Scientific Forecaster Discussion
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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Wakefield Virginia
356 PM EST Thu Feb 23 2017
high pressure remains well offshore tonight as low pressure
slides off the Florida Peninsula. On Friday, the region will
remain in between a cold front approaching from the west and low
pressure off the southeast coast. The front crosses the local
area late Saturday, with high pressure returning for Sunday.
Near term /through Friday/...
latest sfc analysis indicating sfc low pressure off the East
Coast of Florida, with a weak/inverted sfc trough extending north-northeast
up to the NC coast. Split flow aloft making for relatively
light winds/weak steering flow aloft. Very warm today with
readings near record highs in the 70s (see climate section
below). Fairly high dew pts in the 50s and a light southerly
flow have allowed for some developing cumulus inland with skies
averaging partly to mostly sunny.
Expect dry weather and a mild night tngt (lows in the 50s) with
high pres staying offshore and low pres passing well south of
the local area. With decent low-level moisture and light winds,
could see some patchy fog develop, especially across interior
southeast Virginia and northeast NC, though will mention patchy fog
into south central and central Virginia as well.
Conditions Fri will be similar to those of today, with southerly
flow and temps climbing into the mid-upper 70s inland and in the
mid 60s to lower 70s at the coast (cooler here with winds
shifting a bit more to southeast rather than ssw). There may be a
little more in the way of cloud cover but do not anticipate any
rain with minimal forcing. Again see climate section below for
the day's records (which will be more difficult to break as they
are warmer than today).
Short term /Friday night through Sunday/...
warm and partly cloudy Fri night with lows in the 50s to
possibly around 60 f in the warmest locales.
Latest 12z/23 models remain in good agreement handling a cold
front moving east from the Ohio Valley Fri night, reaching the
Appalachians Sat morning, and pushing through the County Warning Area Sat aftn
to early evening. Mid/upper level trough progged to be located
over the western Great Lakes at 12z/Sat...and moving NE to
Ontario through the day. Potent mid level shortwave looks to
become somewhat sheared out as it crosses the mtns and moves
through the local area Sat aftn/evening, with some dry slotting
moving in rather quickly late Sat aftn/Sat evening from the SW.
Storm Prediction Center day 3 outlook highlights northern 1/2 of the County Warning Area in a
marginal risk for for severe thunderstorms in association with
a Low Cape/high shear environment. Main threat would be damaging
wind gusts, but attm there is uncertainty over coverage of
convection due to the potential dry slot. High temps Sat will
range from the upper 70s southeast to the lower 70s north and northwest
where precip will arrive earlier and be of higher coverage.
Lingered a chc for showers into the early evening near the cost,
otherwise turning sharply colder Sat night with lows in the 30s
inland to lower 40s southeast zones. Dry/mostly sunny and much
cooler Sunday with breezy west-northwest winds diminishing by mid aftn from
SW to NE as high pressure builds in from the west-southwest. Highs will
actually be close to normal for a change, ranging from the upper
50s south to the lower 50s across the NE. Very dry aftn with dew
pts into the teens and relative humidity values mainly 20-25%, though winds may
diminish enough to keep fire wx threat from being too bad.
Long term /Sunday night through Thursday/...
sfc hi pres drifts over the forecast area Sun night...resulting in mainly
sky clear and chilly conditions. Quick moving low pressure tracks from
the Ohio Valley Mon across the forecast area Mon night W/ increasing
cloudiness and pops (30-50%). Another warm up begins Tue and
continues through Wed as sfc hi pres sets up off the coast...and
return S flow develops. Mild Tue W/ a frontal boundary lingering
over (srn) portions of the forecast area (keeping vrb clouds/mostly cloudy
conditions W/ pops 25-45%. A warm front lifting through the forecast area
Tue night/early Wed may clip the region W/ clouds and low pops
(10-20%). Warm/possibly breezy Wed ahead of approaching cold
front from the west. Models push that front through the region late
Wed/Wed night W/ another potential for at least scattered rash.
Drying/cooler by Thu.
Lows Sun night from the l30s inland to the u30s-around 40f southeast.
Highs Mon in the 55-60f on the Eastern Shore to the l-m60s
elsewhere. Lows Mon night in the m40s northwest to the l50s southeast. Highs
Tue in the u50s-l60s on the Eastern Shore to the u60s-l70s
elsewhere. Low Tue night mainly in the l-m50s. Highs Wed in the
60s on the Eastern Shore to the 70s elsewhere. Highs Thu mainly
Aviation /21z Thursday through Tuesday/...
scattered cumulus (~4000 ft) has developed this afternoon mainly
over inland portions of the area in response to light southerly flow
and seasonably high dewpoints. Any cu should dissipate later this
evening. Otherwise, VFR conditions are expected to continue through
the afternoon and evening as high pressure builds over the region.
Winds will average 8-10 kts out of the S/southeast this afternoon with some
higher gusts at sby, winds diminish after sunset.
Still expecting fog development tonight, mainly after 06z, due to
mainly clear skies and high dewpoints. Included IFR/MVFR
visibilities at all taf sites tonight due to fog potential. Would
not be surprised to see some locally dense fog, especially away from
the coast. Fog is expected to dissipate generally after 12z and we
will return to VFR conditions. Winds will remain light out of the southeast
to S tonight through Friday afternoon.
Outlook: besides early morning fog and stratus, expect mainly VFR
conditions through early Saturday. Showers and thunderstorms are
expected to develop with a cold front Saturday afternoon and into
early evening. Dry/VFR conditions return for Sunday as surface high
pressure builds into the region. Winds will be gusty out of the west-northwest
at times on Sunday. Sub-VFR conditions will once again be possible
late Monday and into Tuesday as a low pressure system approaches
from the west.
sfc hi pres will remain centered well off the mid-Atlantic
coast through Fri as lo pres meanders off the Florida coast...and
nrn stream energy remains well north of the region from the Great
Lakes through the Saint Lawrence valley. Sfc hi pres will slide
farther offshore Fri night into Sat as a cold front pushes from
the Ohio Valley Fri night then ewd across the mountains
Sat. Meanwhile, the srn stream low will gradually lift newd
well off the southeast coast. A south-southeast wind will remain aob 15kt through
Fri night/Sat morning...may increase a few kt Saturday due to a
tightening pressure gradient...but likely to remain sub-sca.
Seas will generally be 2-3 ft through Fri...before increasing
to 3-5 ft Fri night into Sat as long period swell arrives from
the low offshore. Waves in the ches Bay will average 1-2 ft. The
cold front will cross the coast Sat evening followed by modest
cold air advection and strong sfc pres rises. Scas are likely Sat night into
Sunday morning with a northwest wind reaching 15-25 kt with gusts to
30kt and 4-6 ft seas/3-4 ft waves. The wind diminishes Sun
afternoon as sfc hi pres builds into the mid-Atlantic region.
Sfc hi pres quickly pushes offshore Sun night into Mon W/ the
wind becoming S.
Feb 2017 is shaping up to rank among the warmest on record
given continued warmth over the next week. Daily record highs
are listed below for today-Sat, with the top 3 warmest
february's on record listed below that. Expecting ric, orf to be
the 2ns warmest, ecg to be at least into the top 3 warmest. Sby
looks on track to be 4th or 5th warmest.
Daily record highs for today 2/23, Friday 2/24 and Saturday 2/25:
2/23 2/24 2/25
Ric 75 in 1985 82 in 1985 83 in 1930
orf 79 in 1975 82 in 2012 81 in 1930
sby 74 in 1943 77 in 2012 80 in 1930
ecg 77 in 1975 79 in 1985 77 in 1985
Warmest february's on record (average temps):
* ric: (most likely finish for 2017: 2nd warmest)
* 1) 49.9 (1890)
* 2) 48.5 (1976)
* 3) 48.1 (1884)
* orf: (most likely finish for 2017: 2nd warmest)
* 1) 52.4 (1890)
* 2) 50.5 (1909)
* 3) 50.1 (1990)
* sby: (most likely finish for 2017: 4th warmest)
* 1) 46.1 (1976)
* 2) 45.8 (1984)
* 3) 45.7 (1925)
* ecg: (most likely finish for 2017: 3rd warmest)
* 1) 52.1 (1990)
* 2) 51.8 (1939)
* 3) 50.3 (1976)
Marine...Small Craft Advisory from 6 PM Friday to noon EST Sunday for