Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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000 FXUS61 KAKQ 032327 AFDAKQ AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION National Weather Service Wakefield VA 727 PM EDT Fri Apr 3 2020 .SYNOPSIS... Strong low pressure off the New England coast moves southeast away from the area overnight. The low will push farther east on Saturday as high pressure builds over the area. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM SATURDAY MORNING/... As of 715 PM EDT Friday... Only minor tweaks to the near term pops and sky cover. KDOX is showing light showers over the MD eastern shore, however much of the precip is not reaching the surface with the low levels still fairly dry. Can`t rule out a stray sprinkle or quick light rain shower but won`t be anything significant. With temps dropping over the past couple hours the RH values are increasing, thus the increased fire danger is quickly coming to an end for inland portions of VA and NE NC. Previous Discussion... As of 400 PM EDT Friday... Strong low pressure south of Cape Cod is retrograding southwestward toward the Mid Atlantic coast this afternoon with weak high pressure centered over the Midwest. The resulting pressure gradient is leading to continued NW winds across the region today, generally 10-20mph with gusts running 20-30mph. Very dry air continues to funnel southeast on the western side of the Atlantic low, resulting in dry and breezy conditions for much of the area this afternoon. Afternoon RH values are generally 20-25% but a decent portion of the VA Piedmont is showing RHs of 15-20%. A Special Weather Statement for increased fire danger remains in effect for roughly the western 2/3rds of the region through 7pm this evening. Highs this afternoon will range from the upper 60s and low 70s west to the upper 50s and low 60s near the coast. Clouds were slow to increase across the northeastern portion of the area this afternoon due to the aforementioned dry air feed but they are starting to fill in now. Do expect clouds to slowly increase across the NE through the rest of the afternoon, spreading slowly SW into this evening as the low offshore makes its closest approach before pulling away to the SE. Lows tonight fall into the low to mid 40s. && .SHORT TERM /6 AM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 400 PM EDT Friday... Low pressure finally moves away from the region on Saturday but one more perturbation in the northerly flow aloft will drop southward during the afternoon. Not expecting any precip from this feature but will show partly to occasionally mostly cloudy skies across the eastern half of the region. Accordingly, the warmest temperatures will occur across the western half of the area on Saturday where mid to upper 60s are forecast. Expect low to mid 60s for the I-95 corridor with upper 50s and low 60s for the coastal regions. Weak high pressure builds overhead Saturday night. Lows fall into the low and mid 40s under partly cloudy skies. Flow becomes weakly southerly on Sunday as high pressure translates slowly offshore. Continued dry with highs inching upward into the upper 60s and low 70s inland, low to mid 60s near the bay/coast. Will show PoPs 15-20% on Sunday night as subtle shortwave energy aloft interacts with increasing surface moisture levels resulting in the potential for a stray shower or two. Overnight lows in the upper 40s and low 50s. Low chance for a few showers continues on Monday as temps and moisture levels increase but with the lack of any appreciable forcing will keep PoPs aob 30%. Warming trend continues on Monday with highs ranging from the upper 60s near the coast to the low and mid 70s for inland locations. && .LONG TERM /MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 400 PM EDT Friday... A series of weak, low amplitude waves will move through the region early next week, providing slight chances of showers Monday night through Wednesday. A weak warm front lifts N Monday night into Tuesday before stalling to the N and lingering through Wednesday. A backdoor cold front moves through the region Wednesday night/Thursday but should be mostly dry. A cold front moves through Thursday night/Friday morning from the W and provides another isolated chance of showers. Greatest PoPs will be Tuesday morning (30-45% chance)and Wednesday morning (25-40% chance). Highs are expected to be in the mid-70s on Mon and Thurs, upper 70s to near 80F on Tues and Wed, and low-mid 60s on Fri. Lows expected to range from the low 50s N to the upper 50s S on Mon, Tues, and Wed nights. Lows are expected to then cool to the low 40s N to the upper 40s S Thurs and Fri nights behind the stronger cold front. && .AVIATION /23Z FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 715 PM EDT Friday... VFR to start the TAF period. SBY is still gusting to 20-25 kts early this evening, however wind speeds are expected to subside over the next couple hours. Elsewhere N/NW winds 08-15 kts will become N/NE overnight and through the remainder of the TAF period. A slight chance of a light rain shower at SBY early this evening, however chances too low to mention in the TAF and any light precip will not impact flight categories. Clouds will be on the increase Saturday. Ceilings at RIC are likely to remain VFR however remaining TAF sites may drop to MVFR at times. Outlook...VFR conditions expected for much of Sunday although a weak front will approach from the west late in the day. Unsettled weather sets up for early next week with chances of rain Monday through Wednesday, with occasional degraded flight conditions possible. && .MARINE... As of 400 PM EDT Friday... SCAs remain in effect for all coastal waters as a strong low pressure continues to track southwest east of the Mid-Atlantic coast. The low pressure will be centered east of our coast this evening and tonight before beginning to turn east and track out to sea. Winds today have been NNW 20-25 kt with several gusts up to 35 kt. Seas have been slow to rise, 4-6 ft this afternoon, but waves in the bay and tidal rivers have responded quickly to the strong winds today. Waves in the bay are 3-5 ft and 2-3 ft in the rivers. Winds will become north and still appears will drop off for a few hours towards sunset, before increasing again with a secondary surge of colder air during the 02-06Z timeframe. With this in mind, have extended the SCAs for the rivers to cover this additional surge. N ~20 kt with gusts up to 25-30 kt. The low pressure will track southeast as the high pressure moves into northern Mid-Atlantic early Saturday morning. High pressure will build south into our area by Saturday aftn allowing for winds to drop below SCA criteria, NE 5-10 kt across the bay and NE 10-15 kt across the ocean coastal waters. However, SCAs have been extended through the 4th period for lingering seas on the coastal waters (and for 4 ft waves into the mouth of the Bay). Large swell will reach the east coast Saturday and High Surf advisories may be needed, especially from Va Beach to NC Outer banks. Seas Saturday are expected to be 7-9 ft N and 8-10 ft S. High pressure will move off the coast Sunday. Winds will become SE 10-15 kt Sunday night. Seas may stay above SCA criteria (5 ft) through at least Monday. && .TIDES/COASTAL FLOODING... As of 400 AM EDT Friday... Increasing swell on Saturday, (perhaps 7-9 ft) coupled w/ winds slowly diminishing and shifting more to the NE will likely allow water to again pile up in the bay, resulting in an increase in tidal anomalies. Minor tidal flooding is expected along the Atlantic Ocean coast early Saturday morning. In addition, minor tidal flooding is expected for areas along the southern Chesapeake Bay and lower James River Saturday morning. Therefore, a Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for all of the MD/VA Atlantic Coast, northern Outer Banks, and much of Hampton Roads. With lighter winds than the event from a few days ago, would think that the best potential for moderate flooding will be into the mid/upper Bay by Sunday as a few successive flood tides are likely to dominate at the the mouth of the Ches Bay allowing water that initially piles up in the lower Bay to be forced to spread N (as ebb tides will be minimal). Confidence is still too low for a Coastal Flood Watch but this will need to be monitored across portions of the mid/upper Bay. High Surf Advisories may be needed Sat, most likely from Va Beach to NC Outer Banks, but can`t rule it out farther N as well. && .CLIMATE... March 2020 temperature ranks: 4th warmest at RIC (54.8F), #1 1945 (58.5F) 4th warmest at ORF (57.0F), #1 1945 (59.5F) 8th warmest at SBY (50.7F), #1 1945 (56.2F) 4th warmest at ECG (58.0F), #1 1945 (61.5F) && .AKQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... MD...Coastal Flood Advisory from 1 AM to 10 AM EDT Saturday for MDZ024-025. NC...Coastal Flood Advisory from 2 AM to 10 AM EDT Saturday for NCZ102. VA...Coastal Flood Advisory from 5 AM to 11 AM EDT Saturday for VAZ093-095>097-524-525. Coastal Flood Advisory from 2 AM to 10 AM EDT Saturday for VAZ098. Coastal Flood Advisory from 1 AM to 10 AM EDT Saturday for VAZ099-100. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 6 PM EDT Sunday for ANZ634-650-652- 654-656-658. Small Craft Advisory until 4 AM EDT Saturday for ANZ635>637. Small Craft Advisory until 10 AM EDT Saturday for ANZ632-633. Small Craft Advisory until 7 AM EDT Saturday for ANZ630-631- 638. && $$ SYNOPSIS...CMF/ERI/RHR NEAR TERM...CMF/RHR SHORT TERM...RHR LONG TERM...RMM AVIATION...CMF/ERI MARINE...CP/LKB TIDES/COASTAL FLOODING...AKQ CLIMATE...AKQ is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.