Tracking Hurricane Sandy - WSET.com - ABC13

Tracking Hurricane Sandy

Posted:

Update 7 a.m. Tuesday:

Post-tropical storm Sandy will slowly but surely be weakening and pulling away from our area over the next 24 hours. Winds stay gusty for our area through the first part of the day, with gusts to 40mph still possible. Areas of light rain will continue with snow for the mountains, and the afternoon is chilly with temperatures holding in the low-mid 40s. A flurry or two may be possible in central VA (mainly north of Lynchburg) early this morning or later tonight. 

Update 2 p.m. Monday:

Hurricane Sandy has accelerated since this morning, and is now moving to the Northwest at 28mph. The storm is located 110 miles SE of Atlantic City, NJ and 175 miles SSE of New York City. Landfall is expected early this evening over southern New Jersey.

WIND

Once the storm moves inland, our winds in Central Virginia will continue to increase through tonight and into early Tuesday morning. The period of strongest winds looks to be from 8 PM this evening through 5 AM tomorrow morning. During this window gusts as strong as 60mph will be possible for the Piedmont areas, with gusts up to 70mph possible in the mountains. This will be the period when downed trees and power outages will be most likely. If you have trees surrounding your home, you may want to consider sleeping in your basement tonight since damage is most likely to occur during the overnight hours. A High Wind Warning remains in effect today through Tuesday for the western side of our viewing area, including Amherst, Bedford, Franklin, and Patrick counties. A Wind Advisory remains in effect at the same time for rest of the region.

RAIN 

Rain will increase in coverage through this evening and overnight, then begin to back off through the course of Tuesday afternoon. It will continue to be heaviest for our northern/eastern counties. There will be a very sharp cutoff in rain totals from southwest to northeast, with locations across the Southside picking up only an additional .25" of rain, and some northern counties pushing 1" - 2" (total through Tuesday).

SNOW

Although the Piedmont areas will be drying out Tuesday, this will be the time when the heavy snowfall will begin to rapidly accumulate over the mountains of West Virginia. The highest elevations may pick up more than two feet of snow. Blizzard Warnings are in effect for those areas. In the Virginia mountains of the New River Valley, snow will also accumulate at elevations above 2,500 feet. Those areas could see 4" to 8" of snow. Elevations above 2000 feet in Northwestern Virginia are also now under a Blizzard Warning. This includes parts of Nelson, Albemarle, Augusta, Highland, and Rockingham counties. Several inches of snow will be possible there, again, above 2000 feet. At this time, a brief snow shower is possible for areas east of the Blue Ridge early Tuesday, but we do not anticipate it to cause any travel issues.

TEMPERATURES

Lows tonight in the upper 30s with afternoon highs tomorrow in the mid 40s. Tuesday night will be even colder, in the low-mid 30s for many. The chill backs off a bit as Sandy pulls away from our area midweek, with highs generally in the 50s to near 60. However, the nights will remain cold with lows in the 30s through the rest of the week.

Update 8 a.m. Monday:

Our region is experiencing a prolonged event of high winds, rainy and colder weather, as super-sized Sandy makes landfall over southern New Jersey tonight. 

A High Wind Warning is in effect today and Tuesday for the western side of our viewing area, including Amherst, Bedford, Franklin, and Patrick counties. There gusts may reach 60mph. A Wind Advisory will be in effect at the same time for rest of the region, as gusts may reach 50mph.

Today winds continue to increase, gusting to 40mph at times during the afternoon. The period of strongest winds will be late tonight through early Tuesday, with gusts to 50-60mph possible during that time period. This will be the time when power outages will be the most likely. Make sure you prepare now for the possibility of power loss.  

In addition to the wind, today also brings periods of rain, the heaviest for our central and northern counties. There will be a very sharp cutoff of rain totals from southwest to northeast, with some locations across the Southside around .25" of rain, and some northern counties pushing 1" - 2.5" (total through Tuesday).

We have snow in the ski country of West Virginia, where the highest elevations may pick up more than two feet of snow. Blizzard Warnings are in effect for those areas. In Virginia mountains and New River Valley we are expecting the rain to mix with snow. Elevations above 2,500 feet could see 2 to 8" of snow.

Update 5:00 p.m. Sunday:

Sandy is located 270 miles ESE of Cape Hatteras, NC and continues to hold Category One Hurricane status. Maximum winds are 75mph and the storm is moving Northeast at 15mph. 

Our area will be experiencing a prolonged event of high winds as Sandy nears closer and makes landfall over New Jersey late Monday/early Tuesday. 

A High Wind Warning will be in effect from 12AM Monday to 12AM Wednesday for the western side of our viewing area, including Amherst, Bedford, Franklin, and Patrick counties. There gusts may reach 60mph. A Wind Advisory will be in effect at the same time for Appomattox, Lynchburg, Campbell, Pittsylvania, Henry, and Martinsville where gusts may reach 45mph.

Winds begin to pick up on Monday, gusting to 40mph at times during the afternoon. The period of strongest winds will be late Monday night through early Tuesday, with gusts to 60mph possible during that time period. This will be the time when power outages will be the most likely. Make sure you take tonight and tomorrow morning to prepare for the possibility of power loss.  

In addition to the wind, Monday also brings periods of rain, especially for our central and northern counties. There will be a very sharp cutoff of rain totals from southwest to northeast, with some locations across the Southside managing no better than .25" of rain, and some northern counties pushing 1.5" - 2" (total through Tuesday). Some Southside counties may actually make it through much of the day Monday dry, with most of the rain coming down on Tuesday. 

Rain changes over to snow for the ski country of West Virginia, where the highest elevations may pick up more than two feet of snow. Winter Storm Watches are in effect for those areas. In the New River Valley we are expecting the rain to mix in with some snow showers once the colder air arrives late Monday night and into Tuesday. 

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Update 6 a.m. Sunday:

Sandy will begin to make more of an impact on our weather for Sunday, mainly in terms of the breeze picking up. On Sunday skies will be cloudy, but dry, for most of the day. Heading through the afternoon, breezes pick up out of the North at 10-20mph. A few showers may develop towards the afternoon and evening, however, it appears most of the shower activity will hold off until closer to Sunday night. Highs Sunday afternoon in the low 60s.

Rain and wind will continue to pick up Monday into Tuesday for our area, reaching a maximum (heaviest rain, strongest wind) on Tuesday. Enough cold air should be in place by then to allow snow showers in areas west of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but significant accumulations are only expected into West Virginia. Ski resorts in West Virginia will easily have double-digit (inches) accumulations of snow.

Scattered power outages are expected during this storm, with Tuesday being the day they are most likely because of the prolonged period of high winds.

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Update 11 p.m.:

Sandy is located 360 miles ESE of Charleston, SC and continues to hold Category One Hurricane status. Maximum winds are 75mph and the storm is moving Northeast at 14mph. 

Sandy will begin to make more of an impact on our weather for Sunday. On Sunday skies will begin cloudy, but dry, for the morning with temperatures in the low-mid 50s. Heading through the afternoon, breezes pick up out of the North at 10-20mph. A few showers will develop towards the afternoon and evening, however, it appears they will hold off in most areas until after 4PM or so. Highs Sunday afternoon in the low 60s with evening temps falling through the 50s. Rain and wind will continue to pick up Monday into Tuesday for our area, with conditions being the worst (heaviest rain, strongest wind) on Tuesday.

Update 6:00 p.m.:

Sandy is located 335 miles ESE of Charleston, SC and continues to hold Category One Hurricane status. Maximum winds are 75mph and the storm is moving Northeast at 13mph. 

Sandy will begin to make more of an impact on our weather for Sunday. On Sunday skies will begin cloudy, but dry, for the morning with temperatures in the low-mid 50s. Heading through the afternoon, breezes pick up out of the North at 10-20mph. A few showers will develop towards the afternoon and evening, however, it appears they will hold off in most areas until after 4PM or so. Highs Sunday afternoon in the low 60s with evening temps falling through the 50s. Rain and wind will continue to pick up Monday into Tuesday for our area, with conditions being the worst (heaviest rain, strongest wind) on Tuesday.

Update 11:00 a.m.:

After temporarily being downgraded to a Tropical Storm, Sandy has once again been upgraded to a Category One Hurricane. Maximum winds are 75mph and the storm is moving North-northeast at 9mph. The storm will continue to move NNE through late Sunday/early Monday before curving back Northwest towards land. While the storm is still over the ocean, the majority of the impacts will be felt along the coastal locations. For central Virginia Saturday and Sunday, we still expect mainly cloudy skies with breezy conditions at times, and a few showers (mainly on Sunday). Heavier rain and stronger winds will be felt Monday and Tuesday once the storm moves inland. 

Update 4:30 p.m.:

Hurricane Sandy is still a Category One hurricane with maximum winds of 75mph. The storm is currently moving North away from the Bahamas at 7mph. Sandy will parallel the east coast this weekend before curving towards land early Monday of next week. Since the storm stays largely off-shore during Saturday and most of Sunday, we expect minimal impacts during that time period.

Partly to mostly cloudy tonight through tomorrow, and although a stray shower is possible during that time, most places will go through the period dry. Lows hold in the 50s tonight and reach into the upper 60s Saturday. Although the breeze picks up Sunday, it looks like even then the showers will be hit or miss during the afternoon with highs in the low-mid 60s. Wind speeds will increase Sunday night and Monday, averaging 10-25 mph, with some higher gusts in the higher elevations, and temperatures will hold largely in the 50s Monday afternoon.

As the storm moves inland Monday, we will begin to feel greater effects from Sandy in terms of wind and rain. Occasional rain showers will move in for Monday and Tuesday, and some of the rain may be heavy at times. Highs Tuesday will be in the 40s in Central and Southside Virginia, 30s in the mountains. Winds also increase towards Monday night and Tuesday, to around 20-40mph. Colder air will also be racing in during this time period, so that enough cold air should be in place by then to allow snow showers in areas west of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Significant accumulations are only expected into West Virginia. Ski resorts in West Virginia will easily have double-digit (inches) accumulations of snow.

Scattered power outages are expected during this storm, with Tuesday being the day they are most likely.

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Update 9 a.m.:

From Meteorologist Matt Ferguson:

Hurricane Sandy is still expected to track to a point about a hundred miles east of Virginia Beach by Monday morning, then begin a turn back to the northwest into the coastline. Areas from the Carolinas through New England will be affected by this storm, but it does appear the worst of the storm will hold to our north.

Heavy rain will enter Virginia Saturday night from the southeast, and spread westward during Sunday. For our part of the state, the rain looks more moderate in intensity, and may not arrive until very late in the day Sunday.  Breezes will increase as highs hold closer to 60. It's windy on Monday with areas of rain, heaviest north of Lynchburg, lighter amounts in Southside Virginia. Winds are expected to be 15-35 mph, so scattered downed trees and power lines are possible.

Colder air works in Monday night, and there will be occasional showers Monday night and Tuesday before precipitation shuts off toward Tuesday evening.  Winds will continue strong from the west, averaging 15-35 mph.

Enough cold air will be drawn in to produce snow showers in higher elevations of Rockbridge and Nelson Counties, but accumulating snow should hold in the state of West Virginia.  Several inches of snow are likely in the West Virginia ski resorts.

Total rainfall amounts in our part of the state will vary widely, with some places getting less than a quarter of an inch, while others get more than 2 inches.  As a general rule, lower amounts will be found south and west of Lynchburg, with heavier amounts north and east.

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Update 3:40 p.m.:

From Meteorologist Sean Sublette:

Hurricane Sandy is still expected to track to a point about a hundred miles east of Virginia Beach by Monday morning and then begin a turn back to the northwest into the coastline. Areas from the Carolinas through New England will be affected by this storm, but it does appear the worst of the storm will hold to our north.

Saturday will bring clouds and a passing shower, but not too much wind, as highs hold in the 60s.

Heavy rain will enter Virginia Saturday night from the southeast, and spread westward during Sunday. For our part of the state, the rain looks more moderate in intensity, and may not arrive until very late in the day Sunday. Breezes will increase as highs hold closer to 60.

Windy on Monday with areas of rain, heaviest north of Lynchburg, lighter amounts in Southside Virginia. Winds are expected to be 15-35 mph, so scattered downed trees and power lines are possible.

Colder air works in Monday night, and there will be occasional showers Monday night and Tuesday before precipitation shuts off toward Tuesday evening. Winds will continue strong from the west, averaging 15-35 mph. Enough cold air will be drawn in to produce snow showers in higher elevations of Rockbridge and Nelson Counties, but accumulating snow should hold in the state of West Virginia. Several inches of snow are likely in the West Virginia ski resorts.

Total rainfall amounts in our part of the state will vary widely, with some places getting less than a quarter of an inch, while others get more than 2 inches. As a general rule, lower amounts will be found south and west of Lynchburg, with heavier amounts north and east.

The worst of this storm is expected from Baltimore to New York City, where coastal flooding, shore erosion, and river flooding are very likely. Torrential rains and sustained winds of 40-70 mph are forecast for the Atlantic coastal areas from Maryland to Massachusetts.

Widespread tree damage and power outages should follow well inland across Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. Some locations in that part of the country will go several days without power. Air travel will be severely impacted Monday and Tuesday.

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As of early Thursday afternoon, Hurricane Sandy is approaching the Bahamas, moving North at 16 miles per hour. Sandy is a Category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 105 miles per hour.

The official National Hurricane Center forecast path for Sandy as of 11a.m. Thursday has shifted more to the west. This means that the NHC feels it is more likely that Sandy will at some point be making a turn into the middle Atlantic states or Northeast, and much less likely that it will curve out to sea.

The biggest question mark at this point is when (and thus where) the storm makes the turn into land. An earlier (more south) turn into land would mean heavier rain and stronger winds for our part of Virginia, while a later (more north) turn into land would mean we miss the worst of the storm, and see just breezy conditions with showers.

Right now, we do expect occasional rain and some gusty breezes during Sunday and Monday, but at this time the worst of the storm is forecast to hold toward the Virginia Eastern Shore before turning northwestward into areas between New Jersey and New England. However, a more south landfall, say somewhere over the Delmarva Peninsula, could mean torrential rains and damaging winds (i.e. some power outages) for parts of our viewing area.

While Sandy will begin to lose tropical characteristics, it will be fed from another disturbance hooking in from the west, so the storm is expected to be very intense and potentially historic in the northeastern United States. Coastal flooding, widespread tree damage, and power outages look more and more likely for that part of the country during the Monday to Tuesday time frame.

Remember, small changes in the track of Sandy are expected and will require forecast modifications in the coming couple of days.

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