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East Coast residents are used to these winter Nor'easters -- under normal circumstances. Some trees down, some temporary power outages are par for the course. But now? The timing couldn't be worse. For one thing, the ground is already saturated, which means more flooding and more falling trees. And I feel really, really bad for the people who are already traumatized by Sandy, because this will trigger such bad memories of the original storm.
From Dr. Jeff Masters at his blog:
Storm-weary U.S. residents pounded by Superstorm Sandy may have a new storm to contend with next Wednesday: an early-season Nor'easter is expected to impact the mid-Atlantic and New England with strong winds and heavy rain. Our two top models, the European (ECMWF) and GFS (run by the National Weather Service), both predict that an area of low pressure will move off the coast of South Carolina on Tuesday evening.
Once over the warm waters off the coast, the low will intensify, spreading heavy rains over coastal North Carolina on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The storm will accelerate to the north-northeast on Wednesday and pull in cold air from Canada. The storm is predicted to intensify into a medium-strength Nor'easter with a central pressure of 992 mb by Wednesday afternoon, when it will be centered a few hundred miles south of Long Island, NY.
The European model, which did an exemplary job forecasting Hurricane Sandy, predicts a stronger storm that will stay just offshore and bring a 12-hour period of strong winds of 40 - 45 mph to the coasts of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York on Wednesday morning and afternoon. The GFS model and 06Z NOGAPS model runs from 06Z (2 am EDT) this morning have a weaker storm that is farther offshore, with the main impact of the Nor'easter occurring Wednesday evening in coastal Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maine. The Nor'easter will likely bring a swath of 2 - 4" of rain to the coast, and the potential for more than a foot of snow to mountain areas of the New England.
The storm is still five days away, and five-day forecasts of the path and intensity of Nor'easters usually have large errors. Nevertheless, residents and relief workers in the region hit by Sandy should anticipate the possibility of the arrival on Wednesday of a moderate-strength Nor'easter with heavy rain, accompanied by high winds capable of driving a 1 - 2 foot storm surge with battering waves.