Saturday, November 3, 2012

Strong Coastal Storm To Target Northeast

A strong coastal storm is expected to hit the areas already beaten down by Superstorm Sandy. This new storm system will further hamper recovery efforts and could very well be a major set back to those trying to get their lives back in order. Let's jump right in to this.

This is the ECMWF at hour 72. The ECMWF maps I will show you in this post have a 500mb map on the left (to show high/low pressure areas (which are purple/red, respectively)), as well as a MSLP map to show the high/low pressure symbols on the right. Notice the low pressure system on the Gulf Coast, signified by the higher vorticity areas on the left image. At this time frame, we also see another piece of energy sliding to the southeast. This energy is shown in the Plains as another low pressure system, and will eventually become a big player in this coastal storm.

Fast-forwarding to hour 96, we have a strong low pressure system now developed from the original Gulf Coast system. This stronger disturbance now sits off the Southeast coast. Note how the second piece of energy, the one in the Plains, has now moved further to the southeast in the left image. At this point, the two pieces of energy are just beginning to come together into one storm system, known as phasing in the weather world. The first, strong system in the Southeast is pulling cold air to the south. This cold air is shown as the red line extending across the Northeast and Midwest. Anyone north of that line would theoretically have snow, anyone south would experience rain. Don't mind the red lines in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico or the Arctic.

Finally, at hour 120 (equivalent to 5 days away), the two systems have now merged in a fashion all too familiar. Hurricane Sandy merged with a system as well, which was why she got so strong. The same case applies here, where the two pieces of energy have now combined into one strong system and have moved up the East Coast. This storm system will be nowhere as strong as Superstorm Sandy, but this Nor'easter will be able to kick up some high seas, gusty winds and heavy precipitation, putting a halt to many recovery efforts in the wake of Sandy.


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