Swell Matrix

Area Forecast Discussion

National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City Nc

730 am EDT Sat apr 1 2023


Strong cold front approaches the Carolinas from the west today. This will bring strong southwest winds to the area throughout the day today, as well as the potential for ENC to see a broken line of isolated strong to marginally severe storms move through Saturday afternoon. Conditions improve Sunday as the front pushes offshore and high pressure builds into the area. High pressure will remain in control through the middle of next week before the next potential front nears the area late in the week.

Near Term

Until 6 pm this evening As of 7 AM Sat, The main show for the weekend begins today as we remain under a tight pressure gradient out ahead of an approaching cold front. Latest satellite and radar imagery show widespread cloud cover with a rainband currently located near the NC/TN border moving E'wards. Overall made minimal changes to the forecast this morning.

Prev Disc, As we go through the day today, upper level low in the Great Lakes this morning will continue to push NE'wards into E'rn Canada today while jet streak at 250 HPa overspreads the region this afternoon. Attendant mid level trough will continue to push E'wards today into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, though strongest forcing associated with this trough will be to the north of the area. At the surface, low pressure is currently noted across Lake Michigan and is currently tracking NE'ward towards Canada with this lows attendant cold front stretching SSW across the Ohio River Valley and portions of the Deep South tracking E this morning. Prefrontal trough is currently located in the Tennessee RIver Valley/Southeast this morning and will also track E today.

The strong cold front will continue to approach from the west today keeping the pressure gradient tight across the region. With a strengthening SSW'rly LLJ also overspreading the area today and ENC mixing efficiently, very gusty winds will continue across the region into tonight. Current expectation is for sustained winds to persist around 25-35 mph with the potential for gusts in excess of 45-50 mph at times with the strongest gusts being found along the immediate coast and OBX today. As such the wind advisory that begins around 8AM today remains in place into tonight. The strong winds will also bring a minor coastal flooding threat to portions of ENC; see the COASTAL FLOODING section below for more info.

The other hazard for today will be the potential for severe weather. Forecast remains on track as prefrontal trough will approach ENC this afternoon out ahead of the previously mentioned cold front with ongoing activity noted along this trough out to our west in the Tenn River Valley this morning. This activity is forecast to continue to track E this morning. Instability is forecast to build to around 1000 J/kg, shear will be easily on the order of 60-70+ kts, SRH's in the 300 m2s2 range, and mid level lapse rates around 6.0-7.0 C/km. This will support very fast storm motions, and the potential for even modest convective elements to mix 50-60+ kt wind gusts to the surface. As such, ENC remains in the marginal severe outlook category from SPC.

However the caveat to all of this is the prefrontal trough will be weakening as it approaches the area today and with the strongest forcing to the north will likely see a broken and potentially weakening line of thunderstorms nearing the area this afternoon. Overall the forecast changed little since the previous update so left in high end chance/low end likely PoP's in the forecast this afternoon with rainfall amounts likely averaging 0.1-0.25 inches across the area, though locally heavier amounts will be possible in thunderstorms. Any ongoing thunderstorm activity this afternoon will be nearing the coast and pushing offshore by this evening. Finally high temps today will reach into the

Short Term

6 pm this evening through 6 am Sunday As of 4 AM Sat, Improving conditions are forecast this evening as the cold front finally pushes across ENC tonight allowing SSW'rly winds to turn to a W and then NW'rly direction overnight. Behind this frontal passage the pressure gradient will weaken allowing for winds to decrease with gusty winds falling closer to 10-15 mph with gusts in excess of 20 mph by 8-10PM or so thus ending the high wind threat. In addition to this, W-NW'rly winds overnight will quickly bring in much direr air to the area allowing for thunderstorm activity to end rather quickly tonight as well. Lows this evening get down into upper 40s tonight across the CWA as colder air filters in behind the departing front.

Long Term

Sunday through Friday As of 4 AM Sat, High pressure will remain over the region through most of next week with initially seasonably cool conditions moderating to above normal by mid week. An slow moving cold front will move in from the west late week, bringing with it more unsettled conditions and potential for thunderstorms. Unsettled weather is expected to continue into next weekend as the front stalls just to our south and low pressure develops along it.

Sunday through Tuesday, High pressure will build in from the northwest Sunday as weakening CAA continues across the region. This will lead to slightly below normal conditions with highs mostly in the low to mid 60s under mostly sunny skies. High pressure shifts offshore Monday, allowing conditions to moderate, however weak shortwave energy passing through the zonal flow aloft will bring increasing clouds to the area, and perhaps even a few scattered showers. By Tuesday, high pressure will strengthen offshore, and increasing low level heights will result in highs reaching the upper 70s to low 80s across the forecast area.

Wednesday through Friday, A very warm (and increasingly moist) airmass will continue over the region Wednesday and Thursday ahead of a slow moving cold front. High temps will once again reach the upper 70s to low 80s, and could even creep up to the mid 80s over the coastal plain Wednesday. This combined with the increased moisture will allow for seasonably high instability to develop, and some airmass scattered thunderstorms are possible Wednesday. By Thursday, increased forcing ahead of the approaching front has the potential to focus convective development, and could also lead to some stronger storms forming as well. The front will push through the forecast area late Thursday night or early Friday morning, but will likely stall not to far south of the southern NC coast. This will keep clouds in place Friday, and as low pressure develops along the front later in the day, will also bring rain back into forecast. Much cooler conditions expected Friday with temps remaining mostly in the low to mid 60s.


12z Saturday through Wednesday Through Saturday As of 730 AM Sat, Not much has changed with regards to the forecast this morning outside of a pesky deck of clouds around 2-3 kft across our western counties resulting in some MVFR ceilings at ISO/PGV. These MVFR ceilings should be short lived as strong SSW'rly winds mix this cloud deck out with VFR ceilings and vis expected across the entire CWA through the TAF period. Pre frontal trough and cold front out in the Tennessee River Valley will continue to track E'wards today keeping the pressure gradient tight and winds elevated. There also remains a low possibility for showers and thunderstorms across our CWA this afternoon after about 16Z to 00Z which could bring another round of sub VFR ceilings and vis to the TAF sites, but confidence remains low that sites will see this activity so once again held it out of the TAF forecast for now.

The other big concern will be the continued gusty winds across the CWA today. There is already the possibility of LLWS impacting all sites this morning over the next hour or two beforethis mixes out for the day with a second threat after sunset of additional LLWS issues. Otherwise winds will remain SSW'rly today becoming more WNW'rly this evening but persisting at 15-25 kts with gusts up near 30-40kts. Given this there could also be some crosswind issues, primarily at EWN this afternoon as well.

Sunday through Wednesday As of 4 AM Sat, Mostly VFR conditions are expected through the long term as high pressure remains over the region. Calm and clear conditions Sunday night and Monday night could lead to some patchy fog development, which could bring some periods of sub- VFR conditions.


Through Saturday night As of 4 AM Sat, No significant changes to forecast thinking this morning as hazardous marine conditions are forecast through today and into tonight before gradually ending from W to E near daybreak Sunday. Cold front will continue to approach through the day today keeping the pressure gradient tight and winds elevated. Have ongoing SCA's across our inland rivers and sounds as well as the northern coastal waters with Gales up around the coastal waters south of Oregon Inlet. With SSW'rly winds forcast to continue to increase this morning to 20-30 kts with some areas seeing sustained winds around 25-35 kts and wind gusts in excess of 35-40 kts, all waters will be under a gale warning after 12z today. Conditions remain elevated into this evening before slowly decreasing as the cold front pushes offshore and away from our waters overnight. Gales first fall along the inland rivers and sounds and then along the coastal waters late this evening. Even after the gales end, SCA conditions will continue with winds shifting to a NW'rly direction at 20-25 kts with gusts in excess of 30 kts. 5- 8 ft seas along our coastal waters will continue to increase today getting to 8-11 ft by this afternoon before gradually decreasing back down to 5-8 ft overnight.

Sunday through Wednesday As of 4 AM Sat, Small craft conditions will continue through most of Sunday, but with high pressure quickly building in, conditions will quickly improve Sunday night. Winds will be NW 20-25 kts Sunday morning, but by Sunday evening will drop to N 10-15 kts. Good boating conditions then persist into mid next week with winds Monday and Tuesday S/SE 10-15 kts, and S 15-20 kts on Wednesday.

Large seas will linger Sunday, but should drop to below 6 ft by mid afternoon. Seas then drop to 2-4 ft late Sunday night, and remain in that range through Wednesday.

Watches, Warnings, Advisories

Nc, wind advisory until 8 pm EDT this evening for ncz029-044>047- 079>081-090>092-094-193-194-198-199. Wind advisory until 11 pm EDT this evening for ncz195-196- 203>205. High surf advisory from noon today to 4 am EDT Sunday for ncz196-204-205. Coastal flood advisory from 11 am this morning to 4 am EDT Sunday for ncz203-205. Marine, small craft advisory until 8 am EDT this morning for amz131- 135>137-150-230-231. Gale warning until 8 pm EDT this evening for amz131-136-137- 230-231. Gale warning until midnight EDT tonight for amz135-150. Low water advisory until 1 am EDT Sunday for amz137. Gale warning until 4 am EDT Sunday for amz152-154-156-158.

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