Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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FXUS62 KILM 191040

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
540 AM EST Mon Feb 19 2018

A front stalled south of the area will return slowly north as a
warm front today. Bermuda High pressure will bring temperatures
well above normal this week with possible record warmth Wednesday
and Thursday. A cold front will likely stall to our north on
Friday. The Bermuda High will expand over the region for the
weekend. A cold front will approach from the northwest Sunday


As of 300 AM Monday...High pressure extends down into the Carolinas
from the center just off the Mid Atlantic coast while a coastal
trough/warm front remains aligned just off the Carolinas coast. Some
patchy drizzle, light rain and fog was over inland areas where weak
isentropic lift exists while some light showers were breaking out
along coastal trough just off the Cape Fear coast. Overall, shallow
moisture with low stratus and patchy fog was holding on with a well
defined near surface based inversion present.

This coastal warm front will push inland and north through this
afternoon with winds shifting around to the southeast to south.
All guidance is showing some breaks in the clouds expected
through this afternoon as inversion breaks. Warm and moist air
will follow as a southerly return flow sets up and ridge builds
aloft. Temps will rise quite rapidly through the 60s but a
fairly sharp gradient will exist as you move inland before the
warm front moves through. A fairly wide spread in guidance
exists with the NAM slower in pushing warm front through and
holding on to temps closer to 60 for highs in the I-95 corridor,
while the GFS has temps reaching 70. For now, have forecast
max temps just above 70 east of I-95 while places along and
west reaching into the mid 60s. Expect some spotty showers
associated with the coastal trough/warm front and have included
mainly iso shwrs with best chc along the coast and off shore.
Not including much in terms of measurable pcp.

Dewpoint temps will follow suit into this evening and expect
widespread fog and stratus to develop heading into this evening
and overnight. Have included patchy to areas of fog into
tonight. This warm and moist airmass will support overnight lows
closer to 60 in most places with some mid 50s further inland.


As of 300 AM Monday...Unseasonably warm temperatures are
expected in the wake of a warm front as a strong Western
Atlantic Ridge builds across the waters. Temperatures at 850 mb
are forecast to be 12-15C through the period. Subsidence and
only very shallow moisture should prevent any showers from
developing. However, model soundings continue to portray a
favorable profile for at least patchy late night and early
morning fog/stratus. Also, with dewpoints in the lower to mid
60s through the period, any sea fog that does develop could
periodically impact some of the beaches at any point in the day
or night.

Highs will be well up in the 70s Tue and a couple 80 degree
readings are possible well inland. Highs on Wed will be similar
if not a degree or two higher. The seabreeze circulation should
be strengthening each afternoon and thus there should be a sharp
temp gradient near the coast with high temps at the beaches
stymied near or just above 70 degrees each afternoon. Lows each
night will be commonly in the lower 60s.

Record highs could be challenged on Wed...

City               High Temperature Forecast/Daily Record High

Wilmington         76/81 in 1991

Florence           79/83 in 2014

N Myrtle Beach     72/77 in 1949

City               High Temperature Forecast/Daily Record High

Wilmington         77/78 in 2014

Florence           82/81 in 1997

N Myrtle Beach     72/76 in 1953


As of 300 PM Sunday...Main theme for the extended will be
strong surface and mid-level ridging sitting off the coast.
Strong mid-level subsidence and deep southerly flow will
contribute to an extended period of temperatures well above
climo. While there is high confidence in a warm and mostly dry
period, there area a few times within the forecast with much
lower confidence. The first concerns a backdoor cold front Thu
night into Fri. Previous solutions had this feature moving into
the area late Thu night and lingering for much of Fri before
returning north as a warm front. However, recent guidance has
shifted away from this scenario, the both the GFS and ECMWF
being quicker to move the 1040 high across the Great Lakes and
into the Northeast. Given the propensity for ridging to hold on
longer than the guidance expects, am leaning in favor of a
warmer, drier solution Thu night and Fri. Another area of
uncertainty concerns potential cold front late in the period.
GFS/ECMWF currently bring this feature into the area later Sun,
but not confident it will arrive that early, which would
contribute to warmer temps Sun night.

Temperatures, as previously mentioned, will be significantly
above normal for much if not all of the period. Medium range
guidance continues to depict heights at levels not seen before
during the last week of Feb. At the same time 850 temps will
flirt with 15C. Away from the coast highs will run in the upper
70s to lower 80s through the period with the possible exception
of Fri. Closer to the coast, the combination of water temps in
the mid 50s and an onshore flow will keep highs much cooler.
The large temperature gradient will also create rather windy
conditions on the cool side of what should be a strong sea
breeze. Lows will range from the upper 50s to mid 60s through
the period. Average daily temperatures could run 20-25 degrees
above normal each day. Another way of putting it would be that
the departure from normal next week will be equal to what the
area experienced during the first week of January 2018, just in
the opposite direction.


As of 12Z...Time height shows solid low level moisture up through
850 mbs for most of the day. Think predominately IFR conditions are
a good bet through a portion of the afternoon hours. A warm front
will move north through the region and erode the relatively weak
wedge in place by this afternoon. Winds will shift to the southeast,
possibly south this evening. There is a chance for LIFR conditions,
probably after midnight, associated with the warm air advection.

Extended Outlook...VFR with periods of MVFR through Fri. Good
chance of extended periods of IFR/LIFR in sea fog coastal
terminals Tues-Fri.


As of 300 AM Monday...A coastal trough/warm front aligned just off
the Carolina coast will push inland and north through today.
Therefore NE winds will shift around through today to the E-SE and
eventually S by late this aftn into early this evening. This will
leave a warm and moist southerly flow as Bermuda High pressure
begins to dominate through tonight. Winds around 10 to 15 kts early
this morning will basically fall and remain around 10 kts or less
through the period with seas falling to 2 to 3 ft by this afternoon.
The only hazard may be the development of sea fog. As dewpoint temps
rise into the lower 60s through today into tonight and cool shelf
waters remain in teh mid 50s, the potential will exist for some sea
fog. SREF probs for vsby less than 1 mile are close to 80 percent
off of the SC coast and spread northward in southerly flow.

As of 300 AM Monday...Western Atlantic Ridge will bring benign
winds and seas. The wind will be S at 10 kt or less, although
afternoon and early eve winds should be in the 10 to 15 kt range
near shore due to the seabreeze circulation. Seas will be 2 to 3
ft although some 4 ft seas should begin to mix in Wed night.

The risk for some sea fog will remain through the period. Sea
surface temps across the near shore waters are in the mid 50s
while dewpoints advecting across these waters will be in the
lower to mid 60s, so just marginally conducive for sea fog
development. Also, the expected wind direction is not particularly
favorable for increasing the residence time over the cool shelf
waters. At this time, have only included patchy sea fog through
the entire forecast period.

As of 300 PM Sunday...Bermuda High will extend across the
waters through the period, maintaining south to southwest flow
with speeds 10 kt or less. Weak backdoor cold front will try to
drop in from the north early Fri, but it is starting to look
like the front will stall before reaching the area. Flow may
become a little more easterly during Fri, depending where the
front ends up, but speeds would drop closer to 5 kt. Seas will
run 2 to 3 ft through the period with occasional 4 ft possible
near Frying Pan Shoals later Thu and Thu night.





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