Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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FXUS62 KILM 231357

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
957 AM EDT Mon May 23 2022

A warm and humid airmass will support scattered showers and
thunderstorms late today and tonight. A front will stall across
North Carolina through Wednesday. The weather may remain
unsettled as this front dissipates by Thursday. Another front
will arrive from the west late Friday, possibly stalling along
the Southeast coast next weekend.


Going forecast was in good shape this morning. Other than tweaks
to reflect latest conditions, no changes were made as
expectations for the near term period remain the same.


A weak cold front has essentially stalled across east-central North
Carolina. Surface high pressure offshore is maintaining an
unseasonably warm and humid southwesterly wind across the area. A
compact area of low pressure recently came ashore near Pensacola,
FL. Southerly winds funneled between it and offshore high pressure
will help to maintain this tropical airmass across the Carolinas
through tonight.

The upper level portion of the FL Panhandle low will shear off from
the surface center today, accelerating northeastward and across the
western Carolinas by this evening. Faster mid/upper level flow ahead
of this feature will increase wind shear across the central
Carolinas and into the Pee Dee region this afternoon. Bulk shear (0-
6 km) will exceed 30 knots by late afternoon. HREF ensembles suggest
there is a reasonably good chance a cluster of thunderstorms will
form this afternoon and approach the I-95 corridor between Florence
and Lumberton around 4 pm. NAM forecast soundings show over 2000
J/kg of CAPE with an LI of -7 at Florence, supporting a threat of
hail or wet microbursts. The kinematic environment could support a
tornado, however more impressive 0-1 km helicity values should
largely remain north and west of our forecast area where surface
winds are more strongly backed near the stalled front. Convective
activity may tend to dissipate as it moves east of I-95 and toward
the Cape Fear area later in the evening.

Forecast highs today range from the mid to upper 80s except cooler
on the beaches with onshore winds. Forecast lows tonight are on the
warm end of guidance given clouds and the continued unseasonably
humid airmass. Local verification data over the past five days shows
GFS MOS has averaged 3 degrees too cool with lows at ILM and 4
degrees too cool at FLO. So far for the month of May observed
temperatures are the third warmest on record at ILM and FLO.


Forecast continues
to have a look and feel of summer during the midweek period.
Mid level ridging will be anchored offshore with deep cut off
low pressure across the Central Plains. This pattern will
continue to funnel moisture and intervals of forcing across the
area. The highest pops for the period occur Tuesday as mid level
dry air makes convection a bit more challenging Wednesday
although by no means out of the question. The temperature
forecast remains basically unchanged as wind fields do not show
the back door front making much progress south so highs remain
in the middle 50s or so with lows mostly in the middle to upper


The mid level pattern described
in the short term section will continue to evolve with the
trough and associated cold front moving east in time. Pops ramp
back up to at times likely for late Thursday into Friday morning
via the deep layer forcing. For the most part the weekend looks
dry but the eastward progression of the front this time of year
is increasingly problematic and maintained at least some
mention along the coast.


A few patches of low stratus dot the eastern Carolinas beneath
scattered to broken mid level clouds. Any low cloud cover should
burn off by 13z with VFR conditions expected. There is a low to
moderate chance thunderstorms will develop near or just north of
KILM after 18z. A disturbance approaching from the southwest
will likely develop a large cluster of showers and thunderstorms
across central South Carolina by 19z-20z. This convection may
clip the KFLO airport after 21z, but has a better potential to
impact KLBT with MVFR to brief IFR conditions. Models suggest
the convection will have limited success moving east to the
coast later in the evening, but there is a low potential for
convective impacts at KILM, KCRE, and KMYR after 01z.

A front sinking south into southern North Carolina may help
develop low ceilings tonight. The best potential for flight
category impacts will be at KLBT, with moderate potential for
impacts elsewhere.

Extended Outlook...Convection and occasional low ceilings will
remain in the forecast as tonight`s cold front stalls near the
area through early Wednesday. Thursday and Friday could see
late night/early morning low ceilings. Thunderstorm chances will
increase again late Friday as a front approaches from the west.


Through Tonight...A cold front setting southward across North
Carolina will stall inland from the coast today. Light west-
southwest winds this morning will back around to the south this
afternoon mainly due to the seabreeze with speeds increasing to 10-
12 knots. While there could be an isolated shower or t-storm at
almost any point today, the models are focused in on a large cluster
of thunderstorms remaining inland this afternoon, perhaps weakening
and making it down to the coast after 9 PM.

Where models several days ago thought the cold front would move
through the area tonight and stall along the Georgia or South
Carolina coast, an compact area of low pressure that recently moved
ashore near Pensacola, FL will enhance the southerly winds across
the Carolinas tonight, keeping the front from dipping any farther
south than Cape Fear this evening. The boundary should begin to
return north late tonight.

Seas currently around 2 feet in an even mix of 5 second wind waves
and 9 second southeast swell may increase to 3 feet at times across
the outer portion of the coastal waters tonight, otherwise no
significant changes are expected.

Tuesday through Friday...Somewhat modest wind fields for the
mid week period with a southerly component remaining in place.
A southwest flow becomes better defined later in the work week
as a front approaches and eventually pushes offshore for the
weekend. Overall wind speeds will be ten knots or less until
later Thursday when the range increases to 10-15 knots.
Significant seas will be around two feet early increasing with
the winds to 2-4 feet.




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