Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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000 FXUS61 KRNK 230606 AFDRNK Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Blacksburg VA 206 AM EDT Mon Apr 23 2018 .SYNOPSIS... Overnight through Wednesday, a slow moving area of low pressure will progress from the Middle Mississippi River Valley northeast to over the eastern Great Lakes region by Wednesday afternoon. The result for our area will be widespread heavy rain for the whole region, and gusty winds across the mountains. In the wake of this system, two additional disturbances look to cross over or near our area Thursday into Friday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TODAY/... As of 1013 PM EDT Sunday... Rain shield continues to make slow northeastward progress, with high clouds steadily lowering with southwestern extent. Regional radar mosaic depicts a band of rain associated with 35 to 40 dbz echoes, trailing from Asheville NC northwestward through Knoxville TN into north-central TN. Extrapolation should bring this band of rain northeast into Watauga County close to 0530z/around 130 AM. Tried to better account for this in terms of PoPs by showing a faster increase between 03-05z. Steadier rain more likely toward morning in these southwestern areas, however, based on indication from incoming 00z/23rd NAM. Temps have cooled quicker than prior indications, perhaps a consequence of cloud cover being a little thinner/thicker cloudiness being slower to advance north. Tried to show a little more cooling through 2 AM in the grids using a consensus blend approach to get temperatures back more closely in line. Aside from that, freshened up the wording in the Flood Watch and Wind Advisory products, but no changes made to either attm. As of 230 PM EDT Sunday... A slow moving upper level low pressure system will progress from just west of Memphis, TN tonight, to just northwest of Nashville, TN by tomorrow afternoon. In advance of this low, winds across our region will become southeast, and gradually increase in speed. The result will be copious moisture drawn into the area from the Atlantic getting lifted upslope into and across most of the area. Also, by Monday afternoon, the influence of the left exit region of the upper jet on the south side of the upper low will add a region of strong diffluence aloft across the area. With this scenario, we are expecting a heavy rain event for the area, with the precipitation making its way into the area from southwest to northeast late tonight through Monday. The amounts expected over a multi-day period will prompt the issuance of a Flood Watch. Please reference the HYDROLOGY section of this discussion for details. The exception to the above pattern will be the far southwestern part of our forecast area where a southeast flow yields downsloping conditions. Areas such as Bluefield, WV, and Richland and Tazewell, VA should have notably less precipitation, but much gustier winds. The gusty winds will also be prevalent at the higher ridge tops of the Northern Mountains of North Carolina, and the Mountain Empire region of southwest Virginia. At these different locations, gusts of 35 to 45 mph are expected starting early Monday morning at the highest elevations, and spreading to lower elevations by Monday afternoon. A Wind Advisory will be posted to address these concerns. && .SHORT TERM /TONIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 300 PM EDT Sunday... Definitely looking at a wet period from Monday night into Tuesday night. Will be monitoring flooding issues both stream flooding, to potential main stem flooding. See hydro section below for details. Southeast low level jet increases to 2 to 4 standard deviations above normal Monday hence the wind advisory. Having rain falling may hinder winds mixing down, but higher terrain from East River Mountain along the Appalachian Trail to the NC mountains will be very windy, with gusts to 45 to 55 mph not out of the question. PWATs and moisture transport although high, not too much over 1 SD. Expect the surface low over Georgia Monday evening to work with the strong high off the New England coast to pull Atlantic moisture right into the Blue Ridge. Although deep convection is not expected some rainfall rates of one half inch for 3-6 hours may lead to flooding. The low takes on a Miller B setup with one weakening over KY/TN while secondary one strengthens over southeast NC by Tuesday afternoon. The southeast flow weakens Tuesday afternoon so rainfall will begin to wind down by evening. The surface low should be off the mid-Atlantic Coast Wednesday, with lingering showers as the upper trough stays to our west and a northern stream front tracks toward us. Temperatures staying very cool Tuesday with rain and east flow, with highs running about 1- to as much as 20 degrees below normal, and with a wedge in place, coolest highs will be along the Blue ridge into the Alleghanys with upper 40s to lower 50s, while far southwest VA toward Chilhowie will reach the upper 50s, and the piedmont should reach the mid 50s. The clouds and rain will keep low temps above normal Monday and Tuesday night in the mid 40s to lower 50s. With not much airmass change Wednesday with northwest flow increasing along with a return of some sunshine east of the mountains, highs will milder, from the upper 50s to lower 60s mountains, to lower 70s east of the Blue Ridge. && .LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 135 PM EDT Sunday... Deterministic models are highly variable this period, especially after Thursday with the pattern. The 00z ECMWF takes a front east of us by Thursday morning with drier weather in place, followed by a weak piece of energy moving over the Gulf Coastal States into Friday morning while surface high stays over our area. The 500 mb pattern shows a broad trough over the eastern half of the nation, with two distinct storm tracks into the weekend. Overall the ECMWF has us mainly dry with a few showers possible with a front cutting across Saturday. Meanwhile, the 12z GFS shows a strong Gulf Coastal system Thursday with better southwest flow into the southern Appalachians. Then it develops a surface low across the central Carolinas Thursday evening, tracking it to the mid-Atlantic coast by Friday afternoon while a strong northern stream upper low forms over the lower Great Lakes, with a secondary front and shot of colder air moving in Friday night into Saturday. Will lean toward the steadier ensemble means this period which for now paints at least a small chance of showers Wed night-Friday, with possibly cold enough air after the front Saturday morning to have snow showers in the Alleghanys. Expect temperatures to run at or just below normal this period. && .AVIATION /06Z MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 145 AM EDT Monday... Satellite imagery and surface observations indicate that moisture continues to work its way into the Highlands of northern North Carolina, gradually overcoming the dry air currently in place. As such, ceilings continue to lower, however believe TAF sites will remain VFR through the remainder of the night. Rain will move into the area from southwest to northeast during late morning and the afternoon. While ceilings may flux between VFR and sub-VFR shortly before the arrival of rainfall today, believe ceilings will quickly fall and remain in MVFR/IFR territory once steady rainfall arrives. As the pressure gradient increases ahead of the low, variable winds will trend more toward the southeast, and some decent wind gusts can be expected in many of the mountainous locations. BLF in particular will see some very strong winds with occasional gusts to near 40 MPH possible. Extended Aviation Discussion... Sub-VFR ceilings and visibilities and gusty winds in the west, will continue through tonight and early Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon and night, the low pressure responsible for the wet weather will shift east of the area. This will bring our winds to the northwest, and allow for the precipitation to trend showery in the west. The weather pattern will remain unsettled Thursday into Friday as a series of disturbances crosses the area, each with the potential for providing showery precipitation and localized sub-VFR conditions. && .HYDROLOGY... As of 300 PM EDT Sunday... A prolonged period of strong upslope, moisture laden flow into the region will produce a very generous rainfall for most of the region. Amounts of one to two inches will be common for most the area. However, across the area near the crest of the Blue Ridge from near Floyd, VA southwest into the Northern Mountains of North Carolina, amounts of three to four inches are more likely. It will be this region, and downstream flow areas in parts of Patrick, Surry, and Wilkes Counties, that have the greatest potential for flooding in the nearer term. A flood watch will be in effect from 800 AM Monday through 400 PM Tuesday. Confidence in a significant upslope rain event is heightened by the Ensemble easterly wind component anomalies of 2 to 4 standard deviations during the time of concern. Looking a little bit further out in time, Model Ensemble River Forecast are focusing on the Dan River as a location to watch for possible minor river flooding once we reach the Tuesday into Wednesday time frame. && .RNK WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... VA...Flood Watch from 8 AM EDT this morning through Tuesday afternoon for VAZ015>017-032. Wind Advisory until midnight EDT tonight for VAZ007-009-015. NC...Flood Watch from 8 AM EDT this morning through Tuesday afternoon for NCZ001>003-018-019. Wind Advisory until midnight EDT tonight for NCZ001-018. WV...Wind Advisory until midnight EDT tonight for WVZ042. && $$ SYNOPSIS...DS NEAR TERM...AL/DS/JR SHORT TERM...WP LONG TERM...WP AVIATION...JR/NF HYDROLOGY...DS is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.