Hurricane Sandy is barreling toward the East Coast and is poised to merge with two other storms to create what meteorologists are referring to as a perfect storm.
As Hurricane Sandy makes its way out of the Caribbean, it is set to collide with an early winter storm from the west and a blast of arctic air from the north. Most of the East Coast has a good chance of being blasted by strong winds, flooding, heavy rain, and possibly snow from the ensuing mega storm, The Associated Press reported.
Hurricane Sandy and the other storms are expected to come together on Sunday, with government scientists now giving it a 70 percent chance of hitting the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.
“It’ll be a rough couple days from Hatteras up to Cape Cod,” said forecaster Jim Cisco of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prediction center in College Park, Md. “We don’t have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting.”
To make matters worse, Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit during a full moon when tides are at their highest. This could increase the potential for flooding in coastal regions, NOAA forecasters said.
With trees still heavy with leaves, any snow would cause damage and power outages similar to the Halloween Storm of 2011, forecasters said. There is the potential for power outages to last to Election Day, they said.
Forecasters have compared Hurricane Sandy to the “Perfect Storm” that struck off the coast of New England in 1991, but Cisco said this one has the potential to do more damage because it will hit a populated area.
“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.”
There is still time for Hurricane Sandy to change paths, forecasters noted. The National Hurricane Center only predicts five days in advance.