What Will Sandy Do?

It is way too early to tell how late season Hurricane Sandy will affect Mid-Atlantic weather but the following is some of the information that is out there right now. (Here’s how it’s churning up the surf in south Florida)

Sandy is now a hurricane and is forecast to move north

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2:00pm Update … Selected model guidance from NHC/NOAA is shown below.

 

The model above is a hurricane forecasting tool. It is obvious in the latest ensemble of model runs that it is a split decision as to whether the storm will turn out to sea or toward the US coast. At this stage the NHC is splitting the difference and taking a middle course.

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Questions as to the storm’s track come into play by the end of the weekend. Sandy is expected to lose it’s tropical characteristics by that time but still a force to be reckoned with. Some computer models turn the storm away from the US coast but more models are showing a trend that would block the storm from making that turn. Instead, whatever remains of Sandy would be drawn into a trough of low pressure over eastern North America. In this case the storm would likely interact with a cold front and develop into some sort of hybrid storm more like a nor’easter.

Long range forecasters at NOAA’s Hydrometerological Prediction Center on the University of Maryland campus place a powerful storm south of Long Island early Tuesday. This forecast position is fairly well aligned with the trend of the European Forecast Model (ECMWF) since last weekend.

That model, from 0z Wednesday, positioned a powerful storm off the New Jersey coast for the predawn hours next Tuesday. If this scenario were to play out, the Mid Atlantic region would be in for some stormy weather but the northeast US would receive the worst of it.

Additionally, a full moon will be generating some high tides and a storm of this magnitude would amplify the situation.

It is too early to deal with specific forecasts but the storm’s progress will have to be carefully monitored.

Stay tuned.

John Collins

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