Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy Has Arrived

Conditions will rapidly go downhill, hour by hour, today as Hurricane Sandy approaches our region.  A shift south in the track overnight now places landfall somewhere between Cape May and Atlantic City, NJ.  Flooding and wind gusts over 50 mph are already occurring at the beaches.  The storm is set to make landfall very close to high tide tonight around 8:30pm.  Making matters worse is a full moon today.  The surge and flooding is going to be devastating for all the NJ beaches.  It may surpass all the great storms of the Jersey Shore since 1900. 

Winds will continue to increase throughout the day.  The strongest winds will occur during the hours from 3pm to 8pm.  This will be mainly for NJ, DEL and coastal areas.  Delay that by a few hours as you go further inland.   Wind gusts at the shore will reach hurricane force in the 70-85 mph range. Due to frictional affects from land, the winds won't be as strong inland, but still will be very strong.  They will range in all areas with gusts in the 55-70 mph range.  This is mainly for DEL and NJ inland.  As you go into PA, winds will drop off a bit more but gust in the 50-60 mph range.  Analysis also shows very strong pressure falls and couplets right before landfall over NJ, and this may also enhance the wind speeds even more.

Rainfall is going to vary greatly from south to north.  Most of the rainfall with this system is on the south and west side.  So mainly southern NJ, Delaware, southern PA closer to the MD border and points south towards Baltimore and Washington, D.C. will see the highest rainfall totals, ranging from 5-10 inches.  As you go north of Philadelphia, the rainfall will drop off significantly.  In fact, many northern areas in central and northern NJ, Northeast PA may only see rainfall totals in the 2-4 inch range.

I can't stress enough to please listen to all emergency personnel and stay off the roads if you don't have to go out.  This is a dangerous situation.  Stay safe.