The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

October 25, 2012

NOAA to East: Beware of coming ‘Frankenstorm’

WASHINGTON — An unusual nasty mix of a hurricane and a winter storm that forecasters are now calling “Frankenstorm” is likely to blast most of the East Coast next week, focusing the worst of its weather mayhem around New York City and New Jersey.

“It’s almost a weeklong, five-day, six-day event.”

Government forecasters on Thursday upped the odds of a major weather mess, now saying there’s a 90 percent chance that the East will get steady gale-force winds, heavy rain, flooding and maybe snow starting Sunday and stretching past Halloween on Wednesday.

Meteorologists say it is likely to cause $1 billion in damages.

The storm is a combination of Hurricane Sandy, now in the Caribbean, an early winter storm in the West, and a blast of arctic air from the North. They’re predicted to collide and park over the country’s most populous coastal corridor and reach as far inland as Ohio.

The hurricane part of the storm is likely to come ashore somewhere in New Jersey on Tuesday morning,  said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco. But this is a storm that will affect a far wider area, so people all along the East have to be wary, Cisco said.

Coastal areas from Florida to Maine will feel some effects, mostly from the hurricane part, he said, and the other parts of the storm will reach inland from North Carolina northward.

Once the hurricane part of the storm hits, “it will get broader. It won’t be as intense, but its effects will be spread over a very large area,” the National Hurricane Center’s chief hurricane specialist, James Franklin, said Thursday.

One of the more messy aspects of the expected storm is that it just won’t leave. The worst of it should peak early Tuesday, but it will stretch into midweek, forecasters say. Weather may start clearing in the mid-Atlantic the day after Halloween and Nov. 2 in the Northeast, Cisco said.

“It’s almost a weeklong, five-day, six-day event,” Cisco said Thursday from NOAA’s northern storm forecast center in College Park, Md. “It’s going to be a widespread serious storm.”

With every hour, meteorologists are getting more confident that this storm is going to be bad and they’re able to focus their forecasts more.

The New York area could see around 5 inches of rain during the storm, while there could be snow southwest of where it comes inland, Cisco said. That could mean snow in eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, western Virginia, and the Shenandoah Mountains, he said.

Both private and federal meteorologists are calling this a storm that will likely go down in the history books.

“We don’t have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting,” Cisco said.

It is likely to hit during a full moon when tides are near their highest, increasing coastal flooding potential, NOAA forecasts warn. And with some trees still leafy and the potential for snow, power outages could last to Election Day, some meteorologists fear.

Some have compared it to the so-called Perfect Storm that struck off the coast of New England in 1991, but Cisco said that one didn’t hit as populated an area and is not comparable to what the East Coast may be facing. Nor is it like last year’s Halloween storm, which was merely an early snowstorm in the Northeast.

“The Perfect Storm only did $200 million of damage and I’m thinking a billion,” said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private service Weather Underground. “Yeah, it will be worse.”

But this is several days in advance, when weather forecasts are usually far less accurate. The National Hurricane Center only predicts five days in advance, and each long-range forecast moves Sandy’s track closer to the coast early next week. The latest has the storm just off central New Jersey’s shore at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

As forecasts became more focused Thursday, the chance of the storm bypassing much of the coast and coming ashore in Maine faded, Cisco said.

The hurricane center’s Franklin called it “a big mess for an awful lot of people in the early part of next week.”

–––

Associated Press writer Tony Winton contributed to this report from Miami.

–––

Online:

NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center: http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/index.shtml

National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

 

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Luksik, Peg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray. Johnstown resident Peg Luksik, who twice ran for governor as the Constitutional Party nominee, knows what it's like.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scaife remembered for strong convictions

    At a weekend memorial service, publisher Richard Mellon Scaife was remembered by the archbishop of Washington as someone who had the courage to stand “for things that mattered.”

    July 27, 2014

  • DePasquale Auditor: More Marcellus Shale well inspectors needed

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the past century.
    But boom times in the Marcellus Shale are bringing online thousands more wells that use a complicated process requiring more careful oversight.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Strained relationship between Corbett, Legislature not new

    Poking and prodding the Legislature to act on pension reform, Gov. Tom Corbett urged lawmakers to shorten their summer break and come back to the Capitol early.
    It’s a modest victory. The House will return to session Aug. 4, instead of the middle of September. And there’s little hint that lawmakers intend to knock themselves out trying to satisfy the governor.

    July 26, 2014

  • Wolf: Wealthy should pay more to cut school taxes

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf would make a centerpiece of his first budget proposal an increase in income taxes on Pennsylvania’s higher-earners to help expand the state’s share of public education funding in exchange for a dollar-for-dollar reduction in local property taxes levied by school boards.

    July 26, 2014

  • Penn State Abuse 27 Son: Joe Paterno afraid of wrongly accusing Sandusky

    Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno told his son the day after his firing that he hadn’t informed the coaching staff about allegations Jerry Sandusky may be a child molester because he was unsure whether they were true, Jay Paterno writes in a new book.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • State in Brief | Two guns found at alleged hospital shooter's home

    Authorities found two more guns at the home of a man suspected of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist in suburban Philadelphia before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back.

    July 26, 2014

  • Woman raising stink about people using backyard near turnpike as a rest stop

    A Pennsylvania woman says she can see drivers who pull off the side of a highway relieving themselves near her backyard, and state police have been asked to increase patrols.

    July 23, 2014

  • Parts of I-80, I-380 jumping to 70 mph

    Speed limits on more than 100 miles of two interstates in Pennsylvania will rise to 70 mph for the first time this summer, with similar increases possible next year on other stretches of roadway around the state, state transportation officials said Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Trial ordered for inmate in cellmate’s death

    An SCI-Houtzdale prison inmate has been ordered to stand trial on charges in the beating death of his cellmate a year ago.

    July 23, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads