Reporting Jeff Ray
Filed underStorm Team Blog
This was the coldest morning of the season so far with an official low at DFW of 38°. There will be clear skies again tonight with winds out of the north at only 5 mph (they stayed in the 10-12 mph range all of last night). I expect the lows to be a few degrees colder than that tonight in the metro area.
For the second night in a row a FREEZE WARNING is in effect from 1am to 9am Sunday for all counties north and west of Tarrant and Dallas Counties:
For the metro area we expect lows to dip down into the mid-30′s. A FROST ADVISORY is in effect:
Once the chill in the air leaves tomorrow it will be a spectacular fall day. Highs will get into the mid-60′s with blue skies and a minimal north wind (5-10 mph by afternoon).
Hurricane Sandy is a very large category one hurricane that is currently morphing into a Nor’easter with a warm-core low. Around 60 million people are in the path of this storm.
The tropical storm-force winds of Sandy span over 600 miles across. The storm is maintaining its force not from the warm waters from the ocean but from its interaction with a trough of low pressure to its west (the cold front that came through here last Thursday afternoon). This is giving Sandy its unusual shape and large size, models show the path of tropical storm winds to widen to over 750 miles by tomorrow afternoon.
Sandy will NOT be a hurricane when it hits somewhere around New Jersey late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. Believe me I say this is an argument over semantics. This will be a billion-dollar weather disaster.
The main reason for my pessimism is the size and odd path of the storm. Sandy is going to take a hard turn to the west just as it draws up next to the Delmarva peninsula. This means a storm with 50-70mph winds (and hurricane strength gusts) will hit the coastline almost directly from the east. It will take most of the day on Monday to get to the shore. What I am afraid will happen is that A UNPRECEDENTED STORM SURGE will hit the coastal regions including (most especially) New York City on the north side of the storm’s center. Twenty foot waves could hit the shoreline of Long Island.
Last year Hurricane Irene (a $15 Billion dollar storm mostly from river flooding) brought in a brief storm surge that got within a foot of flooding the New York Subway system and the underground electric grid. High tide (the full Moon) is Monday night in Battery Park. The storms center and timing will decide if the subway will be threatened. Five million people a day ride the largest and old subway system in the world. The economic effects of prolonged damage to the core transit system of New York would cost billions.
Because of the large and prolonged nature of the 50-mph sustained winds with Sandy could bring extensive tree and power line damage. Leaves are still on the trees along the I-95 corridor, greatly increasing the size and scope of potential damage (more weight on the limbs). This storm could break the record for the lowest pressure ever recorded in Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City. Low pressure equates to strong winds.
A damaging wet snow teamed with 50-60 mph winds will damage trees and power lines in the West Virginia and Virginia Appalachian into PA. .
Again, this storm hits Monday late or early Tuesday but its size will shut down the I-95 corridor on Monday as it approaches. People will have to be in place by early Monday to ride out the storm. The loss of electricity for an extended time is very likely.
We’ll keep you updated on this unprecedented storm. The irony is that the slow progress of Sandy will keep us in a upper northwest flow for most of the work week. This means dry and wonderful fall weather for us here in north Texas. The weather for Halloween night will be about as good as it gets with evening temperatures in the 60′s. We’ll enjoy highs in the 80′s by Thursday and include a small chance of rain by Sunday. Enjoy!