State Of Emergency Due To Sandy

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

This weather blog will touch on our weather as well as the situation with Sandy. Since most won’t be directly effected by Sandy, let’s start with our weather as clouds continue to be an issue, and will be off and on for the next few days. That combined with a cold airmass on top of the area are conspiring to keep our temperatures below average and will do so for the next few days.

Temperatures across the area are in the 40° as of the noon hour. Average for this time of the year for highs is 63°. So today our highs should be 15° below average. FYI, so far this month, we’re 3/10th of a degree below average, so when push comes to shove, we’ll probably end up the month about 5/10th of a degree below average give or take a bit.

The cold air is sort of stuck in place for now. Sunshine is limited as this satellite picture will show, so modifying this airmass has been difficult so far.

The good news is that it looks like we should see increasing sunshine as the afternoon wears on. Lows tonight should again be in the 25-30° range.

Tomorrow we should see a bit more sunshine during the 1st part of the day, that will allow the late October sunshine to help things a bit and we should warm up to the 50-55° range.

The influence of Sandy will actually affect our weather after that in a minor way as our warm up may be shunted just a bit to the west from MON-WED…after that though we should see some milder air stream through the middle of the country allowing us to make a nice run to near or above 70 heading towards next weekend. As I’ve blogged about we should stay dry through next week…at least next Saturday, if not through next weekend.

Now onto Sandy, which briefly this AM was downgraded to a tropical storm, then once again was deemed a hurricane after a recon plane found strong enough winds. She is still a minimal hurricane with winds of 75 MPH and is moving towards the NNE at under 10 MPH. You can clearly see the storm spinning across off the SE part of the country.

In terms of the scope of Sandy from a wind standpoint, we’re talking about a large storm here that has a very broad wind field.

There are so many aspects to this storm, and since it’s likely to affect the major metropolitan areas of the NE, the complications are enhanced 100 fold.

Let’s first take a look at the modeling of the storm. If you want to follow along with the NAM, here is that model. This will be updated as the new models are run and on occasion the model may be updating when you’re reading this blog.

This model, like the GFS, takes Sandy and makes landfall near NYC. This would create some near historic flooding of coastal areas since the wind field of Sandy would’ve piled up the waters from Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. How bad can the flooding get…well take a look at LaGuardia Airport back in 1950 from a Nor’easter that hit in late November.

All the water from Long Island Sound would be pushed from E>W towards the Airport and towards the East River of NYC. See yesterday’s blog for more information about that. Also depending on the timing of the storm’s biggest impact and the timing of the astronomical high tides, there could be changes in the amount of flooding that actually occurs.

Should the storm make landfall a bit farther southwards, perhaps more towards Central or Southern NJ, NYC may escape the worst. Some modelling does indeed suggest that potential.

Here is a blog from Dr Jeff Masters that talks about the potential of a multi-billion $ disaster for the NE.. Note that last year when a minimal hurricane (Irene) hit this part of the country, it caused close to $16 Billion in damages. This storm may be stronger from a pressure standpoint and larger from a wind field standpoint.

The latest EURO model coming in brings the storm ashore into the N NJ area just south of NYC. Based on this model and others, it does look like the N areas of NJ and far S NY and Long Island will feel the worst of the wind with the storm. So with land fall occurring sometime later Monday night or early Tuesday, lets look at the wind fields a few thousand feet off the surface off the NAM model. This would be for 1PM Monday.

The wind speeds are in knots. So 50 kts= about 58 MPH…and 70 kts= about 81 MPH…at that level. There will be some reduction as you get closer to the surface but still it’s impressive. It’s sort of like our severe thunderstorms with those wind gusts to 60-70 MPH, except instead of lasting for a minute or two, it lasts for hours at a time. Here is a look at the computer model forecasts for Sandy @ LaGuardia Airport. Click on this image to make it larger.

In terms of rainfall…take a look at the totals for the next 5 days.

7 states right now, including Washington D.C. are under States of Emergency. They’re in the process of doing mandatory evacuations for 100s of thousands of coastal residents and Hurricane warnings are up now through the VA coastal region.

The wild card with the storm will be how it interacts with the cold trof that’s moving towards it now from the west. That will take this storm to the next level, and it’s a process that will give the computer models headaches, and from an observational point of view is something that very rarely happens close to shore. So our database of past events is a tiny one.

Oh and finally in the colder air wrapping into the storm system…take a look at the high probabilities of heavy snow for a good chunk of W VA

More tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed reading today’s long blog.

Joe

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