Destruction from Hurricane Sandy on a street in Santiago de Cuba Photo: Desmond Boylan, Reuters
(Superstorm) Sandy is expected to be so large it will cover the eastern third of the United States, said Louis Uccellini, director of the National Centres for Environmental Protection in College Park, Maryland. The storm's reach may extend into southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces, according to a bulletin from Environment Canada.
Yesterday, Paul Kocin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in College Park, said if Sandy grows as expected, it may be the worst storm to hit the region in 100 years.
"What we're seeing in some of our models is a storm at an intensity that we have not seen in this part of the country in the past century," Kocin said. "We're not trying to hype it, this is what we're seeing in some of our models. It may come in weaker."
As of 5 p.m. New York time, Sandy's top winds were 75 miles (121 kilometers) per hour, down from 100 mph earlier, according to the hurricane center in Miami. It was 60 miles north of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas and 420 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, moving north at 7 mph.
The center's current track for the system has it going ashore just south of the Delaware Bay late Oct. 29 or early Oct. 30 and moving northwest toward Baltimore. The path may change before landfall, the center said.
As much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain may fall on parts of the northeast, with the heaviest rain to the north of the storm's track. The damage will be spread across a wider area than that left by a typical hurricane, Franklin said. "Our track forecast error is on the order of 150 to 200 miles," Franklin said on a conference call today. "We cannot be precise at this stage."
Franklin said the storm surge, or ocean water the storm pushes into the shore, will hit a larger area than did last year's Hurricane Irene. The storm will also be striking two days after the full moon, when tides are at their highest."
To all my friends on the American northern continental east coast, I wish you all to be safe and well and to ride out this storm with no serious consequences!