Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oct 28, 2012: No Change In Forecast Conditions

Sandy is well into its extratropical transition process.  It has an absolutely enormous wind field spanning nearly 1000 miles across.   At 5 pm, the intensity was still 75 mph - a minimal Cat 1 storm, but the hurricane hunters have had a difficult time finding actual surface winds in excess of hurricane intensity.  This does not mean the storm is weakening...rather, it is holding its own as it moves over a river of warm water (the Gulf Stream) in the western Atlantic, and the jet stream continues to feed energy into the circulation.   Point of landfall still appears to be central-southern N.J. with a long transit across Pennsylvania.  Tomorrow, Sandy is expected to turn toward the west and execute a complex "S"-shaped turn that will arc it first across the Mid Atlantic and then into New England:

Tropical Prediction Center
The expected weather impacts in the Baltimore region are covered in my earlier posts today.   Early Monday morning the winds will begin to really pick up, increasing throughout the day.   Periods of heavy rain will fall.  By Monday night, and overnight, expect the winds to be sustained in the 40-50 mph range with gusts in the 60-70 mph range.   It is going to be a rather frightening night, with the roar of the wind, and heavy pounding of rain.  The worst of it will continue into Tuesday.  Then, on Tuesday evening, winds and rain both will begin to taper across the region.   On Wednesday, conditions will rapidly improve.

This storm is going to hit the Mid Atlantic extremely hard.  It is unlikely to experience a sudden shift in track, nor a sudden lapse in intensity.  I see no miracle nor "dodging the bullet" here.  This will be a historical, and freakish, meteorological event.  Over 50 million residents will feel significant impacts from this storm.   But we have gotten through the Hazels and the Isabels and the Irenes.  We will weather this one and recover.   I believe that much of the dread we feel is due to anticipation.   Once the event is underway, we take solace in the fact that the worst will soon be over.  Knowledge is power.   Preparation is power.   Getting together and helping our neighbors and our community recover during the aftermath is power.  

Next Update:  11:30 PM tonight. 

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