Sandy remains a hurricane this evening (category 1) off the southeast US coast having sustained winds of 75 mph. The outer bands of heavy rainfall are now affecting the coastal Carolinas where several inches of rain can accumulate by Sunday morning. Sandy will likely maintain its category 1 status right into Monday while continuing to track towards the north. By Monday evening, Sandy will begin to respond to an approaching deep upper level trough of low pressure over the Appalachians by making a sharp turn to the left towards central or southern New Jersey. This sharp turn in its path will begin the transformation process of Sandy from a tropical system to a super “post-tropical” storm. The storm is likely to make landfall Monday night along the New Jersey coastline by moving in a nearly perpendicular fashion to the shoreline.
Rain and wind will increase in intensity in the Mid-Atlantic region on Sunday and Sunday night and then the worst of the storm is likely to occur from early Monday into early Tuesday. The entire I-95 region from DC-Philly-NYC is in store for a major impact from the storm with torrential rainfall ( a general 5-10” with 10+ in some locations), flooding, and a prolonged period of damaging winds on increasingly softened ground. The wind field of the storm will be quite vast and extend out hundreds of miles out from the low pressure center; consequently, power outages are likely to be widespread with wind gusts reaching 60-80 mph in the Mid-Atlantic region. Storm surge flooding at the coastline will be potentially at historic levels thanks in part to the full moon that occurs on Monday.