Swell Matrix

Area Forecast Discussion

National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City Nc

738 am EDT Sat Mar 28 2020


A backdoor cold front stalled over the southern Pamlico Sound will lift north as a warm front early this morning. Another cold front with limited moisture will move through the region Sunday evening. High pressure returns early next week. An area of low pressure will lift along the NC coast Tuesday night and strengthen off the Mid-Atlantic coast Wednesday. High pressure will build over the area late next week.

Near Term

Through today As of 720 AM Sat, Foggy conditions along the Crystal Coast this morning are expected to abate in the next couple hours or so as heating begins in earnest. Other than a few minor tweaks to Td based on observational trends, no changes were made this update.

Prev disc, Abnormally strong upper level ridge (as suggested by NAEFS standard anomalies of +2-3 deviations from normal) dominates the eastern half of the CONUS this morning and is expected to persist over our area for the short term period. At the surface, Atlantic high pressure is nosing into the Florida peninsula with its northern periphery marked by a stalled frontal boundary draped from the central Pamlico Sound towards Greenville.

A few isolated showers have attempted to form along this boundary but all activity has quickly fallen apart before reaching the northern OBX. A stray shower or two is still possible this morning per hi-res guidance but warrants no more than a slight chance PoP. A thornier forecast problem this morning is sea fog along the southern and central waters. Guidance has this fog hanging around until the late morning (if not into the afternoon) and followed this closely in this morning's forecast.

The big story today will be the potential for record breaking highs as an impressive warm dome shifts overhead (700 mb temperatures of 10-12 C per the HREF, threatening the MHX record of 7.8 C from the SPC sounding climatology). The surface front races north in increasing southwesterly flow and low- level thicknesses rise to 1405-1410 m. This suggests highs in the upper 80s for much of the inland areas with 70s in the Outer Banks. See the CLIMATE section below for previous records. Partly cloudy skies expected as increasing upper clouds from developing low pressure over the central CONUS spills over the ridge.

Short Term

Tonight As of 350 AM Sat, Ridge slowly shifts offshore overnight as low pressure and attendant cold front to the west slowly begin their trek towards the coast. With plenty of lingering cloud cover from this system and above- average thicknesses another mild night is on tap with lows in the mid 60s. With moist southwesterly flow yet again the environment is favorable for the resurgence of sea fog overnight, although there is low confidence in the extent and duration.

Long Term

Sunday through Friday As 3 AM Sat, A cold front with limited moisture will move through the region Sunday evening. Low pressure will lift along/near the NC coast Tuesday night, pushing offshore Wednesday. High pressure will build over the area late week. Above normal temps will continue Sunday, then near climo Tue through late week.

Sunday through Monday, Deep southerly flow on the western edge of Atlantic high pressure will result in very warm temperatures across Eastern NC Sunday. A cold front with limited moisture will cross the area Sunday night with no significant precipitation expected with it. Could see an isolated shower or tstm late Sunday afternoon and early evening, given forecast instability and shear, but CAMs not excited about it right now.

Cooler and continued dry conditions are expected Monday behind the front as high pressure briefly builds over the area. Very warm temperatures are expected Sunday, with record temps possible, as inland locations approach 90 deg with upper 70s to low 80s along the coast. Cooler temps for Monday with highs in the low to mid 70s along the coast and 75-80 deg inland.

Tuesday through Friday, Miller type B cyclogenesis is expected on Tue over South Carolina with the parent low tracking across the Ohio Valley. This is response to a potent mid level trough moving across the Midwest US. The developing low is forecast to track northeast along the NC coast Tue night into Wed then continue to deepen Wed afternoon off of the Mid-Atlantic coast. Widespread rainfall is expected late Tue afternoon into Wednesday morning. Locally heavy rainfall will be possible Tuesday night with PWATs approaching 1.5". Will continue likely pops. Bulk of precip should be ending by Wed afternoon with lighter wrap around moisture from the offshore low possible across the area through Wed night. Highs Tue and Wed will be in the low to upper 60s and upper 50s to low 60s along the Outer Banks. Drier wx with temps near climo expected Thu and Fri as high pressure builds in from the west.


12z Saturday through Wednesday Through 06z Sunday As of 740 AM Sat, Mix of flight conditions this morning thanks to patchy fog at the airfields. Iso is the only IFR site although EWN and OAJ are sitting at MVFR as well. Conditions expected to quickly improve to VFR by 14-15z with southwesterly winds increasing with gusts to 15-20 knots at times. Winds will back more southerly at EWN/OAJ as seabreeze passes north. Fog threat appears lower tonight with more wind allowing for continued mixing.

Sunday through Wednesday As of 3 AM Sat, Pred VFR conditions expected through Tuesday morning. A cold front with limited moisture will move through the region Sunday evening. Developing low pressure will approach the area from the southwest late Tue producing widespread rain and occasional sub-VFR conditions. Best chance for widespread sub-VFR conditions will be Tue night into Wed.


Today and tonight As of 725 AM, Sea fog has managed to penetrate nearly all waters this morning with visibilities as low as a mile being reported along the Albemarle Sound. Hoisted the DFA to Currituck Beach Light until 14z pending further model guidance and observational trends.

Prev disc, No SCA conditions so far this morning as seas have dropped to 3-5 feet across the coastal waters. Winds are a bit messy with southerly flow south of a stalled front over the Pamlico Sound, and easterly flow to its north. More problematic is sea fog in moist southerly flow, which is forecast to expand northward as the front lifts towards the mid- Atlantic. Although guidance suggests the threat may continue into the afternoon, will issue a DFA to 14z and allow the day shift to reassess the potential.

Southwesterly flow will dominate over all waters as the front lifts, increasing to 15-20 kt by the afternoon. Stronger flow of 20-25 kts is expected over the central waters overnight with seas rebuilding to 6-7 ft by Sunday morning. The previous SCAs remain, with the waters from Ocracoke to Oregon Inlet added to the suite starting at 21z. Sea fog is expected to make a resurgence Saturday evening although the extent and duration are still open questions at this time.

Sunday through Wednesday As of 3 AM Sat, A cold front will approach from the west Sunday, moving through the waters Sunday night. Sw winds will increase to 15-25 kt, peaking in the afternoon and early evening. The front will cross the waters Sunday night with winds becoming NW 15-20 kt. Seas Sunday will build from 4-6 ft early to 5-8 ft in the afternoon and evening, then subside to 3-5 ft early Mon. Sca conditions expected to continue into Sunday night and early Monday morning. Will likely need to reissue for the Pamlico Sound and maybe the northern waters. As high pressure builds over the waters Mon, NW winds 10-20 kt will become W 10-15 kt. Seas 3-5 ft Mon subsiding to 2-4 ft. Confidence is low but could see a brief period of SCA conditions develop Monday night into Tue, as sfc low strengthens to the north and gradient tightens between low and approaching system. N/NE winds will increase to 15-20 kt with seas building to 3-5 ft. Tue ahead of developing low pressure to the southwest, NE winds 10-20 will veer to the E 10-15 kt. An area of low pressure will lift along the NC coast Tuesday night and strengthen off the Mid-Atlantic coast Wednesday. Strong northerly winds 20-30 kt will develop Wed and continue into Wed night. A brief period of gale force winds will be possible Wed and/or Wed night depending on exact track and strength of low. 6 ft+ seas could develop across the waters Tue night peaking late Wed and Wed night.

Watches, Warnings, Advisories

Nc, none. Marine, dense fog advisory until 10 am EDT this morning for amz135-150- 152-154-156-158-231. Small craft advisory from 5 pm this afternoon to 5 am EDT Sunday for amz135. Small craft advisory from 5 pm this afternoon to 5 am EDT Monday for amz152-154. Small craft advisory from 8 pm this evening to 5 am EDT Monday for amz156-158.

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