Lowdown on possible historic October Nor’easter!

Tropical Storm “Sandy” is poised to hit Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas this week:

Tropical Storm Sandy

Usually, these types of storms curve to the northeast and head out to sea. But an unusual pattern will set up this weekend:

Upper Air Map

ECMWF is showing a huge ocean storm sitting like a stuck pig (oink! oink!) Sunday morning. This should block “Sandy” from making the usual escape out to sea and buy some time for the Midwest trough to pick up “Sandy”, steering her northward. By Tuesday morning ECMWF (supported by most other major models, except for the putrid GFS) show a MONSTER located near New York City as the Midwest trough and “Sandy” phase into a huge nor’easter type storm!

Nor'easter

If this was winter, I’d be breaking out the snow dance! That has the look of a flat-out blizzard. But since were talking about late October, cold air will be in short supply. If this panel is correct a changeover to snow would occur over the southwest flank of this tightly wrapped storm, most likely over the higher elevations of southwestern Pennsylvania, West Virginia and western Maryland. For the Adirondacks, this scenario would produce multiple inches of rainfall and strong gusty winds: the type of weather that could uproot lots of trees. This could be a historic coastal disaster for New York and New England.

Of course, this storm is still several days away and we won’t know exactly how the players will interact until the short range models pick them up over the weekend. The ECWMF usually has a superior track record with forecasting major events several days away, so I think there is definitely something to watch for early next week!

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