Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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000 FXUS61 KRNK 032254 AFDRNK Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Blacksburg VA 654 PM EDT Fri Apr 3 2020 .SYNOPSIS... An area of low pressure will remain over the western Atlantic. Meanwhile, high pressure extends from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico. Little change in this pattern is expected through Saturday, both features remaining nearly stationary. A weak upper level disturbance will pass across the region Sunday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH SATURDAY/...
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As of 645 PM EDT Friday... Gusty winds will diminish after sunset with mainly clear skies expected through the night. Previous forecast has this handled well. Previous discussion from early this afternoon... Low pressure off the New England coast will retrograde southeast this afternoon and push out into the Atlantic ocean tonight into Saturday. High pressure will control our weather tonight into Saturday. The steep pressure gradient between the spine of the Appalachians and the coast has resulted in gusty winds this afternoon. The advection of very dry air has created relative humidities in minimums as low as 15 to 22 percent this afternoon. An SPS has been posted to highlight weather conditions which will support higher rates of spread for wildland fires today. Kept the statement going to 00z this evening. Winds will diminish with the loss of solar heating this evening into tonight and as the Coastal low pushes away. Under mostly clear skies, it will be cold tonight with low temperatures from around 30 degrees in the mountains to around 40 degrees in the piedmont. The high pressure center will slide east on Saturday. High temperatures Saturday will vary from the the mid 50s in the northwest mountains of Greenbrier county in Southeast West Virginia to the lower 70s along the southern Blue Ridge mountains.
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&& .SHORT TERM /SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... As of 200 PM EDT Friday... Omega block breaks down but the Appalachians and central mid Atlantic region will remain under ridging dominated by the southern stream. This will keep temperatures well above normal through the first part of next week. A weak front will move through the region on Sunday and this may be enough to generate scattered showers especially in the mountains and north of route 460, but moisture and instability are limited so chances for thunder are slim. The frontal boundary will linger around and move back as a warm front Monday/Monday night with more showers possible. Coverage will be a bit greater with forcing thanks to added isentropic lift and there will be a little more in the way of instability so chances of thunder increase as well. But overall looking like ordinary convection. Expect a gradual warming trend with highs Monday in the middle 70s east of the Blue Ridge with readings around 70 more common to the west. && .LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 205 PM EDT Friday... A more active pattern sets up for the remainder of the work week. Tuesday, southern stream energy delivers showers, as well as some scattered storms to the region. Right now, storms will primarily be confined to the afternoon when instability will be the greatest. This system lingers into Wednesday and continues to provide the opportunity for showers and afternoon storms. A large driver in the instability both days will be the above average temperatures as many by Wednesday warm into the upper 70s/low 80s. That said, nighttime lows will also be very mild for this time of year with many not dropping below 50 degrees Wednesday AM. Very little time separates the passage of the southern stream energy before a northern stream system brings a front to the region Thursday, with timing continuing to look like mainly late afternoon. With less instability, it looks to be mostly just rain arriving with it. This front should help push us down some temperature wise, bringing temps back closer to average. Once again, there isnt too much of a break with guidance indicating a southern stream system tracking across the central U.S. Friday. However, guidance remains varied on timing of arrival, as well as exact track with the system. Track of this system will decide how much rainfall we get from it. For now, a blend of guidance will be used until better agreement can be reached. && .AVIATION /00Z SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
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As of 653 PM EDT Friday... High confidence forecast for widespread VFR conditions continuing through Saturday. Winds will diminish tonight into Saturday. Extended Aviation Discussion... A weak disturbance will cross the area on Sunday. Western sections may see some isolated showers along with some very localized sub-VFR conditions. MVFR showers are possible on Monday especially in the west. Scattered MVFR showers and isolated thunderstorms may be possible Tuesday and Wednesday.
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&& .FIRE WEATHER... As of 125 PM EDT Friday... A very dry airmass will reside over the Virginias and Carolinas today with critically low humidity this afternoon into this evening, RH values dipping under 20 percent in some locations. The low humidity coupled with gusty northwest winds may result in elevated fire weather conditions, especially across the piedmont where temperatures will be much warmer compared to the mountains. Woodland fuels, such as leaf litter and pine needle cast will be most receptive to fire spread. Greenup within the grassier fuels and higher soil moisture content will help mitigate some of the fire spread threat otherwise. && .RNK WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... VA...None. NC...None. WV...None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...KK/PM NEAR TERM...KK/WP SHORT TERM...MBS LONG TERM...RR AVIATION...KK/PM/WP FIRE WEATHER...PM is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.