Wednesday, October 24, 2012

10:05pm Wednesday: Big Potential; Big Uncertainty

9:15pm satellite image of Hurricane Sandy approaching southeast coast of Cuba. The central dense overcast (dark gray) is expanding the the pressure is dropping rapidly -- down to 954 mb.  This is stronger than has been forecast by the National Hurricane Center. It should make Category 2 intensity winds by the time the eye reaches the Cuban coast. 
I'm concerned that the storm -- which is geographically very large -- may continue the trend of being stronger than initially anticipated. 

Tropical storm warning continues for much of the Florida east coast. 

There isn't enough new information tonight to do the potential East Coast storm justice from a longer-range planning point of view.  

Some of the computer models bring hurricane-force winds uncomfortably close to the east coast of Florida (especially around West Palm Beach) before the storm turns back to the NNE.

Some models take the storm harmlessly into the middle of the Atlantic. Others bring a full-fledged hurricane onto the coast anywhere from Norfolk to Nova Scotia. 

You may be wondering, what good is this information, given the level of uncertainty, and it is a very fair question. I'm bringing it to your attention because some of the models bring gusts to near 100 mph, a major storm surge, power failures, flooding, and heavy snow (!) to the Northeast. So, because the stakes are so high, I'm writing about it a day or two earlier than I usually would. Stay tuned. 

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