As weather forecasters continue to track Tropical Storm Sandy, which is expected to become a hurricane Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for southeastern Pennsylvania.
"Tropical Storm Sandy is slowly gathering strength south-southwest of Jamaica. The current forecast track has Sandy passing over Jamaica Wednesday afternoon as a hurricane, then near or over eastern Cuba Wednesday night. Winds have already begun to increase in and around the Florida Peninsula, especially over the coastal waters where Small Craft Advisories and Tropical Storm Watches are in effect," the NWS says.
Keep monitoring forecasts
"This will ultimately depend on the eventual track and evolution of Tropical Cyclone Sandy as it interacts with a deepening upper level low pressure system approaching the east coast," the NWS says. "The storm may very well just move out to sea and have little if any impact on our weather. Again, forecast confidence is still low at this point since Sandy is still in the Caribbean Sea and any potential impacts are still several days away. Please refer to the National Hurricane Center for the latest forecasts on Sandy, and monitor the latest National Weather Service forecasts throughout the week."
Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist for Accuweather.com, says "Depending on the path of Sandy, now brewing in the Caribbean, people along the East Coast during the week of Halloween could be looking a destructive storm or breathing a sigh of relief. Final destination scenarios for Sandy range from bypassing the East Coast to creating a nightmare for tens of millions of people from Norfolk, Va., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston."
Tom Thunstrom of Royersford, who operates Phillyweather.net, said Wednesday morning that some computer models show the storm making landfall near Atlantic City next Tuesday. The storm's track, which is highly unpredictable at this stage, could make a significant difference in the wind strength and the amount of rainfall we receive in the western suburbs of Philadelphia.
If it hits, it could be a big one
Eric Holthaus from the Wall Street Journal says, if it hits, it could count among one of the bigger storms in history:
What could happen is quite complicated, and may have precedence only a handful of times across the more than 200 years of detailed historical local weather recordkeeping (Big storms in 1804, 1841, 1991, and 2007 come immediately to mind).