Sandy’s winds have remained at 75 mph with each update today. One thing that has changed since yesterday is the pressure. It has dropped to 950 mph. Usually, with a pure tropical system, when the pressure drops then the winds increase. But since this storm is starting to interact with the huge trough west of us, it is spreading out in size instead. Hurricane force winds extend 250 miles across, and tropical storm force winds span 1000 miles. So even though the storm is spreading itself out, the winds have remained the same – a sign this storm is strengthening overall.
All signs are still pointing to Sandy making a sharp turn to the west tomorrow, getting pulled into the United States. It’s also still looking like landfall will likely be the New Jersey coast Monday night. At that point, it will merge with the large trough/front to our west and form an even bigger storm. That’s the superstorm that people are referring to. It will be a hybrid, nor’easter-like system.
Winds have already gusted to 51 mph this evening in Ocean City. Those winds will intensify both at the beaches and inland overnight. Winds will peak later tomorrow into early Tuesday morning with gusts up to 60 mph inland, and maybe even 80 mph along the beaches.
Rainfall will also keep increasing. Heavy bands of rain that have already overspread the Eastern Shore, will spread west. Rainfall amounts will reach 6″ for a lot of us, with 6-12″ possible over the Eastern Shore. Storm surge is a separate issue. At the beaches, a forecast surge of up to 6′ is possible. When you combine the long duration of this storm with the full moon tomorrow night, we have a few different high tide cycles to get through. In the Bay, it’s a different story. There will be a rise of 1-2′, maybe 3′, but the peak of this storm will feature winds out of the north. That will blow water back down the Bay. However, as winds turn back around to the south tomorrow night and Tuesday (after Sandy’s landfall), there could be another small push of water back up the Bay. It will NOT be like Isabel.
Cold air sitting over the Ohio Valley will get pulled into this storm later tomorrow. Amazingly enough, a Blizzard Warning will go into effect tomorrow evening through Tuesday evening for Garrett County. That’s due to the combination of high winds and accumulating snow – 6-10″. Cold air will get pulled across the entire state Tuesday. The rain/snow line will also spread eastward – possibly making it down to Carroll or dare I say Baltimore County. Highs will only be in the 40s, and we will probably even be talking about wind chills. Yes, after a tropical system.
Wednesday will finally show some improvement around here. It will still be breezy with a few showers possible, but more like winds of 15-25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.
Stay safe and smart out there. And tune into WJZ and WJZ.com for the storm’s duration, we will be doing plenty of special coverage.