The warnings are up for heavy rain, damaging winds and coastal flooding, schools are closed and so are some businesses as many stay home and hunker down as Hurricane Sandy begins her siege on the local area today. Sandy has made her turn overnight from northeast toward the northwest and is expected to make landfall along the southern to central New Jersey coast tonight. However, this is such a massive storm we can still expect to have strong impacts in the local area, while areas south of Boston and especially along the south coast having more significant impacts.
High Wind Warnings and Coastal Flood Warnings remain in effect locally. Both will have significant impacts causing some property damage and likely knocking out power for thousands of residents. As we write this article there are already reports of power out in areas of North Andover, with some 2500 customers affected. Winds are beginning to gust to over 40 mph along the coast and the seas are getting angry as we await our first high tide at around midday along the north shore.
The most significant amounts of rainfall are forecast inland, where 2 to 4 inches could be realized. Lesser amounts toward the coastal plain. These amounts pale in comparison to what residents in New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and northern Virginia may receive, with the forecast calling for up to 8 inches of rain and some isolated 12 inch totals possible throughout those areas.
Back home we can expect the worst of the storm effects this afternoon and tonight. Conditions will slowly improve Tuesday, but we are in for a long haul of clouds, showers and damp weather for most of this week as we remain under the influence of this massive storm. After Sandy makes landfall she will weaken from a category one hurricane and meander around the Mid Atlantic region for several days. Impacts will continue to be felt here, although tapered back from what we will experience over the next 18 hours or so.
Short Term Forecast:
Monday: Periods of light rain and drizzle will transition to steadier rain this afternoon, which may be heavy at times inland. High temperatures near 60 degrees. Very windy, with northeast winds increasing to 25 to 35 mph and gusty. Winds could gust to near 55 mph this afternoon.
Monday night: Rain and very windy. Lows in the upper 50s. Winds becoming southeast 20 to 35 mph, with gusts to 50 mph possible before midnight. Winds will gradually lessen by morning.
Tuesday and Tuesday night: Periods of showers, mild and not as windy. Highs in the mid to upper 60s. Overnight lows in the low to mid 50s. Winds southeast 15 to 25 mph, with gusts to over 30 mph possible, diminishing to 20 mph or less overnight.
Wednesday: Periods of showers may continue. Highs in the low 60s.