“Frankenstorm” Sandy East Coast threat grows; MN: Cold & drier Friday

Quick look Minnesota synopsis & forecast…then on to looming Hurricane Sandy threat

141 ql.PNG

Metro forecast – Source: Twin Cities NWS

2″ to 4″ slushy snowfall totals from Sioux Falls to north central Minnesota Thursday

Melting on contact in many spots due to warm ground

141 ely webcam.jpg

Light snow on grassy Whiteside Park in Ely Thursday PM

Image: Ely Chamber of Commerce

.50″ to 1″+ rainfall totals from metro east – forecast models did a great job with this event (click map for bigger image)

141 rainfall.PNG

Source: University of Utah Meso West

Clearing and colder next 48-72 hours in Minnesota

Light snow chance for southern MN & metro Saturday night

Hard freezes are back this weekend 1st long string of sub freezing nights ahead

20s for lows in the metro this weekend

141 metty.PNG

Source: Iowa State University

Staying power - temps may not climb above 40s through next week

Hurr flags.gif

“Frankenstorm” Sandy: Perfect Storm ll? “Historic” nightmare East Coast scenario looms

“Expect the unprecedented”

Meteorologists everywhere are watching with amazement (and a knot in our stomachs) as a potentially unprecedented and historic weather event continues to develop along the U.S. East Coast by Monday.

Here’s the latest breakdown & timeline on Hurricane Sandy, and the likely track and effects as Sandy moves north.

Friday: Sandy churns northward through the Bahamas and parelells Florida’s East Coast.

141 hnc track.PNG

Sandy is large enough and close enough that rain squalls , pounding surf and tropical storm force wind gusts to 60 mph will continue to lash Florida’s East Coast Friday.

141 mia.gif

This weekend:

The spaghetti models are fairly tightly clustered on Sandy’s short term track.

141 spag.PNG

The model consensus brings the hurricane to a position off the Carolina Coast by Sunday. This means Sandy will ride over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream this weekend, and that may add energy that can help Sandy maintain strength.

The official NHC intensity forecast is for a Category 1 storm packing winds of 80mph Sunday. Forecasting intensity with Sandy is very dicey, and rapid fluctuations in intensity are quite possible as the storm feeds off of warmer than average ocean waters.

141 intensity.png

Another factor that may throw a wild card into Sandy’s intensity is the transition to “extra tropical” status as Sandy moves north. As Sandy interacts with the northern jet stream, additional energy may be transferred into the storm.

So, the potential for rapid intensification of Sandy is there this weekend. Remember hurricane intensity forecast are notoriously difficult.

Billion Dollar Question: Where does Sandy go next Monday?

The grouping of model forecast tracks for Sandy tightened considerably Thursday. The likelihood of a U.S. landfall somewhere between Delaware and Boston increased considerably, probably up to at least 65%, if not higher.

The European model continues to hold the left (west) side of the forecast envelope, projecting a landfall in Delaware Monday.

141 euro.PNG

The NOGAPS continues to hold the nightmare scenario of a direct hit from a damaging storm on New York City.

141 nogaps.PNG

-No matter where the storm comes ashore, the sheer size of Sandy is likely to be enough to spread tropical storm force winds up to 300 miles from the center. This likely means widespread tree and power line damage in the most populated areas of the USA. The prospect for millions without power from Washington D.C. to New York and Philly leading up to Halloween is indeed scary.

-Inland flooding is possible several hundred miles away from the coast. Most of the damage from Hurricane Irene was from torrential rain induced flooding well inland from “landfall.”

-Storm surge and high waves will pound the entire East Coast as Sandy moves north. Check out this animation of wave heights from NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center as Sandy churns north.

141 waves.PNG

Bottom Line:

We’re still on track, and the odds are growing that a “hybrid” Hurricane Sandy may morph into a monster storm that will slam the east Coast next Monday or Tuesday.

The effects could be widespread, and odds are growing that Sandy may be the USA’s next “Billion Dollar Weather Disaster.”

Stay tuned.

PH

  • Jeff

    How is it that LaCrosse got 1.74″ of rain when the three nearest locations to it, that are northwest, northeast and southeast of it, all got just under half an inch? How could it get three times as much rain?

  • Tim B

    PH- could you please explain how the storm would morph? Wouldnt it still just be a hurricane?