Nor’easter *may* bring Sandy-stricken areas rain, coastal flooding next week


Three model simulations show very different possibilities for weather along the coast next week. The European (EURO, right) model shows a moderate storm producing wind, coastal flooding, rain and inland snow for the mid-Atlantic into the Northeast. The GFS (left) shows a weaker storm just brushing the mid-Atlantic coast. The Canadian model (center) develops a storm too far offshore to be of concern for the regions affected by Sandy. (StormVistaWxModels.com)

It’s very important to stress any storm will not come close to the intensity of Sandy. Even the most aggressive model simulations show much weaker winds, lower seas, and lower rainfall amounts compared to Sandy. But even a weak storm could result in a significant set back for clean-up efforts and add to the misery of those reeling (e.g. without power, etc.) from Sandy’s destruction.

Fortunately, there’s a legitimate chance the storm develops too far out to sea to be a problem.

The latest models show a range of scenarios spanning from prolonged storm conditions in the mid-Atlantic to little effect anywhere.

* The European (EURO) model - which best handled Sandy - shows a strong low developing off the Georgia coast election night (November 6), moving north to near the Delmarva coast by Wednesday night, stalling for about 12 hours, before weakening and moving northeast to near Cape Cod by Thursday night. This is a very bad scenario for the Maryland and Delaware beaches up through southern New England as it would result in a prolonged period of onshore flow and coastal flooding. The EURO also pulls down enough cold air for some wet snow in elevated areas west and northwest of Washington D.C.

* The GFS model develops a low off the South Carolina coast election night bring some rain to mid-Atlantic coastal areas, but - rather than turning up the coast - pulls out to sea. This simulation would raise seas and probably cause minor coastal flooding and beach erosion, but would not be a big deal. Note: only a few of the 20 GFS ensemble members (the same model run with tweaks to the initial conditions) simulate stormy conditions along the East Coast


GFS ensemble members for Wednesday morning next week. Only a few simulate stormy conditions along the East Coast. (WeatherBell.com)

At this point, there is not model consensus for a significant storm along the East Coast. Obviously, the EURO model is concerning, but for its scenario to be right it would require certain pieces to come together at the right place at the right time.

We will keep you posted.

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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