Frankenstorm predictions are growing more serious as weather forecasters see the chances greatly increasing that Hurricane Sandy will rock the East Coast just in time to meet up with two other storms.
The storm is expected to hit the East Coast over the course of the next few days, with predictions that it will knock out power and cause massive damage from wind, rain, and snow.
We’re not trying to hype it,” National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Kocin tells Bloomberg News. “What we’re seeing in some of our models is a storm at an intensity that we have not seen in this part of the country in the past century.”
Hurricane Sandy has already caused 40 deaths as it made its way through the Caribbean, and when it becomes Frankenstom could be even worse, NPR noted. The storm system will be a combination of the hurricane, a winter storm coming in from the west and a cold front making its way down from Canada.
To make matters worse, a full moon on Monday will cause tides to be higher and could cause flooding in coastal areas, forecasters say.
The federal government is preparing for the worst, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency warning people in the path of Frankenstorm from Florida to New England to “update your family communication plans, check your supplies, and stay informed.”
At Weather Underground, meteorologist Jeff Masters writes that the storm will be unlike any other in recent memory:
“The trough approaching from the west will inject into Sandy what is called ‘baroclinic’ energy — the energy one can derive from the atmosphere when warm and cold air masses lie in close proximity to each other. This transition will reduce the hurricane’s peak winds, but strong winds will spread out over a wider area of ocean. This will increase the total amount of wind energy of the storm, keeping the storm surge threat high. This large wind field will likely drive a storm surge of 3-6 feet on Monday and Tuesday to the right of where the center makes landfall, on the mid-Atlantic or New York coasts. These storm surge heights will be among the highest ever recorded along the affected coasts, and will have the potential to cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.”
Forecasters have compared Frankenstorm to the so-called “Perfect Storm” that struck off the coast of Massachusetts in 1991, but noted that this storm has the potential for much more damage as it is going directly through heavily populated areas. Experts think Frankenstorm could cause more than $1 billion in damage by the time it’s over.