Weather Alert: Hurricane Sandy Updates

 

As Hurricane Sandy gets closer, forecasters are getting more sure that southwest Connecticut is in the storm’s path, as seen in this graphic released by the National Hurricane Center on Sunday morning at 8 a.m.

Saturday, 10 a.m. — Sandy, which was reduced to a tropical storm overnight, strengthened Saturday morning back into a hurricane. Its predicted path continues to include southwest Connecticut, where a coastal flood watch was issued for Sunday evening through late Monday night.

“The tri-state area will likely feel the impacts of a dangerous coastal storm Sunday evening through the middle of the next week,” stated a National Weather Service hazardous weather outlook issued Saturday morning. “This includes the likelihood for heavy rainfall and result in significant urban, small stream and river flooding, high winds causing widespread downing of trees and power lines, and significant shoreline impacts from coastal flooding and beach erosion.”

How badly this area is affected still remains to be seen and depends on how Sandy interacts with a low-pressure system approaching the East Coast — which is expected to form what forecasters have dubbed “Frankenstorm.”

Along the Connecticut coasts, flooding could be particularly bad as the storm’s timing will coincide with a full moon. “Persistent strong easterly flow will pile water on top of already higher astronomical high tides due to the full moon, resulting in possible continuing flood stages between high tide cycles,” according to the weather service. “The most prone for widespread moderate flooding will be the western Long Island Sound shorelines.”

The center of Hurricane Sandy was off the coast of northern Florida at 8 a.m. Saturday. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is moving north-northwest at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. “This motion is expected to continue today,” the hurricane center said. “A turn toward the Northeast and an increase in forward speed are expected tonight and Sunday, followed by a turn toward the north Sunday night.”

Sandy is expected to move parallel to the East Coast through the weekend and little change in its strength is forecast over the weekend, according to the hurricane center.

While last night, Sandy’s hurricane-force winds extended 35 miles from its center, this morning the 75 mph winds extend 100 miles from its center while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 450 miles.

Sandy is expected to leave three to six inches of rain over eastern North Carolina — with isolated totals up to 8 inches possible. As the storm moves north, its rainfall totals along the Eastern Seaboard are expected to grow with four to eight inches over the mid-Atlantic states, including the Delmarva Peninsula — with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches.

 

Friday, 6 p.m. — The projected path of Hurricane Sandy moved northeast, toward Connecticut, according to the latest potential track issued Friday evening by the National Hurricane Center. For the past few days, forecasters had continued to move the track to the southwest of the Nutmeg State.
Southwest Connecticut and the tri-state area will start to feel the impacts of “a dangerous coastal storm late this weekend into early next week,” according to National Weather Service hazardous weather outlook issued Friday evening.
“This includes the likelihood for heavy rainfall and resultant significant urban, small stream and river flooding, high winds causing widespread downing of trees and power lines, and significant shoreline impacts from coastal flooding and beach erosion.”
The full force of Sandy could hit Connecticut by Tuesday afternoon or as late as Wednesday but the area will start feeling the effects much earlier.
The specific impacts, however, will ultimately depend on the exact track and evolution of Sandy as it interacts with a deepening upper level low pressure system approaching the East Coast, according to the weather service.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy plans to partially activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center at 8 a.m. Saturday to coordinate the state’s response in advance of Hurricane Sandy.  Based on the current forecast, it is anticipated that the state EOC will go to full activation Sunday at 8 a.m.
“Now is the time to prepare,” Governor Malloy said Friday evening. “Although the exact track of the storm is still uncertain, we are preparing for this storm to have a significant impact on the state and the public should do the same.”
The state has launched a website dedicated to keeping state residents up-to-date on all pertinent information on Hurricane Sandy, which can be accessed at ct.gov/sandy <ct.gov/sandy> .
At 1 p.m. on Saturday, Malloy plans to hold a statewide conference call with municipal leaders, which will be followed by a media briefing with updates on Hurricane Sandy and Connecticut’s preparedness and response at 2 from the state EOC. NCAdvertiser.com will provide coverage of the press conference on the website and with live updates at Twitter.com/NCAdvertiser.
The storm has been moving rather slowly over the Atlantic Friday, as slowly as 6 mph, but weather forecasters expect it to eventually pick up some speed this weekend.

Friday, 1:30 p.m. — While Hurricane Sandy’s winds have decreased and the storm has become less organized after passing over the western Bahamas, forecasters expect it to reorganize and strengthen as it barrels toward the East Coast.

Tropical storm warnings were issued Friday for the Carolinas and is expected to be extended northward as the current path of the storm, now with 80 mph winds, has Sandy making landfall anywhere from North Carolina to New Haven.

Gov. Dannel Malloy urged residents on Thursday to start preparing.

The National Weather Center Friday afternoon still had the center of Sandy’s path as Delaware Bay, which is on the border of Delaware and New Jersey. The National Hurricane Center’s models continue to show Sandy’s predicted path moving south and west of the Nutmeg State.

But what could be bad news for Connecticut is that the hurricane’s big thunderstorms are in the northern part of the storm. So if the storm’s center hits south of here, it could mean the worst of the hurricane — which is 1,500 miles wide — could wreak havoc on southwest Connecticut.

Fire marshal says to take caution when using portable generators

Some forecasts say that Connecticut could now get up to 9 inches of rain when the storm hits.

Winds could start picking up in Connecticut between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning and continue to increase for the next 24 to 36 hours.

All this could be combined with the wintry storm moving this way from the West and an arctic system moving south from Canada.

Friday, 10:30 a.m. — Redding and the rest of the area are going to be hit early next week with high winds, possible flooding and downed trees and power lines, according to weather forecasters. The only question is: How bad will it be?

With the hurricane potentially colliding with two other weather systems to form what forecasters are calling “Frankestorm,” the southwestern Connecticut could start feeling the effects from Sunday through at least Tuesday, when Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit land south of here.

Redding town officials are already preparing for the storm.

“There is increasing confidence that the tri-state area will feel the impacts of a dangerous coastal storm late this weekend into early next week,” the National Weather Service said in a hazardous weather outlook issued Friday morning.

“This includes the potential for heavy rainfall and resultant significant urban, small stream and river flooding, high winds causing widespread downing of trees and power lines, and significant shoreline impacts from coastal flooding and beach erosion. The specific impacts will ultimately depend on the exact track and evolution of Tropical Storm Sandy as it interacts with a deepening upper level low pressure system approaching the East Coast.”

Along with Sandy, forecasters are tracking a wintry storm from the West and frigid air stream moving south from Canada.

If all three systems meet Tuesday morning in the tri-state area, which is what current weather forecasts are predicting, it would create a big, wet and wintry storm from here to Ohio.

“We don’t have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting,” Jim Cisco, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster who coined the “Frankenstorm” name, said.

The tri-state area could get up to 5 inches of rain and gale-force winds of 40 mph. Snow is more likely to the west.

Sandy, which currently is off the eastern coast of Florida, could hit this area with sustained winds up to 80 mph. The storm is expected to keep heading north-northwest before hooking northwest off the coast of North Carolina and make landfall on the shores of Delaware Bay, which is on the New Jersey-Delaware border.

The forecasts all week have increasing shown Sandy hooking more and more west and more south of Connecticut with each model. But the storm on Thursday was 1,500 miles in diameter. The storm has killed 21 in the Caribbean, according to news reports.

 

Thursday, 4:30 p.m. — Long-range forecasts are now indicating that Hurricane Sandy will very likely impact New England on Tuesday, according to the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Another storm also headed this way could lead to snow and wreak havoc on the region.

Redding emergency and other officials started preparing for the potential storm today. More details will follow.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts that Hurricane Sandy, currently with 105 mph winds, will continue northward for the next 36 hours as the storm moves through the eastern Bahamas. It is then forecast to turn to the north-northwest, pick up some speed and move to a position approximately 200 miles west of Cape Hatteras, N.C., by 8 Monday morning.

Sandy is then forecast to turn north and then move northwest and be about100 miles south-southwest of Connecticut by 8 Tuesday morning.

“Longer-range forecasts are now indicating that Sandy will very likely impact New England Tuesday,” according to the state emergency department.

Government forecasters on Thursday upped the odds of a major weather mess, the Associated Press reported Thursday (bigstory.ap.org/article/hybrid-sandy-winter-storm-threatens-east-coast), now saying there’s a 90% chance that the East will get steady gale-force winds, heavy rain, flooding and maybe snow starting Sunday and stretching past Halloween on Wednesday.

The storm could cause $1 billion in damages to the U.S., the AP reported.

The storm is a combination of Hurricane Sandy, now in the Caribbean, an early winter storm in the West, and a blast of arctic air from the North, according to AP. They’re predicted to collide and park over the New York City area.

Thursday, 12:02 p.m. — The latest forecast model from the National Hurricane Center, released at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, puts Hurricane Sandy on track right for the tri-state area. According to the model, Sandy is expected to be off the North Carolina and Virginia shores on Monday morning and off the New Jersey shore on Tuesday morning.

Thursday, 9:48 a.m. — The chances of Hurricane Sandy hitting Connecticut continues to grow.

“There is increasing confidence that the tri-state area will feel the impacts of a major coastal storm late this weekend into early next week,” the National Weather Service said in a hazardous weather outlook statement issued Thursday morning. “This includes the potential for heavy rainfall, high winds, coastal flooding, and beach erosion. The specific impacts will ultimately depend on the eventual track and evolution of Tropical Cyclone Sandy as it interacts with deepening upper level low pressure system approaching the East Coast.”

Tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect for much of Florida by Thursday morning when Sandy was expected to move from Cuba to near or over the central Bahamas later Thursday and Thursday night and move near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Maximum sustained winds are near 105 mph — with higher gusts, making it a Category 2 hurricane, according to the center.

The most recent forecasts show the hurricane moving northeast of Florida before curving back along the East Coast, toward North Carolina.

According to forecast models, the storm could first be felt in the Northeast last Sunday or Monday. The center of the large storm is not expected near Connecticut until late Tuesday — if at all.

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