Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Hurricane Sandy's punch may be felt from Norfolk, Va., to Boston

Tropical-force winds, with hurricane-force gusts, could stretch from coastal Virginia to Boston by early Tuesday, latest forecasts show. Hurricane Sandy is still expected to combine with a nor'easter, into a 'Frankenstorm.'

By Ron SchererStaff writer / October 26, 2012

Red flags fly from a lifeguard station as Hurricane Sandy passes offshore to the east, Friday, Oct. 26, in Miami Beach, Fla.

Lynne Sladky/AP

Enlarge

New York

As hurricane Sandy leaves the northern Bahamas, computer models indicate the dangerous storm will hit the East Coast anywhere between Chesapeake Bay and Long Island, New York, starting early Tuesday morning.

Skip to next paragraph

But pinpointing the spot where Sandy comes ashore is less important than usual, because by Monday night gale-force winds, accompanied by hurricane-force gusts, could stretch for hundreds of miles in either direction of the storm's center, weather forecasters warn.

“It won’t make much difference,” says Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, referring to the precise spot where the storm interacts with the coastline.

In fact, tropical force winds could stretch from Norfolk, Va., to Boston, according to AccuWeather.com.

“Closer to the center, there could be some hurricane-force gusts,” says Bob Smerbeck, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.com in State College, Pa.

Once the storm hits land, it will lose its tropical characteristics and "have the same effects as a nor’easter, even worse,” he says. "We are looking at total devastation – tremendous power outages, flooding, a storm surge. And someone," Mr. Smerbeck adds, "is going to get several feet of tree-snapping snow.”

By the time Sandy is off the East Coast, it will combine with a developing nor’easter into a massive and potentially destructive storm, meteorologists suggest. Some in the media have dubbed it “Frankenstorm,” because it will be a hybrid storm arriving just before Halloween.

If this unusual meteorological mix occurs, it would form a storm similar to one in 1991 dubbed the “perfect storm,” which resulted in 13 deaths. A movie of the same name dramatized the unsuccessful efforts of the Andrea Gail, a fishing boat out of Gloucester, Mass., to ride out the huge waves. A US Coast Guard helicopter, on a rescue mission, also crashed at sea during that storm, killing a rescue swimmer.

Forecasters expect that most of the East Coast will be affected by the winds, heavy rain, beach erosion, and possibly some heavy snow in the Appalachian mountains. Rivers are expected to flood, with the storm dumping as much as a foot of rain in some areas.

Sandy, the 18th named storm this year, is so far responsible for 22 deaths in the Caribbean. The storm crossed Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas.

Some computer models show that, once the storm comes ashore, it will travel west, eventually dumping heavy rain on parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and western Maryland.

Permissions

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Editors' picks

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Endeavor Global, cofounded by Linda Rottenberg (here at the nonprofit’s headquarters in New York), helps entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Linda Rottenberg helps people pursue dreams – and create thousands of jobs

She's chief executive of Endeavor Global, a nonprofit group that gives a leg up to budding entrepreneurs.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!