Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 161012 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 614 AM EDT Fri Mar 16 2018 .SYNOPSIS... A weak cold front will push into the area from the north late today and tonight and should tend to lift north of the area during Saturday before getting shoved to our south in the wake of a weak wave of low pressure early Sunday. This will bring a period of unsettled weather. A storm system approaching from the west should bring a much better chance for showers late Sunday night and through Tuesday. Dry and colder weather will follow during the middle of next week. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 500 AM Friday...Blustery conditions continue this morning as a strongly forced westerly flow prevails across the area. I have adjusted minimum temperatures upward somewhat for the very near term. With such a warm start, this usually leads to highs exceeding numerical guidance and I have also made this adjustment with expected highs well into the middle 70s later today. The winds should decrease later this morning as the potent low level jetting moves eastward. There is a backdoor front as seen on satellite imagery this morning just south of the NC/VA line. Its progress will slow with daytime heating, but it should push southward later this afternoon with little fanfare before stalling tonight. Tonight`s lows should be a tad cooler than this morning with overall readings dipping into the middle 40s. && .SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 AM Friday...The short term forecast is a little more uncertain than we would like. Mid-level shortwave energy traversing well to our N will help to knock down the remaining upper level ridging across the eastern CONUS Sat. Low pressure at the surface will be moving through the Tennessee Valley Sat before crossing the southern Appalachians Sat eve and should be moving across the Carolinas Sat night, exiting the coast early Sun morning. This weak area of low pressure will be moving along a frontal boundary. Out best effort at timing brings a stalled front across northeast South Carolina early Sat back to our N by/during Sat afternoon. This will return SW winds to the area. Moisture profiles show considerable moisture above about 3 kft. Given precipitable water values do spike just above an inch, will include a small risk for showers Sat and Sat night. The risk should be ending by/during Sun morning, lastly across the Cape Fear area as the weak wave exits and the front gets shoved back to our S. Drying is modest in the wake of this system and the NAM is depicting an elevated warm layer which helps to lock in the lower cloud cover for most of the day. The GFS is showing the low level moisture Sun morning eroding through the day. However, both models are showing higher level moisture increasing ahead of next system out in the Plains with isentropic upglide just beginning to increase ahead of a warm front late in the period. Thus, we are going to be a little pessimistic in regards to cloud cover. Will bring at least a good chance of showers back into the forecast Sun night and Mon, first across the southern zones. Temps will hinge on cloud cover and relative location and timing of aforementioned fronts. At this time, we are forecasting highs around 70 or lower 70s Sat. However, the beaches will be cooler, mainly mid 60s. Sun should be slightly cooler throughout, but no cooler than seasonable. Lows will be above normal Sat night. The coolest weekend readings are forecast for Sun night, but no cooler than the 40s. && .LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 300 PM Thursday...Moisture comes flooding back Monday according to model soundings (GFS has entire column saturating). This is in response to warm advection developing aloft yet some surface ridging holding and serving as a surface to be overrun. Rain should break out area-wide on Monday. Initially QPF should be fairly light due to the surface wedge and zonal mid level flow. Rain prospects look better and heavier Monday night and early Tuesday as the warm front lifts through accompanied by a developing surface low. Drying trend begins later Tuesday though it may be gradual at first. The late period will trend towards cooler weather as a deep trough returns in the east. Shortwave energy rotating through this trough could bring clouds and even light showers on Thursday. && .AVIATION /12Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
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As of 12Z...Weak high pressure will keep VFR conditions through the forecast period. Moderate west winds are expected at the surface, with some speed shear climbing to 2k feet. Winds diminish tonight with no weather expected. A chance of precip is expected by Saturday afternoon. Extended outlook...VFR. Slight chance MVFR Sat night/Sun. MVFR/SHRA likely Mon/Tue.
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&& .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 500 AM Friday...Small Craft Advisory conditions will persist into mid and late morning and perhaps into the early afternoon across our northern waters. Seas were still 7 ft at buoy 41108 and 8 ft at 41013. These observations are actually down by 1 to 2 ft from earlier in the night. Winds and seas remain elevated this morning a bit longer than previously expected. However I do expect a somewhat dramatic decrease in speeds as a potent low level jet responsible for the strong winds moves eastward later this morning. Later today the westerly flow will diminish from the current 20-25 kt to 10-15 kt and seas will subside from 4 to 7 ft to mainly 2 to 4 ft. Later tonight, a brief wind shift to the northeast will occur as a backdoor front slips south with speeds 10 kt or less. SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 AM Friday...A front will be stalled across the area Sat morning and is expected to move back to the north as a warm front during Sat before returning south across the area as a cold front in the wake of a weak wave of low pressure Sun morning. A storm system will approach from the west Sun night. Its associated warm front will approach form the south very late in the period. This will create multiple wind direction changes this weekend. SW winds will develop Sat and increase. A period of Small Craft Advisory conditions may briefly redevelop Sat afternoon and eve with wind speeds of 20 to 25 kt and seas of 5 to 6 ft. SW and WSW will decrease during Sat night with the wind direction shifting to NW and N Sun morning. NE winds Sun afternoon and eve will veer to easterly by Mon morning. LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 300 PM Thursday...Flow will be turning onshore early in the period as a wedge of high pressure weakens to our north. A southerly component will become established on Tuesday as a warm front lifts through the area. Winds and seas in the warm sector could increase as surface low pressure approaches to the point where an advisory is needed. && .FIRE WEATHER... As of 500 AM Friday...Relative humidity levels are lower than they usually are at this hour as winds have stayed up through the night which has kept temps elevated in this dry environment. We expect dewpoints will drop to 25 to 30 percent today, lowest this afternoon. Wind speeds will be 10 to 15 mph and there could be a few gusts up to 20 mph. The gustiest of winds will tend to occur through the first part of the day as the 50 kt low level jet at 2 kft is expected to lift out this morning. The National Weather Service will be collaborating with state Forestry this morning and it is possible an Increased Fire Danger statement will be issued for all or a portion of the eastern Carolinas. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 11 AM EDT this morning for AMZ254- 256. Small Craft Advisory until 2 PM EDT this afternoon for AMZ250- 252. && $$ NEAR TERM...SHK/RJD SHORT TERM...RJD LONG TERM...MBB AVIATION...43 FIRE WEATHER...RJD is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.