Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Raleigh/Durham, NC

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FXUS62 KRAH 212345

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Raleigh NC
740 PM EDT Wed Mar 21 2018

Cold high pressure will build in from the northwest through Friday.
Another storm system will approach from the west over the weekend.


As of 740 PM Wednesday...

Overcast skies will linger a few more hours over central NC. There
will also be some very light showers with mostly trace amounts of
rain expected. The exception will be across the western and northern
Piedmont where some light snow may still mix in with the rain. No
accumulation is expected as temperatures remain well above 32. In
addition, drier air will filter in from the NW. When combined with
downslope flow off the ridges, expect clearing to begin. Clearing is
expected to develop from the NW late evening, then reach the Coastal
Plain late tonight. Temperatures will be cold, but will be
held up by mixing (winds will stir at 5-10 mph) and the lingering
cloudiness. Lows by daybreak should still dip into the upper 20s to
mid 30s. Black ice is not expected due to the warm ground, evaporation,


As of 310 PM Wednesday...

Thursday, the deep upper level low will scoot off the New England
coast. It will remain breezy due to the difference between high
pressure over the lower MS Valley and the deep low off of New
England. A series of upper level perturbations in the nw flow aloft
will pass overhead. During max heating, the lift provided by this
system coupled with marginal moisture through the column may support
a few isolated rain showers, primarily over the far northeast
Piedmont into the coastal plain. At this time, it appears coverage
will be too limited to mention in the forecast.

A 850mb thermal trough to our nw will maintain low level cold air
advection Thursday. This will result in max temps a solid 10-13
degrees below normal for late March, ranging from near 50 across the
far north to the mid 50s across the south. Sfc high pressure will
nose into central NC from the sw Thu night. this should allow the
sfc winds to decouple. With the cool dry air mass in place,
overnight temperatures should tumble into the upper 20s-lower 30s.


As of 100 PM Wednesday...

A dry start to the long term for a day at least as surface high
pressure lingers west of the area keeping skies clear but cool, with
northwesterly downslope flow prevailing. This will keep high
temperatures down in the lower 50s across the northeast to upper 50s
in the southwest. Clouds will increase in the west on Friday night
in response to a low developing over Missouri and a warm front
extending eastward ahead of it. Any precipitation associated with
this front will hold off until Saturday afternoon but a slight
chance exists that precip could come in a bit earlier in the Triad.

As the low approaches, it will begin to dive south of the area which
could once again present some winter P-type issues for at least the
northern half of the forecast area. Current forecast soundings along
the I-40 corridor appear cold enough for at least a wintry mix of
precipitation. There is a lot of uncertainty as far as the snow
question is concerned. One is will there be enough moisture in the
dendritic growth zone to support snow. Another is the amount of lift
available through that layer. Temperatures are another concern
especially further south and east because soundings indicating a
possible weak warm nose that will play a role in determine exactly
what falls from the sky. Bottom line is precip chances through the
weekend are high, but north of route 64, it is unclear exactly what
it will be. Southern portions of the CWA should bet on all rain at
this point. Precipitation looks to end by Sunday evening which is
welcome news for the morning commute on Monday which will be fairly
cold but most likely unhindered by winter weather. Temps Saturday
and Sunday in the upper 40s to low 50s.

Monday will most likely start out very cloudy as high pressure to
the northeast moves into a favorable location for cold air damming.
This could present a drizzle threat for much of the day, especially
in the Triad. Highs Monday still only in the upper 40s to mid 50s.
By Tuesday the high starts to push southward over the Carolinas
which may help to start to break some of the cloud cover and add a
few degrees to the afternoon high, mid 50s. By Wednesday the high
finally slips south and east of the area and a much welcome
southerly return flow ensues. This will bring a very noticeable
difference in the weather and the temperatures as highs climb into
the low 60s across the north to near 70 degrees in the south.


As of 735 PM Wednesday...

Widespread MVFR ceilings will slowly lift to the low end VFR
category after 21Z across central NC as drier air gradually
overspreads the lower levels of the atmosphere. Sfc winds will
be gusting 18-23kts through early evening, diminishing to 10kt
or less overnight.

Skies will gradually clear from the sw this evening with mostly
clear skies expected most TAF sites after 09Z. The VFR conditions
expected to persist through Friday morning.

Another period of unsettled weather is anticipated late Friday
through the weekend into Monday.





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