The word â??Frankenstormâ?? was coined yesterday not by some over-caffeinated, overzealous news writer trying to impress his or her boss. It was actually created in this discussion by a meteorologist from the National Weather Service who specifically looks at forecasts 3 to 7 days in advance.
What the meteorologists of CNYcentral and across the country are seeing is something that very rarely occurs over the United States: A hurricane or tropical storm which literally gets sucked into a regular weather system to create an even stronger system of potential historic proportions. Normally, norâ??easters are intense areas of low pressure that typically develop along the eastern seaboard most often during late fall, winter and early spring. They usually bring lots of precipitation and strong northeast winds to areas near the coast as they move north along it. This is due to a combination of favorable strong jet stream wind energy, a large temperature difference between air masses and the gulfstream, and disturbances that cause a storm to form.
In this particular case, we have got all of the above plus a tropical system named â??Sandyâ??. Whether or not this is a tropical storm or hurricane when you are reading this, it is important to realize that the atmosphere will be infusing very warm, dynamic, moisture-rich tropical ingredients into the witchâ??s brew cauldron. This is why I am dubbing this as a â??tropical infused hybridâ?? type storm. Purely tropical systems tend to have the highest winds near the center by the eye-wall. Norâ??easters typically have a very broad large area of strong winds without an inner core of extreme winds. This storm is predicted by computer models to basically be a â??norâ??easter on steroidsâ?? if you will allow me this term. It will have a large area of strong winds, but likely stronger than any norâ??easter we have ever seen. This will likely mean many coastal communities will get hard with winds and waves.
The 1991 â??Perfect Stormâ?? is a close correlation with this system. If you click on that link, you will read that a norâ??easter engulfed Hurricane Grace and produce a mammoth storm. A book and a popular movie were written based off of this amazing system. While the 1991 storm created $200 million in damage in the United States, it stayed offshore. The "Frankenstorm" system will come onshore.
Whatâ??s worse, is that this system is forecasted to be even stronger than the â??Perfect Stormâ??. This may mean that conditions that were occurring on the â??Andrea Gailâ?? boat may occur or worse along the coasts across portions of the mid-Atlantic or northeastern United States. Those conditions were much worse than anything observed along the United States coast during the "Perfect Storm".
While computer models are predicting historic type conditions, intensity type forecasts for something like this are complicated and could potentially be erroneous. If you would like to read why, this article does a nice job explaining it. The bottom line is that this is a system to monitor seriously, especially if you have flights or plans along the coast. In addition, inland areas will see a tremendous amount of rain in spots. On top of all of this, the southwestern side of this storm will likely be some heavier batches of snow. Most likely this will occur away from central New York. However, we will monitor this potential, just in case, as well.
With respect to central New Yorkâ??s weather, the exact track, strength, and timing will make all the difference to the details. I do not expect any direct impact from â??Sandyâ?? until at the earliest Sunday evening. However, at some point Monday or Tuesday our area will be impacted by at least some bouts of heavier rain and gusty winds. The National Weather Service in Binghamton has posted some rainfall amounts broadly over the northeast and mid-Atlantic. Localized flooding will be possible. The highest risk for the heaviest rains would be along the southern tier of New York southbound into Pennsylvania.
Stay tuned today and all weekend long for the latest updates from the meteorologists of CNYcentral. We have got your covered!
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