Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 221319 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 919 AM EDT Fri Mar 22 2019 .SYNOPSIS... A dry cold front is expected to move across the area this evening. Dry weather and seasonable temps under high pressure will prevail this weekend. Low pressure and a cold front will spread clouds and rain into the Carolinas late Monday into Tuesday, followed again by high pressure through the mid-week period. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH SATURDAY/...
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As of 930 AM Friday...12z soundings from MHX and GSO showed a slightly deeper mixed layer than 06z GFS and NAM models indicated, but otherwise had similar temperature and moisture profiles to the models. Sunny skies and breezy west winds gusting 25 mph should be the rule today. No significant changes are needed to the forecast with this morning update. Discussion from 300 AM follows... The strong vorticity maximum will continue to lift away toward the northeast during the early morning hours. The chance of showers is rapidly coming to an end as a result. A much drier column is expected with increasing subsidence in the wake of the mid/upper trough axis that will persist through the near term period. The main forecast issue today is for gusty winds along with near critical relative humidity as drier air mixes to the surface. As a result, have undercut guidance with respect to dewpoints and expect winds of 15-25 mph with gusts toward 30 mph this afternoon. A dry frontal passage is expected this evening with high pressure to ridge into the area later tonight into Saturday. Less wind expected Saturday with slightly cooler temperatures and sunny skies. High tide water levels are expected to gradually improve at downtown Wilmington. However, marginal minor coastal flooding is expected with the high tide around noon today, and with slightly higher water levels with high tide around midnight tonight.
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&& .SHORT TERM /SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/...
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As of 300 AM Friday...Canadian high building in from the northwest moves over the area Sat night, setting up what should be excellent radiational cooling conditions. Forecast soundings do show a hint of moisture around 30k ft which could lead to some cirrus spreading over the area after midnight, which could interrupt cooling a bit. Continue to anticipate temperatures in the mid 30s Sun morning. Typical cold spots could dip below freezing with potential for upper 20s if radiational cooling can be maximized. Center of the high moves off the coast Sun morning with weak return flow setting up. Mid-level pattern is fairly flat for much of the period, with only a hint of southwest flow aloft developing late Sun night. Although the mid-level pattern remains flat, moisture aloft will gradually start increasing Sun night as weak shortwaves move into the region from the southern Plains. Weakening nature of the shortwaves coupled with low level dry air will likely keep the region dry through the end of the period. Temperatures Sun and Sun night will be near to slightly above climo.
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&& .LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/...
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As of 300 AM Friday...Series of weak surface lows, associated with a few weak shortwaves, will develop along a slow moving front in the Southeast Mon into Tue. Final shortwave arrives on Tue, helping kick the surface features offshore while ushering in a slightly cooler and much drier air mass. High pressure builds in from the northwest Wed with its influence weakening Thu as it retreats north. -Only rainfall chances will be later Mon into Tue afternoon. Potential for widespread quarter to half an inch of rainfall. -Temps well above climo Mon in strong warm advection regime continue Mon night due to cloud cover. -Clouds and lingering showers will keep temps below climo Tue with brief cold advection Tue night dropping lows below climo. -Cooler air Wed will keep temps below climo, but warming trend Wed night into Thu returns temps to climo for the end of the period.
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&& .AVIATION /12Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 12Z...500 mb low pressure has shifted to the north overnight and skies have cleared and a dry frontal passage is expected around 00 UTC Saturday. High confidence VFR forecast through the period. Westerly winds are expected to gust beginning by mid-morning and continuing through the late afternoon. With the frontal passage around dark wind will become more northwest by drop from 8 to 10 knots to 4 to 6kt by 10 UTC Saturday. Extended Outlook...VFR conditions expected Saturday afternoon through early next week as high pressure builds over the area. Possible MVFR early next week as next frontal system impacts the area. && .MARINE...
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As of 930 AM Friday...Breezy west winds 15-20 kt should continue through the day. Wind speeds will tend to increase a little this afternoon in the Cape Fear area, and gusts here (and also along the South Carolina beaches) could reach 25 kt. With the short offshore fetch in place along the South Carolina coast seas are likely running below forecast values. This is also indicated by the Edisto buoy east of Charleston which is reporting only 4 foot seas currently. The Small Craft Advisory has been dropped early south of Little River Inlet, but continues for the North Carolina waters where a longer fetch length along the Brunswick County coast should allow larger seas to develop this afternoon. No other changes are needed to the forecast at this time. Discussion from 300 AM follows... Low pressure off the Jersey coast around day break will lift northeast with moderate to strong offshore flow across the waters. A dry cold front will pass across the waters this evening allowing the flow to veer to a northerly direction overnight. Northerly flow will gradually weaken during Saturday as high pressure ridges in from the OH Valley resulting in a much weaker pressure gradient. The offshore flow will support a large range in seas through tonight. Seas will improve with the aforementioned weaker pressure gradient during Saturday. Have extended the Small Craft Advisory for the SC and NC waters, with thresholds lasting longer across the NC legs. Otherwise, widely scattered showers will quickly exit the NC waters toward the east during the early morning hours. Light and variable winds Sat night into Sun with surface high centered overhead. High shifts offshore during Sun with light southerly flow developing. Seas through the end of the weekend will be 2 ft or less. Southwest flow starts increasing on Monday as the high exits east and gradient becomes more defined. Seas will slowly build from around 2 ft Mon morning to 2 to 4 ft Mon night with winds peaking around 15 kt overnight. Low pressure moves north of the area early Tue, dragging a cold front offshore. Northerly flow increases Tue, peaking in the 20 to 25 kt range late in the day with seas increasing to 4 to 6 ft late in the period.
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&& .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
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SC...None. NC...Coastal Flood Advisory until 1 PM EDT this afternoon for NCZ107. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 2 AM EDT Saturday for AMZ250-252.
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&& $$ SYNOPSIS...III NEAR TERM...TRA/SRP SHORT TERM...III LONG TERM...III AVIATION...DRH

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