Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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366 FXUS61 KRNK 261852 AFDRNK Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Blacksburg VA 252 PM EDT Sun May 26 2024 .SYNOPSIS... A series of disturbances will pass across the lower Mid-Atlantic through Monday, triggering rounds of shower and thunderstorm activity ahead of an approaching cold front. The front will pass across the central Appalachians Monday evening, ushering in drier and slightly cooler weather for much of the coming week. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH MONDAY/...
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As of 230 PM EDT Sunday... Key Messages: 1. A line of showers and thunderstorms will arrive from the west this afternoon and evening. Severe Thunderstorm Watch 317 has been issued for the western half of the forecast area. 2. Another line of showers and thunderstorms may arrive early in the morning on Memorial Day, though timing and intensity are less certain. 3. Finally, isolated thunderstorms may be possible Monday afternoon and evening, but confidence is low. An impressive line of severe thunderstorms was moving rapidly through the OH and TN Valleys, and will continue to push east at around 40-50 mph through this evening. Numerous reports of 60+ mph wind gusts have already occurred with this MCS, and there is a near continuous line of storms from Green Bay to Cincinnati to Knoxville at this time. The system may weaken slightly as it encounters the Blue Ridge, and west of here is where the Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued until 9 PM. To the east, still expect storms to move through between 7 to 10 pm. There is a chance the Watch may be expanded downstream to include the Piedmont. Current temperatures were in the 70s and 80s, with dew points in the upper 50s to upper 60s. This has yielded MLCAPEs in the 1500-2500 J/kg range, with DCAPEs maxed out in our northern NC counties around 1100 J/kg. Wind shear in the lower levels is about 30 kts between the surface to 3km, and bulk shear is around 45 kts. Thankfully there is little directional shear, so this does not look like a big tornado day, but spin ups along the front edge of the MCS may turn into brief tornadoes. The main concern here will be damaging winds, heavy downpours leading to localized flooding, and intense lightning. With it being Memorial Day weekend, plenty of people are outside, and we urge you to pay attention to this rapidly evolving weather scenario today and tomorrow. Remember to head indoors and stay away from water when lightning is near, and have multiple ways to get warnings. By 10 pm, the severe threat will temporarily diminish as the line passes out of our area to the east, bringing a brief lull in the organized activity, with only residual showers to contend with. However, decent agreement exists in the rapid update weather forecast models that another line of storms will approach from the west during the predawn hours Monday/Memorial Day and shift east, sweeping east-southeast by mid morning. Finally, there is a chance for some redevelopment of thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening Monday, but believe the morning convection may impact and degrade this, so confidence in that is low. Expect early morning lows to start Memorial Day to range from the low to mid 60s, and highs to reach the mid 70s to low 80s for the mountains, and the mid to upper 80s for the Piedmont. Overall confidence in the near term is moderate.
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&& .SHORT TERM /MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/...
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... As of 215 PM EDT Sunday... Key Messages: 1: Low chance of lingering storms in the wake of a front Monday night 2: Quiet, breezy, and cool Tuesday onward A front will have mostly made its way through our CWA and into central VA by Monday night. A few lingering post-frontal showers and storms could continue to crop up, but the main line with most of the severe potential will have occurred earlier in the day. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will all have more or less similar weather conditions. Surface high pressure will gradually move down from the western Great Lakes and over the Mid- Atlantic, will suppress precip chances. In the mean time we will be in the western half of a mid- level trough, wherein a few weak embedded shortwaves may pass through. This would only serve to amplify cloud cover in the mountains and perhaps spawn an isolated shower or two. Temps will cool into the 60s for the mountains and mid to upper 70s for the Piedmont. Fairly cool for late May/early June.
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&& .LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
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... As of 230 PM EDT Sunday... Key Messages: 1: Low confidence in timing of next frontal system over the weekend Surface high pressure will remain in control of weather and suppress precip through Saturday. This will keep things cool with light breezes and scattered clouds. The next front could be expected at earliest on Sunday morning. That solution is a bit of an outlier amongst long range models. Most don`t have the next front impacting the Mid-Atlantic until late Sunday or into Monday. Also unclear what the potential impacts with this front would be, though given the fact that it is early June, a frontal passage generally includes thunderstorms.
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&& .AVIATION /16Z SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/...
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As of 230 PM EDT Sunday... VFR conditions continue until a line of SHRA/TSRA arrives this afternoon and evening. This line is expected to move rapidly from west to east, and some storms especially along and west of the Blue Ridge are likely to become severe, producing damaging wind gusts, though large hail and an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out also. Downpours and low ceilings will accompany the storms, but are expected to remain temporary, improving as the convection passes. Ceilings improve to VFR for a few hours until another line approaches in the pre-dawn hours. Expect this line to dive SSE or dissipate as the morning goes on, with a return to VFR tomorrow. Severe chances look much lower with this line. SW/S winds turn more westerly tomorrow and become gusty. Also expect erratic gusts in any thunderstorms. EXTENDED AVIATION OUTLOOK... There may be a few storms in the afternoon and evening Monday along an approaching front. However morning thunderstorms may squash this chance, so for now expecting mainly VFR. A front will cross through the area late Monday into early Tuesday, turning winds to the northwest and eventually bringing drier air to much of the area. A low chance for showers and thunderstorms will be possible across WV Tuesday and Wednesday, otherwise VFR. VFR everywhere Thursday. Patchy fog with periods of MVFR/LIFR will be possible in the mornings near mountain and river valleys.
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&& .RNK WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... VA...None. NC...None. WV...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...NF/SH NEAR TERM...SH/NF SHORT TERM...RAB LONG TERM...RAB AVIATION...SH