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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Someone In The Northeast Is Getting Nailed

Video update later tonight!  Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  I didn’t forget about you!  I have just been so busy forecasting.

The threat of Sandy’s influence missing us completely is slim to none.  Connecticut will get rain and wind from the hurricane. But to what degree? Sandy could bring hurricane force winds, flooding rain and a storm surge that rivals Irene with widespread power outages. Or Connecticut could get conditions that resemble a normal nor’easter with heavy rain and gusty winds. All of that will depend on the track.  But someone in the northeast is getting nailed.

Interesting that both the american and european computer models have shifted the storm's landfall south around the NJ/DE coast. The exact track will change.  But at least we're starting to see SOME agreement!
The GFS computer model is slower and has landfall Tuesday morning

The European model has landfall on the NJ coast Monday night
Timing: The worst will come at some point Monday or Tuesday.  We think the National Hurricane Center Track looks too slow showing landfall midday Tuesday on the NJ coast. I think landfall Monday night is more likely (as per the European model).  If my forecast is correct, that means clouds move in Sunday with some showers developing late day or at night. No big deal.  Conditions go downhill Monday with rain and wind increasing and landfall possible Monday night. Tuesday is still cloudy, rainy and windy, but not as bad. 

Impacts: No matter what track the storm takes, coastal flooding will be the biggest issue and has the potential to be worst than what we experienced during Irene (track dependent).  Astronomical high tide occurs Monday around 11 AM and Midnight, peaking at 7.38 feet in Bridgeport. Add to that an easterly wind, piling water into the Long Island Sound. The more time we spend with winds out of the east, the bigger the flooding concern.  There is a chance coastal communities will be asked to evacuate.  So put that in the back of your mind now and make sure you’re prepared.  25 foot waves are possible for ocean facing beaches.  We won’t get that in the sound.

Sandy’s wind field is expected to remain quite large.  But hurricane force winds will be concentrated closer to the storm’s center.  If the center of the storm moves inland well to our south (seems to be the trend), the heaviest rain would likely stay south of us and we could avoid significant wind damage. Remember, during Irene winds gusts reached up to 58 mph on the shoreline, 44 mph inland.  That doesn’t sound impressive.  But those consistent winds were enough to cause thousands of power outages in this heavily forested state.

If the storm hits us head on, we could get hurricane force winds, widespread power outages and heavy rain/flooding.

Bottom line, now is the time to prepare for multiple days without power.  Put an emergency kit together.  You still have plenty of time Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday. Keep up to date on the forecast too.  Every day we get a better picture about how this storm is going to behave.

How should I prepare? Tips from the National Weather Service in Taunton, MA

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