We're taking your weather questions from our Facebook page and answering them here. If you've got a question you want a meteorologist to answer, post it on our Facebook page.
Answered by Kevin Lemanowicz:
Amanda Beckman –Hey! I was just wondering…I live in Brockton. How will this storm affect us?"
Sure will, Amanda. Strong winds will threaten power outages and may knock down trees. Stay inside and safe.
Stacey Melchionne – "I live in North Attleboro, Massachusetts…what can we expect?
Yes, Stacey. Strong winds will
be your main issue. You may lose power and some trees.
Cherylle Baynes – "I live right by the beach in South Boston. How bad will it hit here?"
Very bad. There will likely be
flooding all along the coast. The winds will be picking up, too, but they will
mainly, for you, be pushing the water right on to the beach. High tides near
noon and midnight mean best times for flooding are either side of those hours.
I am most concerned about coastal flooding with this storm. The wind, of
course, could knock out power and cause some damage.
Chris MacLeod – "Quick question…Is a state of emergency the same as requiring non-essential people to stay off the road and not drive? Or in other words a travel restriction?"
I don't believe there are travel restrictions. The governor asked schools to close, for instance, but it isn't required. Businesses are also encouraged to follow the state's lead, but it is not required.
Answered by Jon Bellemore:
Julie Ann Carson - "Will this storm affect the central Worcester MA area, meaning will it hit here hard enough for the power to go out?"
Hi Julie Ann, there is no guarantee that Sandy will knock out power to Worcester but it is certainly a large enough storm to do so even in central Mass. The worst part of the storm will be the extent and duration of strong wind impacting trees that are still full of leaves. Once tree limbs start snapping, power usually goes out. The good news here is that most of the hurricane prep work was done early so we are a bit more prepared for this storm (power wise) than we were for Irene. In short, yes. Even though Sandy will make landfall in the New Jersey area, her wind field is very large and will bring enough driving wind to Southern New England to knock out power.
Cindi Manfredi MacDonald - "If you are all using the same information why do all meteorologists have different forecasts? Seriously. I'm not trying to be nasty or rude."
Hi Cindi - I don't think you are being rude and it is a valid question that I actually hear quite a lot. The analogy I have for that is this: what if I gave 10 people paintbrushes and told them to repaint the Mona Lisa. In theory, they have all the tools they would need (computer models and weather information) but each person's work would come out differently because of how they interpret the picture (interpret the data) and so forth. On the flip side of that, even if we all made exactly the same forecast, the way we each go about distributing that information is different too and would have different effects on different people. I might describe the painting in a different way, using different words and that is what makes the forecasts different also. That was a very good question!
Tabitha Frazier - "Is it true that if you're on the right side of the storm the winds are the worst? We're on the cape...what can we expect for winds?"
Hi Tabitha - being on the right side of the storm doesn't always bring the worst wind but in this circumstance, I would have to say you are correct. There are two main components to the wind that make the "total" wind. We have to take into account the storms relative motion and the wind speed from the storm's circulation also. In Sandy's case, she will be traveling northwest and spinning counter clockwise; two direction that we add together. The Cape and Islands, along with the South Shore of Rhode Island and Connecticut will get the brunt of the wind effects from Cindy. At the time of landfall somewhere in New Jersey, we can expect to see steady winds in the 40-50mph region with some gusts as high at hurricane (74mph) speed. Even though Sandy will not be making landfall near us, we will feel her effects from far away!
Sue Braga - "What exactly is the south side of Cape supposed to expect?"
Hi Sue- The south side of the cape can expect the strongest winds from this storm with speeds up to 70mph during gusts. We won't see a TON of rain, 2-4" likely, but storm surge will be our main issue. The hurricane will be making landfall to our south and west which will give Mass, RI and CT the strongest wind. Coupled with an astronomically high tide (high tide and full moon), the seas will already be high and will make it easier for the storm to push water right onshore. Shoreline erosion and surge will likely lead to localized flooding in many of the oceanside areas. Conditions will deteriorate from this point forward and start to relax during the day on Wednesday.
Scott Hamilton - "So...snow?"
Hi Scott- You heard right - snow! But we aren't forecasting snow for New England, only in the western states of the mid-Atlantic like West Virginia. The reason behind this is that Sandy will help deliver a good deal of moisture to a cold front and related trough that are digging across the eastern US right now. That trough will act like a steering mechanism for Sandy but it will also be bringing in cold air behind hit. As some of that cold air gets wrapped into the storm, this will cause some locations to see snowfall (and up to 12" in some of the higher elevations!) The rest of us will just see rain and wind for a few days. Hope you're prepared!
Answered by Kevin Lemanowicz:
KATE ROY ALEXANDER - "I am hearing the term noreaster inside of a hurricane, what does that mean? What is the estimated winds for central mass?"
Hi, Kate- it is more appropriately a hurricane that becomes a nor'easter as discussed above. Estimated winds will likely be gusts in the 60s out there. Plan on power outages.
CAT GRIFFIN - "What about trick or treating?!?!?!"
IF this storm does track through southern NJ, there is time before Wednesday to calm everything down for trick or treating. However, if there are a lot of power outages and trees down, like last year, you might have to change your plans.
LINDA STRANGER - "Looks to me like the jet stream is breaking the storm in half... what's the chance it might actually help to break the storm down some?"
Not a chance, Linda. The Jet isn't even hitting it yet. When it does, it will act like wind over a chimney. Air rising from the center of the storm will get blown off the top of the storm aloft by the jet stream. That allows more air to rise from below and replace it, causing the storm to continue to maintain or even intensify. This chimney effect is like when you start a fire in a fireplace. If there is now wind, the smoke can come right back down into the house, but with wind the smoke blows away allowing more to rise up from the fire.
SCOTT ALBERTI - " Is there even a slight chance that we could miss the brunt of the storm, or possibly just get a lot of rain without quite so much wind?"
Actually, Scott, if this storm does go through southern NJ, we'd have less rain- maybe a few inches. We will still have strong winds, coastal flooding, and power outages almost definitely now. Remember, if it goes farther north, we will get hit harder.
PETER J. WIGGINS - "I'm in a Mobile Home and in Norton, we are in tropical storm conditions are we all right?"
Tough to say. Tropical storm force winds go as high as 73. I don't expect that given a southern NJ landfall. Might be a good idea to stay elsewhere Monday night if possible. Just for a night.
JAYCEE CARMSALIDIS - "I hear that we will be missing the brunt of it as it heads inward around New York and we will not be getting any hurricane force winds (although still lots of wind and rain). True?"
True- IF it continues toward southern NJ. There can still be some hurricane force (over 73 mph) wind gusts though. Also, don't be fooled by the words. Remember that severe thunderstorms have only 58 mph winds as a criteria. We will see winds like that, at least in gusts, frequently.
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