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Big Story Weather Special Storm Report – Super Storm Sandy

October 30, 2012

redOrbit Meteorologist Joshua Kelly

Ongoing coverage of Hurricane Sandy and the impending Halloween Superstorm by redOrbit Meteorologist Joshua Kelly.

UPDATE – October 30, 2012 6:30AM CDT:

Baltimore MD: This morning the Metro area is dealing with downed trees, flooded streets, and also a large number of power outages. The region is dealing with heavy rain and just to the west in the mountain region, people are dealing with the wrath of heavy snowfall.

West Virginia: Snowfall amounts have been piling up with reports coming out of the region of 12-18 inches of snowfall on the ground and it’s still falling. Power outages are being reported in this region as well along with blizzard conditions still occurring with winds in excess of 50mph.

New York City: This region as we all know received the front right quadrant of Sandy last night. In addition to the high tide, storm surge in excess of 12ft was experienced along the region of Long Island. Multiple reports of power outages, fires, flooded homes and subway systems along with many people stuck as the flood waters continue this morning along with the rain and strong winds. Reports are coming out of this region that last night 90mph winds did move through this region. Also the airports in New York are dealing with lots of water, especially La Guardia which currently has water over the runways. Other areas in New York include near ground zero where they are dealing with excessive flooding along with subway flooding and many downed trees and leftover surge in some places.

Atlantic City New Jersey: This is possibly the area that got hit the hardest. There are places in this region reporting sand in depths of feet along the coastal roads. This region did see winds in excess of 80mph and also this area saw storm surge that brought a lot of sand and rocks across roads. This region is also dealing with power outages.

Rhode Island and Connecticut: This region is waking up to multiple power outages and also a lot of trees down on the ground. This region took a hard push from the storm surge and will be dealing with the potential of severe weather still today as thunderstorms are moving in on shore.

This is a brief summary of the coastal region, but be advised this storm system is now over Eastern PA and this will force more damage today all up and down the Northeast and also back into the West. There will be more problems as the lakes will start to rise over their banks and possibly flood regions in the Metro Lakes region such as Chicago and Cleveland.

Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.

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UPDATE – October 29, 2012 1PM CDT: Hurricane Sandy continues to make its final adjustments for a lineup that will take it on shore over New Jersey later this evening most likely making landfall before midnight in and around Atlantic City. As of 1PM CDT winds with Sandy were around 90mph with gusts near 100mph. The air pressure of Sandy is currently at 943mb with the possibility of seeing it getting a tad stronger before making landfall.

Conditions are getting worse from Virginia all the way up to the Maine coast. There have been many wind gusts over 75mph already. There is water surging over the New York major airports at this time. Water levels have been running about 2-4ft above normal and the biggest concern is that the storm is going to hit the region during high tide. This could create water levels even higher as the forecast for New York is possibly seeing and 8-12ft storm surge this evening.

Here is a breakdown of some conditions right now:

New York: For the remainder of today expect to see winds increase to around 50-65mph with gusts near 90mph possible. Rainfall amounts are forecasted to be around 4-8 inches. The big concern will be the storm surge which could reach up to 12ft.

Baltimore MD/ DC: Flash flooding has already been occurring in this region. Also, winds have been in the 45-55mph range with gusts possibility reaching near 80mph overnight. Rainfall totals could reach near 12 inches in this area by the end of the storm. Storm surge is also forecast to hit this region in the range of 4-8ft possible tonight during high tide.

Norfolk VA: Wind and rain continue to batter this region. Winds have already been in the 50mph range and very heavy rain has been and will continue to fall along with storm surge of 4-8ft possible.

Nags Head NC: The region has been dealing with very high surf along with strong winds and coastal flooding. These conditions will continue through the evening before getting a little bit better tomorrow.

Gulf Coast and Atlanta: Winds are the biggest concern in this region as wind reports in the Atlanta region have reached gusts to near 45mph. Also, along the Gulf Coast, winds have reached near 25mph.

Great Lakes Region: The big concern here from Chicago to Cleveland will be the winds and high seas. The Great Lakes winds could reach 45-60mph in this region along with seas as high as 20-25ft over the next couple of days.

Looking at the latest satellite and radar images we see that Hurricane Sandy will make landfall as a CAT 1 storm later this afternoon. Be prepared as power outages are occurring. They will only increase over the next couple of days. Also, brace for major flooding and storm surge. On the back side we will be dealing with the snow. There are Winter Storm Warnings and also Blizzard Warnings in effect for West Virginia and also some snowfall will make it into Ohio possibly overnight.

The latest radar image has the eye wall now appearing just east of New Jersey. It is forecasted to make landfall before 9PM EDT around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Remember it is very important to keep your eyes and ears open to all of your local weather television weather reports. If you are given the order to evacuate, make sure to do it. Some of the conditions in New York City have me concerned that the subway system will take a big hit with flooding. The debris field is going to grow from Virginia to Maine. This is going to have a lasting effect and some of these places may not get power or transportation back to normal for weeks. If the subway system gets hit in New York, be advised it could create a large delay in the return of services because the water will get into the electrical system.

Be advised, the worst of the conditions are forecasted to start impacting the region this afternoon and last until late tomorrow afternoon into the evening.

This storm could be known as one of the biggest storms in our life time. This storm is massive and as of this afternoon the tropical storm force conditions extend well inland and the hurricane wind force winds are going to hit many metropolitan cities throughout the coast.

Another update will follow tomorrow morning. Until then, stay indoors and stay safe!

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October 29, 2012 8AM CDT: Starting with Atlanta, Georgia, early this morning power outages were reported as wind gusts have been hitting near 30-45mph. The region will continue to see these strong winds for the remainder of the day. As for precipitation the region should remain dry with the Northwesterly flow.

Outer Banks, North Carolina has been seeing storm surge impact the region with many roads flooded along with some power outages and heavy rain that has been falling since yesterday. This has created flooding in many regions throughout the area. Seas continue to pound the coast with some wave heights approaching 12ft with higher seas just off shore around 24-30ft reported at various buoys in the region.

Norfolk, Virginia continues to see the heavy rainfall that began to move in last night. This area is now dealing with winds in excess of 35mph with gusts near 50mph. These conditions will continue to get worse as the day goes on as Sandy moves more towards the coast.

Baltimore, Maryland and the Washington D.C region saw storm conditions increase last night. They are picking up in intensity. Some places in this region have already seen over 1 inch of rainfall and the heavy rain is just continuing to push across the bay. Winds have been in the 30-45mph range with higher gusts.

The Atlantic City area has already seen some damage from storm surge. Flooding rain and waves have started to impact the piers, many having sustained damage already.

New York City is fairly tranquil this morning with some rain and winds gusting up to around 45mph. The storm is still farther away so conditions will get worse as the day goes on in this region. Currently waves in the Hudson are reaching about 4-6 feet tall.

This morning in the Boston area conditions are still not that bad yet, but they will begin to worsen as the day goes on. Wave heights around the coast are around 6 feet and higher in some places. Expect those seas to build as the day goes. Wind gusts have been in the 30-40mph range for the region already this morning.

This morning Buffalo, New York is not doing that bad yet. However, watches and warnings have been placed on the lakes in anticipation of the winds increasing to around 45-55mph along with wave heights on the lake around 20 feet or higher. This could lead to some localized flooding later tonight and tomorrow.

Now moving into the Appalachians back into West Virginia we are already seeing snow fall rates up to an inch. Blizzard warnings have been issued and these conditions will continue to get worse as the winds pickup and the snowfall increases.

The Ohio region will also be seeing impacts from Sandy. Everything from high seas along the lake front to heavy rainfall amounts and winds in excess of 50mph along with snowfall in this region as well some places in Ohio could see upwards to 1-3 inches of snowfall.

Last stop this morning takes us to Chicago. So far this morning the area is not seeing any impacts. However, tomorrow and Wednesday as the storm moves further inland we could be dealing with winds in excess of 45mph. Northerly winds will create a long fetch running swell on Lake Michigan with the potential of seeing 20+ foot waves which will lead to flooding as well.

It is very important to note that the above areas we mentioned are just some of the places that are going to be impacted by this storm. This storm is set to go down in the books as a “history making storm”. Sandy is going to be transitioning from a Hurricane into a Nor´easter. However, unlike most storms in this region, Sandy is bringing a large surge, a massive wind field, and pressures that could be in the 940-949mb range for many places in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.


Source: redOrbit Meteorologist Joshua Kelly

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