Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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FXUS61 KRNK 200300

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Blacksburg VA
1100 PM EDT Tue Jul 19 2016

A weak cold front will drift southeast across the region this
evening before passing into the Carolinas overnight. Weak high
pressure follows the front with drier weather for much of the
remainder of the week.


As of 1100 PM EDT Tuesday...

Some of the latest model guidance offer a resurgence of shower and
thunderstorm activity across parts of the region through 200 AM
EDT Wednesday. Given the latest radar trends, am inclined to give
additional credence to this. Have increased precipitation chances
across the region a bit for a slightly longer time than had been
previously advertised.

As of 930 PM EDT Tuesday...

Very difficult to tell exactly where the weak front lies as
convective outflow boundaries have contaminated the low-level wind
field. Soundings and wind fields suggest it is near the Blue
Ridge. Earlier round of strong to severe convection has subsided,
but as HRRR suggested, we may not be completely done yet. CAPES
are still 1000-2000 j/kg across the Piedmont and DCAPES are still
well over 1000 j/kg in this same region. There is quite a
gradient in PWATS across the region this evening with less than an
inch on the 00Z RNK sounding to well over an inch east and south
of the Blue Ridge. Have left some low end slight chance pops
across much of the CWA through 06Z, then keep mainly east of the
Blue Ridge there after, dropping to below 15% before daybreak.
Will be monitoring trends as additional changes may be needed.

No significant changes needed to T/Td grids at this time.

As of 339 PM EDT Tuesday...

Previous updated for higher pops/stronger storms to reflect
issuance of severe thunderstorm watch 398 for counties east of the
Blue Ridge through early this evening.

Surface front currently drifting through the extreme northern
portion of the area should finally spill south and through the
region after sunset. Ahead of the boundary still seeing the
potential for at least scattered deeper convection but so far
limited via weak northwest downslope flow, and earlier mid deck
that slowed the onset of instability over the west. Latest HRRR
continues to suggest that the current convergence area heading off
east/southeast of the Blue Ridge to push southeast in the next
few hours with only widely scattered coverage through about
midnight and mainly north-east. This looks basically on track
given overall weak instability and lack of much cloud development
across the west where drier air aloft continues to invade on
better nw flow aloft. Think mostly scattered pops for the most
part which may be too much over the northwest sections before only
having isolated coverage southeast overnight ahead of the dewpoint
boundary. Likely still moist enough in the valleys for fog late,
otherwise clearing overnight with lows low/mid 60s west to upper
60s east.

Weak high pressure builds to the north on Wednesday with good
drying seen aloft in forecast soundings across the region. Added
dry entrainment should also help dry out the low levels enough to
avoid convection except perhaps the higher ridges down in the
mountains of northwest NC. Thus left in a token shower pop there
given decent instability and weak late day convergence between
easterly flow in the lee of the ridges, and weak northwest/variable
trajectories over the west. Otherwise should be mainly sunny under
weak subsidence and slightly less humid with dewpoints falling a
bit espcly north and west. Highs still around 90 Blue Ridge east
and low/mid 80s rest of the mountains, as heating of dry air
should offset any weak/brief cooling seen aloft behind the front.


As of 230 PM EDT Tuesday...

The northern trof over the northeastern part of the country will dip a
bit further south as the broad upper ridge over the central part of the
country begins to flatten out. This will bring us seasonably warm
temperatures for Thursday as high pressure moves into the middle
Atlantic region, though there will still be a chance for some scattered
orographically forced convection mainly along the Blue Ridge. Then as
the high moves off to the east we will get back into southerly flow as
a frontal boundary approaches from the northwest. This will allow the
heat and humidity to build throughout the weekend with air temperatures
reading the middle/upper 90s and heat index values approaching 110 for
locations in the piedmont, a bit cooler in the elevations along and
west of the Blue Ridge. Also worth noting is that temperatures at night
will remain warm with lower/middle 70s east of the Ridge so there will
be little opportunity for folks to recover from the heat of the day.
Definitely important to take breaks from the heat and remain well
hydrated in the days ahead.

Our chances for thunderstorms will also be increasing in the warm and
unstable environment, but dynamic forcing is weak so any severe threat
seems limited to pulse activity and very heavy rain as precipitable
water values start creeping above 1.5 inches as we head into the first
part weekend.


As of 230 PM EDT Tuesday...

By Sunday the upper pattern will have transitioned to a quasi zonal
regime with the jet stream riding well to our north. This will keep us
in the heat and humidity through the first part of next week. The zonal
flow will result in little push to get fronts trough the region and as
a result, a washed out frontal boundary combined with a lee/thermal
trof will keep an elevated chance for thunderstorms across the region
on Sunday, followed by another weak front moving in from the northwest
and continuing our chances for thunderstorms as it washes out over the
area Tuesday. Air temperatures and heat index values will remain at
hazardous levels on Sunday especially across the piedmont, with only a
slight tempering of the heat through the first part of next week.


As of 800 PM EDT Tuesday...

Weak cool front drifting southward through the CWA, but very
diffuse and difficult to find given several residual convective
outflow boundaries across the region. Best analysis is that it is
along or near the Blue Ridge. Isolated strong to severe convection
has all now moved south of the CWA. HRRR tries to bring convection
back into the eastern part of the CWA from the Shenandoah Valley
and central VA area, but this is questionable. Too much
uncertainty to indicate in any TAF sites at this point. For
Wed...upper ridge from the central U.S. will continue to build
eastward resulting in increasing subsidence. With the front south
of the area this should finally yield a mostly convection free
day. The only area to watch would be far SW VA and perhaps the NW
NC mountains, but not at any of the TAF sites.

Otherwise, the only real concern will be potential for fog
overnight/early Wed. Confidence in this occurring is fairly low
given lack of rainfall in/near TAF sites late today and drier air
advecting southward. Have left fog in TAFs as earlier
advertised...but confidence in less than 50% at this point.

Winds will be light northwest through the period, mostly less than

Extended aviation discussion...

Strong high pressure aloft will bridge east across the region
Thursday into next weekend. Cant totally rule out an isolated
storm each afternoon/evening through the period but appears
overall VFR outside of the typical late night valley fog in spots.




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