Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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FXUS62 KILM 010849

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
349 AM EST Fri Mar 1 2024

Low pressure developing just to our south will spread clouds
and rain across the area today into Saturday morning. Dry high
pressure should then build in for early next week before another
rainmaker approaches late Tuesday into Wednesday.


Ejecting shortwave and developing coastal trough continue to spread
dense cloud cover and moisture across the region. Weak isentropic
lift today will bring shower chances northward, gradually overcoming
low level dry air from south to north. The trend overnight was for
models to continually delay the onset of precipitation, and I
extended this delay beyond any of the hi-res guidance to depict a
gradual moistening trend. Developing showers will struggle to reach
the surface this morning, finally hitting the rain gauge around

Showers intensify after noon. During the late afternoon, developing
low pressure along the coast and strengthening isentropic lift
inland will produce areas of moderate to heavy rainfall. Rainfall
continues into Friday evening. Storm total rainfall as of midnight
is likely to exceed one inch along the coast.

Drier air aloft will works its way into the region this evening and
overnight. This will reduce lapse rates and introduce elevated
instability. Widespread rainfall will transition to showers and
becomes more scattered from SW to NE into early Saturday morning. A
rumble of thunder is possible, but we may also see all convection
remain east where it favors the Gulf Stream.

Onshore flow and warm advection via the developing surface low will
bring increasing temperatures tonight. Overnight lows are likely to
occur shortly after sunset. Rising temperatures overnight into the
mid 50s are expected to be higher than daytime highs along the I-95


Drying trend through this period as the sfc low pushes off to
the NE. Some guidance like the 00Z ECMWF continues to hang onto
precip longer during the day especially near the coast, so
maintained high chance PoPs there, but QPF amounts are much
lower than for Friday night. Drier air in mid levels slowly
moves into the area through Saturday night as sfc ridging builds
in from the north. After high temps approaching 70 Saturday
lows Saturday night will only be in the low/mid 50s with at
least a mostly cloudy sky.


Long term period will be characterized by above normal temps and
increasing PoPs through the week after a dry start. Sfc high
pressure ridges in from the north early in the week allowing
for dry weather, persistent NE flow, and partly to mostly clouds
skies. Chances for rain then increase Tuesday into Wednesday as
the next progressive mid-level trough associated with southern
stream energy and developing sfc low pressure approach the
area. Guidance continues to be in good agreement on the timing
of this system, so bumped up PoPs to likely on Wednesday, with
moderate to at times heavy rain possible. Southern stream energy
sticks around for the latter half of the week, with chances of
rain dependent on the timing of various shortwave troughs;
difficult to time this far out.


VFR ceilings will continue overnight. Conditions will begin to
degrade by late Friday morning as low pressure developing to our
southwest spreads deeper moisture across the Carolinas. Rain
falling from mid level cloud ceilings will graduate saturate the
lower levels, likely resulting in IFR stratus developing
beneath the precipitation clouds aloft Friday afternoon.

Continue to delay the onset of IFR given the low level dry air
in place. Confidence remains low regarding onset of IFR and

Extended Outlook...IFR/MVFR ceilings and visibilities are
likely Friday night into the first half of Saturday. After some
improvement Saturday afternoon, redeveloping low ceilings and
perhaps some fog could result in IFR conditions again Saturday
night into Sunday morning.


Through Tonight... Onshore winds today will gradually increase
as a coastal trough pushes onshore and low pressure develops to
our south. Easterly winds will veer throughout the day and
overnight, peaking in intensity late this afternoon and this
evening with the passing low. Wind-driven seas will build up to
4-7 feet. A Small Craft Advisory remains in effect until
Saturday afternoon for gusts and seas. Southerly flow weakens
late tonight with little reduction in dew points as the low
exits. During this time patchy sea fog may develop and could be
dense at times.

Saturday through Tuesday... SCA conditions continue into
Saturday due to lingering 6 ft seas, even though wind gusts will
be below 25 kt by then. Main wave energy will be from an 8
second SE swell. Sea fog will also be a concern through late
Saturday as dewpoints remain rather high and sfc winds take a
while to finally shift to the west Saturday night. Conditions
then improve Sunday into early next week as the high builds into
the area.


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



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