Archive for October, 2012

HURRICANE SANDY HAS MADE THE TURN TOWARDS THE COAST… THE STORM HAS ALSO INTENSIFIED… THE MID-ATLANTIC AND NORTHEASTERN STATES BRACE FOR A BRUTAL ONSLAUGHT FROM SANDY… HEAVY SNOW IS IN THE FORECAST FOR SOME PARTS OF THE APPALACHIANS

Hurricane Sandy as of this writing has maximum sustained winds of 85 MPH and as the models predicted, the barometric pressure has fallen to an incredible 946 millibars! The storm has made the much anticipated turn towards the coast and is now moving N-NW. The storm is affecting an extremely large area of the country. Even areas as far away as the Great Lakes will be impacted by this monster storm. High waves are expected in some of the Great Lakes due to the strong winds. The storm will also be transitioning to a extra-tropical storm today as it interacts with fronts and upper level energy in the jet stream. The reason that the storm is taking this very unusual track is due to a negatively tilted trough. With the storm coming from the southeast,coastal flooding could be significant in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast as the water piles up along the coast. Hurricane force gusts will be causing power outages for many areas from NC to parts of New England.  Inland areas will also experience the strong winds as this is a very deep and massive storm. As cold air moves into the circulation on the western side of the storm, snow is expected in parts of the Appalachian Mountains. Since the high winds extend far from the center of the storm, you should not focus on where the center is. It will be interesting to see how this unprecedented track of this massive storm impacts us here in Hampton Roads. The wind direction will slowly change as the storm moves NW. Winds may actually increase again later this afternoon, especially in our northern areas, as the pressure gradient tightens. On Tuesday, the winds will slowly be subsiding as the storm moves inland to our north. Things should settle down here on Wednesday.

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TROPICAL CYCLONE SANDY TRANSITIONS INTO A HYBRID MONSTER… MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WILL BE IMPACTED BY THIS STORM… CONDITIONS IMPROVE BY MID-WEEK FOR HAMPTON ROADS

Right now (Sunday morning), Sandy is a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 MPH. This in itself is truly irrelevant as Sandy is now transitioning into a huge hybrid storm. The areal coverage of this storm is going to be incredible as it expands outward. What does the word hybrid mean in this case? Sandy is being energized not only by warm ocean water that fuels tropical cyclones. Sandy is intensifying and becoming more massive due to difference in air masses between cooler and drier air to the north and west and the very moist air mass to the south and east. Also, atmospheric energy from the jet stream is helping to intensify this monster storm. This is the same reason that winter storms become intense. So, it would not be wise to just focus on the center of the tropical cyclone. The strongest winds may be far away from the center which is very different from a regular hurricane which as its strongest winds right around the eye-wall. The other incredible thing about this storm is the fact that all computer models have the storm making a left turn bringing it into the New Jersey coastline. Power outages will be massive along with some structural damage due to the strong winds. Coastal flooding, beach erosion, and flooding rains will be huge problems from the North Carolina coast up through New England. Inland areas are going to experience damaging high winds and flooding.  I just heard that the latest update has the pressure dropping to 951 millibars, which is an incredible barometric pressure. For us in Hampton Roads, it is expected that the winds will be slowly increasing into Monday. Rainfall will be heavy at times. Coastal flooding will be an issue also. It’s hard to say where the heaviest rain will be, but some areas may be seeing very heavy rainfall amounts. That’s it for now. Please be safe and monitor the local media and National Weather Service forecasts.

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HURRICANE SANDY IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A HYBRID STORM AS IT MOVES NORTHWARD… THE EXACT IMPACTS OF THIS STORM ARE NOT CERTAIN BUT COASTAL FLOODING, HIGH WINDS, BEACH EROSION, AND FLOODING RAINFALL MAY BE SERIOUS THREATS IN MANY AREAS FROM THE SOUTHEASTERN STATES ALL THE WAY UP INTO THE NORTHEASTERN STATES

Hurricane Sandy has the potential to be a real problem for a large area of the Eastern U.S. Since this is late October, it may not be the typical hurricane and the storm may become a hybrid storm as it interacts with energy in the atmosphere and other weather systems as it moves generally northward. This means that it could take on characteristics of a mid-latitude extra tropical cyclone. Even though it may not be a purely tropical cyclone, it still could be a very formidable storm. The wind field should expand much further out from the center than the typical tropical cyclone. Many of the computer models have the storm, which is moving northwest now, turning northeastward and then back to the northwest towards the Northern Mid-Atlantic coastline. That could mean very serious conditions for the folks up that way. The exact timeline is a bit uncertain as the storm is expected to slow down for a while. Right now, it appears that conditions will begin to really deteriorate late Saturday. By Sunday morning, Hampton Roads should be experiencing windy and rainy conditions. How windy it becomes and how much rainfall we receive depends on how close the storm tracks along the coast. Also, the intensity and the structure of the storm is not certain when it gets up to our latitude. Coastal flooding could be a very serious issue here in Hampton Roads. And, of course, power outages could also be an issue. This all depends on how strong the winds are. So, please stay tuned to the local media sources and also monitor the National Hurricane Center’s website for the very latest on this storm. Once the storm moves away early next week, cooler weather will move into Hampton Roads.

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A DRY WEATHER PATTERN WILL CONTINUE MUCH OF THE WEEK… THERE IS AN AREA OF CONCERN IN THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA THAT WILL BE WATCHED FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE DEVELOPMENT

A look at the national radar shows a lack of precipitation nationwide. This tends to happen more frequently at this time of year. Large, sprawling high pressure systems can basically shut down any chances of rain in large areas during October. High pressure settling near the Mid-Atlantic Coast will keep us dry for most and probably all of this week. Temperatures will trend upwards a bit during the mid-week period as the high settles off the coast. Meanwhile, in the tropical Atlantic, there is an area of disturbed weather in the central Caribbean Sea. At the time of this writing, the National Hurricane Center gives this system a 70% chance of developing over the next few days. If a tropical cyclone develops, its name will be Sandy and this could be a memorable storm for some folks due to its anticipated very slow movement. That’s it for now. Enjoy the fantastic fall weather while it lasts!

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AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF DRY AND SEASONAL WEATHER BEGINS THIS WEEKEND

The weather this past week was almost summer-like at times with humidity levels rather high and temperatures reaching well into the 70’s. A cold front came through the area on Friday causing showers in some spots. No significant rain fell in my neighborhood on Friday but I know in parts of Norfolk, there was some rain. Last Monday (Oct 15th), about an inch of rain fell in my neighborhood. It doesn’t look like we are going to see any significant rainfall over the next 5 days at least. The weather pattern will be very quiet and it really looks like some great autumn weather is on the way. The tropical Atlantic is basically quiet with just a couple of minor areas of concern at this time. That’s it for now. Have a great day and enjoy the fantastic weather!

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