There is an increasing likelihood for a prolonged and dangerous wind and rain event across the Northeastern United States Monday afternoon through Tuesday. The combination of Hurricane Sandy’s approach, and a stalled out trough of low pressure to the west, will create potentially damaging conditions through this period.
…The low down on Sandy (Location / Current watches & warnings)…
According to the latest information from the National Hurricane Center, as of 11AM EDT on Sunday morning, the center of this category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale was located at latitude 32.5N, longitude 72.6W. This places the center about 250 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and roughly 500 miles south of New York City. Maximum sustained winds remain at 75 MPH, with a movement toward the northeast at 14 MPH. The minimum central pressure was approximately 951 millibars, or 28.08 inches of mercury, which is indicative of some strengthening with regard to readings observed yesterday.
Tropical storm warnings remain in effect from Cape Fear to Duck, North Carolina ; the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, and Bermuda.
High wind warnings and flood watches have been issued for most of the Mid Atlantic and Northeastern United States well in advance of the system’s arrival.
Current data indicate that hurricane force winds (75 MPH or greater) extended outward approximately 175 miles from the center, mainly in the southwestern quadrant of the storm, while as tropical storm force winds (45 MPH or greater), extended outward an impressive 520 miles from the center.
Data above were obtained via the NOAA National Hurricane Center. Please refer to the National Hurricane Center’s website (by clicking on the hyperlink in the previous sentence) for official information concerning this dangerous storm.
…Forecast for Sandy…
Much as was predicted yesterday, the center of Sandy is forecast to remain at least 200 miles off the Atlantic coast through Sunday and into Monday. However, as she interacts with a slowly advancing frontal structure to her west, the storm is expected to deviate in forward motion from a northerly to northeasterly track, to a more northwesterly track, early Monday morning.
This track is forecast to put the storm closer to the mid Atlantic coast by Monday evening, making landfall over the in the vicinity of the southern New Jersey coast late Monday evening or early Tuesday morning.
Sandy may not be considered a tropical entity at the time it makes landfall, however, it cannot be stated emphatically enough that the storm will still be a dangerous storm, and in fact, indications are that as it transitions to more of a mid-latitude “hybrid” low pressure area, that it may strengthen a bit more before gradually weakening as it moves westward over land by Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday.
…Potential impacts for the Capital Region & vicinity…
Showers and clouds from Sandy may begin brushing portions of the region as early as Sunday night. However, the bulk of the threatening weather looks to be in store Monday afternoon through Tuesday night. Winds should begin to pick up during the day on Monday, as the interplay between Sandy , and the approaching frontal system from the west, begin to alter Sandy’s course to the northwest, toward the coast.
Sustained winds of 25 to 45 MPH are expected during the Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning time period, with higher gusts to near 60 MPH. Winds may gust higher across the higher elevations, and along the valley floors, due to channeling effects.
Rainfall on the order of 2 to 4 inches is forecast across the bulk of the region. There may be locally higher amounts in the 4 to 6 inch range in favored upslope regions of the Adirondacks, Catskills, Taconics, and Berkshire Mountains.
Due to the upcoming full moon, and subsequent tidal cycles, those with interests along the Hudson River should begin to take precautions now for the possibility of flooding. The combination of runoff from heavy rainfall, and the above average water level due to the tidal cycles will serve to exacerbate flooding potential in this region.
The next statement we will issue concerning the evolution and track of Hurricane Sandy, and its subsequent potential impacts to the Capital Region, will be during the afternoon hours Sunday. Stay tuned to the Capital Region Weather Examiner Homepage for the latest intermediate updates as well.
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