Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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FXUS62 KILM 312302

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
702 PM EDT Tue Mar 31 2020

Low pressure will bring several hours of moderate to heavy rain
this evening through tonight. Behind the departing system,
cooler and drier air will build across the area through the
weekend. Light rain chances return early next week along with
above normal temps.


Deepening surface low pressure across central Georgia will move
east along a stalled front, moving off the coast near
Georgetown this evening. Cool and rather dry air north of the
front is completely stable, but we`re watching to see just how
far north the front returns ahead of the low this evening since
surface instability will only exist along and south of the
front. Forecast helicity values go crazy this evening (0-1km:
250 m^2/s^2, 0-2km: 500 m^2/s^2) but are meaningless in terms of
severe weather without surface-based instability. A non-zero
risk will exist for a tornado or damaging wind gusts if a
convective cell can develop on or south of the front.

Outside of Georgetown county, the focus of tonight`s forecast
is on rainfall amounts. PoPs are 100 percent areawide, and QPF
ranges from 0.5 inches west of I-95 to around 1 inch in
Wilmington. The bulk of this rain should come down in heavy
showers this evening, with lighter showers expected overnight as
colder air builds in behind the departing low. Forecast lows
are a uniform 46-48 degrees with clouds and a stiff northerly
breezy persisting overnight.

Clouds should gradually clear from west to east late Wednesday
morning through the afternoon as high pressure builds in. Highs
should remain 10 degrees below normal with upper 50s to lower
60s expected, warmest across the Pee Dee region. Clearing skies
and lighter winds Wednesday night should allow good radiational
cooling, and lows should reach the lower 40s away from the
beaches. Normally colder spots (peat soils in pocosins and
Carolina Bays) across southeastern North Carolina could dip into
the upper 30s if winds go calm.


Dry and cool conditions in store for Thursday, courtesy of an
upper ridge building in from the SW and a surface high building
in from the NW. Highs in the upper 60s and lows Thursday night
in the low 40s.


Ridging aloft and at the surface continuing to build in will
keep things pretty dry Friday and Saturday, with temps near
normal. Mid- level high pressure overhead Sunday and Monday,
with surface high sliding offshore by early Sunday allowing weak
return flow to develop. Combination will allow warming trend to
continue, with highs in the low 70s Sunday and in the upper 70s
Monday and Tuesday. Chance of light rain showers Monday and
Tuesday as a weak front drops down from the north. Recent models
showing decent instability Monday afternoon that may allow some
afternoon convection.


Light to moderate rain across the area this evening, with
isolated heavy rain and low vsbys. Primarily MVFR cigs are
expected with the rain, with some pockets of IFR. NE winds
shift to the N tonight with slowly improving aviation conditions
as low pressure moves offshore and strengthens rapidly as it
hits the Gulf stream. VFR and breezy NNW winds for Wed with
gust up to ~25 kt.

Extended Outlook...VFR continues through the weekend.


The weak cold front that pushed through our area late last
night has stalled between Beaufort and Savannah. Low pressure
deepening across central Georgia has linked up with this front
and should emerge off the coast this evening around Georgetown.
Northeast winds across most of our area may shift southerly for
a couple hours early this evening in the Georgetown/Winyah Bay
vicinity as the low pulls the front northward, but winds will
shift northeasterly again tonight as the low shoots out to sea.
Showers and embedded thunderstorms are expected.

Models have mostly shifted northward over the past 24 hours
with the predicted path of the low. They`ve also decreased
slightly with how much wind we`ll see behind the low, 20-30
knots throughout the area. The best chance of seeing 35 knot
gusts appears to be north of Cape Fear, and the Gale Warning has
been trimmed back to just those waters for tonight. Breezy
north winds should only slowly diminish during the afternoon
into Wednesday night.

Benign marine conditions Thursday and Friday with high pressure
building in, with NNW winds 10-15 kts Thursday through Friday
and seas 2-3 ft due to weakening ENE swell and wind chop. Seas
increase again Friday night through Sunday as a building 14 sec
E swell arrives. Seas 2-4 ft Saturday morning increase to 4-5 ft
Saturday night for SE NC coastal waters and 3-4 ft NE SC
waters. 6 footers are possible for SE NC waters late Saturday
through early Sunday. Winds Saturday ENE around 10 kts becoming
easterly Sat night.


MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 2 PM EDT Wednesday for AMZ252-254-
     Gale Warning until 8 AM EDT Wednesday for AMZ250.


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