Sandy Is Expected To Bring Significant To Possibly Major Impacts From Eastern North Carolina Starting On Saturday Night Northward To New England From Monday Through Tuesday
Friday, October 26, 2012 5:36 am
by Rob Lightbown Crown Weather
Sandy seems to be evolving from a purely tropical cyclone into one that has subtropical characteristics. The pressure and wind fields associated with the hurricane have expanded overnight and the convection associated with Sandy has been displaced more to the north. Even with that, I fully expect Sandy to maintain hurricane intensity right through this weekend and still be a hurricane when it comes ashore along the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States coastline on Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Sandy is tracking somewhere between northwest and north-northwest at a forward speed of 13 mph this morning. Now, I expect Sandy to first turn northeastward on Saturday, but then turn northwestward and aim for the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States as we get into Sunday night and Monday.
Now, for the subject of Sandy impacting the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States. The various forecast guidance continues to have differing ideas on the track of Sandy on its approach to the coastline.
The GFS operational model forecasts that Sandy will eventually stall very close to Long Island and New York City from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon before it tracks northward into New England late next week. This track would exceptionally bad for New York City, Long Island and the south coast of New England as large amounts of ocean water would build up along the coast causing potentially major flooding from Monday through Wednesday.
The European model continues to hold strong on a track that takes it into Chesapeake Bay on Monday which would cause extensive coastal flooding from North Carolina to New York City. A very strong southeasterly wind could drive large amounts of ocean water right up Chesapeake Bay flooding Baltimore as well as the Delaware River which would bring significant flooding to Philadelphia and the Hudson River flooding parts of New York City and especially lower Manhattan.
The Canadian model is much further east than either the GFS and European models and pulls Sandy back to the northwest into Maine on Wednesday. I think this track may be a bit too far to the east and a storm that tucks in closer to the coast may be closer to reality.
I noticed that the FIM model seems to agree with the GFS model in bringing Sandy inland near New York City on Tuesday and stalling and looping it between northern New Jersey and Connecticut between Tuesday and Thursday.
My â€śpreferenceâ€ť for a track would to take Sandy northwestward inland right along the Jersey shore just north of Atlantic City on Monday night into Tuesday morning. The exact track of this storm in relation to the coast will not mean a whole lot when it comes to weather impacts. The impact of this storm will be significant and will cover a large expanse of real estate. Significant to potentially major damage is expected from eastern North Carolina northward to New England with Sandy.
Because of this, unfortunately, I will have to â€śbroad brushâ€ť the expected impacts along the coast since pinpointing effects for each square mile of coastline would be almost impossible to do. So, with that said, I strongly encourage you to consult your local media or National Weather Service office for the latest information on Sandy as it pertains to your local area.
Wind Impact: I expect to see winds of near hurricane force to impact the beaches of eastern North Carolina starting on Saturday night and continuing through Sunday before slowly subsiding on Monday. Near hurricane force winds are expected across the Mid-Atlantic states, including the DC metro, Baltimore and Philadelphia starting late Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening and continuing through Monday and Monday night before slowly abating on Tuesday. Near hurricane force winds are expected in the New York City area as well as on Long Island starting late Sunday night or Monday morning and continuing through Monday, Monday night and into Tuesday.
As for New England, near hurricane force winds are possible right along the coast with tropical storm force winds with gusts to 50 to 60 mph possible inland starting on Monday morning and continuing through Monday, Monday night and Tuesday.
Coastal Flooding: Multiple days of coastal flooding at high tide are expected from Saturday to Monday in eastern North Carolina to Sunday to Tuesday along the Mid-Atlantic coast, Long Island and in New York City to Sunday night to Wednesday along coastal sections of New England. Additionally, significant to major beach erosion is likely from eastern North Carolina northward to New England. Finally, areas of the coastline that feature corners such as the New York Bight may have especially serious flooding with the possibility of the subway tunnels being flooded in New York City.
Mariners: Sandy is already building up large amounts of ocean waters in the northwestern Bahamas with seas of 32 feet being reported this morning. These large ocean waves will only grow larger this weekend and I fully expect seas of 25 to 40 feet with isolated 45 foot sea heights across a huge area from coastal sections of North Carolina northward to the coastal and offshore waters of New England and the Canadian Maritimes.
Heavy Rain Potential: Heavy rainfall with street and basement flooding seems likely starting on Saturday afternoon and Saturday night over eastern North Carolina and spreading northward across the Mid-Atlantic states starting on Sunday and then across New England on Monday. This heavy rainfall is expected to continue through Tuesday and Wednesday. 4 to 8 inches of total rainfall with isolated 10 to 12 inch rain amounts are expected from eastern North Carolina to New England.
Preparation Advice For Those Of You From Eastern North Carolina To New England:
This storm will be very large and the wind fields could begin to affect the coastline as early as Saturday and Sunday. Build extra time into your plan of action.
Know your evacuation routes and the proper shelters for your area. Check with your local Town Hall to see if you are in an evacuation zone.
Most shelters will not allow pets. Make arrangements ahead of time for a place for your pets to stay. Some animal hospitals offer to keep pets until you are able to return home.
Know where your gas and water shutoffs are. It is essential that you turn off both your gas and water before you leave your home.
If you choose not to head to a shelter, make arrangements now with relatives or friends if you wish to stay with them should you need to evacuate.
Inspect your lines today!!
If you are anchored in a mooring field, inspect the chain between your pennant and the mooring. Salt water begins to corrode these chains after just 2 seasons in the water.
Boat owners should have all the necessary gear on board to properly tie down the vessel. You will lose precious time if you have to rush around searching for gear when a storm is approaching.
Realize that you may not be able to pull your boat out of the water and your only alternative will be to tie the vessel down.
Have a plan worked out with the Marina operator so there are no questions or any confusion with tying up or pulling your boat out of the water.
Be sure to take pictures and make a written description of the vessel for insurance purposes.
Ensure that your vessel is as watertight as possible.
When you are through, help your neighbor. It only takes one poorly tied boat in a Marina to destroy the entire dock.
Be sure to have plenty of batteries on hand for flashlights and radios.
Expect prolonged power outages. So, be sure to have canned food and other items on hand that do not need refrigeration. Turn the refrigerator down to the coldest setting.
If you own a portable generator, be sure it is properly hooked into the power supply. If it is not properly installed it may do damage to the main power supply. Be sure to use it properly to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Those living along flood prone rivers and streams should be ready to head to higher ground should river and stream flooding occur.
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