The confidence in the Capital Region seeing damaging wind gusts as result of Hurricane Sandy on Monday and Tuesday continues to increase. This has prompted the National Weather Service in Albany to upgrade the High Wind Watch issued yesterday to a High Wind Warning for the entire area. The following watches and warnings are currently in effect for the region.
- High Wind Warning for the entire region from 6AM EDT Monday through 11AM EDT Tuesday.
- Flood Watch for the entire region from Monday afternoon through late Tuesday night.
Hurricane Sandy will become absorbed by a slow moving frontal system currently draped from Western New York State south and east to southern Florida. The resultant area of low pressure is forecast to make landfall over the New Jersey and Delaware border area by Tuesday morning. The storm is then forecast to move westward into Western New York and Western Pennsylvania by Wednesday morning, and then north and east into northeastern Canada by Thursday.
The area of low pressure forecast to impact the Capital Region appears to be an extremely powerful and deep low pressure area. This will cause a rapid increase in the winds across the region during the day on Monday. At this point it appears as if the threat for damaging winds will be greatest late Monday afternoon through early Tuesday morning as the storm makes landfall to our south.
Current data suggest that winds may be sustained between 25 and 45 MPH across the region. Higher gusts to near 60 MPH will be possible Monday night. Higher terrain areas may see higher gusts to near 70 MPH. Furthermore, channeling effects may produce higher gusts on the valley floors as well.
Those with loose items in yards that have not been stored away yet are encouraged to do so today, prior to the storm impacting the region. Remember that winds at such high speeds can move loose items, which may become dangerous flying debris. Items which cannot be stored indoors should be securely fastened to the ground to avoid being picked up and carried by strong winds.
Travel may be adversely affected Monday evening through Tuesday morning as well. The evening commute Monday and the morning commute on Tuesday look to be right on the border of when the region may be experiencing damaging wind gusts.
Prepare now for the potential of power outages across the region thanks to the high winds which may bring down trees and power lines.
Contrary to previous tropical systems, or hybrid remains of tropical systems that have impacted this area in the past, it appears as if the bulk of the rainfall we experience from Sandy will be on the ‘right hand side’ of the storm center itself. Hurricane Irene last year, and Hurricane Floyd in 1999, were examples of storms whose ‘left hand side’ battered our area with rainfall (National Weather Service, Albany, NY 2012).
Rainfall amounts may not be as high as those who are on the left hand side of this storm, however, a steady and at times heavy, wind driven, rainfall is anticipated across the Capital Region and vicinity Monday afternoon through Tuesday. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are expected. Favored upslope locations of the Adirondacks, Taconics, and Catskills may see 3 to 5 inches of rainfall with locally higher amounts possible.
Such high rainfall amounts over a 24 hour period will no doubt cause runoff into the region’s main stem rivers and tributary’s to be at a peak. Smaller rivers and streams in the region may begin to experience significant increases in water levels through this time. In addition, poor drainage areas will be prone to flooding as well. The fact that fallen leaves may clog up drainage areas in spots may lead to urban and street flooding as well.
Those with interests along the Hudson River should continue to monitor forecasts for Sandy as well. There is particular concern, with the full moon upcoming, and its subsequent tidal cycle, that flooding concerns may be augmented along the Hudson River.
Further updates will be issued through the course of the day.