Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 231523 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 1123 AM EDT Sat Sep 23 2023 .SYNOPSIS... Tropical Storm Ophelia, lifting north, has made landfall at Emerald Isle early this morning. Ophelia will continue pushing further inland and northward, away from the forecast area this morning thru tonight. Rainfall and strong gusty winds will peak this morning, particularly across Southeast NC. Improving conditions are expected later today through Sunday as Ophelia lifts further north and high pressure fills in behind. Generally dry and seasonable weather is expected for the first half of the upcoming work week as high pressure remains in control. && .UPDATE...
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As of 11:15 AM EDT, All Tropical Storm Warnings over land and the marine zones have been cancelled. All associated products have been updated. Gusty winds will continue today under mostly cloudy skies, but no more tropical-storm-force winds expected. Over the coastal waters, a couple of gale-force gusts are possible over the next hour or two, particularly from Cape Fear to Surf City out 20nm. However, these gusts are not frequent or consistent enough for a Gale Warning. Opted for a Small Craft Advisory for all coastal waters that we cover, ranging from South Santee to Surf City. Finally, we have published two separate Public Information Statements (PNSs) that provide summaries of rainfall totals and peak wind gusts from this event. Go to to see these statements.
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&& .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... ATTM, Ophelia`s center is just offshore from the Crystal Coast of NC and is progged to make landfall early this morning in this vicinity. The worse conditions from this cyclone will occur now thru mid-morning. Once inland, Ophelia will quickly transition into a weakening phase and will continue to push further away from the FA for the remainder of this forecast period. Look for decreasing winds especially this afternoon and onwards. So much dry air has entrained into this system, with the only appreciable pcpn amounts coming from the convection on the western side of the center that may possibly affect the Cape Fear area thru this morning. Am reluctant to keep the FFA going other than for the convection on the western side of the center this morning. Once this feature lifts north of the area later this morning, the FFA will likely be dropped if not sooner. The same will likely occur with the Tropical Storm warning itself. For the time being, will deal with a low overcast sky for much of the day with pcpn more scattered in nature and becoming light, intensity wise. Skies to improve late this aftn and especially tonight with just enough mixing keeping any widespread fog at bay eventhough sfc dewpoint depressions less than 2 degrees F late in the pre-dawn Sun hrs. Max temps today will remain in the upper 60s away from the coast given the overcast and winds, except low 70s at the coast and southernmost portions of the FA. Mins to run in the upper 50s, except 60-65 at the coast. && .SHORT TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... A bit of a surface trough early Sunday trailing from Ophelia but washes out by midday. Mid level troughiness lingers longer but with dry advection behind the storm it should do little more than bring a few clouds as there is some moisture in the 5-10kft range. Southwesterly flow develops through most of the depth of the troposphere allowing for some nice low level thermal recovery from our cool Sat/Sat night allowing Sunday to warm into the mid 80s and lows only dipping into mid 60s. Monday`s pressure pattern will be poorly defined making for light winds but overnight high pressure to the north will turn flow to the north. Forecast soundings show considerable mid level drying, steep boundary layer lapse rates, and a very shallow moisture layer at 5-6kt where a few flat cu will reside. Afternoon temperatures will wind up above climo as they warm into the mid/upper 80s. A backdoor cold front is due Monday night. && .LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... Temperatures ease back to normal on Tuesday as huge area of high pressure centered in eastern Canada extends ridge axis into the Southeast. At the surface this high will come to dominate our weather for the rest of the period. Mid level flow on the other hand is a bit more dubious. A strong mid level ridge also forms over eastern Canada early in the period. It appears to funnel a shortwave into the Southeast, but now perhaps not until the end of the period or later. Guidance is hinting at very isolated showers Wednesday or Thursday ahead of it. Given the dryness of the wedge isolated coverage may be the best we can hope for. There will also be a shortwave coming south down the east side of the Hudson Bay ridge. GFS brings it all the way into the Carolinas phasing in with the system coming in from the NW, which seems rather unlikely. Again, given the dryness of the boundary layer even should it approach it will have little effect on sensible weather and be more of a bit of a meteorological oddity. && .AVIATION /15Z SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... MVFR/IFR conditions and strong gusty winds and rainfall from Ophelia to dominate atleast thru mid morning. Ophelia will weaken as it tracks further inland and away from Southeast NC and Northeast SC this afternoon and night. A return to VFR conditions, generally from south to north, during this afternoon thru this evening with the low clouds bouncing from MVFR/IFR categories at times today. Strong and gusty NW winds will peak this morning, followed by a diminishing trend by late morning and continuing into tonight. Wind directions becoming WNW-W this morning will back to W-SW tonight and drop to 5 kt or less. Extended Outlook...VFR conditions to dominate Sun and persist thru early next week as weak high pressure settles in. MVFR conditions possible by midweek next week as a wedge of high pressure sets up across the interior Carolinas along with weak low pressure off the Carolina coasts. && .MARINE... Through tonight...Tropical Storm Ophelia, moving NNW, progged to make landfall along the Crystal Coast Of NC early this morning. The local waters to remain on the western periphery of this cyclone, resulting in winds backing in direction as the center passes by just offshore, before pushing inland. Thus winds peak from the NNW-NW this morning followed by a diminishing trend late this morning into tonight, with winds further backing to a W-SW direction. Seas peaking early this morning, will lose their wind source to build upon and thus illustrate a rather robust abating trend later today thru tonight. By daybreak Sun, SW-W winds generally around 10 kt or less and seas having subsided to 2 to 4 ft, from a peak of 7 to 12 ft early this morning. Sunday through Wednesday...A weak trough will turn light winds to southwesterly on Sunday, even if it becomes transient later in the day. These winds lighten on Monday as the gradient weakens ahead of a cold front approaching from the north, this boundary slipping through at night. North to NE winds behind this boundary on Tuesday as a very large area of high pressure in eastern Canada extends a ridge axis into the Carolinas. This anticyclone will remain nearly stationary through the period keeping our winds out of the NE. They will increase slightly late in the period as slightly higher pressures sink south out of Canada. Seas respond slightly not only to the increased northeasterly flow but also a long fetch NE swell that makes it into the area along with a lesser SE swell. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
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SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 8 PM EDT this evening for AMZ250- 252. Small Craft Advisory until 4 PM EDT this afternoon for AMZ254- 256.
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&& $$ SYNOPSIS...ILM UPDATE...IGB NEAR TERM...DCH SHORT TERM...MBB LONG TERM...MBB AVIATION...DCH MARINE...DCH/TRA/MBB is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.