10/26 Sandy PM Update: As Preparations Continue, We Wait…

Here’s the latest update on the coming storm for the Eastern US…

CURRENTLY: The surface cold front is east of Cincinnati, while Sandy is in the northwest Bahamas. Sandy has sustained winds to 75 miles per hour and a pressure of 971 millibars.

THE MODELS: These things are coming to a consensus, albeit a slow one…and most of the tracks are between NYC and Norfolk, VA.

GFS: This has a 950 millibar low near NYC. It’s finally become consistent in its forecasting, thanks in no small part to the balloons going up every six hours to bring new data to this thing.

EURO: Euro goes into south NJ, AGAIN, as a 955 millibar storm.

GGEM: This one, the Canadian, is sub 950, possibly 940 millibars near Norfolk. That’s bad.

NOGAPS: Cannot ascertain pressure, but appears to be sub 960(?)

The NAM will be in range tomorrow, so we should have a better idea at that point in time.

CINCINNATI IMPACTS: It all depends on the track, folks. I cannot state that clearly enough. I do not know where it will landfall for sure, but somewhere in that zone of model consensus is a good guess. So between NYC and Hampton Roads. If it’s nearer to Hampton Roads, the impacts here could end up being significant, whereas a hit to NYC leaves us not only dry, but freezing cold. We’re still going with the idea that this is somewhere in between the two. Gusty winds could cause some issues Tuesday or Wednesday, and also we should have some precipitation around both days now. The question of rain or snow is simply too early to answer definitively, and I continue to hedge my bets on a mixture of the two at points on Wednesday.

ELSEWHERE: No matter where Sandy makes its final landfall, there will be many impacts that reach far from that point. Storm surges will cause coastal flooding, which in turn will do significant erosion damage; heavy rains could lead to inland freshwater flooding and also combine with winds upwards of 40 mph to knock down trees once the ground is sufficiently soaked; those same winds could do significant property damage; and on the west side of this storm will be a paralyzing snowstorm. And all of this will cause a major travel headache both on the ground and in the skies!

BOTTOM LINE: States of emergency have been declared in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Voluntary evacuations have been started for parts of the NJ coast. This storm is serious business. Please heed all warnings from local NWS offices in the areas affected, and share this information with anyone you know there. If you’re here in Cincinnati and have a travel itinerary to the northeastern states early next week…think twice about going. Seriously, just don’t go if you can help it. If you can’t get out of it, call ahead in the 12-24 hours before your flight. Above all else, be prepared. You need an emergency preparedness kit, to include enough non-perishable food and water to last three days or more; flashlights; batteries; first aid equipment; warm, dry clothing; a battery operated radio; and enough medical supplies to last a few days. Have a full tank of gas in the car if you live in evacuation zones. And having cash on hand may also not be a bad idea, because once power goes out, so too do many ATM’s.

We cannot stress it enough. PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE be prepared for a major storm. Whether this comes in as a Category 2 hurricane or an extratropical entity doesn’t matter. It’s big, it’s going to be nasty and it could be life-threatening if you’re not careful.

The next update will be tomorrow morning.

Jeremy Moses

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