The threat of a coastal storm this week has flipped more than presidential polls. This storm some have dubbed Sandy’s little sister is a different animal than the Superstorm. That said, it will be a potent storm impacting the same regions still recovering from the land falling hurricane just a week earlier. The problems with forecasting this event so far appear to be coming together to prove this will have an impact on those hard hit areas. I would like to be wrong, but there is more computer model support.
The problems trying to forecast this storm are twofold. First for the heightened concern in the same region already hit by Sandy. Besides the power outages and destruction, there are many weakened structure and trees that may fall with a second hit. That could mean even more without power. Secondly, this is more of a typical winter type storm that needs to have all of the ingredients time out perfectly to develop as expected. Any change in timing could dramatically change the course or even limit the storms potential.
Yesterday, many computer models appeared to show the limitations due to the first wave of energy not moving into the southeastern US as expected, plus the energy swinging in behind it from the northern Rockies not arriving in time. This morning, the elements seemed to be fitting together better. The general idea is for the storm to ride up the coast on Wednesday morning, but as it intensifies rapidly, it will retrograde, or move backwards to the west. This is when the impact will arrive for most of us. I expect rain to start mid to late afternoon. The change over will occur after 5pm for most, and in the dark hours travel may be a concern on Wednesday night between Baltimore and New England along I-95 and inland. By morning, the snow is likely to reach the coast as the storm finally pulls back to the east, off of the coast.
In the video attached, there are three computer models for comparison.
The NAM has been the most consistent keeping the storm close to the coast. Even when other models pushed the storm east, this kept some impact on Mid Atlantic. It now appears to be a moderate storm.
GFS, This model really lost the storm to the east with a much weaker solution yesterday. It seems to have the elements coming together now.
The Canadian Model: This model shows the strongest storm with a pressure level equal to a Category 1 hurricane. The storm is cold core, so it will not have that intensity, but it will produce winds over 50 mph at the coast, and have a colder element to it. This model handles the cold air better and it shows snow falling into Baltimore and a mix near Annapolis. More accumulation and travel concerns farther east and north. This also includes Philadelphia and metro New York City.
The timing will be the second half of Wednesday into Thursday morning. If this works out with snow, the ground have been sufficiently cooled and can sustain stickage and accumulation. The grass will get it first, but roads may become an issue after 5pm as the sun gets low. However the snow may not reach the cities until after dark. At this point it appears to be east of Baltimore by daybreak on Thursday, but could linger a few hours along the coastline up through New York and southern New England.
This was just a look at the models. I am still working on the details locally and regionally for the storm. I will post them here and through my social media outlets ASAP.
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- Rumors of a perfect storm or a whole lot of nothing from TS Sandy
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