Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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FXUS62 KILM 292009

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
309 PM EST Thu Feb 29 2024

High pressure will build in from the north today, but low
pressure developing just to our south will spread clouds and
rain chances back across the area for Friday into Saturday
morning. Dry high pressure should then build in for early next
week before next system affects the area by midweek.


Zonal flow aloft through Fri will keep surface features moving
quickly from west to east and limit their strength. Surface high
over KY/TN this afternoon slips off the Mid-Atlantic coast Fri
morning as low pressure starts to develop along a front stalled
across the northern Gulf of Mexico. The weak low will move east
along the front during Fri, moving across northern FL late in the
day.  Rainfall seems like a certainty at some point late Fri, but
still a lot of questions with respect to when rain falling out of
the cloud will actually reach the ground. Forecast soundings show
significant amounts of dry low level air lingering into late Fri
morning despite easterly flow in the low levels. A later start to
any rainfall seems like a good option when keeping in mind the
tendency for the guidance to increase RH too quickly and introduce
rain too early. Plus there remains an abundance of dry air in the
region this afternoon. Weak isentropic lift will eventually tap into
increasing moisture Fri morning with rain spreading over the area
from south to north. Strengthening isentropic lift coupled with weak
cyclogenesis to the south-southwest could lead to periods of
moderate to heavy rain spreading from southwest to northeast during
the late afternoon hours.

Cloud cover and a bit of mixing, especially in the pre-dawn hours,
will keep lows near climo. Temperatures could very well hold steady
from just after midnight through daybreak. Highs on Fri will be
tricky with the high nosing down the coast will keep inland areas
below climo, but along the coast warmer air will try and work its
way inland, pushing highs near climo late in the day.


Weak sfc low should track up just inland of the coast moving
from SSW to NNE across the Carolinas Fri night into early Sat.
Best lift and instability will be along the coast Fri eve with
chc of iso thunder and some heavier rain. Temps along the coast
will be closer to 60 through Fri eve in onshore to southerly
flow while west of I-95, temps will be closer to 50 in cooler
N-NE flow. May see upwards of a half inch along and east of
trough, mainly along the coast. Pcp water will reach up near 1.5
inches Fri eve.

Much drier air will make its way in through the mid levels as
shortwave exits the coast through Sat morning. Models seem
quicker to dry the area out in W-NW flow on the back end of the
low as it tracks northeastward through Sat aftn. Overnight lows
Fri night will remain on the high side due to clouds and
moisture with high reaching near 70 on Sat in W-NW downslope flow.


Wedge of high pressure extends down from the north while
coastal trough remains just off the coast Sun through Mon
before lifting off to the north as another system makes its way
up from the southwest Tues into Wed. Best chc of dry forecast
across the entire area will be late Sun through early Tues with
increasing rain chances late Tues into midweek. May remain
unsettled into late week as southern stream remains active.

Temps will run above normal with high temps well into the 60s
with most places closer to 70. Clouds and moisture will keep
low temps within a few degrees of 50 through most of the period.


Northeast winds continue to decrease with very dry air in place.
Cirrus will remain a fixture with clouds gradually thickening
and bases lowering overnight. MVFR conditions will develop from
south to north Friday morning with potential for IFR at SC
terminals 16Z-18Z. Chances for IFR increase significantly after

Extended Outlook...MVFR ceilings and visibilities are likely
Friday afternoon into Saturday morning. There is also a moderate
potential that conditions could slip into the IFR category,
mainly due to ceilings during the same time.


Through Friday...Improvement in marine conditions this
afternoon and evening will be short lived as next systems starts
to develop along a front stalled in the northern Gulf of
Mexico. Do not anticipate a particularly strong system, but the
extended period of southeast fetch will help bring higher seas
to the waters Fri. At the same time high pressure building in
from the northeast will keep the gradient pinched with northeast
to east winds around 15 kt from late tonight through Fri. Have
raised a Small Craft Advisory, mainly for 6 ft seas, but winds
could also approach criteria at times on Fri. Seas will be a mix
of a northeast wind wave and an easterly swell into mid-morning
Fri before an easterly wind wave replaces the northeast wind

Friday night through Tuesday...
A Small Craft Advisory will be ongoing into Fri night. Hazardous
marine conditions will continue Fri eve through Sat aftn as
coastal trough and weak low track up the Carolina coast with
persistent onshore flow and gusts close to 25 kt. Looks like
conditions will improve through Sat aftn from south to north as
low tracks northward and offshore flow develops. Conditions
will continue to improve into early next week but increasing
easterly swell should kick seas up late Mon into midweek.
Overall, expect seas up to 5 to 8 ft Fri night through Sat aftn
diminishing to 3 to 4 ft late Sun into Mon before increasing
again to 3 to 5 ft.


MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from noon Friday to 6 PM EST Saturday for



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