“Frankenstorm” That is the term the National Weather Service used to describe what Hurrican Sandy could turn into before this storm makes landfall. This is due to the chance of the hurricane merging with a cold front and transforming into a hybrid storm next week, just before Halloween.
John Goff, Lead Forecaster of National Weather Service in Burlington, Vermont stated that confidence remains high that Vermont and Northern NY will see impacts from Sandy.
As of Saturday morning, the NWS is predicting that strong damaging winds are the biggest threat, with flooding a secondary threat. But, don’t discount that localized flooding may occur if Sandy remains over our area for a prolonged, 24 – 48 hour, period.
The track predictions are still based on models and there is still uncertainty on the exact track the strom will follow. If Sandy tracks closer to the coast the impacts will be greater, especially for Connecticut and Rhode Island. If it tracks where we believe it to go, more into New Jersey, New York or the northern mid-Atlantic, the impacts will be less severe (but still very significant).
This will be a historic top event for portions of the mid-Atlantic, perhaps the NYC area. We will for the most part be on the northern fringes, so our impacts will be less than what they will see — but still nothing to ignore. This is a very large storm and tropical storm force winds extend well beyond the eye of ths storm. So even if it makes landfall in the vicinity of Long Island, we could still see strong winds and rain in the North County.
Main event should be Monday into Monday night, with conditions slowly abating by Tuesday into Wednesday though showery conditions will continue.
John Goff also stated “But, given the current predictions, there is a high confidence of strong/damaging easterly winds will affect the western slopes of the Green Mountains and the western slopes of the Adirondacks and the St. Lawrence Valley. Winds will vary through time and by location from northeasterly, to easterly to southeasterly. For example, the St. Lawrence Valley will see primarily northeasterly winds due to the orientation of the valley.”
We expect a lengthy period of wind gusts in excess of 60 mph in these most prone areas, from Monday into Monday night, with conditions remaining quite breezy, but winds and gusts abating through Tuesday into Wednesday. Outside these most prone areas, winds will still be quite strong with gusts into the 40 to 50 mph range likely. This will result in many trees downed and significant and lengthy power outage issues across the region.
Minor flooding possible, confidence remains moderate. Most rivers/streams should see only nuisance issues.
“We anticipate 1-2″ of rain from Monday into Tuesday with a few favored spots nearing 3 inches,” Mr Goff continued, “with the areas seeing closer to 3″ being the eastern slopes of the Adirondacks and east slopes of the Green Mountains in Southern VT. This may result in some minor flooding. The Otter Creek, and the AuSable River are most prone, though a few smaller rivers in southern VT such as the Black River may also experience minor flooding.”
Downed leaves may also clog drains, leading to localized problems.
If the track goes further north, the flood threat increases but this is appearing less likely now.
With downed trees and power lines come the predictible power outages. If you experience flooding or a prolonged period with no power and need to seek shelter outside your home, the Red Cross working with the St. Lawrence County Department of Emergency Services, is planning on opening shelters, as needed, around the county.
Historically, the tendancy has been for those seeking shelter to turn-up at their local fire department. Instead, contact the Red Cross. They provide sanctioned and supported shelters. Turning up at the fire department will just add another burden to those great volunteers who will be already occupied with recovery operations from the storm.
For more information see: http://weather.gov/burlington and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Burlington.gov.
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