Good afternoon everyone! This is a special update for Saturday afternoon regarding Hurricane Sandy:
NOW: Sandy is 335 miles southeast of Charleston, SC. Winds are 75 MPH with higher gusts, and the central pressure is 961 millibars.
FORECAST: Here’s what we have. I am not going to break these models down separately as I had been doing, because we definitely have a consensus on a NJ hit, or within a hundred miles of that. How strong will it be? Well, for what it’s worth, the Hurricane Center says they think Sandy will remain a hurricane all the way to landfall. It WILL NOT TRANSITION to extratropical until after landfall. That is critical. A destructive wind swath will be hundreds of miles wide, from OH all the way to Maine and back to the Carolinas, and there will be 4-8′ of surge near and north of wherever the center makes landfall.
CINCINNATI IMPACTS: Okay, now we have to get very serious. Based on what we see, we now have to tell you to prepare for the possibility of damaging winds Monday and Tuesday. Wind gusts will easily be upwards of 40 MPH. No, it will NOT be like the Ike Windstorm of 2008, though it may seem such at times. But, winds will be very strong.
On the western side of the low, our air will be flowing out of Canada. After Sunday, we will not see the 50’s until Thursday.
Now, the question I know many of you are wondering…”what about snow?” Well, I have good news, and I have bad news. The bad news is, significant snows are unlikely here in Cincinnati. The good news is, they’ll be within a 3-5 hour drive into West Virginia…and some spots may reach a couple feet. Here, I still think a rain/snow mix is all we do. Of course, that can change.
ELSEWHERE: I need not rehash the impacts elsewhere on the east coast. Damaging winds, storm surge, and heavy rain will all wreak havoc from New England to North Carolina. Please heed all orders from your local emergency management agency!
The next update will be in the morning.