Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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FXUS62 KILM 040826

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
326 AM EST Mon Mar 4 2024

Low pressure offshore may bring some light rain today. Sunshine
briefly returns Tuesday before the next system brings moderate
rain Tuesday night and Wednesday. Thursday and most of Friday
look dry but rain returns yet again on Saturday.


An upper disturbance centered just east of Cape Fear has produced an
impressive blowup of convection overnight over the Gulf Stream.
Modest surface low pressure has developed and should move slowly
northward today into tonight. The western periphery of deep moisture
associated with the low will remain across the Cape Fear area today,
dividing our forecast area into a partly sunny, dry, and warm
airmass inland versus a cloudy, cooler, and wetter regime near the

305K and 310K isentropic fields from the 00z synoptic models show
the best lift remaining east of our area, mainly from Carteret
County eastward, however enough wrap around moisture should exist
within neutral to slightly positive lift to produce showers near the
coast. My highest forecast PoPs, up to 70 percent, exist across the
northeastern half of Pender County. There will be at least a chance
of a shower as far south and west as Elizabethtown, Lake Waccamaw,
and Southport. It`s worth mentioning there has been a model trend
over the past 12 hours toward more showers lingering into the
evening across Pender and Bladen counties. This is reflected
particularly in the 06z HRRR, and may spur later increases in
forecast rainfall there.

Forecast highs today should range from 72-75 across the Pee Dee
region to only the mid 60s for Wilmington and Burgaw. As the low
pulls farther away and skies gradually clear from south to north
tonight, lows should fall into the upper 40s with the potential for
ground fog to develop late.


After a short return of sunshine on Tuesday that will allow
temperatures to warm into the mid 70s (some 10 degrees above
climatology) cloud cover will increase Tuesday night.  This is in
response to low level warm advection from the south and PVA and weak
height falls coming in from the west. Rain will spread northward
across the area during the latter half of Tuesday night, increasing
in intensity on Wednesday as the mid level shortwave and surface
cold front swing through. With a good amount of moisture in place
this deep layer forcing should net most places one half to three
quarters of an inch of rainfall with isolated pockets of one inch.
Forecast lapse rates look weak enough that thunder should be the
exception and not the rule.


Mild and rain-free on Thursday behind the mid week system as mid
level flow flattens and only a weak push of surface high pressure
occurs from the north. This airmass will become increasingly overrun
by warm and moist air heading into Friday causing an increase in
rain chances Friday albeit gradually. Better rain chances come along
with and following warm frontal passage Friday night, with Saturday
offering the best rain chances that like Wednesday, may wind up
likely/categorical. This system will be driven by a broader and
deeper trough so weekend temperatures will trend back towards climo
if not a bit cooler.


Low ceilings should develop along the coast over the next few
hours, while inland mainly visibility restrictions in fog are
expected to develop.

Moderate confidence exists that IFR ceilings will develop and
affect the ILM, MYR, and CRE airports this morning. While the
two Myrtle Beach airports should tend to improve to VFR by 15z,
it could take significantly longer, perhaps even 19z for
conditions to improve at ILM. Ground fog already developing
at and near FLO and LBT should continue to develop and
dissipate through 13z. I`ve made use of TEMPO conditions to
describe the frequent changes in visibility anticipated through
the early morning hours.

Extended Outlook...Restrictions from low clouds/fog are likely
late night and early mornings through Thursday morning. Showers
and some thunderstorms are also expected Tuesday night through
Wednesday night.


Near Term (Through Tonight)... Low pressure is centered about 90
miles east of Cape Fear and is slowly moving northward toward the
Outer Banks. Despite an impressive area of showers and thunderstorms
shown on radar and satellite, nearby buoys show only modest pressure
falls have occurred. Northerly winds across the coastal waters
should average 10 knots south of Cape Fear today and 10-15 knots to
the north. Rain associated with the low should mainly affect the
waters north of Cape Fear today, peaking in coverage during the
daylight hours. South of Cape Fear it`s likely dry conditions should

Seas are currently 2-4 feet in 9 second easterly swell. Only a
slight decrease is expected through tonight.

Tuesday through Friday... High pressure to our north will move
westward causing light N winds to turn onshore. Wind chop will be
small but a long easterly fetch will still make swell the dominant
wave. These seas will readily be nudged into advisory realm on
Wednesday due the approach of a cold front bringing gusty winds. The
boundary brings a late day veer that will slowly start to knock down
wave heights with headlines likely lasting overnight. NW winds
Thursday veer to N and then NE heading into Friday as eastbound high
pressure keeps its center well to our north.





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