Hurricane Sandy – Plan Ahead

Hurricane Sandy – Plan Ahead

Authors: Chris Dolce and Jon Erdman

Hurricane Sandy is a major threat to portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Residents from southern New England to New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia should begin to prepare for Sandy.

Below, we have a breakdown of the impacts and timeline for Sandy beginning with the serious threat the system poses to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. You can find more information on the Southeast U.S. impacts at this link.

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic: Prepare for Widespread Impacts

There remains some uncertainty with the timing of when the worst impacts will be felt in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The forecast involves a rare, complex atmospheric setup that will allow the system to pivot back to the northwest into the region rather than simply moving out to sea.

Where exactly this pivot back to the west or northwest occurs will dictate the timing and where the worst of Sandy ultimately hits. That said, Sandy will have a large wind field and therefore effects from the system will stretch across a wide area well away from Sandy’s center. To reinforce, it is very important to not focus on the center of our projected path map since the impacts will extend well away from where Sandy’s center eventually moves inland.

Significant effects from Sandy could potentially begin as early as Sunday and peak in intensity on Monday and Tuesday.

The impacts will range from destructive winds, heavy rainfall and coastal flooding to even heavy, wet snow. Below we have an initial look at the impacts we expect from Sandy.

Destructive Wind Potential – Winds will be strong over a large area and capable of downing or damaging many trees and possibly blowing out windows in skyscrapers. Power outages are expected to be widespread and could last for days so be sure to charge cell phones and have any other supplies you may need.

Heavy Rain Potential – Widespread heavy rainfall will lead to flooding problems in some areas. Rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches are expected in parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with locally up to 10 inches possible.

Coastal Flooding – There remains uncertainty with where exactly the worst coastal flooding is expected. In general, the worst coastal damage and inundation will occur to the north of where the center eventually moves inland. This is expected to be somewhere between the Del-Mar-Va Peninsula and southern New England.

Heavy Snow – Yes, this setup will even wrap in just enough cold air on its western edge to produce wet snow, possibly heavy, in some parts of the central Appalachians (mountains of West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania). Total accumulations of a foot or more will be possible.

You may also visit the National Hurricane Center for more information on Hurricane Sandy.