10/26 Sandy Update: Oh My…

We’re going to jump right into the meat of this discussion once again. I don’t wish to waste any time…

NOW: According to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory at 2 AM, Sandy was about 55 miles southeast of Grand Abaco Island in the Bahamas, with maximum sustained winds of 85 MPH and a minimum central pressure of 968 millibars. Meanwhile, the cold front is crossing the Indiana and Ohio border right now, and will be coming through Metro Cincinnati shortly.

WHERE NEXT?: Now, here’s where the rubber meets the road. All of the models think that Sandy will continue to move up through the Bahamas, then start a northeasterly turn. From here, they diverge, but are starting to come to agreement. A discussion of each model follows. We’ll establish off the bat that ALL of these have a pretty serious pressure gradient, so winds may be a problem, if not for us then somewhere across the northeast.

GFS: The GFS or Global Forecast System model has this thing doing something odd. It gets south of Cape Cod, and then does a VERY hard left and slams it into NYC. Pressure on this one down to 951 millibars.

EURO: The European model has it going into Chesapeake Bay at 952 millibars in 96 hours, or four days. Then, just to make things interesting for Cincinnati, it comes west and is in Ohio at 120 hours, or five days. Interesting.

NOGAPS: This is a US Navy produced model. It’s got this thing around 960 millibars into southern NJ.

CANADIAN: The GGEM model sends it into Maine at around 950 millibars. That’s way north of the consensus and I don’t think that happens.

OTHERS: There are two hurricane specific models that only get used for hurricanes. The HWRF (or Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting) model wants to put this thing into New Jersey at a sub 940 pressure. And the GFDL, or Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory model, which is another hurricane specific model, tries to send it into the DelMarVa peninsula at around 930 millibars. To both of these I say: Are you kidding me? If either of these were to verify, it’d be the strongest northeastern storm I have ever seen. I’m not sure I buy either of them though as far as how deep they are. The locations are well within the consensus, however.

WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR CINCY?: Here’s what I’m doing: I’m leaving Tuesday dry at this time, but this could change in future discussions. However…owing to the cold air and the presence of moisture on at least one or two models, we’ll continue to have the chance of either rain or snow on Wednesday. Any exact details on that are too far out to call until probably Monday. Temperatures through this period…ouch. We’re looking at a hard crash landing into the 40’s with lows possibly down into the upper 20’s. If landfall is anywhere south of Ocean City, MD, it’s trouble here.

ELSEWHERE: There will DEFINITIVELY be MAJOR impacts on the east coast from FL northward. If you live on the seaboard, start thinking about necessary preparations. Those along the beaches might want to plan for evacuations in case of coastal flooding…yes it could be necessary to evacuate. If you live inland, prepare for strong winds that may cause extensive power outages and damage as well as the potential for inland freshwater flooding. And if you’re near or west of the mountains, especially from WV northward? You’ll possibly have a major snowstorm to deal with, so start thinking about preparing for that, too.

I cannot overemphasize this situation. I know it sounds like overblown hype, but trust me…a storm like this has the potential to be, is NOT your everyday occurrence. Please, share this post with any and all friends and family that live on the eastern seaboard. If this pans out, it is disaster in the making for a good portion of the US population.

The next update to this particular discussion will be after the 12Z models come out, probably around 3 PM.

Jeremy Moses

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