Possibly Historic Storm Next Tuesday

23 10 2012

Hi everyone. I am officially going into storm mode on the site. This means I will be updating at least daily on the status of this very large storm coming next Tuesday. This past week I have been tracking a tropical system (now TS Sandy) that has the potential to ride up the Eastern Seaboard and retrograde west into the mid-atlantic, causing widespread damage. Even though we are a week out, there has been an unusual consensus with the forecast models up to this point, which is concerning. Like always, there are two possible scenarios.

Scenario 1: Hurricane Sandy retrogrades west into mid-atlantic

 

Most of the models (European, nogaps, canadian, japanese, and UK) have been showing Sandy strengthening into a  hurricane, phasing with the approaching cold front, and retrograding westward into the trough. This retrograde would have devestating effects on the Northeast region. The models are also projecting Sandy having a minimum central pressure of 940 mb, equivalent to a category 3 storm.

European Model Hurricane Sandy

When Sandy starts to curve back west, she will also bring in cold air from the northwest. Because of her projected strength, this would cause much of the rain to turn to snow in some areas. Accumulations could measure in feet in some places as the cold air is rushed in aloft. The storm, of course would also bring heavy rain and near hurricane force winds (much like Irene last year). Rain measurements from a few of the models have measured near 10 inches in places. Obviously, this is just a scenario that the forecast models have been projecting. It may or may not come true. But because it is possible, we have to make the necessary precautions.

Here is the snowfall map (in inches) for the storm:

Snow Forecast European Model (inches)

Scenario 2: Out to Sea

As of right now, only one forecast model is showing the out to sea scenario: the GFS. The GFS model is known to be the second most reliable after the European (scenario 1 model), For this scenario, Sandy would strengthen into a sizable hurricane, but she would  never phase with the front or trough. As a result, she would turn out to sea, giving us minimum effects. See the map below for scenario 2:

GFS scenario 2

Here is a larger scale map showing both scenarios:

Either way the storm goes, anyone up and down the eastern seaboard needs to start thinking about preparations for this storm. It’s better to be prepared, even if the storm heads out to sea. Preparations include: making sure you have batteries, food, flashlights etc. As we head closer to next Tuesday, tying down/bringing in any outdoor furniture would be a good idea as well.

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