next coastal & Maryland
I really hate to do this, but it apears there could be another coastal storm early next week. This is not another Sandy! You know I don't like long-range models, but there are other data also supporting this possibility. Right now it is way too early for certainty, but we could either get a good amount of rain or even some snow.
I will have another update later Friday so I can have more time to look for consistency in the models. If this happens it would be around Monday into Wednesday or so.
Follow me daily on Twitter for updates and weather tidbits (@wxmanmd).
UPDATE Tues morning Sandy & Maryland
Well, this is the final update on Sandy. I hope you all fared well. She was a devastating force for the coast but not so much for us in Central and S MD. There are many reports in the area of localized flooding, tree damage, hurricane force wind gusts and even snow out in Frederick. One of the things that made Sandy such the super storm was how large she was. When she made landfall in S NJ tropical storm force winds and heavy rain were felt from ME to OH down to VA. That is massive! Luckily for us she did not pack the punch she could have. I will examine the data to determine why she wasn't as powerful, but I am sure no one is complaining.
As of this writing I recorded, at my house, 7.37 inches of rain and a wind gust of 31 mph. It appears that after she made landfall the center (eye) traveled into Cecil Co, then, instead of cutting into PA dropped into Bel Air and possibly White Marsh before turning to the north. She is now in central PA.
For the rest of the day we will have on and off rain, maybe another inch or so, and at times there could be strong wind gusts. Maintain some sense of caution since the ground is so saturated trees could still fall for the next day or so.
I appreciate everyone putting up with my posts and I hope to have served you well. Even though the storm has passed, feel free to follow me daily on Twitter (@wxmanmd) for weather info and tidbits.
UPDATE Mon evening Sandy & Maryland
Sandy is now on shore and no longer considered a hurricane (the technicality I spoke of this morning). The winds around the center are about 85 mph and the path will take her into MD between Baltimore and York, PA. Therefore, in the next few hours the winds in Central MD will get close to 80s mph as the center moves west. There will be periods of no rain as the center passes overhead. This is not yet over. By tomorrow afternoon it should calm down.
I currently have recorded gusts in the 30s mph and rain over 5 inches at my house.
Just a word of caution: we will see a lull in the action soon as the center of circulation comes near us (the old eye). Don't think it is over since the back end will come around shifting the winds to be from the south and keeping wind gusts in the 30s mph with more rain. This will be over later Tuesday.
Follow me on Twitter for updates: www.twitter.com/wxmanmd
Updated: 1:22 AM GMT on October 30, 2012
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UPDATE Monday afternoon Sandy & Maryland
Sandy should make landfall in NJ in a couple hours. As she nears the rain and wind will get worse. Do not let your guard down just because it hasn't yet been too bad for you. Given the position of Sandy, those along the coast have been feeling her force. Us in Central and S MD are in for it as she cuts across land into PA.
Sandy is moving very fast now, but when she comes ashore that forward movement will slow. As projected, we should be feeling the tropical storm force winds (above 39 mph) from around 6:00pm until at least 8:00am and probably longer. This will last into through Tuesday until Sandy finally makes it into central PA.
Thus far I have recorded a wind gust of 26 mph with the average wind speed in the teens. The rain total for my house thus far is 3.62". Follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates: www.twitter.com/wxmanmd and my Weather Phone is updated: 443-470-9804.
UPDATE Monday morning Sandy & Maryland
Sandy is here! Even though she is still off the coast we are now feeling her effects. There is little change in the forecast path with her coming ashore around midnight into S NJ, crossing into DE, MD, then PA. She will still be a powerful category 1 storm when she comes ashore. A concern (besides the obvious) is that some of the data shows her stalling (stopping) around York, PA or so. That stall will keep the winds and rain coming for an extended period. I will look through more data but wanted you to be aware. In Central and S MD tonight into Tues morning will be the toughest time.
TIMING: As the day progresses the conditions will worsen. Heavy rain and strong winds will increase into the evening as Sandy's center approaches the area. Keep in mind that we don't need her to make landfall (center touching land) to feel the strong winds. Where she exactly makes landfall is inconsequential to most of us in Central and S MD. By Wednesday morning conditions should be settling.
RAIN: There are flood warnings and coastal flood warnings issued. We could see 8 or more inches of rain when all is said and done. As of this writing I have recorded about an inch and a half of rainfall. The rain will intensify as the day progresses.
WIND: A high wind warning is in effect and a hurricane wind warning is in effect for the waters. As the evening progresses the winds will increase and we could see prolonged periods of winds in the 50s+ mph gusting into the 70s and 80s+ mph. This will last through Tues morning. Everyone will have high winds, but those closest to the center will experience the strongest winds (those in Cecil, Harford, Baltimore co and S PA).
I will keep you updated best I can. For more frequent updates follow me on Twitter, no registration needed to view my posts: www.twitter.com/wxmanmd and my Weather Phone is updated: 443-470-9804.
UPDATE Sunday morning Sandy and Maryland
This morning's rain is from Sandy and will continue through Wednesday I think you all know the dynamics we are dealing with by now since I have been talking about this for days. As Sandy merges (phases) with the arctic low the temperatures will plummet and Sandy will actually strengthen. The pressure in Sandy will be as low as what we would typically see in a category 3 hurricane. She is currently a category 1 due to wind speed and will officially remain as such when she hits land somewhere in S NJ or DE. As I have been saying, do not watch the track of the eye. Winds in the 40s+ mph extend over 400 miles out from the center.
CONFUSION EXPLANATION / CAUTION: I want to take a quick moment to explain a technicality. There will most likely not be any hurricane watches/warnings issued for us as Sandy approaches. Later today, as Sandy merges with the arctic low she will technically no longer be classified as a hurricane, rather, an extra-tropical storm This means she will no longer be tracked by the National Hurricane Center, and only they issue hurricane watches/warnings. As Sandy transitions the local NWS offices will take over control of the forecasting. So here's my caution; just because there will not be hurricane watches/warnings issued DOES NOT mean Sandy has weakened, nor does it mean she is no longer a threat. This is only a technicality based on the distribution of job duties within NOAA.
TIMING: Those in S MD will see stronger rain and wind later this afternoon through Tues evening. Central MD will see the stronger rain and wind near midnight tonight through Wednesday morning.
WIND: The NWS has issued a High Wind Warning as wind speeds could be in excess of 60 mph. We should see sustained winds in the 40s+ mph beginning Monday afternoon through late Tuesday. Winds in the 20s mph will start later this evening. As the storm begins the winds will be from the north, shifting to the NW and finally coming from the S as the storm moves away later Tuesday.
RAIN: The NWS has issued flood and coastal flood watches and warnings. We could see anywhere between 5 inches and a foot of rain locally. Storm surge should be under 2 feet, but tides will be higher than normal due to the full moon Monday. I see the flood threat greatest as a result of the amount of rain and clogged drains due to the falling leaves.
SNOW: Not really a factor for S MD or Central MD, but the temps will be dropping into the 40s and 30s with snow and blizzards in northern VA and western MD, so the sight of some flakes for us is not out of the question, but not an issue.
Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wxmanmd ; no registration needed) for frequent updates and other info on Sandy. My Weather Phone is and will remain updated throughout: 443-470-9804.
UPDATE Saturday evening
Not too much to say. The current track has Sandy coming inland around DE and moving toward Baltimore. The actual track has her moving between Baltimore and York, PA. But, as I have been saying, the actual track is not important.
I think we have had enough saturation of information about Sandy for the moment Unless something major happens, I will not update again until later Sunday morning. Read my previous posts for more info.
If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a moment to read my professional (non-weather) blog where I just posted some tips for staying calm: http://tinyurl.com/8ewtzzq
UPDATE Saturday morning Sandy & Maryland
I hope people are making preparations. Sandy is once again a hurricane and should strengthen a bit more as it travels north. The current track from the NHC has her making landfall around DE and moving west into Cecil and Harford counties as it then turns into PA. But, as I have been saying, do not watch the track of the center; winds and rain extend hundreds of miles out from the center.
As Sandy moves up the coast she will merge with (phase) the arctic low causing some strengthening as she tracks across land. In a typical hurricane landfall they lose their power since power for a hurricane comes from the moisture it sucks into itself. But in this case, the power will be transferred from the tropical moisture to the strength of the arctic low. Check out this weblink for a cool graphic on the current, real time, wind in the US: http://tinyurl.com/6o34s72
I do not wish to hype nor panic people about this situation but this is serious. The conditions we will feel in MD will be somewhat greater than what we felt from Irene last year and will last a lot longer than did Irene. Maryland will be impacted by Sandy as she parallels the coast and again as she travels inland along the MD/PA line. This event can last at least 3 days!
TIMING: We all will begin to have rain Sunday morning from the outer bands. Southern MD will start to see tropical storm force winds and greater early Monday morning into Tuesday while Central MD will feel the tropical storm force winds early Tuesday morning into Wednesday The closer you are to the center (eye) the strongest you will experience the winds.
WIND: We should see sustained winds in the 40s mph and greater over a couple days. Gusts can be above 70 mph.
RAIN: Depending how close you are to the center, we could see close to a foot of rain.
SNOW: Most of the snow should stay to the west of us, although the temps with the arctic low will drop into the 40s in the day and 30s at night, so Southern and central MD could see some flakes flying around, but snow is not our major issue.
THREATS: Greatest threats are the wind and rain. Localized flooding is probable, although storm surge unlikely. Trees and power lines will more than likely come down.
A Flood Watch has already been issued. I expect to see many watches/warnings to be issued as Sunday progresses. I will keep you posted. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wxmanmd) and my Weather Phone is updated with watches/warnings. Feel free to leave me messages with questions or storm reports: 443-470-9804.
UPDATE Fri early evening
I hope everyone is preparing for the impact of Sandy. People should not be panicking, but preparing. The latest guidance still has Sandy impacting land around DE and moving to the NNW. Currently she is weakening (due to wind shear) but I do anticipate another round of strengthening. As I have been saying, a stronger Sandy means a more westerly track toward land, while a weaker Sandy would be a shift to the east and further out to sea. In that scenario the landfall would be further north of MD, while a stronger Sandy means a landfall in MD near Baltimore.
A word of caution: do not focus on the exact path of Sandy nor the exact track of the eye. She is still a large area storm with hurricane and tropical storm force winds hundreds of miles away from her center. Even if there is landfall in DE most of the state of MD will still have sustained winds in the 40s+ mph for a day or more. If landfall is in MD then the wind impact will be 60s+ mph. Keep in mind that as Sandy moves up the coast she will impact MD with her winds, and then she will curve to the west still impacting MD with her winds. We will be impacted by her winds on both of her passes through MD (once along the OC coast and then as she travels west through DE and PA). Consider that if tropical storm force winds extend 300 miles from the eye, how far are you, as the crow flies, from Ocean City and how far are you from the MD/PA line. That will help you determine the wind impact on your location.
Rain from Sandy, depending on your location, could accumulate to a foot or more. Localized flooding is probable. Storm surge will be limited in most of MD given Sandy's current track. The bulk of the storm surge will be north and east of the storm.
Depending on how much Sandy re-strengthens and her exact path, we could be feeling the rain and wind effects from Sunday evening through late Tuesday or even into Wednesday. This will not be a quick storm Please prepare for the duration.
I will have another update either late tonight or later Saturday morning, depending on developments. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wxmanmd) for updates and information on the storm My Weather Phone is updated and will remain updated throughout the storm as warnings and watches are issued. Feel free to leave me a message or question on the Weather Phone, or let me know of current conditions and damage (443-470-9804).
UPDATE Sandy Thurs evening
I do not say the following to hype a storm nor to frighten anyone, but this upcoming system looks to be massive and strong. I would start preparing to cope with days without power and potential wind damage. Here's what's happening.
Sandy is stronger than the models thought she would be, and thus far is maintaining her strength. As she moves up the coast she will interact with the arctic low I have been telling you about. Depending on the timing and placement of the low will help to determine where Sandy tracks. A third player in this scenario is a high pressure system over New England. As the high spins clockwise it will block Sandy from moving too far north and push her closer to landfall. As she moves closer to land the arctic low, spinning counterclockwise, can pick her up and further pull her inland. So there are many dynamics to deal with before we know for sure what will happen. As I have been saying, timing is everything.
Currently the general consensus is for landfall closer to NYC. If this is true we will experience strong wind and heavy rain. But, a couple models shift the arctic low and blocking high pressure forcing Sandy to make landfall and move north just west of DC. That is a scenario wedon't want. If that scenerio happens, and accounting for a strengthening of Sandy as she interacts with the arctic low, we would have a storm more powerful and more damaging than Isabelle was. Assuming Sandy makes landfall north of MD we could experience conditions similar to that from Irene last year.
The models have Sandy strengthening as she interacts with the arctic low. Do not just look at the current track since tropical storm force winds are extending more than 300 miles from the center. Sandy herself is over 1,000 miles wide.
Honestly, given the numerous dynamics at play, I cannot say what I think will happen. Either scenario will give central and southern MD winds in excess of 50 mph for a couple days along with at least 5 inches or so of rainfall.
Timing of this storm for us is mid-Sunday through Wednesday. The full force will hit us Monday evening lasting well into Tuesday.
I will have another update later Friday. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wxmanmd) for multiple updates and information. I will keep my Weather Phone updated with info, watches/warnings. Feel free to leave me messages with questions or comments: 443-470-9804.
UPDATE Wed evening
I still don't yet have an answer about the storm and its impact, but there are some consistencies to consider and the latest data from hurricane Sandy. Currently, Sandy is stronger and larger than expected she would be at this time. As I mentioned earlier, the stronger Sandy is the greater the chance she would veer west. There is some consistency of a strong storm effecting the east coast around MD and north.
There is no reason yet to panic, but, I would suggest to start thinking about what preparations you will need to make in the event we are hit with something major.
Nothing is yet definite, but here are my general thoughts at this time for central and southern MD:
TIMING: Sunday afternoon through some time Tuesday. Depending on speed this could fluctuate some.
THREATS: I won't yet talk worst case, but in moderation we could see sustained winds 40+mph gusting higher. Torrential rain with flooding. Flood threat is greater due to the timing of the full moon, but given the current placement of the storm, most of our wind will be from the north, therefore pushing water out of the Bay. I don't think snow will be an issue.
If all this happens we could be looking at tree damage, flooding and power outages. A positive aspect is that we should be on the west side of the storm, the side you want to be on. The west side is less intense and the winds will drain the Bay. You do not want to be on the NE end of the storm, exactly where NYC will be.
I will have another update later Thursday and should have more details then. This is not the perfect storm, but something to start to take seriously.
UPDATE Tues evening
Still watching things and still can't say anything definitively. There are still too many variables for anything specific, but now that TS Sandy has formed at least we have an idea of what to expect. It is now no longer complete hypothesis.
As I stated in my last update, the key here is timing. Another large factor will be the size and strength of Sandy. If she is torn apart after crossing the islands and doesn't strengthen, then she will be pushed out to sea by the westerly winds. If she maintains her strength and grows some, then she will be doing the pushing and the westerlies won't stand a chance.
The computer model data is not yet conclusive, although there is some trending of Sandy toward the coast (computers are assuming she will strengthen). In that scenario I see Maryland brushed by Sandy but not a direct hit. The impact could be felt later in the day Sunday through Monday evening with winds in excess of 40 mph and a good deal of rain. Snow could be possible west and north of Baltimore, although that could be a stretch. In this scenario NYC and north get hammered with a strong nor'easter.
At this time I am being conservative and saying that the beginning of the week most of us will experience some wind and rain, but nothing major. But, I do caution that any change in storm intensity, timing of the systems and actual track will drastically change my prediction. So, even though right now I feel we will be fine, I am still watching this scenario Another complication - the full moon on the 29th. With the full moon comes above normal high tides right at the same time Sandy comes up the coast. Again, timing and intensity are key variables.
I will keep you posted and should know more by Thursday. I want to see how Sandy fares north of the islands and to see the actual placement, at that time, of the arctic low. I should then have a better idea of the timing and intensity.
UPDATE Maryland storm this weekend
As l mentioned yesterday, the storm, or hurricane, is not a guarantee but something we need to be watching. I just want to remind you that what you hear, and even what I write, is speculation this far out. But, I do feel you need to know of possibilities even if the situation never arises.
The previous area of interest in the tropics is now tropical storm Sandy. Current tracks have her moving north over Cuba by the end of this week. Models tend to agree with that path, but after she moves north of Cuba the models are all over the place as to the path she will take. A few of those solutions have her coming up the east coast. Bottom line, will she impact us here in Maryland?
The key word here is timing. This weekend we will see a strong low pressure system in southern Canada move across the Great Lakes to the east. As this strong low moves east it will create a trough, or a "U" shape dip into the south and coming back up through MD. Depending on the exact track of Sandy and her position when the Canadian low moves east will help to determine her impact. Depending on the timing, the trough could either move Sandy out to sea or draw her inland. It all depends on the timing and position.
Some people are talking about a "perfect storm" potential. What they are referring to is the potential for these two systems to merge and interact with each other. Again, timing is the issue here. In one scenerio we could see strong winds and heavy rainfall along the MD coast while central and western MD experience snow. Will we see snow? Too soon to tell, but it is looking good for western MD and PA to see snow this weekend.
At this time it is too early for me to say what will happen, but I do see unsettled weather later this weekend into early next week. I don't see acatastrophe nor a reason for people to panic. If you hear of people saying otherwise it is only speculation. Once Sandy passes Cuba and we see the timing of the Canadian low will we have a better idea of what will effect us.
I will keep you posted. Follow me daily on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wxmanmd) for updates on this storm as well as other weather info.
Hurricane in Maryland next week?
Ok, before you read on please remember that I am but the messenger here. There is the "potential" for a tropical system to effect Maryland later this weekend. Yes, you read that correctly. Keep in mind that the hurricane season does not end until Nov 30.
Currently, south of Cuba, there is a weather system which is termed an "invest", or area of interest for possible tropical development. The invest in question is 99L. Computer weather model data is all over the place right now, but there is indication, and some consensus, of the system strengthening to hurricane status and moving up the east coast. If this happens the timing would be later this coming weekend into early the following week. Models this far out are not reliable, but certain data and dynamics in place make this a possibility. At this time it appears it would just hug the coast, but if certain projected dynamics do occur it "could" come up the Bay.
Do not panic. This is a week away. Just because some dynamics are in place on the computer models does not necessarily mean it will come true. But, we do need to be aware of this potential storm system impacting MD. The local NWS has already begun mentioning it and they typically don't speculate this far out.
I will keep you posted as the model data is updated. I should have a better idea of what is happening by Wednesday or so.
surprise tornado in Maryland
Wow! First, my apologies for not warning people sooner about the storm last night, but to be honest, who saw that coming? The forecast and data originally showed no rain after the morning on Friday, but as the day progressed there was indication of scattered showers early in the evening, but not storm potential. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) did eventually place our area under a 5% chance for a watch to be issued, but as far as I can tell, that was it. The local NWS made no mention of any severe weather possible. I say this just to make the point that from my research of yesterday's events I don't believe anyone saw that coming. I take pride in trying to be ahead of the curve in weather forecasting, but events like last night demonstrate that no matter how much science and technology we have, Mother Nature will do her thing.
There was no tornado touchdown, although a funnel was reported near Brooklandville in Baltimore Co. There are also official reports of hail in Carroll Co and wind damage in Harford Co. This event highlights the need for people to have weather radios and to keep them on. One never knows what the weather will do.
Although cloudy, today should be a calm weather day for us.
Thursday storms in Maryland
It appears our relatively quiet weather pattern may be changing later this evening. An upper level low pressure system currently in the mid-west is moving east pushing ahead of it a strong cold front. The front should be in our area in the overnight hours. Ahead of the front is where the storms will develop. Given the strength of the low, the intensity of the cold front and the heating of today (along with high humidity levels) we could see some strong storms develop. The Storm Prediction Center has given our area a 2% chance for tornadoes to form out of these storms. All thunderstorms should be taken seriously and with caution, but this time of the year we do not have the same dynamics in place to produce extremely strong, damaging storms. If this scenario were occurring in July or August I would have sounded the alarm a few days ago. I am not necessarily downplaying this event; take it seriously, but also understand this is not a widespread situation.
TIMING: After 6:00pm lasting most of the evening. Strong storms will be scattered.
THREATS: Those who experience strong storms could also have damaging winds. I don't foresee tornado formation, but the SPC has us in a 2% chance.
I will keep you updated if watches/warnings are issued. These storms should be scattered so warnings would be localized. Keep an eye on the sky. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wxmanmd) and my Weather Phone will be updated as needed (443-470-9804).