Sandy Could Threaten The East By This Weekend

Models suggest Sandy will threaten the coast

Baltimore, MD - Mike Masco ABC 2 Meteorologist

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The forecast models we use here at ABC 2 have shown one extreme to the other over the last couple of days. Our computer forecast models are having a lot of problems determining the correct intensity of Sandy in the Caribbean along with having issues understanding the complexities of a cold front moving in from the west by Saturday. How this front will interact with Sandy remains to be seen.

When we see multiple scenarios unfolding it tells us (forecasters) that the overall situation is a lot more complex than one may think it is. I will add more information about this to my Facebook page however, just know the models are slowly honing in on a proper solution.


Sandy, as of 11 am from the National Hurricane Center, sits just south of Jamaica as a Hurricane. Dry air has slowed the strengthening of the storm over the last day limiting thunderstorm activity from regenerating around the center. However, as it moved north it was allowed to regenerate storms thus becoming a Hurricane.

Sandy is expected to grow rapidly as it passes over Cuba in the next 1-2 days. The storm will begin turning hybrid (transitioning from a hurricane towards more of a classic nor'easter with tropical characteristics).


Sandy, by Saturday night, should be a hundred miles east of South Carolina growing into a large cyclone. This position differs on several of the models thus making the forecast more challenging going forward. Some models say it's much closer to the coast at this time, which brings the storm right up the eastern seaboard. However, other models say this moves out but puts on the breaks and comes back to the north and west again. When Sandy hits this point it will become very clear which direction she will be taking!

By Sunday night, Sandy will be off the Carolina coastline somewhere between 100 miles east of Hatteras to 75 miles west of Bermuda. If it's more west, WATCH OUT between Norfolk to NYC BUT more east then the chances are high from NYC to Portland, Maine.


Here's where things get complex. In the beginning of this blog I told you that the model sees various things differently. The consistency from the European is very concerning as are the models that agree with it to a harsher degree.

What is even more concerning is the trend on our "out to sea" model THE GFS, which has trended way west into New Jersey.

Lets take a look at the various solutions.


- The storm has developed into an east coast threat since Saturday night of last week

- Excellent track record overall

- Better equipped to deal with complex situations (trough/storm phasement) (blocking pattern)

The European essentially shows a superstorm. This may be the lowest pressure on the east coast ever recorded should this solution be correct.

The track then slams it into Atlantic City, NJ drifting into Cecil County Maryland.

The outcome would be gale force to hurricane force winds for the eastern shore, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and all of NJ. Inland snows, massive coastal flooding, beach erosion.

The model that supports this would be the NOGAPS, which is even closer to the coast. An important note to mention, the NOGAPS model is not the most trusted model in the business. It's irrational and unstable from time to time but for entertainment purposes I will show this to you.


The GFS is the model some have been jumping on since it shows an out-to-sea track. The problem with this model is the constant feedback errors it has been having. First off, it has not handled Sandy well at all. Secondly, it continues to phase Sandy with an ocean storm way out over the eastern Atlantic, which is plausible however, given the situation and slow motion of Sandy, it is nearly impossible! Sandy would have to speed up now in order for that solution to pan out. That being said, if she did by Friday then the solution would work out.

GFS OPERATION MODEL SHOWS THIS: (This is the main run from the GFS).