Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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000 FXUS61 KRNK 242312 AFDRNK Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Blacksburg VA 712 PM EDT Fri Mar 24 2017 .SYNOPSIS... High pressure will continue to move off the Virginia and North Carolina coast this weekend. A strong area of low pressure will drift east over the southern plains with a trailing cold south into Texas. A warm front will reside from the Great Lakes region to Lake Erie into Saturday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH SATURDAY/...
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As of 711 PM EDT Friday...Forecast looks to be in pretty good shape overall with only adjustment made to adjust sky cover to match current satellite trends, and also to reduce sky cover a bit after dark. Though I couldn`t rule out low clouds along the southern Blue Ridge with the increase in moisture, light southwesterly component to the wind may limit the development. METARs out of Boone this afternoon have shown 5 mile visibility haze, which stems from smoke being advected north-northeastward from a wildfire seen on 3.9 micron infrared imagery as the hotspot in northwestern Burke County NC. So there may be periodic instances of smoke in the air at times across Watauga and Wilkes Counties for the next few hours, though diminishing/decoupling southerly flow as the night processes should limit northward extent of residual smoke. No changes otherwise. Previous near-term discussion issued at 300 PM follows... The center of a dry stable high pressure will continue to drift off the VA/NC coast into this weekend. As this system moves further to the east, increasing areal coverage of southerly flow will bring more warm air into the region. Today`s highs were in the 60s. Tomorrow`s high will range from the upper 60s across the mountains to mid 70s east of the Blue Ridge. Even though the center of this stable high will continue to move offshore, the western edge will remain over VA-NC-SC into the weekend. Warm moist air will continue to ride over this lingering insitu wedge with only an increase in cloud cover expected overnight into Saturday morning. Warm air and afternoon mixing may produce some breaks in the clouds during the afternoon. Instabilities increase some outside of the influence of the wedge, particularly across southeastern West Virginia. With some orographical lift, a few showers/sprinkles may develop across the mountains during afternoon heating.
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&& .SHORT TERM /SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... As of 302 PM EDT Friday... Warmer and moist this period. Models seem in agreement on getting the cold front west of the Appalachians Sunday, then weakening it as it crosses over. Still plenty of southwest flow aloft and southerly low level flow to increase moisture convergence over the region. Will see best coverage of showers west of the foothills into WV. Thunder threat depends on the how quick the clouds/rainfall get into the area. By all accounts, seems the thunder threat is going to be reduced some as rainfall happens in the mountains by 8-11am Sunday. Best instability lies across KY and south into the Carolinas/Georgia. Will have chance thunder over WV into the NC mountains/foothills. By Sunday night into Monday we are looking at main lift exiting north, but still residual low level convergence along pre- existing frontal zone and enough moisture to allow for showers to hang around, especially in the mountains. Expect limited sunshine, but with some breaks and warm air advection still looking at highs Monday in the mid to upper 60s higher ridges, with mainly lower to mid 70s elsewhere. Monday night, next upstream shortwave and front approach, so increased pops again after midnight in the southwest, but should see better chances Tuesday. && .LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 142 PM EDT Friday... Active pattern this period. Upper-level low pressure system will arrive in our region early Tuesday. Dynamics are marginally favorable for thunderstorms, but if line of convection moves in sooner, lack of thermodynamics will limit thunder threat. High temperatures are expected to be in the 60s to lower 70s. Wednesday should be dry with upper ridge building again. Thursday, still dry as upper low slowly edges eastward over the southern plains keeping us under warm ridge, although could start see mid/upper level moisture working in from the southwest. High pressure nosing in from the northeast may keep it cooler, so kept highs in the 60s. Friday, the upper low pushes northeast toward the midwest with strong high situated over the mid atlantic coast. Will start seeing warm advection precip arriving late Thursday night with front not moving into the area until later Friday. By then dynamics weaken over the north. && .AVIATION /00Z SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
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As of 705 PM EDT Friday... Generally VFR through the period, though periodic obscured North Carolina ridgetops due to haze/smoke lofted north- northeastward, particularly from wildfire in northwestern Burke County NC. Earlier persistent mid-level clouds in far western VA/southeast WV beginning to scatter, with generally FEW-SCT high clouds elsewhere. Ridge axis positioned to our south will allow for low-level moisture to increase. With general south-southwest low- level flow feel that lower ceilings along and east of the Blue Ridge probably are a remote outcome. Prospects for radiation fog also are of low-confidence as it is unclear if crossover temperatures will be met, though presence of radiation inversion opens the door for that possibility. Since confidence isn`t all that high in either situation, opted to keep TAFs VFR. Surface winds south/southwest 6-10 kts become light southerly overnight. Continued VFR for Saturday, with at least mid to high- level cloudiness spilling in from the southwest. Could see some diurnal Cu along the ridges leading to potential multi- layer cloud decks at times, but nothing of significance from an aviation perspective. Light southwest winds increase to 7-10 kts on Saturday. Extended Aviation Discussion... Moisture continues to increase over the weekend ahead of an upper-level low pressure area moving northeast from the southern plains. Precipitation is not expected until Sunday when sub-VFR conditions become more of a possibility. Otherwise looking at overall VFR to start the weekend with most lower cigs remaining west of the area until later Sunday at this point. Periods of unsettled weather will continue into the first half of next week as a series of upper-level lows track from west to east across the U.S.
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&& .RNK WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... VA...None. NC...None. WV...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...RCS NEAR TERM...AL/RCS SHORT TERM...WP LONG TERM...WP AVIATION...AL/RCS

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