After a long week of watching and waiting, Hurricane Sandy’s effects are now being felt across the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states! Today and tomorrow will be the worst days – very strong winds along bouts of heavy rain!
Here in western Massachusetts, we are not going to feel the full effect of Hurricane Sandy. The storm will be much worse in other parts of the Northeast: cities along the coast will have to deal with 5-10′ storm surge, while parts of West Virginia will be contending with blizzard conditions!! It’s not often you see hurricane and blizzard warnings in close proximity.
Since we don’t have to think about storm surge or snow, here’s what we can expect over the next 48 hours:
Strong winds. The strongest winds will be felt from this afternoon through Tuesday afternoon. A high wind warning will be in effect for all of western Massachusetts through Tuesday morning as we are anticipating sustained winds between 20-30 MPH with gusts up to 60 MPH! The higher gusts will likely be in the Hilltowns/Berkshires, but we will all be susceptible to high winds. With tropical storm-force wind gusts, lies the possibility for downed trees and power lines which could lead to power outages.
Rain. We will be tracking bands of moderate to heavy rain across southern New England. Expect periods of rain from this afternoon through Tuesday. With 2-4″ of rain in the forecast, flooding is possible. Make sure you clear storm drains of leaves and debris! If you leave near any rivers or places that are prone to flooding, keep a close eye on the water levels! We are not anticipating as much rain as we saw with Tropical Storm Irene!
Sandy is expected to make landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey sometime late today or early Tuesday morning. Once she makes landfall, she will continue to track inland towards Pennsylvania. By Wednesday, the storm will make a sharp turn towards western New York. By Friday and Saturday, the remnants of Sandy will still be loitering in northern New England. Since this storm will get caught up in the Northeast, we can expect showers from Wednesday through Friday.
By this weekend, El Sol will be back to dry up the mess.
-Meteorologist Ashley Baylor