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Computer Models: Hurricane Sandy Could Slam Northeast

Hurricane Sandy, which could hit early next week, may make New Englanders forget Irene in a hurry.


Reliable computer models have been forecasting a devastating blow delivered by Tropical Storm Sandy to the Northeast early next week for several days now. In the computer model scenarios, Sandy, which the National Hurricane Center forecasts to become a hurricane later today, may come ashore anywhere from New Jersey to Cape Cod but would do damage to a wide swath of coastline and many inland locations as well.

As of Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service in New York City issued a preliminary public advisory:

THERE IS LOW POTENTIAL FOR A MAJOR COASTAL STORM WITH HEAVY RAINFALL…HIGH WINDS…COASTAL FLOODING AND BEACH EROSION EARLY NEXT WEEK. THIS WILL ULTIMATELY DEPEND ON THE EVENTUAL TRACK AND EVOLUTION OF TROPICAL CYCLONE SANDY AS IT INTERACTS WITH A DEEPENING UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM APPROACHING THE EAST COAST. THE STORM MAY VERY WELL JUST MOVE OUT TO SEA…AND HAVE LITTLE IF ANY IMPACT ON OUR WEATHER.

That the NWS wants to avoid worrying the public over a “fish storm” made perfect sense for the initial two or three days that Sandy began to be seen by the computer models. However, as of this writing, the great majority of members of NOAA’s Global Forecast System climate model are indicating a curve toward New York City and the densely populated I-95 corridor.

With Arctic air rushing south on the western edge of Sandy as it makes landfall, the potential exists for an unusual (though not unprecedented) one-two punch, with the dire effects of a hurricane on the coast (and well inland) and a crippling snowstorm 250 miles to the west.

A full moon early next week, and its attendant astronomic high tides, stands to increase the effects of beach erosion and storm surge.

In this observer’s opinion, preliminary preparations for the tens of millions living in the region that would be affected by Sandy should be begun before the weekend, with unusually long power outages among the risks posed by the storm.

There’s a reason that the NWS avoids making forecasts too soon: It can’t afford to cry wolf. But it’s time to let the public know that something is in the offing here.

The situation is that serious.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Steven October 26, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Either that's the most facetious comment I've read today or you've spent too much time watching David Hasselhoff there, Baywatch.
Steven October 26, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I really don't understand your posts, Brad and Bill. What's the difference between alerting people 3-4 days out as compared to 4-5 days, which this article does? While it may not make landfall until Tues/Wed, storm surges impact ocean vessels much earlier. As I recall for Irene, this state, especially the power companies, was extremely ill-prepared and many didn't have power for a week. Quite possibly the "anniversary" of this event and a similar weather system heading our way compounds the situation and the language folks are using. Furthermore, waiting until 3 days out to alert or alarm is impossible with the 24 hour coverage these events get. Most people want to know as soon as possible so they can prepare ahead and not make mad dashes to the store at the same time as everyone else.
Ted Geisel October 26, 2012 at 03:19 PM
That's a good point Brad. I've always felt that the emphasis with storms like this is ratings. Using stronger wording keeps people glued to the weather which means higher ratings and higher revenue. Storm of the Century of the Week, kind of thing.
Steve Hopkins October 26, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Hope the water dept is going to lower the EP reservoir!!
Joe October 27, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Being Neighborly; A good idea in storms like this is to hopefully know which neighbors you have that are elderly or have babies. Not everyone has the capacity to be prepared. If you know of these people who live close to you, remember they may need to do a few things you could help with, like heat baby formula, have a warm meal etc. if you happen to have a generator to help them with these staples it goes a long way if we all look out for those people. In many cases relatives cannot go out to help all family members and it never hurts to be nice. Just saying.

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