• 5 reasons why Sandy is expected to be a superstorm
    The Associated Press | October 29,2012
    • Email Article
    •  Print Article
    1. A northbound


    Hurricane Sandy is moving slowly northeast and but is expected to turn to the north and west later Sunday and today, forecasters say. At some point, it’s expected to become what’s known as an extratropical storm. Unlike a hurricane, which gets its power from warm ocean waters, extratropical systems are driven by temperature contrasts in the atmosphere.

    Although Sandy is a hurricane, it’s important not to focus too much on its official category or its precise path (current models show it making landfall over New Jersey or Delaware sometime early Tuesday). Louis Uccellini, environmental prediction chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that given Sandy’s east-to-west track into New Jersey, the worst of the storm surge could be just to the north, in New York City, on Long Island and in northern New Jersey.

    Boston and Philadelphia should expect the worst storm conditions Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning.

    It’s a massive system that will affect a huge swath of the eastern U.S., regardless of exactly where it hits or its precise wind speed. For example, tropical storm-force winds can be felt more than 500 miles from the storm’s center, according to the National Hurricane Center. It’s already caused some minor flooding in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and has prompted evacuations elsewhere. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has personnel and supplies spread as far west as the Ohio River Valley, said Craig Fugate, the agency’s director.

    2. Early winter storm

    Sandy is expected to merge with a wintry system from the west, at which point it will become the powerful superstorm that has forecasters and officials across the eastern U.S. Winds from that system will pull Sandy back toward the U.S. mainland.

    3. Artic air from

    the north

    Frigid air coming south from Canada also is expected to collide with Sandy and the wintry storm from the west, creating a megastorm that is expected to park over the northeast for days. The brunt of the storm could hit areas farther inland. Officials are bracing for the worst: nearly a foot of rain, high winds and up to 2 feet of snow.

    4. High tides could worsen flooding

    Further complicating matters is the possibility for dangerous storm surges: A full moon means the tides will be higher than usual, which will make it easier for the storm’s powerful winds to push water into low-lying areas. That, coupled with the threat of several inches of rain, has officials working to shore up flood defenses.

    Storm surge could reach anywhere from 2 to 11 feet along the northeastern coast, forecasters say. Inland river flooding also is a serious concern.

    5. Combo of snow, wind increases risk for widespread power outages

    Storms in recent years have left hundreds of thousands of people in the eastern U.S. without power, sometimes for days at a time. Utilities have been bringing in extra crews and lining up tree trimmers so they’re prepared, and with good reason. The superstorm brings two possibilities for knocking out electricity. For one, hurricane-force winds of at least 74 mph could send tree branches into power lines, or even topple entire trees and power poles. Those left standing could succumb to snow, which could weigh down still-leafy branches enough to also topple trees.
    • Email Article
    •  Print Article
    MORE IN Wire News

    PRISTINA, Kosovo — Opposition lawmakers in Kosovo disrupted parliament’s session... Full Story

    LUXEMBOURG — The European Union on Thursday took measures to buttress its porous... Full Story

    EU agrees to speed migrant deportation, buttress borders

    JERUSALEM — A Palestinian stabbed four Israelis with a screwdriver on Thursday before a... Full Story

    Amid new attacks, Israel bars ministers from Jerusalem site
    More Articles