has actually continued to look slightly better on the visible satellite imagery
at early afternoon on this Sunday as a hurricane structure. There appears to be
thunderstorm activity wrapping around the center of circulation creating an eye
and eye wall feature. While Sandy
appeared to be more of a comma shape rather than a donut shape just a day ago,
it appears that this hurricane has so far been able to fight off changing the
overall structure. However, we still anticipate the transition into a very
potent Nor'easter throughout Monday as it will be interacting with a strong,
negatively tilted trough that will actually suck the system into our coastline.
The blocking high pressure area will help with that steering, causing this
system to make a left turn that is sharp enough to make the system run into our
coastline in a perpendicular fashion. Prior to the transition process, enough
warm water and lowering shear values exists to allow this to possibly
strengthen slightly as it maintains tropical characteristics. However,
strengthening is likely as this hurricane transitions into a Nor'easter. There
is little reason to believe at this time that Sandy will escape the extra-tropical transition.
Conditions will continue to deteriorate this evening and tonight. Strong winds will begin to impact the eastern areas…particular Southeastern New Jersey and
Rainfall of only two to three inches may occur in our northern areas. Across the heart of our region, three to six inches of rain appears likely. Our southern and western areas will likely see the highest rainfall amounts as they should lie on the southwest quadrant or the rainiest part of
Here, 6 to 12 inches is possible with locally higher amounts. All poor drainage
areas and flashier streams and creeks have the potential to be affected by
flash flooding and sharp rises region-wide. Major river flooding is quite
possible in areas that see over five or six inches of rain. Some of our
waterways will also be significantly impacted by tidal/coastal flooding. Outer-bands have already arrived this afternoon and they should increase this evening. The
main bands arrive Monday and persist into Tuesday Morning before they become
more showery in nature.
A life threatening storm surge is expected. 4 to 8 feet storm surge is likely along our entire coastline, with the higher end numbers north and east of the landfall point. Monmouth and
Counties in NJ have the highest
chances of seeing record surge values…but should this landfall occur to the
south of Atlantic or …these counties
could very well be put in danger of record surge as well. Again, even if it is
not at record levels…it will be life threatening and still significant. Cape May
There will be the threat for isolated and brief tornadoes…but potentially very fast moving to spin up…especially northeast of the landfall. With cloudy skies and cooler temperatures, instability will be very modest. In addition, the change in structure will make this slightly less likely than with Irene. But nevertheless, the potential is there.
Factors making this storm worse include…
1.) Full Moon
2.) Leaves still on many trees catching the wind more
3.) Leaves clogging storm drains increasing poor drainage
4.) The storm coming in perpendicular
5.) Unusually large wind field
6.) Slow movement making conditions prolonged
7.) Infrastructure and trees hit hard by several other recent storms
8.) Ground becoming saturated in advance of the strongest wind
Sandy moves into Central
Pennsylvania and Western New York on Wednesday
and Thursday, we still will be influenced being that it is so large. Showers
and clouds can be expected, although some sun may poke through the clouds.
Colder air will wrap around the back side and this means that a few wet
snowflakes may occur in the showers, especially west of the city. Wednesday and
Thursday will remain windy and I could see gusts still in the 30 to 45 MPH
range. Lingering flooding is likely at this point.