Early morning model runs still suggest that hurricane Sandy will come ashore somewhere from the Delmarva to Maine between late Sunday and Tuesday. The storm has the potential to have severe impacts over a large area and this entire region should begin thinking about preparations for a major storm.
The European and GFDL models have solutions that would almost be worst case scenarios for the mid-Atlantic, including Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, in terms of winds and power outages as each track the Sandy very near this area.
A notable change in the models since yesterday is that an increasing number bring the storm into the northern mid-Atlantic.
The European ensemble mean (an average of a set of European models runs with slight tweaks to the initial conditions fed into the model) is a little farther north taking the storm into New Jersey. Almost all members of the Canadian and UKMET ensembles hit somewhere along the mid-Atlantic or New England coast. They and the European model solutions are the basis for thinking that a U.S. landfall is far more likely than a complete miss despite the GFS which yesterday afternoon and last night still kept Sandy well east of the other model solutions.
Some of the model runs even suggest the potential for snow in the mountains southwest of the storm as the west winds south of the storm pull cold air eastward.
It’s far too early to get into specifics of who might see the most significant impacts from Sandy. However, the tropical storm force wind field around the storm will be large so a relatively large area could be negatively impacted by the storm.
Wherever the storm hits, it should bring strong winds, likely power outages, and very heavy rains that probably will produce flooding. Another major impact with Sandy will be coastal flooding and erosion due to the strong sustained onshore flow that will precede the storm.
Sandy remains a potential devastating storm if the worst case scenarios verify for some people along the East Coast. The final track which still up in the air will determine whether the worst impact will be felt in the mid-Atlantic or farther north in New England.