Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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000 FXUS61 KAKQ 222006 AFDAKQ Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wakefield VA 406 PM EDT Tue May 22 2018 .SYNOPSIS... A warm front across the eastern part of the local area will move northeast tonight. A cold front will cross the region on Wednesday, followed by a period of dry weather Thursday and Friday under the influence of high pressure. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING/... As of 300 PM EDT Tuesday... Thunderstorms have developed this afternoon across the mountains of northern VA/WV in association with the subtle short wave over the Ohio Valley. Best flow aloft generally remains just north of the area, but given the strong instability and marginal deep layer shear profile of 25-30kt, a severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for the northern part of the forecast area generally north of Richmond. The best chance for severe weather would likely be across the far north (Caroline/Louisa Counties through the northern neck) due to the better kinematics, however overall the best severe threat seems to be north of the area. Main concern could be another period of locally heavy rainfall with storms possibly training across the north this evening. These storms should diminish relatively quickly after sunset due to loss of daytime heating. Meanwhile, storms have also developed across the far south in association with a weak surface trough. These are not expected to be severe, but again, given the high precipitable water values of around 1.75 inches, heavy rain is expected. && .SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM EDT Tuesday... The surface front over the Ohio Valley will slowly move through the area on Wednesday. Models suggest the front will take pretty much the entire day to move through the region, and as a result much of the southern half of the local area will remain south of the front through the afternoon. This should allow for thunderstorms to once again develop along the front in the afternoon. Winds aloft are only marginal for severe storms in the afternoon with only about 20-25 kt of shear during the afternoon. Could not rule out some line segments with gusty winds but organized severe unlikely. After the front passes through Wed evening, expect dry and seasonable weather Thu into Friday. && .LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 320 PM EDT Monday... A strong surface ridge and northwest flow aloft with the upper ridge axis to the west over the Mississippi Valley will provide dry weather with moderate temperatures for the beginning of the extended forecast. Expect highs in the low to mid 80s Friday and the mid to upper 80s on Saturday. Overnight lows in the mid to upper 60s Friday night. But the upper ridge will erode through the holiday weekend with a gradual increase in moisture as it appears that another area of low pressure will form in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico by Sunday and push more tropical moisture northward into the region. This could allow for more showers and tropical downpours for Sunday and again on Monday. The big model difference in the models is the handling of a backdoor cold front between the 12z GFS and ECMWF with the GFS pushing the front south through the area and the ECMWF keeping the boundary well north of the area. In either case, the chance for showers and some possibly heavy rainfall exist for the second half of the Holiday weekend. If the GFS is right with the front Monday could be a damp cool rainy day while the ECMWF would lead to more periodic showers with some breaks. At this time of year, seems more likely the for the front to hang north of the area. So have kept the temperatures up more in the low to mid 80s for Sunday and Monday. && .AVIATION /20Z TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 300 PM EDT Tuesday... Mostly VFR conditions expected this afternoon, although localized IFR possible early this afternoon at ECG with thunderstorms. Otherwise, another round of showers and thunderstorms possible at RIC and SBY late this afternoon and this evening as the storms currently on the mountains move eastward. Localized IFR possible especially at RIC, but timing is difficult. These should diminish this evening due to loss of daytime heating. VFR expected overnight into Wednesday, although additional storms possible across the far south late Wed morning into Wed afternoon. Outlook...The cold front moves through Wednesday/Wed evening with high pressure building in for Thu/Fri. VFR conditions expected beyond Wednesday. && .MARINE... As of 715 AM EDT Tuesday... The surface warm front is straggling along the northeast coast near OXB and it continues to gradually lift NE away from the region. The flow is now turning to the south and southwest this afternoon and evening. Some showers and thunderstorms may impact the waters this evening as the lee side trough pulls away from the mountains. But the winds will generally remain out of the south to southwest at 5 - 10 KT overnight. The next cold front will drop SE through the region on Wednesday afternoon and evening. The flow will turn nw behind this front and there will be a short increase in winds to about 15 KT as slightly cooler and drier air pushes in behind front. Once the front clears the area, high pressure will settle over the waters for Thursday into Friday night. This will provide light winds and benign seas through Friday night. On Saturday, the flow will return to the south as the high pressure system slides off the SE US coast. Expect some increase in winds to 10 - 15 KT. && .HYDROLOGY... As of 625 AM EDT Tuesday... Flood warning continues for the Appomattox River basin. Mattoax is now forecast to reach moderate flooding by late tonight/early Wednesday morning. Warning has been dropped at Stony Creek, with river falling below flood stage earlier this morning. Additional flood warnings continue for the Chickahominy, Mattaponi rivers, as well as the Pocomoke River in MD. (allowed South Anna/Pamunkey river to expire). See FLWAKQ or FLSAKQ for more details. && .CLIMATE... As of 145 AM EDT Tuesday... * RIC monthly rainfall total through 5/21 remains at 8.84" (already ranks as 5th wettest May on record). (precipitation records date back to 1880) * SBY monthly rainfall total through 5/21 remains at 8.52" (already ranks as 3rd wettest May on record). (precipitation records date back to 1906) && .AKQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... MD...None. NC...None. VA...None. MARINE...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...LKB/MRD NEAR TERM...MRD SHORT TERM...MRD LONG TERM...ESS AVIATION...MRD MARINE...ESS HYDROLOGY... CLIMATE... is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.