I provide a weather email service for people in MD. I am a storm chaser & Skywarn spotter. For daily weather tidbits follow me on Twitter: @wxmanMD.
By: cws6196 , 1:37 AM GMT on October 26, 2012
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.
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