Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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FXUS62 KILM 281429
AFDILM

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wilmington NC
929 AM EST Wed Feb 28 2024

.SYNOPSIS...
Wind gusts will exceed 40 miles per hour later today as a
cold front approaches from the west. Scattered showers will
accompany the front as it pushes through and offshore this
evening and overnight. High pressure will build in from the
north Thursday, but low pressure developing just to our south
on Friday will spread clouds and rain chances back across the
area for Friday night into Saturday.

&&

.UPDATE...
Opted to increase winds and gusts somewhat along the coastal NC
counties and inland as two corridors of enhanced winds due to
LLJs are becoming apparent in hi-res model guidance. Gusts look
to remain just shy of Wind Advisory criteria, though, with
gusts up to 40-45mph or so possible between 18-23Z, when mixing
is deepest. Sky cover will play an important role in high temps
and wind gust potential, as predominantly clear skies with thin
high clouds will permit greater warming and deeper mixing. High
temps are still on track to reach the mid-upper 70s away from
the immediate coast, with some inland spots touching 80F. A cold
front will arrive this evening with gusty showers accompanying
it and a sharp wind shift to northwesterly.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
Bulk of the mid and upper level moisture to lift N-NE of the FA
by later this morning allowing peaks of the sun to occur into
the aftn. A tightened sfc pg will lie across the FA as we are
sandwiched between strong Atlantic high pressure centered well
offshore and a strong cold front approaching from the NW later
today. The low from which this cold front extends from is a sub
980mb low poised to move from the Great Lakes to Southeast
Canada this period. This will be aided by a nearly full latitude
upper trof that will be driving eastward this period, pushing
the sfc cold front across the ILM CWA late this afternoon thru
mid-evening and across the coastal waters and offshore around
or just after midnight. With no big-time tapping of the GoM,
moisture scours-some after the Appalachian Mountain passage.
Main bulk of the moisture and rainfall will occur north of the
FA. At this point, only advertising QPF of less than one-
quarter of an inch, mainly across the northern portions of the
FA. The tightened sfc pg across the area today into this
evening, leading up to the CFP, will produce sustained SSW-SW
winds 15 to 25 mph. Sustained winds just off the deck, ire. at
925mb, are progged in the 40 to 50 mph range. After the days
heating commences, mixing will allow a portion of those winds
to drop to the sfc as 30 to 40 mph wind gusts from later this
morning up until the CFP. These speeds remain just shy of wind
adv thresholds but will illustrate their threat in the HWO and
the issuance of the regularly scheduled briefing later this
morning. After FROPA and thru the pre-dawn Thu hrs, look for a
slow decrease in the clouds with any leftover spotty pcpn
ending. CAA will be ongoing under bust NW-N winds, with gusts to
20-25 mph possible. Highs today in the mid to upper 70s away
from the immediate coast, but may just stay in the 60s along the
immediate coast and beaches especially if wind directions
remain a SSW onshore direction. Tonights low will likely be
realized at or just after daybreak Thu due to the ongoing CAA.

&&

.SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/...
High pressure on Thursday behind cold air advection will bring
slightly below normal temperatures with afternoon highs in the
mid and upper 50s. Northerly winds could gust up to 20 mph at
times. High pressure and cold air in place will bring
temperatures into the lower 40s and upper 30s before departing
offshore by Saturday morning. Easterly flow late Thursday night
could bring low clouds or patchy fog to our southern coastal
areas.

Developing coastal trough following the retreating high will
push inland during the afternoon, bringing warmer temperatures
and a chance of scattered, light showers. Will continue with the
previous discussion in keeping highs below the guidance mean.
This will create isolated showers as it moves inland. Meanwhile
a shortwave will eject over the central US, bringing shower
chances to the cooler Piedmont and western portions of NC/SC.
Isentropic lift could create heavy rainfall, but is likely to
remain west of I-95 and the FA.

On Friday evening, low pressure will develop along the coastal
trough and rapidly strengthen. Better agreement tonight that
this area of low pressure will develop close to the coast and
could bring significant rainfall to areas east of I-95 (better
chances near the immediate coast). Rain continues Friday night
into early Saturday. Models do start to diverge on how fast the
low will push offshore and how soon rain will end. Too early to
give reliably accurate QPF totals given the model differences.

&&

.LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
Low pressure exiting the region by early Saturday will reinstate
SW flow and ridging aloft. Drier air will begin to filter in
behind the low at some point during the day. Ensemble spread
indicates that the center of the low may be slow to leave the
area, hence prolonged showers chances into Saturday night and
delayed arrival of dry air. Lee side of the low should at least
bring slightly warmer temperatures with highs in the 60s.

The existing low off of the northeastern US coast will maintain
a surface boundary offshore on Sunday. Guidance continues to
suggest temperatures will rebound into the low or mid 70s, but
confidence remains low. Moisture beneath an inversion and
easterly flow within the boundary layer will work against these
warm temperatures. Have opted to undercut highs by a couple of
degrees. Surface convergence near the coast will extend the
chance of showers into Sunday afternoon as easterly winds bring
developing showers close to our coastal communities.

Remaining uncertain early next week as weak high pressure builds
into the area. Sunshine with inconsistent cloud cover should at
least bring warm temperatures. Highs each day in the upper 60s or
low 70s. A better chance of unsettled weather later in the week.

&&

.AVIATION /14Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
BKN/OVC mid to upper level cloud decks to lift further north of
the area later this morning as the low amplitude mid-upper level
ridge axis moves east of the FA. This will lead to better
insolation today which will allow better mixing of the stronger
winds aloft to the sfc. SW Winds in the lower levels, ie. 1k to
2k ft, will increase to 40 to 50 kt today, which could translate
to possible 30 to 40 kt gusts, especially the inland terminals
including ILM. The cold front will track NW-SE, and will push
thru the LBT-FLO line around 00z-02z and thru the ILM to MYR
line around 02z-04z. Will see a round of light to moderate
showers and MVFR ceilings, however parameters for T production
are not all that conducive and will leave out. Winds will veer
to the NW-N after FROPA with gusts 20-25 kt possible as CAA
ensues.

Extended Outlook...VFR to dominate Thu into early Fri.
Increasing potential for MVFR/IFR ceilings and/or visibilities
from pcpn and fog late Fri lasting thru Sat as coastal low
pressure lifts across the eastern Carolinas.

&&

.MARINE...
Through Tonight...SSW-SW winds already on the rise, will reach
SCA thresholds later this morning and persist until the CFP
later this evening and overnight. SCA solid sustained SW winds
with gusts approaching Gale Force by this aftn. With SSTs in the
50s, even at 41013, the 40-50 kt winds at 1k to 2k ft off the
ocean sfc, will have difficulty mixing down and penetrating the
cool sfc based marine layer. Will still advertise some gusts to
35 kt but not enough to warrant the display of the Gale Warning
flag. Nevertheless, the strong offshore fetch over the milder
SSTs, will allow seas to further build and bleed across the
local waters. At this point, we have seas peaking in the 5 to 8
ft range but that may be underdone by a foot or 2 given latest
buoy seas readings and trends. After FROPA, winds will veer and
transition to NW to N at 15 to 25 kt with 30 kt gusts as CAA and
the tightened sfc pg combine.

Thursday through Sunday Night...Sub-SCA conditions should
arrive by Thursday afternoon with high pressure moving overhead.
As high pressure moves offshore and onshore flow develops,
winds will increase to 15-20 knots on Friday. Breezy conditions
continue Friday night into Saturday with the development of a
low pressure system offshore. Improvement is expected late
Saturday and Saturday night. Weak high pressure builds well
north of the region on Sunday and will bring NE winds between
10-15 knots..

&&

.ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
SC...None.
NC...None.
MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 11 AM EST Thursday for AMZ250-252-
     254-256.

&&

$$
SYNOPSIS...21
UPDATE...ABW
NEAR TERM...DCH
SHORT TERM...21
LONG TERM...21
AVIATION...DCH
MARINE...DCH/21


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