All eyes will be focused on the exact track of Hurricane Sandy over the next several days. Extreme blocking (Negative NAO), a rapidly deepening east coast trough and a very warm gulf stream are all factors that will contribute to what will be one of the more memorable late October storms in the Mid-Atlantic and New England’s history. Regardless of Sandy’s exact track, the 55 million people in the Northeast Megalopolis can expect widespread high winds, heavy rains, flooding of low-lying areas, a powerful storm surge, coastal flooding and heavy, wet, mountain snow.
As of Thursday afternoon, the European forecast model tracked Sandy the furthest south into the Del-Mar-Va. The GFS (Global Forecast System) computer model tracked Sandy into the central NJ coastline. As Sandy nears the Mid-Atlantic coastline, her wind field will expand in size, therefore widespread high winds will lead to power outages across parts of the Washington and Baltimore Areas Monday evening into Wednesday. I would be preparing for widespread tropical storm force winds across the DC Area. Depending upon Sandy’s exact track, coastal areas should be prepared for hurricane force winds. Please follow the National Hurricane Center’s latest forecasts.
The Evolution of a Historic Mega-Storm in the Northeast Megalopolis:
The following images were taken from the October 25, 18z run of the Global Forecast System and paint a ‘general’ picture of the evolution of this upcoming storm. The devil is always in the details and residents should pay close attention to the official forecasts from the National Hurricane Center as well as the National Weather Service.
Cold air will be feeding into the ‘extratropical remnants’ or “ghost of Sandy” across the Mid-Atlantic. A powerful jet stream will enhance orographic lift and heavy, wet, snow across the windward facing slopes of the Appalachian mountains. Snow will likely accumulate at elevations above 2,500 feet. Several models have hinted at the possibility of 8 to 12 inches of snow accumulating. The heavy wet snow combined with high winds would cause widespread power outages. It is also possible that with cold air bleeding into the DC Region, rain may mix with snow at times, even though there will be no accumulations. Temperatures will be raw on Tuesday and Wednesday with highs probably struggling to reach 40 degrees.