Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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000 FXUS62 KRAH 300557 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 157 AM EDT Thu Mar 30 2017 .SYNOPSIS... Weak high pressure will extend across eastern NC through Thursday. An area of low pressure will bring unsettled weather to the area Thursday night and Friday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 920 PM Wednesday... Main forecast challenge overnight into early Thursday is whether any rain will develop over the NW Piedmont, and if so the areal coverage. Sfc ridge beginning to build down the coastline as evident of pressure rises of 2 mb since 19Z. The base of the ridge expected to settle over eastern NC, meaning the low level flow over our region will be east-southeast. Both the KRAX VAD wind profiler and the 00Z GSO sounding depict a easterly component in the lowest 2-3k ft of the atmosphere with a strengthening trend noted on the KRAX profiler. This flow will eventually advect low level moisture residing offshore of Wilmington into the Piedmont. This will lead to the development/deepening of low clouds along the foothills, spreading into the western Piedmont by daybreak Thu. Best isentropic upglide occurs closer to 12Z Thu and persist through much of Thu morning. This may cause patches of drizzle and/or light rain to develop, primarily in vicinity of the Triad but possibly as far south as the southern Piedmont and as far east as Roxboro. If this precip pattern does develop and becomes extensive enough, it may result in even cooler temperatures than currently forecast across the Piedmont. Have adjusted temperatures slightly to account for observed trends, and for the potential for cooler air to stream farther west into the coastal plain in proximity to the dry air ridge. May adjust PoPs once 00Z model and other near term model guidance arrives. && .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT/... As of 420 PM Wednesday... Continued southerly warm moist air advection ahead of the Plains closed cyclone lifting northward into the Mid MS Valley, atop the shallow cool airmass at the surface will result in the development of CAD across the NW Piedmont, especially given the potential for some light rain tomorrow morning. Even without any light rain Thursday morning, a strong subsidence inversion aloft will help to lock in the low-clouds, with fcst soundings showing ceilings likely to remain MVFR in the Triad, which will greatly temper daytime heating. Highs ranging from mid 50s NW to lower 70s SE. Upper ridge aloft will shift east of the area late by mid to late afternoon as the closed cyclone progresses across the central MS river valley into the Ohio Valley. This will give rise to increasing pops across the western piedmont late in the afternoon/early evening. Rain chances will increase ten-fold between 06 to 12z, with increasing potential for elevated showers and thunderstorms within the strengthening low-level warm advection fueled by a 40-50kt LLJ. As the wedge boundary retreats northward, low-level kinematics (0 to 1km helicity ~ 300-400 m2/s2) will be maximized during this period. However, sfc base instability of 250 J/kg or less may prove not enough to support severe storms overnight. However, if storms/updraft can become surface based, there will be a threat for damaging thunderstorm winds and an isolated tornado. Stay tune. Lows Thursday night in the 50s north to lower 60s south. && .LONG TERM /Friday through Wednesday/... As of 300 PM Wednesday... Fri-Fri Night: The 12Z GFS/ECMWF are in fairly close agreement showing the upper low tracking ENE through the OH valley during the day Friday, progressing into western PA late Friday into Friday night. However, differences in timing persist between the GFS/ECMWF, and the 12Z NAM (an outlier) shows the upper low tracking east through KY into WV Fri/Fri night (much closer than the GFS or ECMWF). Forecast confidence remains lower than normal, esp given uncertainty in the evolution of upstream convection across the Deep South Thu/Thu night in addition to uncertainty in the strength/ extent/evolution of the CAD wedge expected to develop over central NC on Thu. Although confidence in precipitation chances remains high, forecast specifics such as precip amounts, temperatures and intensity/mode of convection remain relatively low. With the latest guidance in mind, will indicate highs ranging from the mid 60s in the Triad to the mid 70s in the Sandhills/SE Coastal Plain. Expect precipitation to end from SW-NE as early as late Friday aft/eve, with skies clearing in the wake of a cold frontal passage Fri night. Lows Sat morning will depend primarily upon fropa timing, ranging from the upper 40s/lower 50s (N/NW) to mid 50s (S/SE). The 12Z GFS/ECMWF suggest a lower potential for severe weather given an upper low track further to the north and a slightly faster progression of the system. The 12Z NAM would suggest a more robust potential for severe weather due to the closer proximity of the upper low and slightly slower progression of the system which would result in favorable diurnal timing, as well. Uncertainty remains too high to say much more w/regard to the severe weather potential. Sat-Sun night: Expect dry conditions and a warming trend over the weekend as a shortwave ridge builds east across the Mid-Atlantic and Carolinas. Expect highs in the lower/mid 70s Sat and mid 70s Sunday as a shortwave ridge aloft tracks across the region from the west. Mon-Wed: Expect increasing cloud cover during the day Monday and a chance for convection Mon Night through Tue as the next upper level low /attendant sfc cyclone/ approach from the west. -Vincent && .AVIATION /06Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...
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As of 200 AM Thursday... 24 Hour TAF Period: Southeasterly flow beginning to dam up against the mountains is starting to produce a shield of stratus over southwest VA which is expanding southward. Expect this cloud cover to begin to move into the Triad over the next couple of hours but it may be a while longer before it begins to lower to MVFR levels. right now the lowest obs out of VA are all near 5 kft. Eventually expect cloud bases to settle near 1500 feet. Between 9-12Z MVFR conditions may reach KRDU but dont expect them to reach KRWI or KFAY before lifting. Continued southeasterly flow may keep MVFR conditions locked into the TRIAD for the entirety of the TAF period. Some light precipitation is also possible later this morning in the Triad. Later in the TAF period some more significant showers associated with a warm front will move through the Triad and KFAY before moving through KRDU and eventually KRWI. MVFR or possibly even IFR conditions could be associated with this wave of convection. Long term: After the warm front rolls through the area at the end of the TAF period, a cold front will follow on its heels on Friday sparking another round of convection. This will clear out on Friday night and give way to quiet conditions until Monday when another strong low pressure system is progged to cross central NC causing potentially adverse aviation conditions.
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&& .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...WSS NEAR TERM...WSS SHORT TERM...CBL LONG TERM...Vincent AVIATION...Ellis is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.