Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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000 FXUS61 KRNK 191912 AFDRNK Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Blacksburg VA 212 PM EST Fri Jan 19 2018 .SYNOPSIS... High pressure over the Lower Mississippi Valley will move east across the Gulf Coast states today and tonight. Low pressure will develop in the Central Plains on Sunday then track into the Great Lakes by Tuesday. This system will push a cold front through the area on Monday night and Tuesday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 210 PM EST Friday... The sun is continuing to make good headway in melting snow across the region, and warming the boundary layer. Have made one final adjustment upward on forecast highs for this afternoon, especially in areas where little snow remains from our recent snow event. As of 1230 PM EST Friday... Still, no major changes are planned for the forecast update this afternoon. Have made some minor adjustments upward for forecast high temperatures over a few parts of the region, but otherwise, the overall ongoing forecast for the most part is on track. As of 940 AM EST Friday... No major changes are planned for the forecast update this morning. The one small adjustment will be in the introduction of some cirrus across the northern and eastern sections of the region based upon the latest satellite trends. Have also tweaked the hourly temperature, dew points, and winds based upon the latest observations and expected trends heading into the early afternoon. As of 330 AM EST Friday... Clear sky and dry air mass expected over southwest Virginia, southeast West Virginia and northwest North Carolina today and tonight. Surface high pressure will pass to the south of the region tonight. A 30 to 40 knot west low level jet will result in gusty winds today. Enough mixing tonight to prohibit excessive temperature drop. Stayed a little warmer than guidance for lows tonight on the higher ridges. Went slightly below guidance over the snow cover in the south. && .SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... As of 340 AM EST Friday... The upper pattern will feature an eastern ridge/western trof through the weekend, establishing a trend to breezy conditions and temperatures well above normal. Saturday looks like a fair weather day, but by Saturday night moisture and isentropic lift associated with a warm front extending from a low developing over the Rockies will bring a chance of showers to locations west of the Blue Ridge. Some wet snowflakes may mix in at the higher elevations before the chance for showers gradually decreases from south to north on Sunday as the warm front pushes through. The first part of Monday looks to be mostly dry but the chance for showers will be increasing in the mountains later in the day as a strong cold front approaches from the west. The cold front has a good deal of dynamic support, being driven by low pressure moving through the Great Lakes and a vigorous closed low moving through the Ohio valley. The front is expected to be accompanied by widespread rainfall though lapse rates are not impressive and surface based instability is largely absent so chances for thunder look quite low. However, the low level wind field amplifies considerably and there is a good amount of shear with the front so this could become a QLCS scenario where embedded convective elements can mix down strong wind gusts without thunderstorms. QPF does not appear excessive but downpours may cause local hydro issues. Will be watching this situation closely to see how it evolves in later model runs. && .LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 130 PM EST Thursday... Temperatures will decrease behind the front on Tuesday, though readings will still remain above normal for this time of year heading through the middle part of the week. Our next chance for precipitation will be a small one Wednesday night into Thursday as a weak disturbance passes through FL/GA/SC. Otherwise, dry weather is expected as another area of high pressure builds into the region. && .AVIATION /19Z FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 1225 PM EST Friday... VFR conditions are expected to prevail across the area through the end of the valid TAF period concluding at 18Z/1PM Friday. Some surface wind gusts of 10 to 20 kts will continue through the afternoon. After sunset, look for the winds to decrease through the evening. As daybreak Friday approaches, low level winds will be on the increase such that some low level wind shear will be possible over northern sections of the area. These same stronger winds aloft will start to mix to the surface by the late morning, yielding some surface gusts of 20 to 30 kts, especially at the higher elevations. Extended Discussion... VFR expected Saturday into Sunday thanks to influence of an upper level ridge. Sub-VFR conditions will start to return to the area Sunday night into and through Tuesday night as a cold front and its associated precipitation moves through the region. Very gusty northwest winds return to the area Tuesday night into Wednesday on the backside of the departing system. Lingering sub-VFR conditions possible across SE WV thanks to strong upslope flow and residual low level moisture. && .EQUIPMENT... As of 245 PM EST Thursday... NOAA Weather Radio, WXL60 (Roanoke Transmitter) which broadcasts at 162.475 MHz remains off the air. The phone company continues to investigate and no estimated time has been given for restoring this. We apologize for the outage. && .RNK WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... VA...None. NC...None. WV...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...AMS NEAR TERM...AMS/DS SHORT TERM...MBS LONG TERM...DS AVIATION...DS EQUIPMENT...WP is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.