Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Mt. Holly, NJ

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000
FXUS61 KPHI 250530
AFDPHI

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ
1230 AM EST Sat Feb 25 2017

.SYNOPSIS...
A strong cold front will move through the Mid Atlantic
Saturday afternoon and early evening. High pressure will build
into the region on Sunday before moving into the Atlantic on
Monday. A surface low will develop in the central U.S. on
Tuesday and move northeast to the Great Lakes by Wednesday and
southeast Canada by Thursday. An associated warm front is
forecast to move through the Northeast on Wednesday before
another strong cold front sweeps across the East Coast on
Thursday.

&&

.NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM THIS MORNING/...
A southerly flow is maintaining a rather mild airmass in place.
Temperatures were raised quite a bit across portions of eastern
Pennsylvania (including the lows). Some upslope component to
the low-level flow is helping to produce areas of low clouds
across the northern and western areas. Farther south, little to
no low cloud development has occurred yet, and fog has only
been near coastal Ocean and Monmouth counties. There is less
certainty how the low clouds and especially fog plays out
through early morning, but for now kept a mention of fog in the
forecast.

Low temperatures in the countryside almost 30 degrees above
normal and about 25 above normal in the vicinity of PHL.

&&

.SHORT TERM /SATURDAY/...
The first question will be how quickly early low clouds will
dissipate. Even if clouds persist into late morning though,
models have recently had a cold bias in warm air advection
events, so have gone slightly above guidance for highs during
the day. If clouds hang on longer or if the cold front moves in
earlier, current forecast would be too high.

The big story in the short term will be the cold front. Latest
guidance suggests it should be moving across our area from 18Z (for
far western Berks Co and the southern Poconos) to just approaching
the shore by evening. Forecast still looks on track for a line of
showers with embedded thunderstorms along and just behind the front.
The biggest question mark with thunderstorms will be surface based
or mixed layer instability. CAPE values will be marginal at best so
if we do end up being cooler than forecast, instability (especially
surface based instability) could be negligible. Given the model cold
bias though, I think we will have enough instability to support
thunderstorms.

Primary hazard continues to be gusty winds given the high shear
environment (0-6km bulk shear values could be above 50kt). Will
continue mention in the HWO and add mention to the forecast for this
potential.

Although there could be brief periods of heavy rain with the line,
the showers and storms should be moving through fast enough to
limit any flooding risk.

&&

.LONG TERM /SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY/...
The long term period continues to look active with a period of
unsettled weather likely during the early to middle portions of
next week. A pattern change is likely toward week`s end.

By 00Z Sunday, a negatively-tilted shortwave trough in the Northeast
and adjacent portions of Canada will continue to pivot northeastward
to the maritime provinces of Canada by 00Z Monday.  A narrow cold-
frontal rain band will likely be moving offshore during the evening
hours Saturday as deep ascent downstream of the associated vorticity
maximum progresses to the northeast.  Strong cold air advection will
commence upstream of the front, and winds will sharply turn west or
northwest Saturday evening, becoming gusty as the fast flow aloft
mixes to the surface underneath the frontal inversion.

Sprawling (but progressive) high pressure moves through the eastern
U.S. on Sunday. In advance, gusty winds will continue during the day
in the Mid-Atlantic as boundary-layer mixing diurnally maximizes
underneath mostly clear skies. However, winds will quickly diminish
late Sunday afternoon and evening as the surface high pressure
center approaches the coast.  Temperatures will be much colder than
the anomalous warmth experienced in recent days.  Consensus of the
guidance has edged downward a bit for highs on Sunday, and given the
strength of the cold air advection in play -- leaned a bit in this
direction, despite the relatively clear skies expected.  May see
some stratocumulus development in the Poconos, as is typically
observed in this setup.

The upper-level pattern next week appears to start out as fast west-
southwesterly flow with several embedded vorticity maxima ejecting
from a longwave trough in the West.  Operational models remain in
quite a bit of disagreement timing these perturbations as they move
through the central and eastern U.S.  The aggressive appearance of
the first perturbation seen in yesterday`s GFS is nowhere to be
found with today`s 12Z simulation.  In fact, the GFS overall looks
like an outlier with the overall pattern next week. Given this as
well as this model`s poor run-to-run continuity compared to the
ECMWF/CMC/UKMET of late, pretty much disregarded it with today`s
forecast.

As such, it looks like there are three main systems that may affect
our region next week.  The first occurs some time on Tuesday, with
the most likely timing in the morning hours, as a vort max quickly
moves into the Northeast during the day.  Strong isentropic ascent
along a quasi-zonal baroclinic zone in advance of this system
produces a swath of precipitation moving through the region.
Temperatures may be cold enough for snow or a wintry mixture in the
southern Poconos (at least in the morning), but confidence in the
details remains low. As this first system moves through, transient
cold air advection should follow before a stronger low moves into
the Great Lakes on Wednesday.  Winds should quickly switch to a more
easterly component, which may favor a period of cold air damming
Tuesday night.  Isentropic ascent should commence again during this
time, with another round of precipitation possible by Wednesday. The
details of this second round of precipitation are even murkier, as
much will depend on the eventual position of the warm front via cold
air damming processes not well simulated this far in advance, the
track of the surface low in the Great Lakes, and the track of a
southern stream vorticity maximum to the south/west of the surface
low.

At the moment, it appears three main regions of precipitation will
develop.  The first will be tied to the surface low and the
associated cold conveyor belt, which looks to be in the vicinity of
the Great Lakes and New England.  The second will be associated with
the isentropic ascent along and poleward of the baroclinic zone
positioned roughly in the Ohio Valley and southern Mid Atlantic. The
third will be along the developing cold front that will sweep across
the East Wednesday night and Thursday.  The exact locations of these
precipitation maxima are anyone`s guess, but there are some
indications that a relatively decent precip event could occur in an
east-west band from the Ohio/Tennessee Valleys to the vicinity of
Delmarva Wednesday and Wednesday evening.  Bumped up PoPs in the
southern CWA during this time frame. The cold frontal passage
Wednesday night or Thursday could also be tied with some heavier
precipitation -- possibly with localized enhancement via convection.
 Also bumped PoPs across the CWA late Wednesday night and Thursday
morning, though confidence in the timing is well below average.

The temperature forecast is of ... below average confidence, to say
the least. Temperatures look generally warmer than average Monday
through Wednesday, but there is some question regarding the observed
warmth Tuesday and Wednesday owing to the potential for
precipitation and the establishment of cold air damming in portions
of the area.  For now, kept temps on the warmer side of guidance,
but there is a possibility these numbers are overly optimistic on
Tuesday/Wednesday.

By week`s end, a longwave trough becomes established across the
East.  This means a return to much colder (i.e., more typical)
conditions across the region.  Establishing northwest flow could
bring a few clipper-like systems to the area late next week through
early the following week.

&&

.AVIATION /05Z SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
The following discussion is for KPHL, KPNE, KTTN, KABE, KRDG, KILG,
KMIV, KACY and surrounding areas.

Overnight...VFR with areas of MVFR ceilings especially ABE, RDG
to near TTN. Ceilings may tend to lower and spread south and
east to include the remaining terminals, however confidence is
on the low side. Some fog should develop toward daybreak,
however the extent of this is also uncertain as most of the fog
may be confined to areas closet to the coast. Southerly winds
mainly 10 knots or less.

Saturday...IFR/LIFR conditions possible in stratus/fog in the
morning, then ceilings should lift to MVFR/VFR during mid
morning and early afternoon. A line of gusty showers and some
thunderstorms is forecast to pass through the area as timed in
the latest TAFS, with the potential for brief gusts to around
35 knots. After the cold frontal passage, all areas become VFR
with a west to northwest wind gusty at times.

Outlook...
Saturday night and Sunday...Conditions quickly improving to VFR
behind the cold front, with showers/storms moving off the coast.
West or northwest winds 10-20 knots with gusts to 30 knots likely.
Above average confidence.

Sunday night and Monday...VFR with west winds around 10 kts becoming
southwest by Monday afternoon. Average confidence.

Monday night through Wednesday...Periods of showers with associated
sub-VFR conditions possible, especially during the day Tuesday and
again Wednesday afternoon. Primarily light southerly or
southwesterly winds, but a more easterly component may develop on
Tuesday north of a developing warm front, and gustier southwest
winds may occur Tuesday night or Wednesday as the warm front moves
through the region. Very low confidence on timing and
occurrence.

&&

.MARINE...
Dense Fog Advisory for the Atlc waters based on recent data at
WWD and JFK, plus our low cloud product.

Seas will slowly build overnight and should be around 5 feet on
the ocean waters near or shortly after sunrise. Winds will also
increase after sunrise with gusts above 20kt possible. The
strongest winds (and an abrupt shift to westerly winds) are
expected to come with and behind a cold front which will move
over the Delaware Bay late tomorrow afternoon. The front is not
expected to arrive on the ocean waters before tomorrow evening.

Outlook...
Saturday night...Cold front will move through the coastal waters
with showers/storms likely.  Strong/gusty winds near storms. Small
craft advisory (SCA) conditions likely as winds become west or
northwest behind the front. Gusts may hove around 35 kt at times
between 02z-09z/26, especially vicinity DE Bay where a GLW may
be needed (431, 451-55). Average confidence.

Sunday...Continued SCA conditions likely with winds slowly
diminishing during the afternoon.  Above average confidence.

Sunday night and Monday...Sub-SCA conditions likely.  Above average
confidence.

Monday night through Wednesday...Generally sub-SCA expected, though
winds and seas may approach criteria after potential warm frontal
passage Tuesday night or Wednesday. Periods of rain/showers likely,
especially during the day Tuesday and again Wednesday afternoon.
Very low confidence.

&&

.CLIMATE...
Record event reports have been issued for 6 of our 8 climate
sites, including an all time monthly for the shorter period of
record at Allentown. Please see each for detail.

ABE 77 and HIMAX for FEB,   GED 76   TTN 75  MPO 67

RDG equal at 77 also HIMAX for FEB  PHL equal at 74

We quickly rechecked monthlies...PHL locked at 43.9 and ABE
running even warmer. Warmest ever Feb. Max temp at ABE today of
77 is warmest for Dec-Jan-Feb at that location.

&&

.EQUIPMENT...
44009 now scheduled for rts around April 17.

&&

.PHI WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
PA...None.
NJ...None.
DE...None.
MD...None.
MARINE...Dense Fog Advisory until noon EST today for ANZ450>455.
     Small Craft Advisory from 7 AM this morning to 6 PM EST Sunday
     for ANZ450>455.
     Small Craft Advisory from 6 PM this evening to 6 PM EST Sunday
     for ANZ430-431.

&&

$$
Synopsis...CMS
Near Term...Drag/Gorse
Short Term...Johnson
Long Term...CMS
Aviation...Drag/Gorse/Johnson
Marine...CMS/Drag/Johnson
Climate...
Equipment...



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