It is Sunday night and we are about 24 hours away from feeling the impacts from Sandy. Here is the latest position and forecast path of the hurricane from the National Hurricane Center.
You may have noticed that the track of the center of the storm goes through Central New York later in the week. Keep in mind, by that point the storm will have weakened quite a bit. It won’t be a hurricane. That ‘S’ means it could technically be a tropical storm in terms of winds but, to be honest, we don’t think the winds will be as strong Wednesday as Monday night. In fact, I was looking at a map from the NAM model that plots out winds aloft on Wednesday (Halloween) and there is actually a lull in the winds right over us.
So wind appears to be the biggest threat for us from Sandy and it will be with us for a prolonged time. It looks like our period of strongest winds in Syracuse is likely between from 6 p.m. tomorrow through 6 a.m. Tuesday. It will likely still be quite windy during the day Tuesday but gusts won’t be as high as during Monday night. Like during strong winter storms around here, those types of winds are enough to cause damage and power outages. By comparing Sandy to a Central New York winter-type wind storm we aren’t trying to minimize the impacts but we are just trying to put it into proper perspective.
The one change we’ve made in the forecast since the end of last week is to bring down our forecasted rainfall totals. It seems as though the core of heaviest rain will track close to the center of Sandy which means New Jersey, Pennsylvania and western New York will feel the brunt of the rain. Here is the latest rainfall forecast from the National Weather Service.
Going strictly by this map we should expect around 3/4" Monday through Tuesday in Syracuse with higher totals to our south. Keep in mind that Flood Watches are still up for areas close to Syracuse like the Finger Lakes, Cortland, Chenango and Otsego Counties.
So, to sum up, the rain moves in Monday afternoon but through Tuesday the rain totals in Syracuse are not enough to cause any flooding issues. The wind ramps up during the afternoon as well and will be at its peak Monday night with gusts to 60 mph and scattered power outages. There probably won’t be a long blog tomorrow but I’ll try to post some shorter takes to keep things up to date and fresh as the storm unfolds.
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