Since my discussion yesterday we have seen the models come into pretty good agreement with the eventual fate of Sandy. The models have zeroed in on the New Jersey coast with most model guidance now showing a strike anywhere from Delaware Bay north to New York City. I have adjusted my track from the Delaware coast slightly north to Cape May, NJ. I still feel that once Sandy is captured the storm will take a hard WNW turn for a time if not W and this will bring the storm more in on the southern part of this envelope. IF the track is into the Delaware Bay it would be a very damaging scenario for Philadelphia with lots of coastal flooding and surge. A track further to the north may spare Philadelphia the worst, but the Jersey Shore will see significant damage. Obviously a track a little further north towards northern NJ and New York City/Manhattan would be a severe impact for New York City particularly with regards to flooding. So in any of the above scenarios we are talking about a major impact on some very important and populated cities. The time of impact is looking like Monday night into the wee hours of Tuesday morning. So with this impact still 60-72 hours away we could see this track shift south or north a bit. But with all the extra sounding data available and the convergence of the models in recent cycles, I think our range of solutions is probably mostly from Long Island down to the southern Delmarva, with the Jersey Shore the most at risk.
As far as intensity goes, this is going to be the trickiest part. The NHC has downgraded Sandy to a tropical storm. However, the pressure has fallen significantly in the last 12 hours with the latest pass showing it down to 961mb! However, the plane through the area of deep convection to the northwest of the center and only found flight level winds of 50-60 knots. Sandy is clearly transitioning into a subtropical/hybrid storm but has enough tropical characteristics to remain a tropical entity for now. With Sandy’s pressure so low already, I feel good that a pressure down into the upper 940s to low 950s is looking like a strong bet. The baroclinic enhancement is only going to intensify in the coming 48-72 hours thus that in itself while converting Sandy to a non-tropical cyclone is going to lead to an lowering of the pressure and a spreading out of the wind field. I think Sandy is going to make landfall along Cape May, with a pressure in the 946-952mb range. This will result in I think, winds sustained of 70-90mph along the Jersey Shore and into western Long Island and potentially New York City, with gusts perhaps to 100 mph. It will also result in very high storm surge.
I am going to leave my heavy snow area unchanged for now on the alerts graphic. If the ECMWF is correct it will be as far south as the mountains of NC, if the GFS is correct with a further north track near NYC it will not be that far south. For now, I will just highlight the potential from western PA down to northern NC, mostly at higher elevations.