Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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000 FXUS62 KRAH 121448 AFDRAH Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Raleigh NC 950 AM EST Thu Jan 12 2017 .SYNOPSIS...
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High pressure over the western Atlantic will extend westward across the Southeast U.S. through Friday. A cold front will enter the state from the north late Friday, and push through central NC Friday night.
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AS OF 950 AM Thursday... A spring-like afternoon in store for much of central NC as a deep sw flow advects a warm air mass into the region. With mid-late morning temperatures already approaching or even exceeding 60 degrees, several locations will see high temperatures around 70 degrees. While these temperatures are well above normal, they are still a few degrees shy of the record highs for January 12th. Heating of the relatively moist lower levels of the atmosphere should result in the development of scattered-broken stratocu layer this afternoon. Southwest sfc winds will be breezy with gusts 18-23 mph probable. Tonight, expect partly cloudy skies with patchy fog once again developing late, mainly north of highway 64. Overnight temps will be mild for this time of year, primarily in the upper 40s-lower 50s.
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&& .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... AS OF 340 AM Thursday... The passage of a shortwave over the Great Lakes will weaken the northern periphery of the upper ridge on Friday, with the cold front to our north aided south into the area late Friday afternoon and evening by an arctic high shifting east over New England. Timing of the front will influence high temps, with guidance currently indicating it reaching the northern Piedmont at or after peaking heating. An increasing in clouds (mainly high at first) may hold back heating in the north as well, but it seems reasonable for temps to reach the mid 60s north to lower 70s southwest, a general consensus of statistical guidance. This type of pattern typically features a side range from north to south. The cold front will surge through the area Friday night, accompanied by 10-15kt winds and the obvious drop in temps. 1000-850mb thicknesses remain above 1310m and forecast soundings suggest wetbulb temps will remain just above freezing, such that the light qpf that models generate from weak 285-290K isentropic/upslope ascent should not result in any freezing rain. expect lows in the mid 30s north to mid 40s south. && .LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 355 AM Thursday... The mid latitudes, including the Srn Middle Atlantic states, will be a battleground between 1) a subtropical ridge over the SErn U.S., 2) a srn stream trough over the SWrn U.S., and 3) a broad nrn stream trough over Ern Canada. Confluent flow between the three, over the NErn quarter of the U.S., will support the Ewd migration and maintenance of arctic surface high pressure --a series of them-- from the Nrn Plains to the NErn U.S. Episodes of resultant damming E of the Appalachians and into the Srn Middle Atlantic (VA/NC) will result through early next week. CAD --and associated cool and cloudy conditions in the 40s to lower 50s-- will be maximized both Sat and Mon. The subtropical ridge will become increasingly amplified/dominant Tue-Wed, supportive of a warming and more humid southwesterly flow. After a chance of drizzle or light rain during the episodes of CAD through early week, the best chance of any appreciable precipitation --in the form of rain showers-- will be with the approach and eventual passage of a slow-moving cold front mid to late week. && .AVIATION /12Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... AS OF 644 AM Thursday... Moist southerly flow has resulted in a warm front moving north through almost all of the area, with a wedge-like airmass and IFR conditions currently hanging on at INT. The RAP suggests IFR conditions will hold for a couple more hours at INT and then improve by 14Z, while GSO should remain predominately VFR. All other sites (RDU/FAY/RWI) are expected to remain VFR today, with a 10-14kt southerly wind that will gust to 20-25kt. With less high clouds tonight and a light southerly wind, the potential will again exist for some low clouds and fog. Confidence is below average at this point, but the pattern would favor mostly IFR or MVFR conditions. Long term: VFR is expected early Friday before a cold front moves in from the north and brings the potential for a prolonged period of low clouds for the upcoming. && .RAH WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...HARTFIELD NEAR TERM...WSS SHORT TERM...SMITH LONG TERM...MWS AVIATION...SMITH is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.