(See update below in bold).
For a longer/more thorough blog about Sandy see my previous one. The 5pm update came out on Sandy and there is basically no change. It is still a hurricane with winds of about 75mph and a pressure of 952 mb (millibars). It was 270 miles ESE of Hatteras NC, but the last update was about 260 miles southeast of Hatteras. Earlier on the satellite loop it looked like Sandy was trying to move more to the east, but that wasn’t mentioned by the National Huricane Center. The rain has been coming down steadily, and I hate to say it in the middle of the storm, but the rain has actually been kind of nice. I know some folks that have been in the drought are appreciating it like our weather watcher Ed in Williamsburg. He’s already had a couple of inches as of this afternoon. From the radar estimate it looks like most of the region has had about 2-3 inches. While there have been some heavier spots, the rain has been less convective (thunderstorms/heavy downpours) and more stratiform (steady and widespread). That’s basically due to the warmer/more moist air pushing into the cooler airmass. Almost like an overunning type storm.
The wind has been up for the afternoon. Earlier we had some gusts to 50mph near the shore. Winds have generally been gusty to about 30mph inland and to about 50-55near the shore. This speed is a bit below the forecast. It may increase a little tonight, but I think it will continue to come in a bit less than the models. That would tend to give more scattered than widespread power outages. Cross your fingers. The winds will increase towards the Eastern Shore as the storm heads towards the northeast states later tomorrow into Tuesday. By Tuesday the winds will be strong, but they will be northwesterly. That will lower the tide generally, but keep it up on the Bay side of the Eastern Shore and the sound side of the Outer Banks.
Despite the lower winds, the tides are still forecast to be high. This morning was just a touch over the forecast. We are still on track for this evening for similar tidal flooding. Here is the link again for the tidal forecasts around the region: Tide forecast
. Choose MDL when you get there. Despite the winds trying to turn more to the north/northwest the tide forecast is still high for Monday morning. Usually a northeast winds produces the highest tides in the region. Our winds are forecast to be north/northwest. However, this tide from Sandy seems more of a swell than a surge. A surge is usually right around the center of the storm or very close to it. A swell is a wave that travels farther from the storm. Surfers get to enjoy these when a storm is far at sea Like leslie and Nadine
earlier this year.
Because of the swell nature of these tides, it is expected to still be bad near the coast. However, the Chesapeake Bay (Sewell’s Point for instance) is expected to be less than Irene. It is aiming for 6.5 to 7 ft versus 7.55 ft for Irene. That is much less than Isabel (7.94 ft), but the Duck, NC forecast is still close to Isabel’s tidal surge. Stay tuned as the tidal forecast is always tricky around here. Beach erosion and overwash over the Outer Banks are likely. The tide is also forecast to be high on the Eastern Shore. Don and Tiffany will be in with updates through the evening. Plus our group of anchors and reporters. Good luck with the storm everybody.
(8pm Update: The tide forecast has come down a little for tomorrow morning. Duck, NC is now forecasting about 7.7ft which is a small reduction, but in the right direction. Sewell’s Point is now about 6.6ft. So there is some good news. Wachapreague is still high. Just under 8 ft). The forecast may still change a bit so keep checking the link provided.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler