Potential Storm: Tuesday PM Update
By Quincy Vagell on October 23, 2012, 4:15pm Last modified: October 24, 2012, 12:09pm
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New data is coming in and the possibility of a major storm is increasing.
There is still a lot of variability in the model forecasts as we head into the weekend and early next week. However, there are several signals that a major storm will be developing.
It must be stressed that the time-frame here is still several days out, with potential impacts happening between Sunday and Wednesday of next week. Forecasts are not set in stone and expect more changes in the coming days. There is no immediate danger and nothing guarantees that a storm will impact Connecticut.
The latest forecasts continue to strengthen Tropical Storm Sandy into a Hurricane as it moves northward towards the Bahamas. Beyond that, although there is still a lot of uncertainty, there is the potential for the hurricane to move northward up the East Coast and post a threat to the region. The storm could go out to sea, but at least half of the current forecast models show a glancing blow or a direct hit with a major storm system. If such a scenario were to unfold, a purely tropical systemmis not likely, but instead a large coastal low with Tropical Storm or Hurricane strength could bring heavy rains, strong winds and coastal flooding to whatever area it heads towards.
The 12z ECMWF computer model takes (then) Hurricane Sandy northward up the East Coast as a low pressure system transitioning into a massive coastal storm. The storm then turns back towards the northwest and moves directly into Connecticut. This severe scenario is not much different from previous forecasts from the ECMWF, as the overall consistency of predicting a major East Coast storm has been concerning.
The 12z GFS remains out to sea, but the forecast has trended slightly closer to the coast. Perhaps the most alarming thing here is that several (about half) of the GFS Ensemble members re-curve the storm to the northwest and bring it back into New England.
The WRF/NAM and SREF only go out to Friday night, but they are a bit further west and would appear to be signaling a track closer to the coast.
The GGEM has now turned out to sea and is similar to the GFS and the UKMET is also out to sea.
The NOGAPS, for what it's worth, is similar to the ECMWF and gives Connecticut a direct hit.
This storm is still at least five days away from having a direct impact on the area and with a lot of variables to consider, plenty can still change. However, since there has been a consistent signal of the potential for a major storm, this system absolutely needs to be watched.
Remember, no forecast is set in stone and there is no cause for panic.
Continue the slideshow for additional model analysis.