Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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498 FXUS62 KRAH 231914 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 315 PM EDT Thu Mar 23 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Continental polar high pressure will continue to modify over the srn Middle Atlantic states through tonight. A warm front will retreat north across the region on Fri, as the high drifts east toward Bermuda. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 315 PM Thursday... Tonight...A parent high (1038mb) over the DELMARVA will drift offshore tonight. Circulation around this sfc feature will result in a veering low level flow from an easterly to a more sly direction. This flow will eventually tap moisture residing to our south- southwest and advect this moisture into our region. While the parent high will be offshore, a ridge extending from the parent high will extend west-to-east across our region by 12Z Friday. This will deter to better moisture return until later Friday. Under a mostly clear sky and a light/near calm wind regime, temperatures will tumble after sunset through the 40s into the 30s by midnight. Overnight temperatures in the upper 20s to around freezing. && .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 315 PM Thursday... Friday...Upper level ridge axis currently extending along the spine of the MS Valley will drift over the Southeast U.S. by Friday. Warm air advection on the back side of the 850-500mb ridge currently supporting a band of precip across the lower OH Valley into the TN Valley early this afternoon. This precip area is farther south than projected by most of the near term and CAM progs. Latest HRRR depicts this band of mostly light precip dissipating as it lifts ewd toward the Smoky Mtns. Increasing low level sly flow will tap moister residing to our south- sw which should led to scattered patches of cu, especially across the southern coastal plain, and into the western Piedmont. The rest of the column will remain dry, so precip chances will remain below 20 percent. The warming air mass and low level sw flow will push temperatures back to normal levels, primarily in the 65-70 degree range. Milder temperatures anticipated Friday night as sly low level flow continues and atmosphere continues to moisten. There will be a greater probability for low stratus to develop after midnight. Overnight temperatures in the mid-upper 40s. && .LONG TERM /Saturday through Thursday/... As of 240 PM Thursday... High confidence in warm weather through the early part of next week, with bouts of showery weather, primarily on Sunday and Tuesday. Uncertainty grows midweek and beyond as differences emerge regarding their handling of polar low deepening over SE Canada and the adjacent NW Atlantic waters, however it appears certain that the wavy active southern stream pattern will persist through next week. Sat/Sat night: The potent mid level low will cross the central Miss Valley as its southward-extending trough takes on a negative tilt over the Mid South and Gulf States, leading to strengthening mid level flow from the SW into the Carolinas. PW will remain elevated, in the 75th percentile, with a light onshore-directed southeasterly flow drawing in increasing low level moisture. We should see considerable morning stratus and fog, particularly over the western half of the CWA where low level moist upglide will be deepest, and these clouds should lift to scattered to broken stratocumulus (more clouds west than east) with heating, and these should persist through the day, topped with high thin clouds. Very dry/stable mid levels will keep the day mostly dry, apart from possible patchy morning drizzle in the western Piedmont. Thicknesses will continue to trend above normal, supporting highs of 70-76 NW to SE. The mid level low tracks slowly from MO to IL Sat night, bringing the negatively tilted trough axis and its DPVA into the western Carolinas. This southerly steering flow will drive up PW to nearly 200% of normal just to our west and into the far NW Piedmont late Sat night, in tandem with the arrival of 25-35 kt low level jetting into the Srn Appalachians. Will bring in good chance pops very late Sat night into the far W CWA. Lows Sat night mainly in the mid 50s. Sun/Sun night: The mid level low will quickly weaken and fill as it approaches Lower MI Sun, while the trailing trough axis pivots northeastward through our area. The best precip chances (likely to categorical) will track ENE through central NC (especially NW) Sun morning into early afternoon beneath a band of enhanced upper divergence, with PW rising further to 250% of normal as steering flow becomes southwesterly. Despite the moist column, the dwindling dynamic forcing for ascent as this system tracks NE through the Mid Atlantic region will lead to a tapering down of precip chances through Sun, especially over our SE sections, as the core of the peak integrated water vapor transport shifts to our NNE. Only low chances are expected Sun night as the dampening mid level trough axis shifts to our NE with gently rising heights aloft, within a continued very moist column. Expect highs of 70-78 followed by lows in the upper 50s with overnight stratus developing. Mon-Tue: Monday will feature just patchy light precip at most over much of central NC as a mid level ridge axis shifts overhead with a weak cap at 925 mb and dry mid-upper levels, although higher PW settling over eastern NC and higher surface dewpoints may prompt greater convection coverage over our SE. Our next mid level trough in this active pattern will push through the eastern third of the CONUS Mon night through Tue, accompanied by a surface cold front. Important model differences start to emerge, with the GFS slower and more amplified than the weaker/faster ECMWF. Will lean toward the more progressive ECMWF given this active pattern, but confidence is not high. Will maintain good chance of showers and storms Mon night through Tue. Highs 75-80 Mon/Tue with thickness over 35 m above normal. Lows in the upper 50s. Wed-Thu: Model details differ, but in general, heights will rise over the Southeast in the wake of the departing trough, as another powerful and deep low tracks over the Southwest states. Expect dry weather and cooler temps, still near or just above seasonal normals, as surface high pressure builds in from the north. -GIH && .AVIATION /18Z THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 125 PM Thursday... High probability that VFR conditions will occur across central NC through 00Z Saturday. The exception will be the potential for a few patches of MVFR visibility due to fog in sections of the southern Piedmont, the Sandhills, and the southern coastal plain, between 10Z- 12Z Friday. The area of high pressure which has provided the VFR conditions will drift offshore Friday. The return sly flow will begin to advect a warm moist air mass into central NC. The arrival of this air mass will lead to higher chances for early morning fog or low stratus Saturday morning and Sunday morning. An approaching low pressure system will increase the threat for scattered showers Sunday through Tuesday. With the moist air mass in place, there will be periods of IFR/MVFR ceilings during this same period. && .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...MWS NEAR TERM...WSS SHORT TERM...WSS LONG TERM...Hartfield AVIATION...WSS is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.