It's still early, but it's a possibility.
Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sandy continues to move north through Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas through Thursday. As of last check at 8 a.m. Wednesday, the storm was still tropical storm-force, however on the strong side with max sustained winds at 70 mph (74 or greater is a hurricane). The immediate forecast is for the storm to continue moving north at around 15 mph and gain strength into a hurricane category one later Wednesday or early Thursday.
WHAT WE KNOW
There is good consensus on the short-term forecast that Sandy will continue to move north, through the Bahamas, and just east of Florida. The storm will sustain its strong tropical storm-force winds through the 72 hour period (three days).
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW
We're not exactly sure where Sandy will go after 96 hours, which is Saturday the 27th of October. There is an even split in the long-range weather models that show the storm moving inland across the Northeast, also equally out to sea and away from us.
It all depends on how the storm will interact with a trough of low pressure moving across the east coast this weekend. The waves of lowering pressure may couple, but they may not either. Personally I am siding with the first option, that these two will couple and this storm will affect the east coast early next week.
WHAT TO DO
Nothing yet. Stay tuned to our local forecasts as we explain what is going to happen, both on air and on-line. We'll be keeping you up to date with the latest information we get. However I do want to let you know that very reliable long-range models have hinted an east coast landfall in each of the last three days-worth of forecasts. Also some of those models that previously put the storm out to sea, are trending closer to the coast. This is definitely something to watch. The biggest threat in our area is rain. Our ground is pretty wet due to recent rainfall and can't handle tropical moisture at this time, or else it will flood.
Area National Weather Forecast offices, including Burlington, have been acknowledging Sandy via hazardous weather outlooks:
"DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY.
FORECASTER CONFIDENCE CONTINUES TO INCREASE FOR A POTENTIAL HIGH
IMPACT STORM TO AFFECT THE NORTH COUNTRY LATE THIS WEEKEND INTO
EARLY NEXT WEEK. GIVEN THE CURRENT FORECAST...THE PRIMARY THREAT
WOULD BE A LONG DURATION HEAVY RAIN EVENT...WHICH COULD CAUSE
FLASH FLOODING AND MAIN STEM RIVER FLOODING ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY.
IN ADDITION...VERY GUSTY WINDS ARE POSSIBLE...THAT COULD PRODUCE
SCATTERED TO WIDESPREAD DOWNED TREES AND POWERLINES ACROSS
NORTHERN NEW YORK AS WELL AS CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VERMONT.
STILL PLENTY OF UNCERTAINTY WITH REGARDS TO THE EXACT TRACK OF
SURFACE LOW PRESSURE AND MAGNITUDE OF IMPACTS ACROSS OUR REGION.
PEOPLE ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE TO FOLLOW YOUR LOCAL MEDIA OR LISTEN
TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO FOR THE LATEST UPDATES ON THIS POTENTIAL
HIGH IMPACT WEATHER EVENT. FURTHER INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND BY GOING
ON OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/BURLINGTON." - COURTESY BTV 10/24/12
Again as I mentioned in the first line here, it's still early and there are a lot of unknowns. Each day the picture is becoming more clear, so just keep an eye on the Monday to Tuesday forecast. We'll be able to better prepare you (just in case) as we get closer to the weekend. Have a great day!
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier