Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 181623 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 1126 AM EST Tue Feb 18 2020 .SYNOPSIS... A warm front will move north across the area this afternoon before dissipating, followed by a cold frontal overnight. Wet period through Thursday night, with brief reprieve possible Wed afternoon. Low pressure develops along stalled offshore front Thursday before moving northeastward, with increasing chance for frozen precipitation Thursday night through Friday morning, particularly for southeast NC. Cold Canadian high pressure will follow late Friday into the weekend. && .UPDATE... No major changes with this update. Rain currently at our SW border and will move across the area late this morning/early afternoon. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... Sfc high ridging across the FA from the Northeast will weaken considerably allowing a weak warm front to lift across the area this aftn before dissipating altogether. Models indicate temps today thru tonight will remain above normal, 1 to 2 categories above the norm. However, short-lived, as a rather strong cold front will suppress southward tonight and Wed, passing across and south of the FA before stalling by late Wed. Pcpn will mainly be convective or showery today into tonight, then become more stratiform once the cold front pushes south of the CWA early Wed. Could see a brief stoppage of the pcpn late Wed aftn and night with skies remaining variably cloudy. QPF this morning thru Wed sunset will run one half to three quarters of an inch. Did not include any thunder due to limited Cape. Tonights lows will actually be close to Wed max temps, due to the decent CAA after the CFP Wed morning. && .SHORT TERM /WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/... Cold front moves through during the late afternoon on Wednesday leading to a brief period of dwindling precip chances. Mid-level clouds are likely to linger overnight. SFC northeasterly winds will advect colder air and overcome the mid- level cloudiness and temperatures are likely to fall into the low 40s by morning. During the day on Thursday, a low pressure system will develop along the cold front to the south at the intersection of the cold air and the Gulf Stream. Winds out of the NE will increase and lead to strong cold air advection keeping temperatures in the 40s for the duration of the day. The low pressure will mature along the coastal trough and rain will spread south to north across the area on Thursday, increasing in intensity during the afternoon via isentropic lift. Overnight Thursday, rain will spread northward as the low pressure moves off to the north and northeast from its genesis near the coast of GA. Given the run-to-run and model-to-model consistency of the location and strength of the high pressure supplying cold air, chances are we will have an air mass capable of producing wintry weather in place. Moisture continues to be the limiting factor in this scenario for those pulling for light snow across the area. The GFS continues to show a secondary low form along the cold front associated with a trailing upper- level jet streak ahead of the longwave trough. The latest change with the GFS is its slightly more northward track. This is significant because it allows the low to pull in more cold air via a tighter pressure gradient along the Carolina coast and allows moisture to hug the coast producing a better chance of wintry precip. The ECMWF has a single low pressure system pushed slightly to the south as compared to the GFS, further away from the US east coast. This would lead to limited moisture associated with the system and lower chance of snowfall. Available moisture within each model solution continues to change from run-to- run with more variation than we would like to see at this stage. As a result, have continued with the rain to rain and snow to all snow Thursday night into Friday morning. Currently, don`t expect any significant accumulation outside of what would be indistinguishable from a heavy frost on grassy and elevated surfaces. && .LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... Low pressure moves away from the coast on Friday with cold air continuing to surge southward into our area. Temperatures will struggle to reach the mid-40s as a result and cloudy skies early will become a full compliment of sunshine by early afternoon. Given the cold air advection during the day, decreasing winds toward sunset, and clear skies, those with agricultural concerns should be concerned with low temperatures Saturday morning. Currently shooting for lows in the mid 20s but if light snow accumulations become a reality on Friday morning, we could even colder lows in a few spots. High pressure moves overhead on Saturday and modifies a bit. Near normal conditions under clear skies on Saturday. High moves offshore during the day on Sunday and light southerly winds return, bringing warmer temperatures and increased moisture. On Monday, global models show the development of a low pressure system over the southern plains making its way through the Southeast US through Monday night. This would lead to increased southerly winds, much warmer temperatures, and potential for widespread rainfall. A lot could change with this scenario, so have gone with a chance of rain at the moment. && .AVIATION /15Z TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... Another in a series of weather systems moving into the region this afternoon, fueled by the subtropical jet. Look for deteriorating conditions later today, with precipitation moving in from the southwest. By evening, look for widespread IFR/LIFR, with rain and warm air advection. IFR ceilings will likely hang in there a good portion of the day on Wednesday. Extended Outlook...MVFR/IFR conditions expected Wed Night thru Fri morning. This a result of weak waves of low pressure moving ENE along a stalled front across the Carolinas. Improving to dominate VFR Fri into Sat as low pressure pulls away followed by strong cold and dry Canadian high pressure. && .MARINE... Today thru Wed: Decided to hoist the SCA in conjunction with the passage of the cold front during Wed. Around noon for NC Waters and close to sunset for the SC Waters. Have the SCA going thru Sat morning. Winds today will be a function of a warm front that lifts across the waters by this aftn. Winds will veer from the NE-E this morning to SSW-SW this aftn and continue thru tonight. Speeds generally under 15 kt. And seas 3 ft or less and primarily a function of an ESE swell at 8 to 9 second periods. Sea fog potential is not as clear cut given sfc dewpoints after the WFP only reach the upper 50s to around 60 at it`s peak. The CFP will occur Wed morning followed by a short delay in the cold surge to late Wed morning for the NC Waters and close to sunset Wed for the SC Waters. Winds will become NE 15 to 25 kt once the sfc pg tightens after the CFP. Seas will build as a result with 4 to 6 second wind driven waves becoming the dominant input to the sig. seas. Wed night thru Sat: Cold front will pass through the area on Wednesday night and park itself to the south. After the front moves through the area, high pressure will build into the area briefly. Winds will increase to 15- 20 knots overnight with gusts near 25 knots setting up very likely Small Craft Advisory conditions. Low pressure will develop along this front during the day on Thursday spreading rain from south to north beginning during the early morning hours. NE winds will continue to increase; currently expecting winds out of the NE at 20- 25 knots increasing to 25-30 knots through Thursday night. Wind waves of 6-8 feet will develop by Friday morning as the low intensifies and moves off to the north and east. As the low quickly exits the picture during the day on Friday, expect conditions to rapidly improve. By Saturday morning, winds should become 10-15 knots and seas falling to their typical 2-4 feet. High pressure overhead during the day on Saturday will provide quiet weather and a pleasant day for mariners. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from 6 PM Wednesday to 6 AM EST Saturday for AMZ254-256. Small Craft Advisory from noon Wednesday to 6 AM EST Saturday for AMZ250-252. && $$ SYNOPSIS...VAO UPDATE...VAO NEAR TERM...DCH SHORT TERM...21 LONG TERM...21 AVIATION...43 MARINE...DCH/21 is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.