system will likely result in a prolonged period of rain and low overcast during that time (Sun-Mon night). && .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...MWS/Badgett NEAR TERM...MWS/Badgett SHORT TERM...MWS LONG TERM...mlm AVIATION...MWS is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.