Lots going on today, will keep it quick but give you all info I can:
- Real time updates continue on Twitter and Facebook
- Pertinent maps included - Click them to enlarge.
- NECN continues coverage through the weekend with Meteorologist Tim Kelley - I'll be on-air Sunday night at 9 PM onward, through the event
- RAIN: Though heavy downpours will fall - pre-dawn Monday through Monday night - total rainfall amounts will generally be 1.5" to 3" with locally higher amounts possible on the windward (southeast) side of the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire, and far lesser amounts on the leeward (northwest) side of the mountains, including Northern Vermont and Northwest NH. These amounts of rain may cause a few wet basements, but substantial flooding is unlikely.
- WIND: The wind field of Sandy is expanding and will continue to do so. Worst winds will be found on the north side of the storm, from Long Island through Southern New England - highest at exposed coastal locales. Scattered damage to tree limbs and power lines may result as soon as dawn Monday along the South Coast and damaging gusts will be spreading over most of Southern New England through the morning. Wind damage and several power outages remain likely as far north as Central NH and throughout Southern Maine, points south. Gusts will exceed 50 mph through the deep interior, exceed 60 mph in the Eastern third of New England, and exceed 70 mph in some immediate coastal locales, perhaps as far north as the Merrimack River (Newburyport), with over 80 mph quite possible at immediate coastal locales from the Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket through Cape Cod onto the far South Shore of MA. These would be among the highest winds, if not the highest, anywhere in the East Coast. Gusts over 60 mph will be possible as far north as Brunswick, Maine by Monday evening. Central and Southern New Englanders - should be prepared for widespread power outages that - in some communites - may last several days. What about wind direction? Winds will start from the east-northeast early Monday. Maximum gusts will occur from the east Monday afternoon and evening. Later Monday evening, winds will shift to blow from the southeast into Monday night, and damage is still possible, though maximum intensity will have been achieved earlier, on an east wind. There is a low end possibility of a return of damaging wind late Monday night or Tuesday, but that is low probability at this time.
- WAVES: Peak wave heights may reach 40 feet on the waters east of New England. Breakers will exceed 15 feet in spots. Beach erosion will be a serious issue for coastal communities, and evacuations will likely be encouraged, if not required, in some communities from Plum Island southward through Cape Cod and along the South Coast of New England, where beach erosion seriously threatens homes and structures.
- COASTAL FLOODING: Related to the waves generated offshore, coastal flooding will further be exacerbated by astronomically high tides owing to the full moon. On this map, red indicates highest expected surge points, yellow is moderate. Worst tides will be Monday midday, Monday midnight and Tuesday midday. Storm surge will be on the order of 5 feet along the Long Island Sound coast, 2-4 feet Eastern MA coast, and about 2 feet Southern Maine. Coastal flooding will likely begin as soon as 10 AM Monday, which will leave some vulnerable communities inaccessible. The issue here is successive high tide cycles impacted by the storm, combined with the roiled sea - prolonged, multi-tide cycle events with a persistent onshore wind are often how New England sees its worst coastal flooding episodes, from Southern Maine points south all the way through Long Island Sound. Southern CT coastal flood may be just as bad as Hurricane Irene, and Eastern New England communities may very well see moderate to severe coastal flooding (December of 2010 was an example of this - in many spots that was "moderate" to put in perspective). Coastal residents who only flood in the worst events should make proper preparations to protect valuables and vital documents, and should be prepared to hear about voluntary and/or mandatory evacuations, with communities who do need to require evacs likely suggesting folks be out by sometime Sunday night.
- SCHOOLS: I've heard from several folks about decisions regarding school attendance Monday. My guess is that with all of the attention on the storm - and more importantly, the potential damage to be done by it during the daylight hours Monday, many schools will cancel for the day Monday, and play it by ear Tuesday depending upon damage in any given community, which will vary from one town to the next.