Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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814 FXUS62 KILM 151724 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 124 PM EDT Thu Mar 15 2018 .SYNOPSIS... High pressure will move east across Florida today and tonight. A weak cold front may drift south into the area late Friday and Friday night before stalling and moving back as a warm front Saturday. There is a small risk for showers Saturday and Saturday night. Wet weather may become more widespread ahead of a storm system early next week followed by a return to below normal temperatures Wednesday and Thursday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 1000 AM Thursday...After a widespread hard freeze last night all the way down to the beaches, temperatures are rising rapidly as warm advection develops on westerly winds. These winds should increase substantially this afternoon as the pressure gradient tightens between high pressure over Florida and an energetic trough moving off the Mid-Atlantic coast. Analysis of forecast soundings from the GFS and NAM show the potential for 27-30 knot (31-35 mph) gusts during the mid to late afternoon hours. Only minor changes were needed to the forecast with this morning`s update. Discussion from 300 AM follows... A cold air mass and ideal radiational conditions are allowing the freeze warning to verify and then some as temperatures have fallen into the middle 20s already in some places. For later this morning and today, a strong west to southwesterly flow will develop as high pressure sinks southward and a lingering low pressure trough to the north. Expect blustery winds well over 20 MPH with higher gusts later today. Highs today on the heels of downsloping and a return flow will surge into the middle to upper 60s. For tonight, no frost or freeze issues as a mixed boundary layer and the westerly keep lows in the middle 40s or so. && .SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 AM Thursday...A cold front to our N will be drifting south, pushed by an area of Canadian high pressure. However, the front will be bucking another area of high pressure across FL. This front may briefly move into our FA late day Fri and Fri night. However, the boundary is expected to stall before moving back as a warm front Sat ahead of a storm system moving into America`s breadbasket. The airmass does moisten sufficiently to warrant the inclusion of small POPs, mainly Sat and Sat night. Warm advection on deep westerly flow will bring 850 mb temps up to 7C Fri. This should allow temps to reach the upper 60s and lower 70s Fri afternoon. The coolest temps, mid 60s, will be confined to the immediate beaches, especially across Brunswick and southern New Hanover counties as the seabreeze should be pinned. Lows Fri night should be mainly in the mid and upper 40s with some temps near 40 possible across the far northern reaches of the FA. A warm front is expected to be in the area Saturday morning and should lift quickly to the north. Thus, temps Sat will not be as cool as previously forecast. However, with more cloud cover than the day prior, highs may be just a category cooler. We should be in the warm sector Sat night with lows above normal, mainly around 50. && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 245 PM Wednesday...Better rainfall chances Monday into Tuesday, though there is a bit of uncertainty given weak perturbations possible along the old boundary and ECMWF/GFS handling of areas of low pressure, GFS more robust and farther north at this time. Overall temperatures will drop below normal for a few periods late weekend/early next week. && .AVIATION /18Z THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
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As of 18Z...VFR conditions the next 24 hours at all sites. Very gusty west southwest winds today, not a good day to fly for small aircraft. Diminishing winds this evening with clear skies expected. Continue nearly clear skies with a moderate west wind on Friday. Extended outlook...VFR. Slight chance MVFR Sat night/Sun. MVFR/SHRA likely Mon.
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&& .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 1000 AM Thursday...Westerly winds will increase to 20-30 knots by late afternoon as high pressure moves into Florida and an energetic trough moves off the Mid-Atlantic coast. This tight pressure gradient will relax early Friday morning as the trough moves off the coast. Nearshore water temperatures have dropped by 5-6 degrees over the past two weeks due to recent cold weather, and this should help keep wind speeds limited to 25 knots there. Warmer water temps will promote deeper mixing out toward 15-20 miles off Cape Fear, with gusts there potentially reaching 35 knots tonight. Discussion from 300 AM follows... The waters are in an anticipated lull with winds around 15 knots and seas below five feet. Winds and seas will increase markedly later this morning to 20-25 knots from the southwest with seas of 3-6 feet. These conditions will ease late tonight as the gradient decreases somewhat. Still maintaining a small craft advisory for all waters through 11 PM tonight and a little longer (until 6 AM Friday) for the northern waters. Subsequent shifts may need to fine tune the timing but this looks good for now. SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 AM Thursday...A cold front to our N will be drifting south, pushed by an area of Canadian high pressure. However, the front will be bucking another area of high pressure across FL. This front may briefly move into our waters Fri night. However, the boundary is expected to stall before moving back as a warm front Sat. This will result in a changeable wind direction. SW winds Fri will shift to the NE in the wake of the front. However, near and S of the front, winds may only veer briefly to westerly. SSW to SW winds will then quickly develop on Sat. Winds will be from the SW Sat afternoon and eve, veering to WSW during Sat night. Winds speeds will be as high as 15 to 20 kt Fri and again Sat afternoon and eve. Seas will be subsiding from near Small Craft Advisory levels Fri morning. Seas Fri afternoon will be 2 to 3 ft and seas will be in this range until Sat eve/night when some 4 ft seas may develop across the outer northern waters. .LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 245 PM Wednesday...During Sunday morning, a cold front may push southward across the waters, stalling south of the waters Monday. As a result, the post frontal winds will be temporarily from the north Sunday before veering to an east or southeast direction Sunday night into Monday. A southerly fetch could develop again during Monday ahead of the next system. Steep waves are possible in the southwest fetch Saturday before subsiding a notch Sunday into early Monday. Seas are expected to build again during Monday. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...Red Flag Warning until 7 PM EDT this evening for SCZ017-023- 024-032-033-039-054>056-058-059. NC...Red Flag Warning until 7 PM EDT this evening for NCZ087-096- 099-105>110. MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 11 PM EDT this evening for AMZ254- 256. Small Craft Advisory until 6 AM EDT Friday for AMZ250-252. && $$ SYNOPSIS...RJD NEAR TERM...TRA/SHK SHORT TERM...RJD LONG TERM...SRP AVIATION...DL is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.