The latest on the megastorm heading towards us -
Wherever it hits, the rare behemoth storm inexorably gathering in the eastern U.S. will afflict a third of the country with sheets of rain, high winds and heavy snow, say officials who warned millions in coastal areas to get out of the way.
“We’re looking at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people,” said Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
As Hurricane Sandy barreled north from the Caribbean – where it left nearly five dozen dead – to meet two other powerful winter storms, experts said it didn’t matter how strong the storm was when it hit land: The rare hybrid storm that follows will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.
“This is not a coastal threat alone,” said Craig Fugate, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “This is a very large area.”
Sandy weakened briefly to a tropical storm early Saturday but was soon back up to Category 1 strength, packing 75 mph winds about 355 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C., as of 8 p.m. Experts said the storm was most likely to hit the southern New Jersey coastline by late Monday or early Tuesday.
What makes the storm so dangerous and unusual is that it is coming at the tail end of hurricane season and the beginning of winter storm season, “so it’s kind of taking something from both,” said Jeff Masters, director of the private service Weather Underground.
Masters said the storm could be bigger than the worst East Coast storm on record – the 1938 New England hurricane known as the Long Island Express, which killed nearly 800 people. “Part hurricane, part nor’easter – all trouble,” he said. Experts said to expect high winds over 800 miles and up to 2 feet of snow as far inland as West Virginia.
And the storm was so big, and the convergence of the three storms so rare, that “we just can’t pinpoint who is going to get the worst of it,” said Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
It’s looking like this thing is going to hit within a 100 miles of where I live, according to the projections. So, I’m expecting to be without power at some point during the storm. And, if “Irene” can be used as a guide, it will probably be a while until the utilities are restored.
Be safe during the storm. And, feel free to use the comments section for this post to discuss whatever baseball items interest you. Hopefully, I won’t be disconnected for too long.