Reasons Sandy Will Be Epic
Posted on October 28, 2012 at 09:53:28 am
As part of Sandyís transition to an extratropical storm, it is expected to merge with a wintry system from the west, at which point it will become the powerful superstorm that has forecasters and officials all along the Eastern Seaboard on edge. Winds from that western system, which left snow in Kila, Mont. shown above, are what will help pull Sandy back toward the U.S. mainland from the open waters of the Atlantic.
Frigid air coming south from Canada also is expected to get ingested into Sandy, which will only help to strengthen the storm further and create winter storm conditions for some in the stormís path.
-ADVERTISEMENT-Officials are bracing for the worst: nearly a foot of rain, high winds and up to 2 feet of snow in the highest parts of the Appalachian Mountains from West Virginia to North Carolina.
Further complicating matters is the possibility for dangerous storm surges: A full moon means the tides will be higher than usual, which will make it easier for the storm's powerful winds to push water into low-lying areas. That, coupled with the threat of several inches of rain, has officials working to shore up flood defenses.
Storm surge could reach 4 to 8 feet from Maryland to Rhode Island, forecasters say. And inland river flooding is also a major concern, federal officials said Sunday.
Storms in recent years have left hundreds of thousands of people along the East Coast without power, sometimes for days at a time. Utilities have been bringing in extra crews and lining up tree trimmers so they're prepared, and with good reason.
The superstorm brings two possibilities for knocking out electricity. For one, hurricane-force winds of at 74 mph could send tree branches into power lines, or even topple entire trees and power poles. Those left standing could succumb to snow, which could weigh down still-leafy branches enough to also topple trees.
Millions of people are expected to lose power at some point during Sandy and many of those folks will likely not have power restored for many days.