Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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FXUS62 KRAH 241905

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Raleigh NC
205 PM EST Fri Feb 24 2017

Strong high pressure aloft over the region today will shift east and
offshore overnight in advance of a cold front that will cross the
area on Saturday. Expect near record warmth ahead of the front, with
cooler temperatures on Sunday.


As of 1030 AM FRIDAY...

Near record warmth expected again today.

Strong upper ridging will extend from the Gulf of Mexico NE across
the Carolinas and SE Virginia. The surface high pressure will extend
from offshore to over the SE states including NC, with resultant
onset of southerly return flow allowing for an increase in low-level
moisture, evident in an extensive but flat cumulus and stratocumulus
field today, along with an increase in BL dewpoints into the mid to
upper 60s.

The southerly return flow and dry soil conditions will aide in
challenging record high temps for a second consecutive day. Low-
level thicknesses yesterday evening verified at 1380 meters(~50
meters above normal). Thus, with today`s projected thickness of 1300
to 1305, we should match or surpass yesterday`s readings by a few
degrees. Highs 76 to 81, warmest SE.

Tonight... the S-SW wind flow is forecast to begin to increase ahead
of the deepening cyclone pivoting NEwd through the Ohio Valley and
Great Lakes. Associated sfc cold front is expected to reach the
southern Appalachians by daybreak, with attendant band of convection
is expected to greatly weaken along it`s southern fringes across
southern Virginia and North Carolina as the better forcing and
deeper moisture lifts off to the northeast. Strengthening moist WAA
in advance of the front could support an isolated shower across the
far NW zones, otherwise, any rain chances will hold until after 12z
Saturday with the timing of the cold front through the area between
15z to 00z.

The increasing cloud cover and southerly winds will make for a mild
night. Lows in the mid 50s.


As of 315 AM FRIDAY...

The dynamics and moisture are expected to largely pass well north of
NC Saturday with the storm track. The trailing cold front is
expected to push east across the region during the afternoon and
early evening. The GFS has sped up somewhat, but models generally
force the fronts to quickly east into our region. Regardless, even
most of the low level moisture/convergence/ and low level
instability will remain from central VA northward with the front. We
will maintain a low chance of a shower or isolated thunderstorm
(with very marginal instability) noted. Highs should again soar into
the upper 70s to lower 80s. Depending on the amount of sun in the
Sandhills, some mid 80s are possible. QPF should be less than 0.10
north, and essentially nil across the south where hardly any chance
of showers exist. Expect Variably cloudy skies becoming partly

Surface winds will become more of an issue as they will increase to
between 15 and 25 mph with gusts to 30-35 mph. Winds will become
more W then WNW during the afternoon as the front comes through. Dew
points will crash behind the front from the 50s into the 30s (20s
NW). This dry wind and lowering RH may lead to some increasing fire
weather concern, mainly in the lee of the mountains into the western
Piedmont where the front will come through before peak heating. More
on this in later forecasts.

A freeze is possible for the NW and N Piedmont on Sunday night as
winds die off and skies become clear. Lows 30-35 there, and 35-40
favored in the east. It should be too dry for frost in the west, and
a bit too warm in the east. But sub-freezing lows may occur in the
NW Piedmont to near Roxboro in the N Piedmont.


As of 205 PM Friday...

A broad upper level trough covering most of the contiguous U.S. will
result in a slightly unsettled weather pattern across the U.S. this
period. Temperatures, overall, are expected to remain above or well
above normal through mid-week. Afterwards, lower than normal heights
translates to near or slightly below normal temperatures for the
later half of the work week.

A series of upper disturbances will keep the atmosphere slightly
unsettled across central NC for the beginning of this period. High
pressure building into our region Sunday in the wake of an exiting
s/w and attendant sfc cold front will lead to drier cool conditions
Sunday. This high quickly scoots offshore Monday, leading to an
appreciable warm up with high temps expected to be about 8-10
degrees warmer than Sunday afternoon highs.

Models in general agreement lifting a mid-upper level across the
Deep South  and the Southeast U.S. Monday night into Tuesday,
leading to a chance of showers. At this time, the highest threat for
rain across central NC appears to be late Monday night into early
Tuesday. A more amplified s/w will begin to affect our region
Wednesday with another chance for showers and possibly a few
thunderstorms late Wednesday into Wednesday night. This system exits
our region Thursday morning, leading to a more stable and cooler

Ahead of the mid week system, temperatures will once again average
10-20 degrees above normal with Wednesday`s high temps most likely
in the 75-80 degrees range. Cooler temperatures anticipated Thu-Fri
as a l/w trough develops over the eastern U.S.


As of 130 PM Friday...

24 Hour TAF Period:  The expansive VFR cu field will dissipate with
loss of heating with south to southeasterly winds of 10kts or less.
A cold front will approach the area from the west late tonight and
is forecast to cross the area between 15z Saturday to 00z Sunday.
With the approach of the front, southerly winds will increase at
KINT and KGSO late tonight between 09 to 12z, which should preclude
fog development across these western TAF sites. However at KRDU,
KRWI and KFAY, winds are expected to remain light, which along with
mostly clear skies could favor the development of sub-VFR ceilings
and visibilities in fog/stratus.

Strong heating and mixing ahead of the front will quickly disperse
any fog or stratus that develops overnight. Expect sustain winds out
of the SW of 15 to 18kts with gusts of 25 to 30kts, strongest in the
east. A broken/weakening band of convection is expected to accompany
the frontal passage through the area Saturday afternoon. With the
better dynamics/forcing and deeper moisture lifting off to the
north, the best chance will lie across the northern terminals. Thus,
a few showers and possibly a thunderstorm or two is possible at KINT
and KGSO between 16 to 20z and at RDU and RWI between 19 to 23z.

Outlook: Strong post-frontal dry cold air advection will lead to a
return to VFR conditions Saturday evening/night, with VFR conditions
continuing through at least Mon as high pressure builds into and
over the region. The chance for sub-VFR conditions and showers and a
few storms will return Mon night into Tue as a warm front shifts
northward through the area.



Record highs for February 24 and 25:

Greensboro:      79 (1982) and 81 (1930).

Raleigh:         81 (1982) and 82 (1930).

Fayetteville:    83 (1930) and 85 (1930).





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