Saturday afternoon. Pajamas. Kitchen table. Laptop. Worried look.
I’m scared I’m right. I’m scared I’m wrong. The meteorologist’s conundrum.
Each and every aspect of Sandy’s impact on Connecticut looks worse than anything I’ve seen before and I’ve been forecasting here 28 years.
With the time frame for Sandy’s arrival getting shorter there’s more guidance to look at. Some projections only go out 72 hours. I didn’t need them until now.
A huge concern is the shoreline. Water will pile up in the Sound before Sandy gets here. As the storm approaches windblown waves will form on top of that temporarily elevated sea level. At the same time the full moon will bring higher than normal tides!
The high tide at New London Monday evening is now forecast five feet above what’s on the tide tables. In Bridgeport the high tide will be seven feet above. In both cases the high tide will be broader and longer than usual as storm surge builds.
If tides come as now projected, Bridgeport breaks the record high tide measured during the Hurricane of ’38!
Inland and shoreline will experience enough wind to bring down trees, power lines and do structural damage. If you live on a hill or in a high rise building you will get more wind than folks closer to sea level.
This would be a bad time to visit New York City. Windows will blow out showering streets with glass. The subways might flood, bringing salt water to the rails and electrical infrastructure.
There will be plenty of rain, but inland flooding will be limited, not widespread.
Don’t let the storm’s position west of us fool you. In Irene, which barely grazed Litchfield County, our strongest winds were closer to the Rhode Island border! Hurricane Sandy is not a typical hurricane (understatement there) and will not act like one. The strongest winds won’t be limited to the area near the center.
The latest Hurricane Center track shows landfall in Southern Delaware late afternoon or evening on Monday¹.
That last sentence does Hurricane Sandy (it’s been elevated to hurricane status again) a disservice! This hybrid storm will cover such a large area that the exact time or point of arrival aren’t important.
As was the case last night, I think the Hurricane Center landfall is too far south. Somewhere near Atlantic City, NJ is where I’d place it and where the model consensus places it. However, the last paragraph applies here too. The exact spot is inconsequential.
The wind will start ramping up Sunday. Our peak wind in Connecticut will happen Monday evening. We’ll stay gusty and blustery through Tuesday afternoon.
We probably won’t see hurricane force sustained winds, though there is a chance for a few hurricane force gusts. Remember, Irene affected Connecticut as a tropical storm and caused over 700,000 outages!
Sandy is a storm of great concern. The potential for damage or even loss of life is high. If you protect yourself and reduce your exposure to risk you should be OK.
If you’re on the shoreline and asked to evacuate, please do so immediately. Escape routes can flood or be blocked very quickly.
Play it safe. I am paid by the viewer.
¹ – A friend notes the NHC published track is misleading:
nhc getting lots of shit not because of the actual landfall point but b/c they don’t have 60 and 84hr points which would show central NJ landfall. As it is it’s very deceiving, dangerously so. and TWC shows it to everyone