Sunday Update: Final Forecast Details on Sandy - NECN
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Weather New England

Meteorologists' Observations on the Weather

Sunday Update: Final Forecast Details on Sandy



    Current Satellite as of Sunday PM:


    The speculation about a potential historic storm began on Monday, and now, six days later, it's time to finalize forecast details.  Not much has changed from yesterday's thoughts, but here's where we stand:

    • Forecast coverage on NECN - I will be on-air starting at 9 PM Sunday night.
    • Impact will begin at the South Coast very early Monday morning, spreading north.  Schools and other organziations with daytime plans Monday anywhere in Southern and Central New England are encouraged to cancel, due to tree damage, power outages, even through the interior.
    • The farther inland one is, the more we'll see "pockets" of damage, but those pockets may be large and will be severe, so all should be prepared for potential several day power outages, in case your town is one of the hardest impacted.
    • Link: Coastal flood inundation map for Eastern MA Coast. I suggest using 10' North Shore/Boston, 13' South Shore, 8' South Coast.
    • Link: Important tips for safely using a generator.
    • Link: Preparation tips for pet owners.
    • Link: FEMA tips for Hurricane preparation

    Fb1WIND:  Wind direction will be from the east-northeast in the morning, east in the afternoon, east-southeast in the evening.  Damaging wind will be the most widespread impact of this storm, causing widespread power outages for most of Southern and Central New England, and scattered outages in Northern New England.  Sustained winds will be strong, particularly near the coast at 40-50 mph, but damaging wind *gusts* will penetrate far inland, as far west as the New York State border at least in pockets.  Gusts begin exceeding 50 mph on the Islands and immediate coastal locales of Cape Cod, Massachusetts at about 7-8 AM - same possible on the Eastern tip of Long Island.  These gusts will cause scattered power outages, and spread through the rest of far Southern New England and the far South Shore of MA by late morning to midday.  Monday afternoon, damaging gusts will be ongoing through all of Southern New England, exceeding 50 mph, with 60+ mph gusts on the Cape and Island, and immediate coastal locales.  The worst wind gusts will occur during late afternoon and early evening Monday, reaching 80+ mph for a few locations on the Cape and Islands, and immediate coastal locales of the far South Shore, and 70+ for many immediate coastal locales of Eastern MA.  Gusts to 65+ mph are also possible along the immediate coast as far north as Portland, ME.  Gusts will penetrate inland, as well, reaching 60-70 mph in pockets of interior Southern New England, 50+ mph in pockets of Southern and Central NH, Southern VT and Southern ME.  This means that interior damage and outages may not be as widespread as coastlines, but where outages occur, it may take several days to restore owing to significant damage from these winds.

    Fb2COASTAL FLOODING & BEACH EROSION:  Some areas - like communities around the south end of Narragansett Bay - will see historic coastal flooding, with current storm surge forecasts lining up with the third worst in recent history for the Newport, RI, area and southern Narragansett Bay.  The Hurricane of '38 was 11.9 feet of total water, Hurricane Carol in '54 was 8.9 feet, Sandy is forecast to be 7-8 feet, Hurricane of '44 was 5.8 feet.  In Western Long Island Sound, this storm will be worse than Irene and will rival flood levels seen in Hurricane Gloria.  Along the South Coast of RI and MA, this storm will rival though may fall just short of that seen in Hurricane Bob.  Moderate to major flooding will occur across almost all of the South Coast, and many eastern MA beaches, especially along the South Shore.  If told to evacuate, do so - we are dealing with a few high tide cycles of impact, which often leads to New England's worst coastal flood events.  Waves of 30-40 feet offshore will result in 15 foot breakers (greater in some spots) which will exacerbate issues of coastal flooding - the normal concern level is 15 foot waves offshore!  This also will result in severe beach erosion potential from Southern Maine southward.

    Fb3RAIN:  Flooding rain will NOT be widespread in New England, but will occur for some.  For most, a 2"-3" rainfall is expected, spread over the course of Monday through Wednesday, and our ground and hydrologic system can handle that.  There have been consistent indications, however, of higher amounts along the southeast facing slopes of the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire, where greater than 4" of rain may fall.  A similar band of 4" rainfall totals is possible under a relatively narrow but regenerating band of rain that may develop in interior Central New England.  Both of these highlighted areas may see both localized flooding of streams and small rivers, and also the potential for flooding on larger rivers due to runoff.  Obviously, basement flooding is possible in all locales depending upon how your home responds to forecast rainfall amounts.