Sunday, November 04, 2012

Forecast for Monday, November 5, 2012

Temperatures will fall to a dangerous level for those without electricity in our region tonight into Monday morning and again on Monday night into Tuesday morning. Freezing temperatures are likely in all locations outside of the city. Most of the power outages that remain are occurring in the northeastern half of our area.  Please seek shelter in a warm location if you continue to remain without electricity.

On Monday, high temperatures will likely fall short of 50 degrees. We look to repeat this on Tuesday. There should be a fair amount of sunshine during the day on Monday. For Tuesday, the clouds will increase ahead of a Nor’easter. Don't forget to vote on Tuesday.
The likelihood for a Nor’easter by Wednesday continues to increase.  Today some of our models slowed down the timing to later Wednesday into Thursday. The coastal communities have had many sand dunes completely wiped out by Sandy. Sand dunes provide the necessary protection against coastal flooding in a standard coastal storm. The dunes block water pushing ashore due to onshore winds that develop when a low is situated to the east of the coastline.  Moderate coastal flooding is not out of the question without these sand dunes in place.

But it just isn’t the coastline to be concerned about. Utilities are making slow progress to restore electricity. While the numbers should come down by Wednesday…some areas will still be without power. Utility crews will still be trying to focus on these customers that have been without power for many days. Nor’easter wind gusts, especially in NJ and DE can be strong in nature. These at the very least usually produce scattered outages. Therefore, be prepared for additional long lasting power outages. Crews just simply won’t be able to get to brand new outages quickly with the current conditions. Also, keep in mind many trees and branches across our region were really weakened from the unusually high winds this past Monday. So there could be a lot more power outages than usual even with just a modest gust of wind. Of course, restoration efforts for the remaining outages would be hampered. At this point, Eastern Pennsylvania should see frequent 25 to 35 MPH gusts. Interior NJ and DE could see 30 to 45 MPH wind gusts with an isolated gust to 50 MPH. Across the coastal areas, wind gusts of 45 to 55 MPH are possible. Along the immediate beach front, a few gusts to 60 MPH cannot be ruled out.  

Precipitation type, depending on the storm track, would also be an issue...especially north of the city. Colder air is not that far away. It can be accessed and more could actually be produced if the Nor’easter were to take a certain track and be fairly potent in strength. It will also help to have a fairly strong high to the north (although it is not the coldest high it can be). There is the possibility that some portions of our region may receive an accumulation of wet snow of a few to perhaps several inches.  The best chances of this would be in the Poconos but there is some possibility that snow could fall in higher terrain to the city's north and west outside of the mountains.  This is dependent on track and intensity -- a close to coast track could provide the snowier solution if air is cold enough and the storm strong enough.  Most areas are probably just going to end up with a raw day and a chilly rain, maybe mixed with a snowflake here and there. For those that just receive liquid precipitation, the rain will come down heavy at times. This may further saturate soils and also increase the chances for interior flooding due to antecedent wet conditions from Sandy, particularly the further south and west one travels where Sandy dumped a lot of rain.

Do you remember last year when the northern half of the region had a rare October snow which downed so many branches and trees? The first heavy rain after that event downed additional trees and reports came in of blue flashes which turned out to be blowing transformers.  Can't rule out additional power outage impacts...or at minimum, delays in restoration in power for some.