Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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000 FXUS61 KRNK 171853 AFDRNK Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Blacksburg VA 253 PM EDT Wed May 17 2017 .SYNOPSIS...
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High pressure centered east of the Carolinas will provide for mainly dry weather into Thursday. Southwest winds will bring an increase in both heat and humidity through late in the week. A weak cold front will approach from the northwest Friday, with shower and thunderstorm chances increasing Friday afternoon, and again over the mountains on Saturday.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH THURSDAY/...
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As of 218 PM EDT Wednesday... Ridging both surface and aloft continuing to hold tight this afternoon with best instability showing up mainly northeast of the area where moisture remains less. Cant completely rule out popping an isolated shower mountains into early this evening given the degree of heating, but expect well mixed low levels combined with the cap aloft to keep things mostly dry/clear overall. Upper ridge holds overnight with mainly just some spillover of high level debris clouds at times from convection to the west. However southwest flow around surface high pressure offshore will continue to bring low level moisture back north making for a rather muggy overnight outside of the valleys. Latest Nam even shows some low clouds working into the southern Blue Ridge sections by morning but since likely overdone per latest satellite loops, only including a little more cloudiness southern sections late. Lows mainly in the low or even mid 60s with only the deeper valleys seeing a few cooler 50s. Initial shortwave energy heading out of the upper Midwest should finally act to flatten the upper ridge to some degree on Thursday as this wave shears across the Great Lakes. This may also aid in enhancing low level convergence espcly Blue Ridge Thursday afternoon where guidance shows a jump in PWATS along a lobe of better theta-e within the low level southwest flow. However forecast soundings still show some semblance of a cap aloft until late in the day despite strong instability due to heating. Appears will likely see convection unzip from southwest to northeast along the mountains from mid to late afternoon with little out east per lingering dry air aloft at this point. Thus continuing trend of slight to chance pops mainly Blue Ridge sections Thursday afternoon, otherwise partly to mostly sunny. Will still be quite warm espcly east where a few low 90s possible. Otherwise appears will stay below record highs per the climate section below, as slight cooling aloft combines with more afternoon clouds and possible convection to hold elsewhere to the low/mid 80s at this point.
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&& .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/...
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As of 230 PM EDT Wednesday... An upper level ridge draped over the southeastern United States will start to break down through the day Friday. This will allow a warm front and a short wave to track over the area, increasing the chance for afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. This boundary will stall and washout over the area Friday night, keeping the chance for showers through the overnight hours. On Saturday, a back-door cold front is expected to slide south into North Carolina. With the upper level ridge still over the southeastern states, confidence is not high that this front/wedge boundary will clear the area. Therefore, we will keep a chance for showers along the TN/VA-VA/NC border through Saturday night. The wedge will start to erode Sunday as a cold front approaches from the west. Temperatures will remain very warm Friday with highs running 10F-15F warmer than normal. Showers and the passing of a back-door front will knock temperatures back closer to normal on Saturday. Overnight lows will remain warm and muggy with readings in the upper 50s to mid 60s.
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&& .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
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As of 240 PM EDT Wednesday... A cold front will bring a very good chance for showers and thunderstorms to the area Sunday afternoon into the night. This front may become disconnected from its parent low over the Great Lakes on Monday, keeping the chance for storms in the area. The ECM has a surface low developing along the stalled front Monday afternoon. This low will eventually push the front to the coast Monday night. Weak high pressure will give the region a brief break from the storms Tuesday before the next round comes in with frontal passage on Wednesday. With a good chance for showers and thunderstorms this week, temperatures will remain close to normal.
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&& .AVIATION /19Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...
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As of 1212 PM EDT Wednesday... VFR conditions under southwest flow are expected across the region this afternoon through midday Thursday. The only exception may be some MVFR fog for a few hours just before daybreak mainly around KLWB early Thursday, and even then the fog is expected to be shallow so may not include mention. Also some low clouds may sneak north into sections along the southern Blue Ridge late tonight but should remain south of any of the terminals at this point. Thus forecast confidence remains high. More widespread cumulus buildups are expected across the mountains Thursday afternoon when a few showers or storms may also occur. However coverage too isolated to mention with most of the convection expected to be beyond the valid TAF period at this point. Extended Aviation Discussion... Better threat for more widespread afternoon showers/thunderstorms by Friday with periodic rounds of sub-VFR possible Friday afternoon/evening as a frontal boundary moves southeast toward the central Appalachians. The front is forecast to stall across the region into this weekend, with best shower/storm chances over the mountains Saturday afternoon/evening. Coverage should then trend more isolated until late Sunday as this residual boundary lifts out to the northeast ahead of another cold front approaching from the west. This front may then bring another round of deeper convection to the mountains by Sunday evening and over much of the region into Sunday night.
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&& .CLIMATE...
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As of 245 PM EDT Wednesday... List of record highs for Wednesday 5/17 and Thursday 5/18 for our five climate sites. Wednesday 05/17/2017 Site MaxT Year Bluefield 84 1977 Danville 92 1990 Lynchburg 93 1911 Roanoke 92 1977 Blacksburg 85 1962 Thursday 05/18/2017 Site MaxT Year Bluefield 87 1996 Danville 93 1974 Lynchburg 93 1911 Roanoke 94 1962 Blacksburg 87 1962
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&& .RNK WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... VA...None. NC...None. WV...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...JH/PM NEAR TERM...JH SHORT TERM...RCS LONG TERM...RCS AVIATION...JH/PM CLIMATE...JH/DS/WP

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