Swell Matrix

Area Forecast Discussion

National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City Nc

415 pm EST Thu Feb 20 2020


Low pressure off of the southeast coast will deepen and lift northeast well offshore tonight and Friday. Cold high pressure will rebuild over the area for the weekend, before another area of low pressure impacts the area early to mid next week.

Near Term

Through Friday am As of 400 PM Thu, Precip shield has encompassed much of the CWA with a few scattered reports of sleet along the Hwy 264 corridor. Mesoanalysis continues to show a bullseye area for frontogenesis parked over that area. The deformation zone will work to concentrate areas of the heaviest precip throughout the event. The HRRR is initializing well, showing the deformation zone with the associated concentrated precip area over the northern counties and pivoting overnight to a more north-south orientation, likely positioning itself along Hwy 17. Highest snow amounts will likely occur north of Hwy 70 with 4-6 inches. Southern counties will still see some accumulations of 2-4 inches and less than 2 inches along the Crystal Coast.

As the event unfolds, we expect rain to begin changing over to mixed precip late afternoon/early evening NW along the Hwy 264 corridor, spreading SE to N. Craven, N. Onslow, and S. Beaufort counties by 03z. The transition time from rain to snow is expected to take place rather gradually, threatening a few hours of robust wintry mix that may cause hazardous travel. Snow will then begin taking over in our NW counties and pushing SE through midnight, afterward which snow will become the dominant ptype along Hwy 17 and west. Snowfall rates are expected to be relatively high, up to 0.5"/hr in and around the deformation zone, which will provide a moderate dendrite growth zone for a few hours. Snow will likely be heavy and wet when it reaches the surface, creating concerns for power outages, reduced visibilities, and slippery roads, particularly within mesoscale bands. As the coastal low moves out to sea, we can see snowfall beginning to taper off NW around 10-12z, eventually clearing out of much of the forecast area by 15z, with any lingering precip SE being predominantly rain.

Short Term

Friday As of 300 PM Thurs, Behind this system Friday skies will clear from west to east, but strong winds will continue. Strong CAA and snow cover will limit surface heating, and temperatures will struggle to reach past the upper 30s, with wind chills in the 20s all day.

Long Term

Friday night through Thursday As of 300 PM Thu, Fri night through Sunday, High pres will build in Fri night thru the weekend with dry weather. With expected snow pack and clear skies Fri night expect very cold temps with the normally colder inland areas dropping to around 20. Beaches will be a bit milder with upr 20s to lower 30s. Temps remain cold Sat with highs in the 40s to around 50 with plentiful sunshine. Temps moderate on Sunday as the high builds overhead and hgts aloft increase. Highs shld reach the upr 50s to lower 60s most spots.

Mon through Wednesday, Looks mild and unsettled this period as a complex frontal system approaches Mon and slowly pushes thru Tue night into Wed before dissipating. Plenty of moisture will spread N in advance of the front with likely pops Mon/Mon night and chc Tue and Wed. The front should cross the coast and dissipate Wed. Highs Mon will be mainly in the lower 60s with mid/upr 60s Tue and Wed.

Late next week. High pressure will build into the area behind the front with cooler highs in the 50s Thursday.


20z Thursday through Tuesday Through Friday morning As of 1250 PM Thu, Precip shield can be seen covering most of the TAF sites and conditions are expected to deteriorate from here. Vfr conditions will switch to MVFR within the next few hours as the coastal low continues to strengthen this afternoon. Late afternoon/early evening is when we will begin to see ceilings drop as rain begins to change over to a wintry mix, bringing with it IFR conditions. Tonight into the overnight hours, precip will transition to all snow beginning NW and pushing SE, dropping visibilities down to 1 mile, or potentially less. Ceilings and visibilities will improve once the snow tapers off W to E Friday morning. Strong NNE winds will persist throughout the TAF period.

Fri night through Tuesday As of 300 PM Thu, VFR conditions expected to prevail through the weekend as high pres builds across. Shra threat increases Mon and Tue ahead of approaching cold front with occasional sub VFR poss.


Tonight and Friday As of 300 PM Thu, Dangerous boating expected through Fri as strong NNE winds develop today and cont tonight as low pres develops and deepens well to the SE. Cont Gale Warning for all but Pamlico River where we have SCA. Winds will increase to 30 to 40 kt with gusts to 45-50 kt over the warmer water tonight into Friday. These winds will lead to seas reaching to 9 to 14 ft tonight into Fri.

Fri night through Tue As of 300 PM Thu, Winds will slowly begin to decrease early Fri evening to sub Gale and especially Fri night to below 25 kt late as the low moves further offshore. Seas will remain dangerous early 8-14 ft subsiding to 5-9 ft early Sat. Winds become light Sat as the high builds close with seas subsiding to 4 to 6 ft late. Light winds cont Sunday with the high overhead, seas finally drop below SCA lvls Sun at 3 to 5 ft. The high moves off the coast Mon with front slowly approaching from the W. Ssw winds will increase from 10 kt Mon to 15 to 20 kts Mon night and 20-25 kt Tue with seas 2-4 ft Mon building back to 4 to 7 ft Tue.

Watches, Warnings, Advisories

Nc, winter weather advisory from 10 pm this evening to 10 am EST Friday for ncz195-196-199-203. Winter weather advisory from 7 pm this evening to 10 am EST Friday for ncz090-198. Winter storm warning until 10 am EST Friday for ncz029-044-045- 079-080-091-193. Wind advisory from 7 pm this evening to 4 pm EST Friday for ncz196-203>205. Coastal flood advisory from 7 pm this evening to 7 pm EST Friday for ncz194-196-204-205. Winter storm warning from 7 pm this evening to 10 am EST Friday for ncz046-047-081-092-094-194. High surf advisory from 10 pm this evening to 1 am EST Saturday for ncz203-205. Marine, small craft advisory until 5 pm EST Friday for amz136. Gale warning until 10 am EST Friday for amz137. Gale warning until 7 pm EST Friday for amz135. Gale warning from 7 pm this evening to 5 pm EST Friday for amz131-230-231. Gale warning from 7 pm this evening to 7 pm EST Friday for amz150. Gale warning until 7 pm EST Friday for amz152-154-156-158.

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