Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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FXUS62 KILM 170312
AFDILM

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
1012 PM EST Fri Feb 16 2024

.SYNOPSIS...
A stalled front will lift back north this evening. A dry cold
front will move through Saturday bringing a brief bout of colder
weather for the rest of the weekend. High pressure will then
prevail through mid week with dry weather and slowly warming
temperatures. An approaching frontal system could bring rain
towards the end of next week.

&&

.UPDATE...
A Small Craft Advisory has now been raised. This advisory will
go into effect for the coastal waters from South Santee to
Little River at 1 AM EST tonight, and then from Little River to
Surf City at 4 AM EST. Wind probabilities across multiple pieces
of guidance suggest high confidence of frequent wind gusts up to
25-30kts.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH SUNDAY/...
Stalled front currently across central-northern SC will lift back
north this evening as a low pressure quickly moves eastward across
the MS valley. Thick stream of cirrus clouds moving in from the west-
southwest will continue to impact the Carolinas into tonight. As the
low moves over the Mid-Atlantic tonight, off the DelMarVa coast by
morning, a second, stronger cold front will be pushed through the
CWA early Saturday. Outside of low clouds accompanying the front,
the chances of measurable precipitation are slim given mid-level dry
air. May see a few sprinkles with the frontal passage in the morning
inland, but not enough to warrant any POPs. High clouds will linger
through tomorrow, especially along the coast, as upper trough slowly
approaches and shifts the moisture offshore. Breezy conditions
expected just ahead of and behind the front between pre-dawn hours
Saturday and early afternoon, with gusts up to 25 mph. Low temps
tonight around 50F, with highs tomorrow only reaching upper 50s as
cooler air begins to move in. Dewpoints will drop nearly 20 degrees
between sunrise and sunset Saturday behind the front.

&&

.SHORT TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT/...
The front will be offshore by the start of the period with strong
CAA continuing through Sun morning. Cirrus looks to linger
overnight, particularly near the coast, albeit it should be thinning
as the night progresses. Winds may also decouple towards morning, so
have accounted for some radiational cooling in the forecast for our
traditionally colder spots. Lows will largely reach near freezing,
slightly warmer at the NE SC coast Sat night. Cirrus lingers through
Sun with highs near 50, gradual clearing expected towards the end of
the day with light and variable winds. Lows should stay near
freezing Sun night with much lighter winds but still some residual
cloud cover. This is expected to clear out more towards the early
morning at the same time winds start to pick up, so nailing the
extent of radiational cooling will be tough. Lowered temperatures
for the colder spots slightly at the moment but this could need
changing with future updates.

&&

.LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/...
Mid-level ridging and high pressure at the surface will be the story
through a majority of the long term period. This pattern will start
a gradual warm up through the first half of next week. A shortwave
moves through Tues but with little moisture available we`ll remain
dry with an increase in cloud cover through the day. High pressure
and warming then remains persistent until the high moves offshore
ahead of our next frontal system towards the end of the week.
This could be our next chance of rain through the long term
period!

&&

.AVIATION /03Z SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
VFR. Thick cirrus deck sticks around tonight. Light
southeasterly breeze at some terminals, while others are
variable. Southwesterly winds increase by around 06Z ahead of
an approaching cold front. A 35-40 kt SW LLJ moves across
between 06-13Z, with potential for LLWS ahead of the front.
LLWS confidence is lower for MYR and CRE with stronger winds
aloft inland and across eastern NC.

As the front moves through the area early Saturday, will see low
clouds accompany the front with no measurable precipitation
expected. Ultimately think everybody stays in VFR, but there
could be an argument made for some brief MVFR ceilings.
Probabilistic guidance suggests a 50-70% chance of a cloud deck
lower than 3000ft from 13-15Z at KFLO and KLBT, and from 14-17Z
at KILM, KCRE, and KMYR. However, despite the moisture increase
from the front, this particular layer still looks pretty dry,
and the thinking is that any clouds within 2000-3000ft will be
SCT as opposed to BKN ceilings. Time will tell. Winds quickly
turn northwesterly behind the front early Saturday with gusts to
20 kt. Gusts level off after 18Z, and a cirrus deck prevails
after the frontal passage.

Extended Outlook...VFR through Wednesday.

&&

.MARINE...
Through Saturday...With a front stalled across South Carolina, winds
will be relatively light and variable until after 0z, when the front
begins to move back northward and southwest winds increase ahead of
a strong cold front from the west. Southwest winds increase to 15-20
kts, with gusts up to 25 kts, through Saturday morning, before
quickly veering northwesterly as the front moves offshore late
morning. Offshore flow remain a little gusty, but not as strong as
the prefrontal winds. Seas around 2 feet through midnight tonight
will ramp up with the building SSW wind wave, peaking at 3-5 ft
Saturday morning, before slowly decreasing as the day
progresses.

Saturday Night through Wednesday...Fairly persistent conditions
under high pressure. NEly winds should prevail Sun through the end
of the period at speeds 10-15 kts. Seas 2-4 ft with a 1 ft NE swell
at 7-9 seconds and a NEly wind wave.

&&

.ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
SC...None.
NC...None.
MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from 4 AM to 11 AM EST Saturday for
     AMZ250-252.
     Small Craft Advisory until 11 AM EST Saturday for AMZ254-256.

&&

$$
SYNOPSIS...ILM
UPDATE...IGB
NEAR TERM...VAO
SHORT TERM...LEW
LONG TERM...LEW
AVIATION...IGB
MARINE...VAO/LEW


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