If you are looking out your window this morning you will see cloudy skies, light rain, some showers, and the trees blowing in the wind. Do not be alarmed just yet; this weather is the result of a cold front. This system will cause temperatures to stay in the upper 50s and low 60s from Washington, D.C. to the coast of Maryland on today and will later combine with Hurricane Sandy to bring severe weather conditions to the entire Eastern Shore Region.
As of 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 28, 2012 the National Hurricane Center reported Hurricane Sandy to be a Category 1 storm having maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (mph). The storm is moving in a northeastward direction at 10 mph. By early Monday, Hurricane Sandy will turn towards the northwest making its way to the Eastern Shore. As the system heads northwest it will come together with the cold front and strengthen the impact of Hurricane Sandy in areas further from the coast. Residents throughout the mid-Atlantic can expect to see high north winds, gusting up to 33 mph early in the storm’s approach (Sunday night into Monday morning) and later reaching as high as 60 mph by Monday night. Wind gusts will taper off as the system moves further north. Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 storm early Tuesday in southern New Jersey.
In addition to high winds, residents in western Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are likely to experience significant snowfall accumulation. This is due to the cold front combining with the moisture associated with the outer-bands of Hurricane Sandy. Elsewhere, heavy rainfall amounts in short periods of time are expected to occur, therefore localized flooding is likely. You can also expect widespread power outages. If you have not headed to the store to stock up on candles, flashlights, ice and non-perishable food items do so before this evening because conditions are expected to change overnight. You should also fill your tanks and generators with gasoline. After the “Derecho” hit the mid-Atlantic in late June, many stations were out of power and gasoline for up to a week.
According to Pepco’s website, a major power supplier in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region, “Pepco is aggressively executing its Incident Response Plan in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, which has the potential of causing devastating damage and power outages lasting several days… These severe weather conditions could cause widespread and extended power outages as trees heavily covered with leaves may fall on power lines, bringing down spans of wire, breaking poles and damaging other electrical equipment. Pepco’s parent company has requested 3,000 additional line personnel and 600 tree personnel through the utility mutual assistance process to assist restoring service across [its] service territories.”
Additional storm preparation includes a “State of Emergency” declared in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia and New Jersey.
As conditions change and more information become available, this article will be updated to keep you informed. As always, stay tuned to your local news and check the National Weather Service for the latest details on your weather at home.