Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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745 FXUS62 KRAH 211843 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 243 PM EDT THU JUL 21 2016 .SYNOPSIS... Surface high pressure will build across the mid-Atlantic states today, then move offshore tonight. A strong high pressure ridge will expand from the central U.S. across the Carolinas through the weekend, bringing hot and humid conditions. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 950 AM Thursday... Convection chances still appear quite low and confined to the SW CWA. Latest surface map shows the weak surface ridge nosing in from the NNE, poised to build overhead today as it weakens further. Humidity will remain elevated today as surface dewpoints drop minimally from their current readings in the upper 60s to lower 70s, and the lack of clouds currently overhead and upstream combined with dry air aloft as noted on the water vapor imagery (and likely to dry further with acceleration of the NNE-erly upper jetlet over the Delmarva/SE VA/NE NC today) should lead to no worse than partly cloudy skies today, boosting isolation and causing surface temps to peak in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Latest CAM runs including the HRRR/RAP and SPC`s SSEO favor a storm-free day for much of Central NC, with the exception of the far W and SW near the old boundary where low level mass convergence will take place, and perhaps just off the higher terrain which will be subject to differential heating. Convection over Central NC should be further smothered by slow steady warming aloft, with gentle but persistent mid level height rises continuing into tonight, leading to low CAPE values. Will limit pops to isolated thunder in the extreme west / SW. -GIH Previous discussion as of 355 AM Thursday... WV imagery and model analysis PV fields depict a couple of perturbations in NW flow aloft over the DelMarVA and Lower OH Valley. The models indicate the former will amplify off the VA/NC coast through 18Z, while the trailing one will dive across west-central NC, to NERN SC, through the same time. The tail end of the lead perturbation over the DelmarVA has already aided in the development of a few showers over the Shenandoah Valley, amidst an area of 6-9 thousand ft strato/alto- cumulus centered over central and SRN VA; and the HRRR suggests a few additional showers may develop over the NC Piedmont during the morning to midday hours, presumably as the strongest QG-forcing for ascent accompanying the trailing Lower OH valley wave moves SEWD. Otherwise, 1025 mb surface high pressure now over WV will build east across and offshore VA today, in the subsident wake of the aforementioned perturbations aloft. The surface ridge axis and associated NE low level flow around it, over the ERN half of NC, will result in temperatures AOB those of Wed, with generally upper 80s to around 90 degrees anticipated. To the west of the ridge axis, a light SLY return flow will develop across WRN NC, including the SRN and WRN Piedmont; and an associated 925-850 mb theta-e ridge there warrants a continued slight chance of an afternoon shower or storm. Light return flow will envelop all of central NC tonight, once the aforementioned surface ridge migrates offshore, with dry and mainly clear conditions. Lows in the upper 60s to lower 70s. && .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 410 AM Thursday... A strong sub-tropical ridge centered over OK at 500 MB and AR at 700 mb, will gradually expand EWD this period, and more so this weekend. Warmth beneath the ridge will likewise expand EWD, with highs in central NC mainly in the lower 90s. Lows 70 t0 75. Associated warm and dry mid levels will limit the chance of showers and storms to differential heating boundaries in the mountains and along the coast. && .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/...
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As of 240 PM Thursday... To begin the long term period, the strong upper ridge that provided multiple days of intense heat across the Central Plains will dampen some and start to spread east. As it does, heights will rise over central NC through the weekend. As such, max low level thickness values are progged to top out in the low to mid 1440s on Saturday (slightly lower than previous runs) and the mid to upper 1440s on Sunday. This combined with mostly dry conditions and temps not cooling off much as night, temps will be able to rise well into the mid 90s and even the upper 90s by Sunday. This combined with a moist air mass may necessitate the issuance of a heat advisory, most likely across at least the eastern half of the forecast area, where heat index values will approach or exceed 105 degrees. With regards to precip chances, overall they will stay rather low through the weekend, but will not be zero as there will be a persistent Piedmont trough that could be a focus for convective development, as well as any weak disturbances that move through aloft. The aforementioned ridge will dampen and shift even more over our region into early next week and eventually offshore, after another rather warm day on Monday. Also, a shortwave trough is progged to cross the Great Lakes Monday into Tuesday. This will propel a cold front towards the region Tuesday into Wednesday, but as can be expected this time of the year, there is disagreement with just how far south it will make it. Regardless, with us gradually losing the influence of the upper ridge and with a cold front in the vicinity, precip chances will start to increase, at least back to the normal diurnal range. The increased cloud cover and precip chances should allow temps to "cool" back to the lower 90s, especially Tuesday through Thursday.
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&& .AVIATION /18Z THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 1210 PM Thursday... High probabilities of VFR conditions persisting through the next 24 hours. Weak high pressure over the region combined with warm and dry air aloft will suppress most shower/storm activity over Central NC this afternoon through much of Friday, with clouds generally scattered at most with bases above 4 kft. Any isolated storms would be circumnavigable and be very unlikely to affect a TAF site. There is a small chance for patchy shallow IFR fog in low-lying areas late tonight into early Fri morning, and if it occurs, it would be most likely to affect RWI. Surface winds will remain light/variable through daybreak Fri, then be from the southwest under 10 kts. Looking beyond 18Z Fri: Chances for storms Fri afternoon/evening will remain low. VFR conditions are expected to dominate through at least Sat, as the warm/dry air aloft persists. A few storms are possible late Sat into Sat night, but coverage will not be widespread. Areas of sub-VFR fog may develop late Sat night into Sun morning. Shower/storm chances will start to improve late Sun into Sun night, growing through Tue as the air mass moistens more deeply over Central NC. Fog is possible early Mon and Tue mornings. -GIH && .CLIMATE... Record high temperatures and the year in which the record was most recently set at Raleigh, Greensboro, and Fayetteville. Sat Jul 23 Sun Jul 24 Sat Jul 23 RDU 105/1952 101/2011 102/2010 GSO 99/1952 99/1914 101/1914 FAY 103/2011 105/1952 103/1914 && .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...Hartfield NEAR TERM...Hartfield/26 SHORT TERM...26 LONG TERM...KRD AVIATION...Hartfield CLIMATE...BLAES is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.