October 30th LiveBlog: Sandy's Impact on Ohio
This is a LiveBlog covering Hurricane Sandy's impact on Central Ohio. Posts are in chronilogical order, with the bottom being the most recent.
6:15am, 33.2°, Wind: NW 21mph Gusting: 26mph
Winds continued to gust steadily overnight with no letting up, but luckily for us here in Central Ohio also with no increase in speeds. At 1:28am we had our highest wind gust of the storm so far at 39mph.
Power outages are diminishing, with their peak being overnight. Right now AEP is only reporting 6,800 customers without power in Central Ohio.
It may be premature to assume we've avoided the worst of it because we have the entire day to go. However I feel like the highest winds are probably occuring right now, with a gradual decline in speeds in to the afternoon hours.
With temps just above freezing our snow is blowing down, but not sticking. The only place I can find snow accumulating is on cars. Any accumulation that does occur will only be on grassy areas and very light. A couple hours after sunrise snow will change all over to rain as temps rise to about 40°.
While the storm hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be, it certainly isn't pleasant outside. power outages are still occuring all over the city and wind combined with snow makes it a terrible day to leave the house. Does it get worse? We'll see.
8:38am, 33.2°, Wind: NW 11mph Gusting: 20mph
The NWS in Wilmington cancelled our High Wind Warning at 7am and issued a Wind Advisory. This effectively ends our high wind event, with our winds peaking early this morning.
The other story is the snow that's fallen this morning. Rather heavy snow was coming down around 7am, with poor visibility. Snow did finally begin to stick to the grass and even made for some slushy travel on the roads. Officially we got no more than a dusting, and our accumulation is pretty much finished for the day with sunrise and a break in precipitation. For the season I plan on measuring small snow events like a dusting of snow as 0.10".
A dusting on the ground in Grove City, OH
This event has clearly been wishcasted, and I'm guilty of this too. The setup looked perfect for a high wind event that thrashed our area badly, and instead became a cold, gusty, snowy day.
This is the earliest snow we have had in a long time. Since I've been writing this blog the earliest snow we've seen has been December 1st, with last year going until January before the first dusting.
In Columbus, the earliest recorded dusting was in 1906 on October 10th, only 20 days before this dusting. On avergae, Columbus doesn't see a dusting until November 21st, so we're almost a full month early with this snow.
3:39pm, 37.3°, Wind: NW 11mph Gusting: 16mph
The Wind Advisory was cancelled early, too. This pretty much concluded the worst of our brush with Hurricane Sandy, as now we're just riding out the cold, wind and rain.
Sandy is still making its way west, over southern PA:
This is it for updates. The worst is over.
Updated: 7:43 PM GMT on October 30, 2012
A A A
October 29th LiveBlog: Sandy's Ohio Impact
This is a LiveBlog covering Hurricane Sandy's impact on Central Ohio. Posts are in chronilogical order, with the bottom being the most recent.
10:38am, 37.4°, Wind: NW 11mph Gusting: 14mph
Yesterday afternoon the NWS issued a High Wind Watch, which obviously foreshadowed what came this morning... a High Wind Warning. This is the first High Wind Warning I could find for Central Ohio since October of 2010.... nearly two years ago to the day.
Wind Warnings and Advisories for our area as of this morning
It's clear that the main impact of our area from Sandy is going to be the high winds. The snow is an interesting element, but will have no effect on Central Ohio. The wind however could be just as destructive as Hurricane Ike's reminants in 2008.
Our area should see wind gusts 55-60mph over a 30 hour period, from noon today to 6pm tomorrow. While the wind gusts are just a little less that Ike, the duration will be impressive. In comparison, Ike's winds really only hammered us here in Central Ohio for a 6 hour period.
Power outages will happen. Downed trees. Property damage. It seems imminent.
1:57pm, 39.7°, Wind: NW 13mph Gusting: 26mph
Wind speeds are slowly ramping up around here, with sustained winds seeming more peaks than valleys overall. We did just get our highest gust of the day so far at 26mph, but that's not very impressive. It seems like winds may not kick in to high gear until after dark.
Precipitation is very light right now, and that too will hold off until late to get going. Once it does we can expect to see a mix in to tomorrow morning.
6:38pm, 37.9°, Wind: NW 17mph Gusting: 33mph
Still no seriously high winds, but now that the sun is going down expect winds to pick up. However I'm beginning to get sceptical since winds haven't gotten much more intense than they were about 12 hours ago.
Wind graph for Canal Winchester, OH
But, when you look at the wind graph you can see the slow climb of wind gusts, which leads me to believe we'll still get in High Wind Warning criteria, but it'll take much longer than first suspected.
AEP is only reporting 4,400 currently without power, and South Central Power only reporting a minor 76 customers without power.
The next thing to look out for is tonight's switch over to snow, which should take place after midnight. Temps are still in the upper 30's and the heaviest precip is still around Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Forecasts are looking for close to an inch for us right here in Central Ohio, but I don't think we'll see any accumulation.
10:10pm, 37.1°, Wind: NW 13mph Gusting: 22mph
Winds have leveled off and some light snow is already mixing in. AEP is now reporting power outages are up to 9,037. The extended period of gusty winds are already taking tehir toll.
Updated: 2:12 AM GMT on October 30, 2012
A A A
Analysis: Sandy's Ohio Impact Imminent
We're a little more than 24 hours away from Sandy making landfall around the Delaware/New Jersey coast and Sandy has already began to effect our weather here in Central Ohio. The cold front that passed through on Friday has started to actually reverse course and back in to the area again. For the next 72 hours all of our weather will come from the east... a very rare thing.
Gusts this morning are already in the 25mph range, and this is as light as the winds will be until sometime on Halloween.
Computer models are finally coming to agreement on a landfall location of New Jersey. Some discrepancies still put it a little further south, but it's safe to say it won't make it as far south as Virginia or as far north as Long Island.
The landfall of the storm has less impact on us than it did before when we thought it may go as far north as Maine. Ohio's focus will be on how far west it comes before it makes that turn back to the northeast. In terms of snow... the further west it comes, the closer we get to the warm core and lessen our snow chances... but increase our overall precipitation total. With each model run the storm comes further and further in to Central PA before moving out, which is why our snowfall forecast has started to look less likely.
I mentioned earlier that our winds are just about as "calm" as they're going to be for a while. The wind field of this storm is going to be massive, encompassing a third of the country at it's height. The Euro model for Tuesday morning shows a strong northerly wind for us around 35kts:
Sandy's wind field, Tuesday morning
Winds gusts will progressively get stronger, with gusts today close to 30mph... Monday close to 40mph... and Tuesday close to 50mph. This will be a long term wind event. The only thing keeping us from a wind advisory is that clouds and precipitation Tuesday may keep winds just a little lower than the forecasted.
This is the hardest part of the forecast. The track and the wind is pretty set in stone at this point. But the precipitation type and amount is almost impossible to predict, even this close to the event.
Most models still show an area of snow Monday night in to Tuesday developing across the central and western half of Ohio. There is no doubt that we will be cold enough aloft for snow:
850mb temps, Tuesday morning
The Euro model above shows 850mb temps around -4°C which is plenty cold enough to support snow, but surface temps may be just in the mid 30's. So why is there even any worry about accumulating snow? The snowfall rates may be so great Monday night in to Tuesday morning that the snow may pile up quicker than it can melt, leaving us with some light accumulation on grassy surfaces. This shouldn't be a serious snowfall event, but with very gusty winds Tuesday morning, snow could reduce visibilities down to a quarter mile.
Don't let The Weather Channel fool you. We will not have a blizzard.
Aside from snow, expect a very cold rain, with winds blowing rain totals may be hard to determine without radar estimates.
The latest QPF shows an extremely sharp gradient across Ohio, ranging from 0.25" in the west, to almost 4.00" in the east.
5 day HPC forecast
It'll be impossible to predict what rainfall totals might be here in Central Ohio since it all depends on how far west the storm's center comes, but I would just guess an inch of rain.
Obviously the impact of this storm is far greater than what we will see here in Ohio. It'll be minimal here compared to what they'll see in the Northeast, which is the real reason why some people are calling this The Perfect Storm 2, Frankenstorm, etc. It's huge. It'll be one of the biggest storms I've ever witnessed in my lifetime. It'll be a killer.
This is the last entry I'll write with analysis of the storm. We're close enough to feeling the effects that starting tomorrow I'll begin writing live blogs with updates and final forecasts for this storm, and posting any watches and warnings we may experience. Brace yourselves.
4 Days Out: Sandy Could Be Historic, Ohio Snow?
With each model run, Hurricane Sandy looks to be headed toward the mid-Atlantic, with a probable Monday afternoon landfall. The NHC won't commit to that track, but the Euro model has been the most consistant and has been bringing it to the mid-Atlantic for the past couple days.
What makes this storm potentially historic is the way it will combine with a strong trough moving across the country right now. In a scenario not too different from "The Perfect Storm," the rare combination of an arctic system and a tropical system will create a super-storm over New England and the mid-Atlantic.
How this thing develops is amazing, considering the sheer magnitude of this.
Sunday the Euro model shows Sandy approaching the coast as our trough begins to stall over the Appalacians, leaving us in a cold pool this weekend. Our weekend cold front becomes the last piece of this huge puzzle:
Cold air fills in behind the major US weather maker as Sandy approaches from the east
By Monday afternoon Sandy makes landfall and combines with the energy from the cold front to become an absolutely massive storm system. Sandy's peak winds will diminish, but the overall Tropical Storm and Hurricane force gales could reach over 300 miles from the center, making this more than a landfall event. The circulation from Sandy will draw more cold air in to the mid-Atlantic:
Sandy becomes extra-tropical and effects the entire Northeastern portion of the US
Effects on Ohio
This is where the forecast gets interesting, and is still to be determined. IF enough cold air is brought down from Canada, and IF enough moisture makes its way across the Appalacians, we could have one of the earliest snow events in recent memory.
The latest Euro model is the first run to depict snow late Monday night in a band moving east to west across Ohio. With this scenario, accumulation would be light and would change over by daybreak Tuesday to an all rain event:
This is a stretch. So many things have to fall perfectly in place for this to happen. And even if this does happen, it'll be so minor in comparison to what the East Coast will see. However, it's exciting for snow watchers here in Ohio.
I'll write more tomorrow or Sunday, depending on the changing models.
Record Warmth, Sandy's Impact on Ohio: 5 Days Out
We're enjoying a nice bout of Indian Summer here in Ohio with temperatures gradually warming every day since Sunday the 21st. Yesterday we had our first 80° day since September 17th! This week's unusal warmth will be met with a rude awakening tomorrow when a strong cold front pushes through the area and drops temps back below normal for a while.
Of greater concern to our long term outlook is Hurricane Sandy in the Bahamas right now. This system has a very uncertain future for an East Coast landfall, ranging from the Carolina's to Nova Scotia.
Our weather will be impacted by Sandy, it's really just a matter of whether it's a cloud deck or heavy rains. There's no way to know right now, as models diverge greatly past Day 3.
Here's how uncertain Sandy's path will be:
The one model that has Sandy's center coming straight through Central Ohio is the outlier and the worst case scenario for us.
There are many factors that come in to play with this system that I'll go in to detail about in the coming days.
October 14th: Severe Weather and Wind
At least a couple times during fall we have these scenarios set up: a strong low pressure ejects from the plains, butted up against a strong high pressure and warmer air, and we get the tightening pressure gradients and high wind. Fall is also our second severe season around here, with many significant events happening in October in history, so it's no surprise to see one of these systems bring us a chance of storms.
The SPC has us under our first Slight Risk in quite a while:
This event will bring two dangers. Wind and tornadoes.
First the wind risk. We're already under a wind advisory as winds will just barely be in advisory criteria, gusts around 45mph this afternoon. When you combine the already high winds mixing down from higher levels and add thunderstorms, any storms that develop could easily have gusts around 60mph or even higher.
The NAM 300mb model for this afternoon depicts a pretty strong wind field with the line of storms (or lines of storms) that should develop:
Because of the strong wind field and angle of attack of this system, we should have a very strong low level shear. This is a good setup for short lived, weak tornadoes. If they develop they will be in a squall line, not from supercells, so detection on radar will be pretty difficult to pick up.
Just about every year we have a significant event in October. Will today be this years?
This storm didn't pan out like expected. Our wind advisory stayed posted all day, but we never peaked higher than 34mph, which is a solid 12mph under advisory criteria.
Also the severe threat never really developed either. We did have a Severe Thunderstorm Warning late yesterday evening, but even that was jumping the gun as it got cancelled halfway through the timeframe.
No measurable rain, moderate winds, and a phantom Warning. That's been the story of the past few months here in Central Ohio.
Severe Weather Stats:
Severe Thunderstorm Watches: 8
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings: 13
Tornado Watches: 3
Tornado Warnings: 0
Flood Watches: 2
Flood Warnings: 1
Heat Advisories: 8
Excessive Heat Warnings: 6
Red Flag Warnings: 1
Updated: 2:06 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
A A A