Today: Cloudy Skies with Breaks of Sunshine and Pleasant: High: 68.
Tonight: Partly Cloudy & Comfortable: Low: 56.
Tomorrow: Cloudy Skies, Breaks of Sun: High: 66.
Sunday: Cloudy and Cooler, Showers Late in the Day: High: 60.
Let’s start with the nice side of the forecast.
The next couple of days will be the calm before the storm. We'll have relative high pressure overhead with Sandy to the south and a frontal system moving in from the east. Ridging aloft will hold in place with an upper low to the east of Newfoundland, a trough in the central Plains and Sandy in the south. This combination of features will keep us dry and mild.
As we move through the day tomorrow the Newfoundland Low will slowly exit eastward and will be replaced by a strong block high. This will be the impetus for Sandy to integrate with the western storm.
Some of the models were having a difficult time resolving the idea that the Newfoundland low taking the storm out to sea. Now the consensus has the storm moving inland. Starting Saturday afternoon some clouds will work northward and Saturday night some of the rain could also move into the area, albeit lightly to start. Beyond that we'll have some variation of Sandy effecting the area.
The latest GFS shows the storm stalling off shore through the day Monday, then moving westward Tuesday and stalling near shore later Tuesday around northern New Jersey. The EURO brings the storm on shore 24 hours sooner and much farther south near coastal Delaware. Either way we are looking at a dangerous situation.
There are times in our jobs where it becomes difficult to explain the concerns related to a storm.
Usually there are plenty of uncertainties that give pause to mentioning potential problems. We always want to be cautious in over predicting trouble while at the same time not limiting the possibilities of issues associated with a storm system. In this case I'm not sure we can overplay the problems of Sandy's arrival.
The storm track position and timing will be key to the amount of problems that occur for any given location. A strong storm surge along the New Jersey Coast seems likely with a long and strong fetch. This could back up storm drains and sewer systems that rely on feeding into the Atlantic Ocean. This, of course, will extend up to Long Island and could have major issues over the Sandy Hook region (Irony?).
All the storm surge build up being blocked by Long Island on the north side and New Jersey on the west side can only lead to serious flooding conditions. Along with the surge, the rain and wind will also contain issues of their own. Rain will likely lead to localized flooding and flash flooding.
Wind gusts along the coast will be as high as 100 mph with gusts over 70 mph for areas inland all the way westward through I-81. The GFS is showing winds over 50 mph as far west as Pittsburgh and past 40 mph to Buffalo.
For Fairfield County and the Sound Shore, we are looking at winds of 60 — 80mph starting early — 4 am Monday morning, trees with leaves get soaked as the trees will get blown down and the power goes out. Sound familiar?? Fresh water inland flooding will be a major issue with 3 —6 inches of rain at least.
Once over land it will continue to wander around slowly around the Middle Atlantic and Northeast.
Again it will depend on the position of the system and the vary degrees of rainfall.
Make your plans now for dealing with Sandy and put those into action today and no later than tomorrow.