Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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FXUS62 KILM 281112
AFDILM

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
612 AM EST Fri Feb 28 2020

.SYNOPSIS...
Cool and dry weather will continue through the weekend. A dry
cold front sweeping across Friday night into early Saturday
morning. Warm and humid conditions return early next week with
increasing rain chances by midweek as another cold front moves
through. Drier weather expected toward the end of the upcoming
week.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH SATURDAY/...
A weak surface ridge axis extends across the Carolinas from
high pressure near the Texas Gulf coast. This ridge should push
off our coast later today, allowing southwest winds to increase
to 10-15 mph with gusts of at least 25 mph by mid-afternoon.

The overall airmass is quite chilly with 850 mb temps expected to
remain between -2C and -4C. Late February sunshine can get
pretty intense (noon solar elevation 47-48 degrees above the
horizon today!) and a mixed layer over 7000 feet deep should
develop due to this strong insolation. Dewpoints only in the 20s
are still enough given such a deep mixed layer to form some
cumulus clouds way up above 7000 feet AGL. Where the mid levels
are even colder across central and western NC some showers
should develop this afternoon into early this evening, but a
thinner implied cloud depth across our area due to warmer
500-700 mb temps should maintain dry conditions locally.

A surface cold front should zip across the eastern Carolinas
and offshore this evening. Winds will shift westerly tonight,
then northwesterly on Saturday with mostly clear and chilly
conditions continuing.

&&

.SHORT TERM /SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/...
Unseasonably cool weather will prevail during the short term
period as high pressure moves across the area. Radiational
cooling will likely help lows late Saturday night into early
Sunday morning to drop to around 30F most locations. Otherwise,
H5 heights will begin to increase as the upper trough exits the
region leading to a warming trend in the extended period.

&&

.LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/...
Warming trend will commence the first half of the week as zonal
flow aloft gives way to additional height rises as an upper low
treks across TX toward the MS Valley. Return flow around
surface high pressure, expected to be anchored for a couple days
far off the Southeast U.S. coast, will promote warm air
advection across the region. Atypically warm high temperatures
are expected, especially Tuesday and Wednesday. An upper trough
will approach the area during Wednesday pushing a front through
the area. This system will result in increased chances of
showers and potentially a thunderstorm or two on Wednesday. In
addition, it will become breezy Tuesday and even windier during
Wednesday ahead of the cold front. Clearing is likely Thursday
into early Friday with temperatures dropping back to near
normal. The air-mass behind the cold front is not arctic in
origin so no significant cooling trend expected during the
latter half of the week.

&&

.AVIATION /11Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
VFR will continue this TAF cycle. Light winds will become west-
southwest and increase to 12-14 kt with gusts over 20 kt this
afternoon before diminishing after 29/00Z. High-based cumulus
around 7000 feet could form a ceiling, especially at the LBT
airport late this afternoon.

Extended Outlook...VFR will dominate through early week with
high pressure and dry air. Flight restrictions possible into
midweek as the next frontal system approaches.

&&

.MARINE...
A weak ridge axis across the area this morning will shift off
the coast later today, allowing southwest winds to increase to
15-20 knots during the afternoon. A weak seabreeze will be
responsible for at least a few knots of that wind nearshore. A
dry cold front advancing quickly eastward across the inland
Carolinas this afternoon will sweep off the coast this evening.
Models are in good agreement indicating a period of 20-25 knot
winds will occur as the front pushes offshore. After
collaboration with NWS Charleston and Newport/Morehead City we
are issuing a Small Craft Advisory beginning at 6 PM. West winds
will slowly diminish to 15-20 kt late tonight into Saturday as
high pressure builds eastward along the Gulf Coast.

Moderate offshore flow will weaken Saturday night into Sunday
morning as high pressure builds across the Southeast United
States. A period of light/variable flow expected Sunday with the
ridge axis moving across the coastal waters. Return flow is
gradually established Sunday night as the center of high
pressure progresses offshore. South-southwesterly flow will
prevail through mid-week with high pressure anchored far
offshore. However, the pressure gradient will tighten Tue night
into Wednesday - potentially to Gale force ahead of the next
cold front. A greater range of seas will exist Saturday night in
the offshore flow with seas expected to diminish to 2 to 3 ft
Sunday. Seas will build back to Small Craft levels Tuesday night
and very rough conditions in place Wednesday.

&&

.ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
SC...None.
NC...None.
MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from 6 PM this evening to 6 AM EST
     Saturday for AMZ250-252-254-256.

&&

$$
SYNOPSIS...SRP
NEAR TERM...TRA
SHORT TERM...SRP
LONG TERM...SRP
AVIATION...TRA/MCW
MARINE...TRA/SRP


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